Hitting the mid-forties shortly. Am asked, quite frequently of late – how is it that I retain the waist (and general spryness) of when I was a young adult. Special diet? Loads of exercise? Some potent potion? Pills?

Depression helps. Seriously. Well, not really. I am given to understand that depression, largely, makes people eat more. Get fat, that is. Works the other way around for me.

I kind of end up calculating the time and effort involved in sourcing and chewing said nutrition versus what it might provide me – the quantum that gets sourced and chewed, that is. Usually, I end up determining that it is not worth it.

Do I feel hungry? Wait, child. …

So that is part of the ‘explanation’ in any case. A regimen of anti-psychotics coupled with mood stabilizers does tend to make you put on weight. Thirteen years? I should be fat.

Do I not ‘like’ food?

I do, as a matter of fact. Just that, over a period of time, I have gravitated towards eating what my body demands. And more importantly, when it demands. I just pay heed.

It misses protein. I find myself craving for a dash of something that would give that. It wants some fat? I gorge on ghee. Well, not really ‘gorge’. But yeah. You get the drift. It wants fruit. I eat fruit.

So, I am a vegetarian. Of sorts, in any case. Dairy is fine. As are eggs. Don’t like the idea of killing animals for food. So that’s off my table. Though I do tend to allow myself to think of what I would like to eat if I were to eat that. Usually my thoughts tend to gravitate to the food porn I see on reddit – a T-bone Steak (medium rare) does have a certain appeal. It looks substantial. And neat i.e. non-messy.

Fussy eater? YES! But I generally manage to find something palatable – just about any where. So this is not a major issue in any case.

What is OFF the table?

Oils, in general. Fried stuff, except some savouries once in a while. Cravings, you see.

I do not like to eat sweets. Do I not like sweets? I do. Just that, given a choice between something sweet and something sour/spicy hot, I would, inevitably, choose the latter. But I get my kicks from ultra-sweetened chai and coffee. Sugar Rush? Sure. Pure.

No masalas, if I can opt against them. No gravies either. Flip-flop between rice and wheat. Don’t care if it is maida or atta.

Veggies? VERY fussy here. Long list of ‘cannot eat’. But nearly all greens are in. Trip on sprouts. All kinds.

How much do you eat?

Just enough. Seriously. I do not recall the last time I ate to reach a state of rubbing my hand over my belly (very Indian) and telling the host/-ess that, I could not think of food again.

I guess I like to leave a bit of space in there, when I finish eating. Does not make me drowsy or lose alertness. I don’t like it when food takes the edge off your head.

I, for the past four months or so, have been averaging about a single meal a day. With about 3 mugs (yes, 500 ml each) of chai. And about 5 mugs of coffee at work. (Chai  at work sucks).

Do I feel unhealthy? You tell me…

A full blood pathology work-up a month and half back. All markers at median. Including lipids. Triglycerides are a bit up (need to eliminate alcohol totally – getting there).

8% below IBW (Ideal Body Weight). Hit IBW about a couple of years back. Waist expanded by about 6 inches. A solid bout of depression got me losing 14 kilos in a bit over a fortnight. Have held this since then.

I have not exercised in, like, 16 years now. Not since I had my first MI.

BMI of 21.7.

DO NOT follow this regimen. The point, in case you missed it, is quite simply this – let your body tell you what it needs. It tells you what it wants. Which is fine. But listen to what it needs.

I don’t feel as dumb as I feel when I am well-fed.

Bon Apetit!