Appearance isn’t something we can alter. It is the distinctiveness with which we were born. If all of us were good-looking the word “beauty” would lose its significance. The sooner we accept how we look, the better we would feel about ourselves.
Still, all this insight didn’t stop people from deciding that they had the right to voice out their judgment about my figure. And as much I tried to ignore the rude observations, it was hard. There were only so many times I could pretend to disregard such remarks before I began to believe in them. The opinion I had of myself started deteriorating. The disapproving looks my father threw my way when I ate too much, the cool clothes that weren’t available in my size and the chairs that creaked when I sat down didn’t help either.
In my second year of college, we used to have soft skill sessions conducted by CIR (Corporate Industry Relations) every week to help us with placements. In one of those sessions our instructor made all the thirty-five of us pin a blank paper to our backs. Every one of us had to write what we understood about the other thirty-four on their respective backs. The idea was that we could get to know the kind of personality we projected. And since all the comments would be anonymous, we would neither be able to blame nor thank a person for their respective positive and negative comments.
Once we finished the activity, I impatiently unpinned the paper and read through it. A lot of my classmates found me kind, friendly and laidback. But I ignored all of this as my mind zoned into that one remark that was scrawled in the middle of the paper in black ink.
“You need to reduce your weight.”
I immediately saw red. My eyes began to burn and I was surprised when my cheeks became wet. I would like to say that I was stronger than that. That I was beyond letting an anonymous remark upset me. Nevertheless, that’s what happened. It was one of the minor turning points in my life.
Losing weight is more simple than what one might think. All I had to do was burn more calories than what I consumed. A combination of hitting the gym for an hour every day and eating healthy worked beautifully. I also had to drink around 3 litres of water in a day to both keep my stomach clean and help my skin combat all the workout I was doing. Cardio is one of the quickest ways to lose weight. The beginning was the hard part. I would go to the gym every day continuously for a week only to realize that by the end of the week I hadn’t even lost half a kg. The one thing that nearly broke my decision was the self-control I had to exercise when it came to food. I wasn’t a binge-eater by any chance. But there’s nothing like good old ice-cream to make me feel better at the end of a bad day. Eventually though, all my hard work and determination paid off. By the end of the third week or so I gradually started losing all the extra fat. I felt nothing less than euphoric when I noticed that I had lost almost 5 kilograms. I was so ecstatic that I decided to push harder. And that became my routine for the next 5 months. Today, around 20 kilograms lighter I’ve never felt more self-assured of myself. My self-confidence has increased tenfold and it feels liberating to tell the world my story. In addition, I also seem to have lost my insecurities along the way. Also I don’t give a second thought to what people think of me anymore.
The purpose of my writing this blog isn’t so I would gain sympathy or pity from my readers. As trifling as my story is, if it ends up inspiring one or two of you, my purpose is served. For those of you who are uncertain about the way you look, go ahead and work towards what you want. Whether it is losing weight, gaining a few curves or adding a glow to your skin, nothing is out of your reach. And for the rest of you who are both confident and comfortable in your own shoes, I have nothing but respect. Self-confidence in a person is an admirable quality.
Lastly I’m grateful to the person who wrote the remark on my back. Your opinion was of great assistance to me in discovering the optimism and determination I never knew I had. I can only hope that you find yours as well. Until my next blog entry, Goodbye!