An Open Letter To All The Girls Who Want That ‘Dream Body’

Posted on September 11, 2016 in Body Image

By Ashmeeta Kaur Mehendiratta:

Do you let your view about your body dictate how you interact with the world? Do you constantly look for validation about your looks from your friends, family or the scale?

I did.

I used to constantly ask my friends if I looked fine or If I looked too fat in the dress I was wearing. I would devalue my self and my body by saying things like – “my face is too fat, isn’t it?”

“Oh no! My stomach is bulging out in this dress.”

Secretly hoping for my friends to say that I didn’t look as bad as I thought I looked and that I looked just fine and was overthinking. Which is what they did to make me feel better about myself.

Every morning when I looked into the mirror, I used to wish that I somehow have started looking ‘better’ and thinner. I used to constantly weigh myself on the scale, hoping to magically lose to some kilos. That arbitrary number on the scale used to dictate how I would feel about myself all day long. I was depressed, under-confident and secretly hoping for magic to happen.

So one day I decided to do something about it. I vigorously searched the internet for a good diet and joined the gym nearby. All the blog articles and magazines told me that I’ll be a much happier person if I just lost more weight. I would have sexy thin legs, abs and a perfect booty to shake.

I thought to myself that life will become colourful and exciting after losing enough weight. As I took on this journey of dieting and exercising, I realised it was torture. The entire journey of self-control was more of a punishment for me.

“Don’t eat this, don’t eat that, do this, don’t do that”

Why God, why! Why did I have to go through so much struggle, why does my body store fat more than it should? Why have I to be one of ‘those’ girls? I was starving myself, depriving myself of food that I loved and overworking myself. I wanted to be in shape. I wanted those perfect thin legs with a thigh gap. I used to scroll through my ‘ever-so-perfect’ bikini clad friends’ pictures vacationing abroad and feel worse about myself. I might have been losing weight or gaining muscle fat but I felt bad.

I also researched to find out that only 5% of all women posses the body type I had been craving for, the rest 95% of women have to work their ass off to achieve that. So, I wasn’t alone in this journey of lifting weights, doing cardio, ordering salads when I went outside to eat with my friends and stressing over my weight issues. I was chasing the thin legs and the flat belly that represent the ‘ideal body type’ in magazines and movies.

I was dragging myself to the gym everyday, working out strenuously, following those diets religiously. I still did not look like Deepika Padukone. I was still 5 feet 2 inches tall with a not-so-perfect body structure. I felt ashamed of myself every time I ate my favourite hot chocolate brownie ice-cream. I kept counting calories I had gained and the hours of exercising I will have to do to reduce it. I was so freaked out and I felt no good.

My mind and my body could not adjust to these massive changes in my lifestyle and started signalling stress and hunger and whenever I had a cheat day, I used to put more weight than I already had. I didn’t know where was I going wrong even though I was trying everything written in the book.

That’s when I realised that I wasn’t listening to my body and that the diets I was depending upon were causing me more stress than benefit.

So I slowed down and started to hear what my body was actually telling me. My body wanted more love, care and my attention.

I can happily say that I love exercising now. I don’t burn ass in the gym with the sole aim to lose weight. I also swim, do zumba, sometimes kickboxing and on weekends, do Yoga. I eat my favourite hot-chocolate brownie ice-cream without feeling ashamed and go for dinners with my friends. I enjoy like crazy, so does my body. Maybe, I will never look as sexy as Deepika Padukone in “Bajirao Mastani” but I will still be beautiful in my own way.

So all I do is concentrate that I eat healthy nutritious and yummy food, each day I pick a new fitness activity that challenges and excites me. I don’t over-stress myself.

And you know what? I have never felt so good about myself. I am strong and healthy and I am training to be a fit badass. I feel wonderful about myself and my body. People have start noticing that I stay happier and look better. I have stopped looking at the scale and stopped counting calories. I just listen and pay more attention to my body.

And that’s what I want for every girl who has ever craved for the ‘dream body’ so much that she started hating her own body. I want you to stop ignoring those signals and stop over burdening yourself with high expectations. You are not ugly or fat , you are beautiful and you will be even more beautiful once you start listening when your body speaks to you and when you start loving your body giving it attention and care that it deserves!

Your body and mind can give you more information about your body than any internet blog, nutritionist or trainers.  Throw away that scale. Stop counting calories. Don’t read those blog posts that tell you that you can lose weight within a month. You will be hurting yourself.

Just three points that will make you fall in love with yourself.

Listen to your body.

Exercise and try out new activities.

Eat yummy nutritious food.

Do let me know if it works out for you.