No slim privilege, this

Is it our fault that we don’t have a Michael Phelps-esque metabolism?

Whoever said slim is in? Well, I tend to disagree with them. Life as slim beings is definitely not easy. From braving sympathetic looks of aunts and uncles who associate slimness with malnourishment to endless lectures by the same lot on how beauty means being able to carry off a few extra kilos of fat, in style — we’ve seen it all, heard it all.

Not to forget the envious looks of friends from college who even go to the extent of saying, “You must be starving. If not, how can you maintain such a slim figure?” Phew!

Thanks to our slim bodies, sometimes we are forced to run errands for all and sundry, including ‘healthy’ neighbours. The same neighbours who can be seen happily feasting on creamy pastries and spicy fryums when we return home after a long and tiring day at work.

Here’s a sample — “Oh, I heard Mad Over Donuts has opened an outlet near your office. Why don’t you get us some?” Their reasoning is, “Unlike us, you’re slim and a lot more energetic than us.” Hence we shouldn’t mind the extra kilometre we walk! Should we take it as a compliment? I’m not sure.

If we think this is bad enough, then a commute in crowded BMTC buses in peak hours is worse. Because we’re slim, we’re always being asked to squeeze through gaps that the ‘well-built’ can’t get in. Being jostled and pushed at will, we are left at the mercy of the ‘well-built’. There’s one advantage though — we can fit snugly into the space between the ‘well-built’ and manage to stand without holding on to anything!

Don’t be overawed by this one advantage, though. Because, come winter, you’ll see us shivering our guts out. Lacking natural insulation, we’re always feeling cold, which is really annoying. Without layers of fat to shield us from the cool Bangalore winter, we can be seen wrapped in layers of shawls, wondering why we’re being blessed with lean bodies.

To add to our woes, we find ourselves constantly being served pooris for breakfast, pulao for lunch, bhujias for tea and ghee paranthas for dinner by our well-meaning relatives. Too much to handle. Is it our fault that we don’t have a Michael Phelps-esque metabolism? But, how can we tell them without sounding offensive?

Wait, it’s not over yet. Just to shut people up, if we decide to ‘build muscles’ and join a gym, we are made fun of, yet again, with fellow-gymmers asking us with a snigger, “What more do you want to lose?” But, what makes them think that gymming is only to lose weight? No point trying to explain.

Consider this: according to a study, thin women are at a raised risk of hip fractures in middle age. Also, a team of researchers has identified a gene linked to both lean bodies and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Our cup of woes runneth over. Slim is in, but fat might be better, ain’t it?

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