Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

22 Adar 5766 - March 22, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

A Weighty Matter
by Chava

"You're still so thin," exclaimed my friend. I smiled. She winked back at me and I knew what was coming next.


I had been rushing down Geula, eager to cross off some of the `to do's on my list. She was window shopping outside the jewelry store, talking to someone at her side. I walked right past her and stopped. Something in the lilt of her voice, or maybe the way she slung her handbag over her shoulder arrested my attention and tickled my memory.

"Dina!" I called as I turned around.

She gazed at me, puzzled, and then smiled in recognition. "Chava! Is it really you? Of course it is! You haven't changed in all these years." I was transported briefly to the 7th grade and was looking into the eyes of a lanky girl with a rolling sense of humor who had added spice to my school days.

We reminisced about the good old days with relish, and then her eyes traveled over me again. "You're still so thin. Here, take ten kilos off me."

Kilos and pounds. The despised rejected layers that most women are anxious to shed . . . I've lost count of how many dozens of them I've been offered. They seem to dominate almost every conversation I engage in. Each time I meet an old acquaintance, that weighty matter rears its ponderous bulk.

I was accosted by a woman when I went to shul for Parshas Zochor, about six weeks after the birth of my youngest. "Is that how you look ten weeks after birth?" she demanded aggressively. I dared not correct her. "You're so thin, you make me nervous."

Taking a few steps backwards in mock horror, I quipped, "In that case, we'd better not stand near each other."


After the sixth offer of those kilos in just one day, I got fed up, having nightmares of bulky boxes inundating my apartment, each one labeled clearly with its weight and bound firmly with a tape measure.

The seventh came from an acquaintance whose figure I envied as being just right. How many is she anxious to lose? I wondered.

"They're for free!" she pleaded.

"Not even for free," I retorted with a smile. "As of today, the shipment is closed."

Some of us thinnies are also plagued with the downs and ups of weight watching. While there are the food bingers, there as also the restrictive eaters, those who eat little, due to lack of appetite or simply because they forget to eat. I guess my line runs in the family, because a relative commented the other day, "It was nine p.m. when I realized I hadn't eaten since the morning!"

The regular, healthy, non-anorexic slimmie might be juggling housework, tearing about to finish before the kids come home. Or she might be rattling off an article like I am doing now and breakfast is shoved to a back burner. She may pop a cracker into her mouth or sip a cup of coffee, but only when she feels those flutters of weakness does she bother to glance at the clock, only to realize that six hours have passed since she got out of bed.

There were times when I seriously contemplated asking friends for ideas on gaining, say up to five pounds, but the fear of their reaction — their theatrical rolling of the eyes and perhaps semihysterical laughter — kept me back.

So to answer your unasked questions:

NO, we don't purposefully starve ourselves.

YES, we do indulge in chocolate occasionally. And NO, thanks, for your extra kilos. I am grateful for my slimness. One worry off my head.

I thought I was happy with the way I was until I decided, on a fanciful whim, to weigh in at the Mother and Baby clinic. That's when I discovered that I had been infected with the "I wanna be thin" trend.

"Oh, no!" I exclaimed in real horror as the metal weight clanged into place. "I've gained two kilo! I'd better go on a diet!"


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.