How Do I Make Peace With My Body?

Dear readers,

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”.

 

How to make peace with my body, how to love my body

 

 

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.

How to make peace with my body, how to love my body

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.

 

How to make peace with my body, how to love my body

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.

 

11 thoughts on “How Do I Make Peace With My Body?

  1. YOU NEED TO TELL ME HOW YOU DID THAT! 😭😭😭 I’m currently trying to lose weight and I don’t know why it isn’t working for me.
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    Also, trust me when I say this , you look pretty in any size! 😘Kudos on the achievement

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    1. Hey, thank you so much! 🙂 My weight loss journey was a tough one, but I survived. The thing is, I never avoided white rice, ghee etc that we are usually told to not eat. I saw it more as something I am going to be following for a life time, not a shortcut.

      Well, this is technically what I did- I adopted and then adapted myself to a different lifestyle. I did not stop eating cookies, chips, ice cream and other forbidden edibles just because I wanted to lose weight. I just started making calculations in my mind, living in the obsessive world of calorie counting for roughly a year. I allotted myself 1200 calories per day, eating 70% nutritious, home cooked food and 30% forbidden ‘treats’. An example- I would eat a bar of chocolate only if it had less than 250 calories. I used to rope in a wee bit of exercise, roughly about 20-30 minutes x 4-5 days. 2013- I started out with 3 surya namaskars at home, and then increased it to 5 suya namaskars a month later. 2014- I joined a yoga class and lost a chunk of my weight with ashtanga and vinyasa asanas, I must add here that I was also working as a journalist then for a brief period (read about it here) and the hectic schedule also helped me drop dress sizes. My food habits focused on portion control. I still do practise this, but not as rigorously as before. These are the rough quantities of food portions- 3 small to medium chapatis/1 serving of rice (either sambar or rasam or curd rice)/ 2 brown bread slices. I also preferred eating tofu to paneer since 200g of tofu has half the calories (and is super filling at 120 calories!)

      Hope this was helpful, and sorry if that was an eyesore to read. 😛

      Like

      1. NOT AT ALL, it wasn’t an eyesore at all! I actually think I’m going to follow it. I never watch the calories and I think it’s something I SHOULD do. I can’t thank you enough for typing this down. Trust me, it’s VERY helpful for me. I think I can eat cookies and icecream without feeling guilty. 😜

        Liked by 1 person

  2. body image is such a brutal enemy, everywhere in the world but especially the states. it makes me so sad that this idea that skinny is the only beautiful will never die. i’ve learned to not compare my natural body to someone else’s but just work towards my own physical goals. this is easier said then done because i look in the mirror and only see my fat thighs but i remind myself that beauty is in the eye of the beholder so someone thinks i’m beautiful, i might as well too instead of hate myself. great post ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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