It's rare to find a Bollywood star being so open about her struggles with her body, but Sonam did not hold back any secret at the Delhi launch of Kalli Purie’s Confessions of a Serial Dieter.
Sonam talked about the pressures of growing up overweight in a family where the mother runs a chain of gyms, about how her fitness-obsessed father, Anil Kapoor, used to call her a papita (papaya) because of her “sagging bum” (he'd compare her to Latina women in New York who fit large posteriors into tight jeans), and about her demanding diets leading to her being hospitalised because of hyperacidity last year.
"It is irritating to have family members who are so enviously fit," Sonam said, adding jokingly that she was wearing Spandex to look statuesque in her black dress. Still, she has to stay fit and look her best all the time, said a chatty Sonam, because her job demanded it.
SHE recounted how it took her two years to look right for her debut role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya and shared the pain of waking up to find a newspaper dissect her figure when she had added 10 kilos to look her character in Delhi-6.
Sonam's fitness routine consists of Bikram yoga and Pilates, she eats light meals every two hours till sundown, and because Sunday is her ‘cheat day’, she had gorged on two dosa s and walnut cake before arriving for the book launch. Of course, there are days she binges, like the time when she had 20 samosa s at a film screening.
Sonam confessed to being an “Indian junk food addict who pretends to love Japanese food”.
If Sonam made the agony and ecstasy of weightloss look so universal, Purie spoke of how the desire for it had ceased to be an obsession of women. “Men are no longer thinking about sex. They too are obsessed with weight, especially the weight of their wives,” she said
"Weight is relative and absolute, intimate and public, invasive and pervasive.” And she confessed: “It has been the very centre of my entire life.” Purie remembered how her family and friends avoided words like motu or mentioning the name of the famously overweight actress Tuntun. Now, she said, her weight loss (from 103 to 60 kilos) had given her the freedom to talk about what was once a taboo subject.