I weigh 193.6 lbs today – that is 88 kgs. In kgs it looks a lot smaller but it is what it is. My ideal weight should be 131 lbs. I am like 60 lbs overweight. My BMI is 30. something. I am overweight. I need to accept that. I travelled once to the US last November. Returning home, i was jet lagged and drained. Then started my sugar splurge- a tsp here in a cup of tea, a couple of teaspoonfuls there. And the weight slowly started creeping up. To be fair, it crept up slowly. There were days when I had gas and migraine headaches and to control it I used Strawberry Fanta, which is one of the sweetest drinks available. Lunch is usually had at 10:30 am and naturally at around 3 pm, I would feel hungry and sugar deprived. I ran down to the cafe umpteen times and satisfied by sugar cravings with at least 2 bars of coconut Bounty each time and the pounds kept adding up. I reached 90 kgs at my worst- I don’t even want to see it in lbs. It would be near 200 lbs. My backside has grown laterally and posteriorly. I prefer to wear pants with elastic rather than ones with hooks. The changes have slowly been made even without my conscious knowledge. The sugar in my cups of black tea increased to up to 6 tsps at a time and then the number of cups of tea increased all surreptitiously of course. Two days back we had an issue with my elder daughter. A lot of concern and worry. Happy to say, I went off food completely during this time.

As I tense my body and purse my lips, I look angry. During sleep I clench my teeth and have the thing they call bruxism. I am tense even when I sleep- and sleep is hard to come by. As I tense my body, I feel heavy and uncomfortable. The 20 extra kgs weigh heavy on my mind and on my body. I waddle when I walk.

As I release, and write up my emotions on this new day, I feel like I can look at the facts more openly and move forward. I feel I can do it. I feel I can reach my 59 kg goal. I feel less heavy and more ready to commit to a plan.

One other confession- a month back, I read of Ritu’s signing up for Slimming World online and I did too- for 3 months. I was so sugar controlled that I could not even understand the plan. I cannot understand the logic of what they ask you to do. Now I use Slimming World only for logging my weekly weight loss or gain. There- I have got it off my chest.

Today is day 9.



Exorbitant shipping costs on Amazon

I love shopping on Amazon. It has most of the products and books that I have. My very traditional family would perhaps not approve but I do love the luxury of online shopping.

My issues are that:

  1. I am not eligible for an Amazon Gift card as am not based in the US or have a Social Security Number
  2. I am not eligible for Amazon Prime for the same reason.
  3. And again, not for the 2 day shipping option within the US.

On all accounts, my location is a big no-no. I have to pay a 23 $ shipping cost for an item that costs 5$. I am trying to purchase easy threading sewing needles for those visually challenged and this is what happened to me.

So I discovered the joys of ebay. Ebay has an option for Free International Shipping. For a time I used this option, till I discovered that the Free International Shipping reduces my choices. For example, I get a guaranteed product from the US or UK if I don’t click Free International Shipping but if I do click Free international shipping, then I get products from China and if I am lucky, Hong Kong. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not discriminating here but sometimes I just love the product advertised and want to have it but I am not willing to pay the very high International Shipping Costs.

The whole of last week, I was trying to get a book called the Step Diet : Counting Steps not calories. The book price at a book store in the US would be around $ 16 but with shipping and all I would have to pay $ 80 for this book. I ordered and cancelled this book at least 15 times over the past 6 days.

Till today, I searched for a a second hand online store for books and with free international shipping. Its called Better World Books. I have ordered 4 books. Three of them are Paddington Bear books. ( I love Paddington Bear). And all for $ 10. I now have a 21 day wait, which is ok, all considered.

Has anyone found the Amazon International Shipping costs high ?

The Help

On Thursday, our university had an International Writing Day celebration. Being the self-claimed writer that I want to be, I decided to go too.The free lunch was not an incentive, believe me.

Thursday morning was spent literally in pain, at my desk. My eyes were sore for some strange reason. Honestly the place I wanted to be was not here but in my bed.My body was yearning for some rest. The one hour event in the downstairs open air auditorium was a welcome relief.

The library had set up a temporary stall there with some books on “Writing” that they had picked out. I went to look too and found two books – one – Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark and the second, surprisingly, was not a book on writing but the old world type cover on the book was endearing, so I picked it up too. The book was titled ‘ The Help” and authored by Kathryn Stockett. The review at the back said, it starts where Margaret Mitchells’s Gone with the Wind” ended. That was temptation enough.

Sick and weary, I dragged myself home at 3 pm, an hour earlier than my official work time. And after my domestic chores, settled down to some book reading bliss. When I read, I am like Jo in Little Women. I hate disturbances and am so totally in the book that I find it difficult to come down to earth sometimes.

Friday and Saturday, saw me reading the book and finally I was done.

What can I say ?

After a long time,  I have read a book that really tells a story. A story where the story teller is not sick of the characters by the time the last few chapters of the book come through and he/she wants to end it all and the reader is left wondering what happened.

Well, this story is not like that. It is set in the 1960s, in semi-urban Jackson Mississippi. The story is narrated through the words of various housemaids and one housemaid sympathizer. I loved the pace of the story and the way the housemaids turned the tables on some of their mistresses. The sorrows, joys, prayers, trials, tribulations of the housemaids is portrayed so well, I could just have been there. There is a lot of reference to Ms. Hilly, in the book but if you ask me- is Ms. Hilly the heroine of the book ? I would say not- it would be Ms. Skeeter. And her assistants.

I would recommend this book and ask if you have recently read a book, which you really wanted to keep – in your library, so you could re-read ?

The Help would be my selection of one such book. What would you suggest ?


Troll- the evil that men do—

Do you ever troll those who have been in your past lives and see how they are doing for themselves now ?

Shamefacedly I must confess I do. Silently like the paparazzi pursuing celebrities, I like to read about my past contacts, people who didn’t “treat” me well and people who were just there in my life.

It is a very bad trait of mine and I would like to get rid of it( not much, but sometimes :))

Do you troll ?

Trips, trips and luggage

I was in Boston for four days attending a research ethics course at the Mecca of Medicine, at least in my assessment. Having gone with almost no expectation at all, I must assert that I learnt a lot, made some new friends and enjoyed myself. On the health front, apart from the first day, when I taxied myself to the conference venue, not knowing the way there ( $ 40 down), I did a lot of walking sometimes even up to 16000 steps a day, a feat I have never ever accomplished. This was a slow walk because as you well know, my bulk does not permit a fast walk. But the weather was pleasant and the company non-existent( all the better to get a good walk) and the steps did not seem painful at all. In fact the only side effect I could feel was tiredness in my upper thighs( not knee joints). I had no chest pain.

On the way back to my lodgings, I passed Target. Having heard so much about Target and its good bargains, I dropped in there. Only to find things  cost almost as much or more as Marshall’s. Also I forgot my Sainsbury’s  carrybag I had with me with my crocheted shawl inside, there and had to walk three times around the store, before I found it on the floor near the lingerie section. I had stopped there, and contemplated on whether to buy new lingerie to fit my growing frame about 10 minutes earlier. But all’s well that ends well and I got home from Target with no major accident.

I had negotiated the trip alone into the US this time, no husband or child tagging along- so I was pre-warned and alerted about keeping my documents safe, my money locked, my handbags closed and my laptops & other electronics out of the way. I must confess until I was on home turf, I was on high alert ( as much as I could be) and till I brought everything home again, I breathed safe again.

On the positive, all the walking made me lose 2 kgs and am at 88 kgs now. I hope it lasts !