A heated conversation and chocolate dipped butter cookie later, I’m writing this post. It started with a compliment, “I like the way you carry yourself”, continued with “don’t you think you would look even better if you lost some weight?” and ended with “It’s alright. I was just talking to you as a friend”. As well-intentioned as that conversation was, it wasn’t the first and certainly not the last. Let’s rewind 5 years ago. I was fresh out of college, thin and taking on my first job. In 5 years I’ve progressively put on 15-16 kgs. That’s a lot right? I know it is. The alarm bells never rang for me. Until I was ‘marriageable’ age and my parents thought I was overweight. I started working out – power yoga. It was the most ‘in’ and ‘seemingly effective’ form of exercise. I consulted a dietitian – altered my diet for six months. I lost 5 kgs? I was still 10 kgs overweight. I still am.
There are some people you meet and you come away with thinking of them as ‘fat’. I don’t consider myself one of those people. There are also some people who try really hard to lose the extra weight and succeed. I’m not one of those people either. You see, I’m a rebel with a cause. I don’t want to lose weight because the prospective boy I’m going to meet is going to reject me. I will only lose weight when it’s a health concern. Is it? I’m going to find out very soon. I’m scared shitless. I don’t want to find out that in addition to everything else, I have to worry about a major health issue.
So what is my problem? The freaking double standards. Every time someone so little as comments on my weight, I wish they would take a good hard look at themselves and tell me they’re fit and healthy without batting an eyelid. Most times, they can’t. Being underweight comes with its own problems. Of course, there are the boys who want their girls (friends or dates) to be ‘slim and trim’. Do they have a six-pack, are they good-looking, are they strong? No. Very few of them are.
Why, as Indians is it our national hobby to talk to people about their weight? Why is it that we can’t accept and flaunt our beautiful curvaceous bodies? Why is it that our actresses are getting skinnier? Why is it that we concentrate so much on weight when obesity is a national concern for another country? We have far bigger issues, as a people, to worry about!
I didn’t always look like this and I’m not going to either. I’m constantly changing and so is the structure of my face and body. I’m a beautiful person and I believe that. I don’t need to convince anyone. I know my body type, I dress accordingly and as of last week, I fit into a dress sized M from Forever 21. I take tests when I’m asked to. I don’t always follow-up with the medication. I want to be mentally healthy as a top priority. A fat girl doesn’t reside inside me. You can point out all my bodily flaws all day long but you won’t convince me.
Health is important. Weight isn’t. Love, family, support count. Judgements (especially other people’s) don’t.
Every now and then some of my friends talk to me about weight issues. Despite flared conversations, we don’t reach conclusions. While it feels great to fit into a bikini and college denims, it feels equally great to bite into chocolate and a cheesecake. The solution is balance, containment and contentment. The answer is to do everything guilt-free. Enjoy it all. Live a good life. Because that’s what matters.
Ask yourself this. When you meet someone new, are they going to remember you as a ‘fat person’ or an interesting person? And how they do is a good enough indicator of whether you want to continue knowing that person. Do you have enough clothes in your closet to take you through a month or a fortnight? If yes, you’re doing just fine. Do you have a good set of friends and actual well-wishers around you? Then you know who the gossips are. Do you have someone to hold your hand when you take tests, lean on if you are suffering? Then you don’t need someone enjoys your misery.
Make informed choices. And just work towards being happy. We have so much to take us down. A real superperson is one who knows how to uplift themselves.
I want to tell all of you, my friends and readers included. I’m comfortable with who I am. I’m aware of my flaws and I also know how to work them. Yes, there are days it doesn’t seem like it. But I’ve learnt to accept myself. You should too.