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An estimated 2-minute read

Volenti "Non Fit" Injuria

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It wasn’t always like this.

I was a fit, healthy 17 year old when I went to law school. I entered at an underweight 63 kilograms. Seventy-two subjects, three seminar papers and several eating and sleeping disorders later, I exited weighing about thirty kilos more. Also, I had a law degree and a job with a law firm.

This, however, was only the beginning.


Fun fact: 73.1% of all corporate lawyers are over-weight. 17.9% are simply morbidly obese. 5.9% are underweight (as always, the exceptions prove the rule). The remaining 3.1% are clinically fit (physically, not mentally- there’s usually an OCD lurking somewhere nearby).

Reasons for this may vary. I have identified the following reasons why corporate lawyers are prime candidates for coronary heart disease: 

  1. The law school mess guys have the uncanny knack of making everything on the menu taste exactly the same. After five years of their taste buds being systematically desensitised, graduating lawyers are overjoyed to discover various flavours of food. They may overdo their joy a bit.
  2. As they are no longer on a student budget, lawyers can afford to spend on the exciting food mentioned in 1 above.
  3. Clients refuse to fly you in business class comfort if you can fit it into an economy seat without oozing.
  4. Sitting at a desk for 16 hours every day is not particularly conducive to a high metabolic rate.
  5. In defense of the corporate lawyer, there is not much scope for activity in a law firm. Email, fax machines, telephones and intercoms contribute to a culture of laziness. I have seen instances of people paging others in the same cabin.
  6. Elaborating on the culture of laziness mentioned in 5 above, I have known people who have paid up-front for membership to the local gym for 3 years and gone twice because it was too much for them to cross the road. Fried chicken, anyone?
  7. Further to 6 above, as several overweight lawyers smoke, puffing, then huffing, on the treadmill is non-macho and is to be avoided at all costs.
  8. Bingeing on alcohol and ice-cream (sometimes simultaneously) helps the corporate lawyer rationalise his/her conscious decision to lead a miserable existence.
  9. Success is synonymous with a jiggly belly. It shows prosperity and makes the Indian lawyer a viable prospect for marriage.
  10. In keeping with the majoritarian ideology in law firms, being plump is considered attractive. Also, a legendary gay band wrote songs about ladies with large backsides. Need I say more?


“Round is a shape”, I counter defensively.

I follow it up with the ever popular “Who needs a six-pack when I have a barrel?”

Such are the weapons of wit one must possess when faced with increasing queries about the growing proportions of one’s gut.

I am beginning to have quite the arsenal now.

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