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I shall fight back and not allow people body shame me, rather I challenged myself to lift me to heights where they would be envious of me!
Born and brought up in the 80s, I never really knew what ‘body shaming’ was.
We, as kids all played together on the streets (playgrounds were a difficult thing to find even then in an industrial city, where I grew up, parks being a bit distant from our quarter). We ran, chased each other, without knowing the differences of dark skin, fair skin, fat and thin body. We all were just beloved ‘friends’ to each other… One single community… such is the innocence of being a kid!
Growing up did make us all get introduced to the ‘fact’ that being fat was bad…. Bas, only this! In school, if we were found to be fat, we were teased, laughed at, though it wasn’t really malicious then. We still were good friends with our fat and comparatively ‘bindaas’ classmates; they were always found to be more cheerful and jolly than the rest of us.
I remember that as teenagers, we started becoming more conscious of our changing bodies… both boys and girls.
As girls, we had an addition to our upper undergarment, which made us quite uncomfortable and judgemental towards our friends with heavier bodies or no growth at all. Still, we were innocent enough to help each other, and not humiliate our buddies.
I was always ‘healthy’, on the plumper side, having good curves, and often considered ‘sexy’.
My first love was a confused one at an earlier age, and I guess, my partner chose his wife, and not me for marriage, for her fairer skin and more sharp facial features (my body again made me feel its importance in life).
Mine was a love marriage, with an art professional, who, since he met me, had compared my body to ancient art forms, sculptures in Indian temples; even comparing my physique to that of goddess Kali!
I had never realised though, that it was not me whom he actually loved, but the art form he saw in my body…
Finally, by the grace of mother nature, my body tasted the bliss of motherhood… the goddess of Creation… I felt like mother universe physically, mentally and Spiritually!
I was feeling complete on the inside mentally, but, I never knew this completeness would draw such a heavy price from my body, which since so long had got me love, appreciation, admiration and above all acceptance.
I share with you all here, the most harsh words I had ever heard in my life… my husband literally told me, “You look like a goat now!” I just didn’t know how to react; my ears burnt, lips trembled, eyes got shut.
This was the first time in life that someone had humiliated me to this level, that too the one whom I trusted, depended upon, and loved with all my heart! My heart broke — so, this was the truth, the harsh slap of truth on my face…
I stood in front of the mirror for hours, and it was as if I had never noticed myself before. My collar bones were standing out, hair was greying, hormones had all taken over; my eyes were sunk with the effort to breastfeed and change the kid’s diapers nights after night. My body was now almost a zero size; fatless, shapeless.
I always thought that growing fat was bad, but for the first time, I realised that becoming thinner could be worse. I do not intend judging those different from me in any way, but for myself, I always feel that at least when am slightly plump, there’s a glow on my face, people may call me ‘cute’. But ‘shrunken’ like this, I felt glamour-less, as if nobody loved my skinny self…
Gradually, I realised that the more I sink at heart, the more I shall sink physically. So, I decided to begin with affirmations of self love and acceptance. I accepted everything that had happened to me, physically. I made sure that the body was not me. I was much more than this.
I shall fight back and not allow people body shame me, rather I challenged myself to lift me to heights where they would be envious of me! People who rejected me in life must regret it. I decided to be a fighter. I was determined now.
I started with Ayurvedic treatment and Yoga. If you don’t love and think for yourself, nobody else will ever do.
Soon, not only did I gain health, but my kiddo too started following my footsteps. He took to yoga with me. We loved doing Surya Namaskar together; we did not just recover but new dimensions opened up in front of us! I looked younger, beyond my age!!
Friend requests from decades younger people started coming on my social sites asking, “which college are you in?”
Now, if somebody asks me “why are you growing thinner day by day? Are you sick?” I proudly say, “I’m going on the reverse gear, re-living my younger self!”
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