Lose weight. God, these were bad words in my vocabulary. They were capable of giving me nightmares.
The truth is when it came to fighting fat I was an absolute failure. There was nothing I didn`t try. And nothing worked. I must have spent thousands of rupees on this endeavour.
I discovered pills didn`t work, gimmicks didn`t either, nor did very many diets. It really didn`t make sense to keep feeling hungry and keep off food.
I had given up and resigned myself to being considerably overweight. And then, my aunt moved in with me for a couple of months. If she thought I was fat, she didn`t say anything. In fact, we sat around exchanging family gossip.
There was a temple half a mile away from my house. My aunt was a religious, old-fashioned person. She`d wake up early in the morning, have a quick bath and go to the temple every day.
She always looked so happy when she came back. I couldn`t help but be impressed. I asked her if I could accompany her. She looked a little wary. "Are you sure you want to? It might not be your kind of thing".
Whatever it is, I knew I could handle it for a day. So, early next morning, I was ready and waiting for her. I even had a quick bath.
First surprise she had no intention of taking an auto. She walked the half mile briskly, talking all the while. As for me, I valiantly kept pace trying not to puff and pant. After all, I was twenty years younger than her. I couldn`t let my ego be hurt.
Once we reached the temple, I was all ready to sit awhile. I was grateful to join in the bhajans. It gave me an opportunity to rest my aching feet. The people around me sang with gusto. They were evidently enjoying themselves. And they nodded at me encouragingly. There is no need to feel shy, they seemed to say.
Fifteen minutes later, we were on our feet again. We visited the little shrines around the temple. My aunt prostrated herself often before the deities. I followed suit- not too eagerly. I was aware that my body was beginning to protest.
It protested a lot more as we walked back home. My aunt seemed to be getting more energetic by the moment. All I wanted to do was to put my feet up and have a hearty breakfast.
She walked to the refrigerator and picked out a couple of fruits. That was to be her breakfast! I did likewise. The idea of getting myself to cook some food was too much trouble.
The amazing thing is that I was feeling much better by midmorning. Better than I had ever felt before. The aerobics classes that I attended usually left me feeling so tired and low most of the day that I used to simply gorge on my favourite food. But that day I felt energised. And light.
I made the temple my morning habit too. And the more I enjoyed it, the more I walked. I walked to every place I could. And I ate sensibly. I didn`t starve myself.
I didn`t worry about my weight at all. In fact I didn`t even think about it. Till people started commenting on how much better I looked now. They wanted to know what I had been doing to get this way.
I wondered if I should tell them about what started it all the visit to the temple. And then I thought, why not? I have a feeling that the temple is getting a lot of new visitors now. And they all come there on foot.