8 Surprising Reasons I’m Not Skinny

I exercise. I’ve done Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred at least 30 times. I’ve not emerged shredded.

Maybe I shouldn’t have spread those 30 workouts over, say, 365 days. Really, though, Jillian should be more accurate about this shredding business.

Soon, spring cleaning will edge out my already non-existent workout routine. I’m one of those who gets an endorphin rush from an organized linen closet, rather than running for an hour. Not that I speak from experience – I’ve never run more than seven minutes at a stretch. And it wasn’t like those seven minutes were part of some interval training regimen, either.

But, here are some surprising reasons why I’ll never be tall, blonde and skinny. Oh wait … I’m Indian and I’m short. So, scratch that. Let’s just deal with the skinny part.

1) I like to read

Here’s a sampling of what’s on my bookshelf right now.




With so many diet and fitness books to read I’ve often exercised (my mind) to the point of exhaustion.


2) I have two American children

Candy ends up at our house like free ketchup packets in an immigrant’s pockets (Taco Bell hides their condiments when the hubbers enters.).

There’s Valentine’s and Halloween, birthday goody bags and Great Clips’ treats. It won’t be long before they’re given candy after dentist appointments.


3) I like to challenge myself

Every once in a while I like to challenge myself. Like, can I finish this entire bag of chocolate chips while watching House Hunters? Usually, by the time couple 3 has picked their his-and-hers dual sinks in the master bath, I declare myself a winner!


Survival kit


4) I’m a CFO

I’m my family’s Chief Feeding/ Fattening Officer. Two skinny kids and one lean, unmean husband means mamma is serious about fattening ’em up. So I buy sugar by the truckload and can alphabetize the kinds of cheese in my fridge.

Somehow, only  the dimensions of one family member show effects of sugar/ fat loading.


5) I have high standards

I need perfect weather conditions to exercise outdoors. I also need perfect parking lot conditions to exercise at the gym. It’s hard being a perfectionist. But I live with it.


6) My kids are amused

Maybe they need a more educated sense of humor, but for now my jelly belly is highly amusing. And who doesn’t like to bring joy to their cherubic little ones?


7) I love marathons

Like marathon back-to-back episodes of Blacklist. All that drama can really get your heart rate going.


8) I’m in tune with my feelings

I’ve just eaten and am feeling too stuffed to exercise. Or, I’m famished and could eat a farm. Which takes me back to the “I’ve just eaten” state of being. That leaves me with a very short window to exercise.

So, for now, I’ll just say I’m in shape. Like the shape you drew in your geometry class with a compass.

Yeah, that one.



  1. Rahul says:

    That was awesome!
    If it’s any consolation I need perfect conditions to exercise outdoors too. Many a times have I cut short a run telling myself I’ll get blown away to China if I keep running in this wind. 🙂

  2. Ruth says:

    Wow Susan! A marathon of words and humour indeed. I enjoyed reading it! I enjoy eating and exercising as well.Nothing compares to the endorphin rush though. I still remember how Noah was upset when you got married. Tnat 5 year old biy had a huge crush on his Bsf leader.

    • Susan Narjala says:

      Haha… thanks Ruth! Noah must be a strapping young man by now!! Way taller than his old BSF teacher for sure. My mom mentioned how you’re an ace marathon runner. One day 🙂

    • Susan Narjala says:

      Thanks TanTan! Will look at the book. I remember you talking about it. Especially the desserts in the morning thing. Squish Missy A for me.

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