Yesterday, August 23, 2014 was the Humourous Speech Contest at Bombay Toastmasters. I participated despite wanting to chicken out (Thanks to fellow Toastmaster, Suneel for goading me on not giving up. He just said “Enjoy the experience”) So there I was as Contestant Number 5. Here is the speech transcript.
“Lose weight, ask me how.” These were the words on the badges of a lot of people near my Bangalore office. I wondered why? These people would rush towards me when they saw me walking on the way to office. I surely wasn’t a damsel in distress looking for my knight in shining armour so why were they coming to me? I then realised that they were visitors to some office nearby which sold products that SUPPOSEDLY made people lose weight. And I was a sitting duck for them to achieve their targets. Don’t blame them, they are doing their job.
Contest chair, fellow Toastmasters and guests – please understand what a precarious situation I am in.
Jadya, Jaadi Buddhi, Motu, Dharti ka boj anaaj ka dushman, Kis chakki ka aata khata hai? – these are phrases I have been used to right from school to date. I realised I was challenged at the girth when I came to the fifth grade. During the summer holidays I had a dog bite and had taken 14 injections around my navel. I used that as a crutch to explain my bloated stomach. In hindsight, I realise what a lame excuse it was but I also learnt that I had the knack of spinning yarns from that age! While I was spinning yarns on one hand, I was desperately trying to lose weight one way on the other. But like that famous dog in the TV commercial, it followed me everywhere. Finally I was forced to accept my weight as a congenital defect and decided to live with it.
Having lost my mind but not my weight, I want to share with you not just my yearnings for food but also my learnings.
Let me start off with something I LOVE – Food – You will find some people who eat to their hearts content and yet not a milligram of weight but me? I put on weight just by breathing. God, why me of all the people? Buffets are my weakness with sites like Groupon always visited for such deals. I always enjoy a meal for two, all by myself. On the other hand, I am no saint rather a super hypocrite. I actually write blog posts for my sister, a nutritionist and a weight loss specialist. One of my posts is about what one should do at an all you can eat buffet. I just had to write exactly opposite of what I was actually doing – pigging out.
Then come clothes – It is always hard to find readymade shirts that fit me. Pants have to be custom made as my body is custom built. I started with size 40 and graduated to 46 slowly but visibly. The most embarrassing moment is when you walk into a shirt shop and ask for a 46 shirt, they say, sorry the largest we have is 44. The world is so cruel.
Finally physical activity – I took to swimming at age 44 and all began asking me – is there any water left in the pool after you get in? But I persisted and learnt. Before I could get anywhere near Michael Phelps, my ear infection took charge and so had to stop. Started BKS Iyengar Yoga and have been doing it for over 5 years. Even after such a long duration, I can barely bend and hold my shin bone while others put their palms on the floor. My instructor blames it on my belly which she refers to as an over inflated truck tire. I am always made to repeat a pose just for others to see and learn how not to do yoga! For Shirsasana, I need to be lifted from the thighs. Why? They do not permit cranes inside the building!! So maybe my next sport – Sumo wrestling.
Friends, the next time you receive an SMS on weight loss, smile and remember it was intended for me but somehow made it to you. Also if you see a dietitian, think of the hypocrite me ghost writing:-) Never ask a woman’s age or a man’s wage so goes the adage. For me please don’t ask me my tonnage. It embarrasses both the weighing scale and me both so we parted ways a long time ago.
And guess what? I was the first runner up!! My first time in a Humourous Speech Contest. Thanks BTM for giving me this opportunity.