Cosmopolitan Middle East - - MOVE -

Like many, I packed on a few ex­tra lbs in lock­down. I don’t own a set of scales in my house, so I didn’t re­ally no­tice un­til WFH came to end, loungewear be­came but a dis­tant mem­ory and it was time to don my of ce at­tire, which…no longer t. Then, dur­ing my weekly trip to Choitrams, where I have fre­quented for the past cou­ple of decades, my friend the shmon­ger, whom I reg­u­larly chat with and have known for years, smiled at me and gig­gled, “Madam, you got fat!”

A com­ment not at all fu­elled by mal­ice, but a com­ment, nonethe­less, that shocked and slightly stung. I’ve al­ways been pretty t; I work­out at least ve times a week – and not be­cause I have to, but be­cause I want to -, but I knew my eat­ing habits had be­come a bit lax and lazy over the past few months.

I de­cided to dou­ble down on my diet and take a bit more con­trol over what I was eat­ing. So I turned to The Den, prob­a­bly the best gym in Dubai (I swear I’m not bi­ased…) in Mo­tor City that of­fers all sorts of fun* (*read: hard AF) ex­er­cise classes and a nu­tri­tion pro­gram that was set to make my six week chal­lenge a bit more bear­able. But there was some­thing stop­ping me… Would my fel­low curvy girls think I had turned my back on them? Would they think I was giv­ing into so­ci­etal pres­sures and no longer em­brac­ing my body be­cause I was try­ing to change it?

Could I be body pos­i­tive and still want to lose weight, or does that make me part of the prob­lem?

So­ci­ety’s re­lent­less sur­veil­lance of fe­male bod­ies has put women on a no-win jour­ney in which weight gain is seen as a fail­ure, and weight loss is…also seen as a fail­ure. So where does it end? Why does be­ing a size ac­tivist and want­ing to drop a dress size have to be mu­tu­ally exclusive? Are they bi­nary? Are they are oxy­moron?

“Weight as a met­ric does not cor­re­late di­rectly with how some­one looks. You can be satis ed with your cur­rent physique and how you look, but hav­ing the de­sire to change is ab­so­lutely awe­some,” says Michael Sole, nu­tri­tion­ist and founder of The Den. “Weight as a met­ric does not cor­re­late di­rectly

Want to see what a 2,000 calo­rie diet looks like IRL? Head over to YouTube/ Cos­moMid­dleEast to see this six week chal­lenge in ac­tion


Two scram­bles eggs (182 cal), half an av­o­cado (120 cal), 50g/six cherry toma­toes (31), cup of tea (50 cal), skinny cap­puc­cino (61). To­tal: 444 cal


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