What is the one thing we fear the most – being mugged, walking out of home without pants on, falling for the wrong person? Putting on weight is the correct answer. Oh, the agony of being alone in a changing room, screaming silently at the three mirrors around you because nothing you picked off the racks fits you. That moment when you go to the next size – from small to medium or medium to large or large to extra-large – is accompanied by thunder and lightning. You don’t forget the day or time. No one can fat-shame you more than an outfit that refuses to contain you.
‘I used to be so thin,’ is how we start all our stories. We pause then, hoping someone will ask for proof and we can show them the school photo or wedding video we carry around at all times. And while people constantly moan about flab, no one actually admits to weight loss. Even if we tell them they look like they lost some, they will only sigh and say mournfully, ‘I have to lose five kgs more,’ as if they expect us to lug them around one day. The real challenge when you reach your ideal weight is to maintain it. Because every gram lost returns with a back-up army in no time. We frequently find ourselves bathed in the light from the refrigerator with no memory of having walked up to it or opening its door.
Pear-shaped people do eat apples and apple-shaped people do eat pears. There are those who pray for tapeworms and there are those who ferment their own probiotic drinks. Human beings are now composed of chia seeds, quinoa, wheatgrass and kale – our blood is turning into a smoothie. Keto diet, intermittent fasting, chomping on backyard grass … you have tried everything. But you know nothing is working because everyone around seems to be shrinking rapidly. You change strategy: Upon entering a party you stick close to someone who makes you feel teeny-tiny by comparison. Even if a toppling over by the other may squash you to death, you focus on the implications of slenderness in the obit.
All my fantasies feature unclothed cashew nuts. They lie naked in a jar making seductive…