I, like most individuals in this world, suffer from a common infliction. Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I see cellulite and agony. I see stretch marks and misery. I clutch onto my loose flesh hanging in fistfuls and tug at it, hoping they come into my hand like putty.
I push myself harder in my workouts and come home feeling super good, but when I look at the mirror? All the happiness evaporates, and I feel like I never make any progress at all. Why, despite how far I’ve come along, do I feel dissatisfaction with my body?
You see, I used to be 25 kilograms heavier during my school and college years. I was a tall, overweight girl who was told once that I’d be prettier if I lost all that fat. I aspired to be like my cousin sisters, girls in my school and college, actresses I saw on TV- thin and demure. I wanted to be able to turn heads on the road, to be thin and be considered a cookie-cutter “pretty girl”.
I remember starting my diet regimen in September 2013, when being surrounded by lithe college girls got to my head. I wanted to be like them- with pronounced collarbones, a loose tunic hanging off of my frame and thin legs clad in cotton leggings. I had a vision board in my head, which I worked my way towards meticulously in 9 months.
I started counting my calories and keeping a track of what I ate rigorously, which were squirrel portions. I would do countless surya namaskars, belting out one after another and my body ready to keel over at any moment. Once girls in my class started telling me I was looking thinner, I started feeding on their compliments. I felt like my moment had come; I was finally the sluggish caterpillar who was transforming into a beautiful butterfly.
Cue 2017, wherein I’ve maintained my weight and physique but a few more changes to my lifestyle. I have started enjoying homemade meals a lot more, working out regularly and not counting calories. I’ve shed that ghost of feeling extreme guilt after eating out; I enjoy these dining experiences with wholehearted joy as well.
But my mind still is stuck in some limbo, because I still see myself as skinny-fat. I know that some people would mind my repeated use of the word “fat” offensive and insensitive, but I’m telling it as I honestly feel it. (I still do apologize if I’ve hurt anyone’s feelings.)
Do you ask your loved ones “Do I look fat?” or “Have I gained weight?” often? Do you get a resonating and genuine “NO” in reply, but feel like you’re not happy with that answer? They tell me I’m cuckoo for even entertaining this thought, considering my weight loss journey. But why am I stuck in this frame of mind then, wherein I am still not happy with what I see in the mirror?
From getting out-of-breath in 2011 for walking a flight of stairs to now being able to walk more than 5000 steps on a given day this year, shouldn’t I have achieved an ocean of pride in that vast time frame? This tug of war is exhausting, and I want to appreciate my body for the battle it has fought and won. I want to make a truce with this temple of skin and bones, to find peace inhabiting it.
Does anyone else feel like this too? Have you learnt to make peace with your body? Please do let me know in the comments; I would love to know what you have to say.
Until next time, peace out.