Battle of the Bulge

This is about my sister and my aunt. Both have the same birth date, hence the same sun sign and the same characteristics. Both have curly black hair and both have been pleasantly plump for as long as I can remember. Both are fighting a battle.

What battle are they fighting? It is the battle of the bulge. From childhood, I have been close to my sister. When she was fifteen and I eleven, she decided she was not just plump but fat and needed to lose some weight. So began the exercise sessions which I watched with idle curiosity, occasionally looking up from my books. She was considered too young for dieting. So, she put all her energy into exercising and burning the extra fat. A few years down the line, she started going on diets. First it was eating-only-healthy-things diet. Then she cut out certain bad foods. And then, some more. And then, the local gym. After that, slimming centers.

All her decisions, thoughts, emotions are centered around how fat she is and how she is going to get thinner. And how many pounds she has dropped in the last six months and how many she has gained back. All her extra energy is directed towards one thing and all the gaps in her thoughts are filled with one purpose.

Cut to my aunt. She has also been on the plumper side from the time she was born, perhaps. As children, we loved visiting her. She was always fun, full of joy, forever ready with a smile and a joke. And always talking about how fat she was. We lived hundreds of miles apart so I have not been witness to her efforts at weight loss. But I have listened about them. In gory detail. For nearly three decades now.

Two women in my family. A generation apart. Same thought processes. Both of them are very beautiful and unique in their own way. They have led fulfilling lives, supporting families and being there for their dear ones. But why are they obsessed with their bodies? And is that what defines them?

Having crossed into middle age, I am gaining weight and beginning to resemble a ‘beached whale’. Time to bring out the running shoes, the leotards, the diet books? Downloading apps for weight loss? Fat has brought me out of my mid life crisis. I no longer feel I have no purpose or direction. Joining the battle!

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3 Comments

  1. I used to be able to eat anything I wanted as much as I wanted, without having to worry about my weight. My mother-in-law kept telling me I’d hit middle age spread wthen I hit 30. Well, when I started working in an office, having one sit-down job after another, she was right, especially when I worked in an office of over-40 women who loved any excuse to eat: someone’s birthday–we doing breakfast or lunch? Order out or potluck? Holidays are coming–what are you bringing? Yep. I gained thirty pounds. No more slim, sleek body. Now my grandkids like to play with the “chicken fat” flab that hangs from my upper arms.
    Does our weight define us? I don’t think so. How we view ourselves defines us. Thankfully, a slim, sleek body is not a requirement for getting into heaven. God is not a cookie cutter God.

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    1. Love this! I used to think you start putting on weight after you cross 40. So, I ate with abandon, especially since I had been slim all my life. No one told me middle age does not keep time. So, a few years before 40 and I started spreading.
      But, seriously, I too think that weight should not affect our self image. There are far more important things to take care of before we die.

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