A few years ago, an astrologer looked at my horoscope and told me that I suffer from major weight fluctuation issues even when I eat healthily, and it’s tough to reduce the weight even if I exercise and diet on a regular basis. I don’t know whether he looked at the horoscope to figure it out, or just a chubby-looking me, but he was kind of right. Weight issues have bugged me ever since I was 7, and was diagnosed with typhoid. The typhoid medicines somehow added weight to my then-thin frame, and my body took a cue from it, and never let the weight off itself. Anyway, the more interesting thing is the upaay that the astrologer gave: ‘Recite Hanuman Chalisa at least once a day, sitting in perfect solitude. That will help you lose all the weight.’

‘What?’ I thought, thinking that the astrologer is bonkers! But what he said next made much sense to me, ‘You are not fat from the body, but fat from the mind.’

Okay. There is actually an emotional disorder of this kind called the ‘phantom fat syndrome’.

A Phantom is a ‘ghost’ which means it doesn’t exist in a physical form, but mostly in an invisible form. Ever since I was a kid, my mind was ‘used’ to the fat. I could never visualize myself as a thin kid even when I was a kid. Always the round tummy. Always thick, chubby, cute legs. Even though the world called me fat, my mind was at ease at being fat and loved the extra warmth that my body experienced because of it.

When I finally decided to lose my 110 kgs (ji), it upset, aroused, and irritated the resting ‘phantom’ in my mind. It started playing tricks. My mind refused to accept the change, even when my body was changing with all the dieting and exercising. I lost 40 kilos in about a year, but my mind still shopped in the XXL section of the clothing store. My mind often told me, ‘I wish I’d put on some. I have lost way too much.’ Everyone showered praise for my weight loss, except my mind, which was never happy. It simply refused to acknowledge the change.

And then, as soon as I got busy with life, and slacked a little in my exercise, and dieting, my phantom in my mind took over! I put on 20 more kilos, and the phantom in my mind was happy!

So, the astrologer figured out somehow that my body has the tendency, and discipline to reduce weight, and lead a healthier lifestyle, but not my mind! In my mind lives a phantom that can only be shooed away by Hanuman Chalisa. Because Hanuman Chalisa can make your mind stronger, and more stable.

            No matter how bothersome our problems are, we always tend to be deeply attracted to them, connected to them.  It won’t be an exaggeration to say that our problems make us who we are! We LOVE them. Don’t we? Have we ever loved the smell of our own sweat? Most of us love it. We love our own issues, even if they give us sleepless nights and 20 different psychosomatic diseases like hypertension and whatnot.

            You know the strangest part, the phantom syndrome disguises itself to many other body issues too. It takes the shape of the health problem that is bothering you the most. Like if you have had a kidney problem, you might face phantom kidney syndrome, which emotionally and mentally stops your kidney from healing perfectly. If you have had deep-rooted asthma issues, the phantom syndrome won’t let you breathe to your full capability, even if your lungs are all right now. It stops our minds from fully dealing with the healing powers of our bodies and the medicine that we are intaking.

            Reciting Hanuman Chalisa did bring a lot of peace in mind, I realized that the aim shouldn’t only be losing weight, but taking care of overall health is way more essential. A mind made stable with Hanuman Chalisa made me realize that one should have a holistic approach to health, it’s not only about weight loss all the time.

The ‘exorcism’ is still on, but with Lord Hanuman being with me every step of the way, my mind has no option but to be stronger, and fight the phantom!!  Bhoot pishach nikat nahi aave, mahabeer jab naam sunaave!