This is a reflection of my journey during the Pandemic, as the outer world continued to change due to the health and economic crisis engulfing the entire world. I took upon the challenge of the so-called “fat to fit” journey.
Initially, when I embarked on this path, I thought that I needed to reduce to improve my health. I considered it a personal modification in my life. But as I stepped forward into the journey, I realised many perspectives and encountered stereotypical judgements.
I have been on the heavier side since childhood, then puberty hit and voila, welcome to the complexities of PCOD and Thyroid. There were times I was disheartened with the judgements passed or suggestions given to me at any family get-together; they included, “do not indulge in junk food”, “join the gym”, “skip a meal”, etc.
Some people managed to stoop down a little further by commenting, “You would look pretty if you shed some kilos.” However, I was always clear in my head that if I ever decide to reduce, it will be for me and not because of some aunty I met at a random cousin’s wedding.
Given that my health issues were aggravating, I found the Pandemic induced lockdown ideal to undertake the challenge. While working from home was stressful and unstructured, surprisingly enough, my meals, exercise and medications were on point. So, in this year-long process, I have successfully reduced 25 kgs.
Now, I have turned from the unnoticed girl to the girl who is the centre of attention, from men complimenting me to an increase in the number of likes on my pictures posted on social media. Maybe, this was supposed to be when I performed a little happy dance to celebrate.
On the contrary, I was unable to forget the hurtful words spoken by people and their ideal set standard of beauty. Those same people now tell me to embrace the change and appreciate the compliments.
But honestly speaking, for a person who has been on the other end of the spectrum, where body-shaming was a daily encounter, it is almost impossible to digest such pretence because I might look different from the outside, but I remain the same person from within.
I do not wish to fit into the criteria set by someone else. This is my body and only I should have the right to make a choice, no one else.
Though there are many campaigns held on body positivity, I feel we have a long way to go. This is a deep-rooted reality of our society for generations; comprehending the fact that an individual’s body type is their choice and we cannot, by any means, have a checklist for beauty is still a bitter pill to swallow many.
“We come in many different shapes and sizes, and we need to support each other and our differences. Our beauty is in our differences.” – Carre Otis.