Thursday, January 15, 2015

Emotional struggles of being overweight.

Just this morning, I read an article online from Deepika Padukone and her battle with depression and anxiety. Social media has been ablaze all day with people applauding her bravery, and sharing with the world their own stories of battling depression. One can't help but relate, and reminisce about their own life. The tough times, the times when one has felt alone even when they're out with a crowd,the times where you wish someone would understand but you don't really know what to do about it,since you yourself aren't able to fathom what the hell is wrong with you.

Image credits: Google Images

As far as being overweight goes, one must know that it is not an individual effort. Of course, its you out there who's doing the physical work but it is very important for loved ones around you to be supportive and motivating. An overweight person knows that they're overweight, and needs every little positive reinforcement to get them through. When I was a kid, I weighed more than the kids my age. Parents and relatives would ask me to eat less, exercise more etc. in hindsight, I was perfectly fine body wise, wore a medium size T-Shirt and pants that were 30 inches. My height was around 5 feet 5 inches when I was a teenager. When people complimented me in college, I felt weird coz it was all new to me. All I heard at home was how fat I was (when I really wasn't).

Image Credits: Google Images
There comes a time in your life when you're constantly told you're something you're actually not, when you start accepting it. I did. There was no one to hear me out. I accepted the misery and to make matters worse, turned to food for filling up that void. It got to a point where I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I still remember going to the doctor with my Dad and him asking me if I was stressed out, and my Dad denying it coz it was not my age to get stressed. 

The one thing that worked in my favour was that I have never been a quitter. I made the most out of my situation, perhaps not the best - cut all forms of human contact with friends. I stopped socializing altogether. I started blogging and being more active on social media only because I was home all day and had to kill time. It's an important part of my expression now, what with the blog and everything, but at one point in my life I had not stepped out of my house for a period of 3 months. 

My parents got tired of my being a couch potato and enrolled me into a slimming center, and after a lot of fighting I agreed to go. That's where they completely diagnosed my body and started to dig into what was the root cause of my obesity. I was asked to see the counselor they had. We spoke for few hours and then she asked me to call my parents, but guess what, they didn't come, because they thought it all was bullshit.

My therapist asked me to take a stand, and make life better for myself. She said I was bordering on depression and I need to address what the cause of my obesity is, lest the problem be recurring my entire life. She asked me to enroll for group activities, dancing, where I will be able to interact with actual people more often. She encouraged me to go out and socialize. It took me 5 months to convince my parents to let me join a gym (I don't blame them, I had been a no-show for a good year and a half with a gym membership before). They agreed to let me join for a mere 3 months, and I had to earn that membership by showing them progress. This time around, I was hell bent. I didn't want to end up depressed. What I was going through wasn't even depression yet it felt like hell. I started going for Zumba and eventually took up Salsa and Bollywood Dance, followed by kickboxing. Soon enough, the scales started dipping too. I met some amazing people at my gym who were all aiming for fitness, and it felt amazing. I lost 35 kilos.

I let myself go and took myself for granted, and 30 kilos later, found myself in the same spot again. How did I let myself get back to this again? Being told I was getting fat, I was looking ugly. Being pushed to the point where I didn't even care anymore and turned to junk eating again. It was too late when it hit me, but better late than never. I knew I had to live through it again. Only this time, I had the support of my friends and loved ones. I have a man who joined the gym with me just so I won't feel alone when I workout. I have the best trainers who ask me to stick to my cardio and skip weight training on days when I haven't had enough sleep. I have readers who actually read what I write. Really, I feel thankful. 

My parents have always been the tough love kinds, and I don't think it's their fault that they did not understand what I was going through. It's just how our stupid and judgmental society works. Guests passed a comment about my weight, and they started taunting me. My mom took me to a dietician when I was 14 and the doctor asked her to lay off, I was just growing up. Thankfully they did, but the damage had already been done. I won 'miss personality' in my college, and more than anyone else it was hard for me to believe so myself. I just wish my parents actually paid heed to what the doctors were saying. For the love of sensibility, they have a degree and they know what they're saying. Indian parents only take what they want from the doctors advice and follow their own methods. I see the scenario has changed now, and I am hoping it would only get better. 

People feed their kids with all kinds of unhealthy crap at home, and when they're undergoing bodily changes as they grow, they think their kid is fat. I saw a kid take low fat steamed veggies in her tiffin box the other day. That, my friends, is the other extreme of this situation. You need to provide adequate nutrition to your kids, they're growing up. Please don't put them on a fad diet. Oh and while we're on that subject, do encourage kids to go out and play, not sit at home and play on their phones and tabs and computers but go out, run around, have a few falls and play real games like football and cricket. 

Last but not the least, I'd like to say that if you know anyone who's battling obesity, try being a little sensitive towards them. If you have a person going through the same who you care about, try being there for them. Congratulate them on their effort, motivate them. If you take a box of chocolates for your friend who's chronically obese and trying to eat healthy, you're part of the problem too. A little thought wouldn't hurt. They may not be open to advice (they're probably getting advice from many other channels) so just try to be the listener, it really helps. 

Oh well, nostalgia strikes again. I'm gonna need to take a breather. But I'm here to listen, if you have anything you'd like to share with me, please, be my guest, I'm happy to help. If you feel low, if you need motivation, I'm only a comment away. If you feel like you want to talk to me privately, don't hesitate to email me on exploreyourkitchen at gmail dot com.

Signing off on a happy note, I'm coming up with some real healthy recipes for you guys! Stay tuned!


  1. Hey A

    Reading this really helped. I have been pretty broad and had a toned body due to tremendous workout during my rowing days and somewhere down the lined I piled on weight! In the last 5 years I did not notice it much till the change is noticeable. thankfully I have started stretching and skipping regularly and it feels great. Why not a gym? I just donot have the time but then I ensure I workout and now its a part of my routine.

    What I loved about this post was that it was outright honest. I understand when you said you need support and encouragement which is really hard to come be. Most often people are quick to critique but dont stop to encourage. This post encouraged me! Thank you for writing this one!

    1. Wow, you used to row? That is fantastic! It isn't necessary to join a gym as long as you stay committed to getting in some activity or the other on a daily basis, at least 5 days a week if not 6. I have been through times where I stopped trying to strive for my better health just because there were people up in my business all the freaking time. Like, seriously, I do not need the advice. Some motivation, maybe?

      I am so glad it encouraged you, whatever I wrote. You know I am always here for you :)

      Thank you so much for your words, R :*



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