What’s weight got to do with it? And how life got in the way of a perfect body.

It turns out quite a lot. I have spent most of my adult life worrying about, discussing or contemplating my weight and my body shape. And if not mine I have been involved in conversations with family and friends about their weight!! And have probably commented about others’ weights without their knowledge and read countless articles and watched numerous tv shows all connected to weight/diets.

Health Warning: for those that know me you know that I have several food rules ;

⁃ I would rather eat my calories than drink them.

⁃ There’s always room for chips, mangoes and puddings.

⁃ You can’t leave my house without eating.

⁃ I need something sweet after a meal. I blame my dad !!

oMy whole life revolves around food. I am not a health guru so please do not follow any of my advice!! And certainly feel free to roll your eyes and if you have to “tut”, please do remember we are all god’s children. But I’m not getting into the religion discussion here …

So being born into an Indian family was never going to be great start when it comes to watching your weight. It’s like starting with a really poor golf handicap!! Throw into that a mum who was one of the best cooks around. The house was never short of

⁃ aloo and mooli parathas,

⁃ aloo and puris,

⁃ pakoras,

⁃ chaat on special days,

⁃ home made kulfi ,

⁃ kheer

⁃ dosas when she had time

⁃ Mithai (Indian sweets); very partial to jalebis, gujrela and rasmalai (if you know you know).

Let alone the day to day roti and subji. We rarely ate non-Indian food. Why would you as a vegetarian? I think the first foray for us out of home was Pizza Hut, and yes the extra chillies were requested.

How cruel that as a result of my upbringing I am afflicted with a love of samosas -carbs wrapped in carbs, deep fried and served with imli (tamarind) chutney made with kilos of sugar!! I won’t even go into the world of chaat ( Street foods) that just oooze calories. Don’t please write in and tell me about the lower calorie oven baked option samosas that involve filo pastry. I promise to try these one day !!

I then learnt in recent years that mangoes are one of the highest sugar content buggers around 🤦🏽‍♀️. Someone up there surely has it in for me. So what difference has this information made to you Seema you may be wondering: none whatsoever. We’re talking about mangoes.💕💕

I always did sport at school- tennis/hockey/netball/volleyball and the obligatory country dancing!! So remaining active must have burnt all the calories I was taking in.I recall even during sixth form going through a phase of logging what I ate. I was hardly big, whatever that means, and even started running before school(for a very short time). So what was the issue at that age I wonder🤷🏽‍♀️.

I look at the photos post graduation from my 20s and realise that I often wore clothes that were too big for me. I was also totally addicted to step aerobics and spraining my ankles.

In my 30s I had Aarti and for a while lost my way . Until when she was about 2/3 a so called male friend asked whether I was pregnant. Total head fuck! (Excuse the bad language). Ok we’re now signed upto to do the moonwalk. I recall doing it with a gang of girls from Cole & Mason but Debbie Acquaye and I were the only two signed up for the full marathon. Is there something we don’t know? I was probably at my fittest during this period. I recall my knees crying with pain during the last two miles but we made it.

Aarti used to poke my tummy and announce with great pleasure “mummy your tummy is like play dough”. Do you have to like your children? 🙄. I started Tae Kwon Do with her and trained and graded for years. Art got her black belt but I fell behind because of injuries!! And never went back. Oh I miss those hours of training 😐.

In my 40s I think I was fit too. I had discovered running with Simon. I was determined to be in shape. I had my first frozen shoulder and operation. I remember crying when I was unable to run due to the excruciating pain.

In my 50s I’ve discovered yoga. I also had my second frozen shoulder but the yoga helped to give me strength back sooner than before. I just need to be a master of my time so yoga becomes part of my day. I have realised that I need more focus.

So clever dressing is a great trick but that won’t make you healthy. I wear bikinis but ensure I am thousands of miles away from anyone who knows me. And probably like most women have a selection of sizes in my wardrobe. I also know that when I’m down about my weight I avoid clothes shopping and have targeted shoes, bags and jewellery. That explains an awful lot.

All through my work life I can confidently state that weight was one of the main topics of conversations

⁃ diets of the day

⁃ Gurus of the day

⁃ Fashions that we love or not ; those that flatter not( remember leggings coming in and low waist jeans 😂

⁃ Ponchos – what to make me really look pregnant?

⁃ Crop tops – thank the Lord I have always been too old for this.

The rule is simply to do what you can and if you want something you have to push yourself..right? And how you feel is your right whatever size and shape you happen to be. No amount of lecturing will make you do what you are not ready to tackle.

I’ve been on very few diets – one was during the run up-to my wedding with Mr G. I did two months of no carbs. And the week before the wedding I ate a whole bag of samosas. I also did the Carol Vorderman detox once. It was quite easy as I was already a non smoking, non coffee drinking, vegetarian who rarely drank alcohol. Blimey I sound great fun 😂. Both these plans worked for me. The only other food related thing I have done is controlling my portions occasionally, which again is difficult with Indian food – dishes just fill the table and are never ending. I feel that I may be sounding just pure greedy now.

My exercise regime has been a total rollercoaster over the years. From nothing to total addict…and somewhere sensible in between. But I have noticed that age has been the greatest enemy to me. My two frozen shoulders and subsequent operations made me realise how important exercise was to me.

Enjoy those samosas, chips, mangoes and puddings but in moderation. God I sound like one of those gurus 🤦🏽‍♀️. I, who have no self restraint when it comes to food wish you well.

Whatever you decide … stay healthy! The more you exercise the more samosas you can eat or doesn’t it work like that? For years I thought my good eats would counteract my bad eats. 👍🏽 … wishful thinking 🤔

🙏🏽

Seema

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