17-23 July 2015 #767

A little cup of self love

Many women grow up wishing their waists were narrower, their eyes bigger, their legs longer- wishing they were someone else
Anjana Rajbhandary

When you suddenly gain a lot of weight, your life changes and so did mine. I went from 48 kgs to 72 kgs in just three months.

Right now, it’s not about how I let it happen but what I learned in the process.

One important lesson was how differently people treat you. Sometimes you are in a room full of people and feel invisible because no one wants to be seen next to you or talk to you. I had people tell me what my ‘fat’ nickname was. They thought it was funny, I didn’t.

Very few people are aware of how often I cried in my room because I was embarrassed of myself. Many associated my weight gain to an eating disorder, western influence, insecurity. I got the guidance I needed eventually, but it took me years.

It’s necessary for young women to have positive role models who can help them prioritise what is important, such as intelligence and kindness -- not the size of their jeans.  It’s unfortunate that in a majority of women food generates guilt and they cannot look in the mirror without first finding fault in their appearance, something that I am still guilty of at times.

Many women grow up wishing their waists were narrower, their eyes bigger, their legs longer- pretty much wishing they were someone else.

We feel we are either too fat or too thin, but never just right. Body shaming and stereotypical prototype of a body size promoted in media can do a lot of damage to one’s self esteem and we need to teach our daughters, sisters and nieces to have a positive outlook about themselves from a young age. We need to teach them to focus on having a healthier attitude, not a lower weight. Self love comes from self acceptance.

Looking at the grand scheme of things, this problem is very negligible but as women we have a tendency to let it consume our lives. I know I did, fluctuating almost 30 kilos is not a tiny nudge.  Through tears and sweat, every stretch mark I have tells a story of the struggle, the pain and the victory, but is a constant reminder of my uphill battle between my body image and the perception of society.

It took me decades to love myself. This came with a bonus of letting go of unnecessary pride, hatred, and envy. Many societies prioritise physical beauty as a barometer for being accepted, which is a sad and skewed view on life.

The truth is no matter how much you change or do not change, there will always be people who will find fault in you but there will also be people who will always love you -- and it’s a waste of time trying to figure out why either group feels the way they do.

For me, the definition of beautiful is a kind heart, a smart mind, pure soul and a strong drive. True beauty comes from within and more people need to realise that. The people who matter will support you, literally, though thick or thin. Don’t bend over backwards to fit the unrealistic archetype of what a woman should look like. I changed to be healthy, not to fit in. I am honest and I do not bow down to society’s standards, and never will.

This is my body and my life, and I do not allow anyone to belittle me for who I am.


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