I was fat you see.
I still am, but back then I only felt like that outer shell of a babushka doll, because that’s what I thought everyone always saw.
For me, being fat came in a package of low self-esteem and loads of insecurities.
Having been body shamed countless times by family members, friends and work colleagues, I kept myself locked inside that doll, never showing anyone what my true worth is.
Ultimately, as I kept hearing how fat I was, I started believing that fat is indeed all I am and all I’ll ever be.
The shame, oh the shame of self every time I needed to go shop for clothes, or every time I wanted to have cake instead of salad or every time I came across a guy I even remotely liked. The shame of self was probably the hardest struggle.
After yo-yoing between countless diets, trying numerous weight-loss pills and several gym memberships, I gave up on myself,
and so did my body.
At this point, I was already in my late twenties. I had been ‘clean eating’ and exercising for several years but after a health scare where my immune system was waging war on my body, I had to get countless medical tests done which lead to me being diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). While it’s not a life and death situation, it sure doesn’t help with weight-loss. It wasn’t until I had the validation from a doctor that I actually am a really healthy person that I realised I don’t have to keep feeling ashamed of myself. That I actually am doing the best that I can and that I am worthy of loving myself.
I have a message for the teenage me and countless girls trapped in a cycle of self-loathing.
- I dare you to be unashamed of yourself.
- I dare you to eat that cake.
- I dare you to defend yourself with all you’ve got.
- I dare you to stand up for yourself.
- I dare you to stop wishing you were invisible.
- I dare you to voice your opinions
- and I dare you to be fierce in loving yourself unconditionally and unapologetically.
Easier said than done right?
I thought so too, and I even have a theory for that:
Somehow, in this world that we are living, people tend to associate fat with ugly and those who are fat tend to believe that.
I did too for most of my life until I had the realisation that my body, as big as it was, had enough space for me to be both fat and beautiful simultaneously.
My story doesn’t have a Prince Charming that came along and made me realise my worth.
I had to be my own knight in shining armour and I am so very proud of myself.
It takes a lot of courage to break through the beliefs that you’ve lived with all your life. Therefore, I dare you to forgive yourself regularly, to stop being so hard on yourself, to eat that piece of cake, to wear that figure-hugging dress and rock it and most importantly, to give yourself another chance.
So, while I wait for my Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet (someday), I would like to share what I tell myself every day to all the girls who have a body image issue:
Chin Up Princess, let’s face the day with a tonne load of self-love.
Ashwini is a fierce, voluptuous legend who is not only at uni and working full-time, but manages to also squeeze in trips to family, Skype calls in the middle of the
Why are we doing this thing? Because there’s enough noise in the world telling women what we ‘should’ be doing.
We should parent more consciously, but not be helicopter parents. We should take care of our bodies, but not be vain. We should make boys pay, but demand equal rights. We should dress appropriately, but also be confident in our skin, wear what we want, but not be provocative, oh and please feel comfortable in the world’s skimpiest school bathers but then wear your jeans to the formal because last year the boys looked up the girls’ skirts and so you’ll have to be the ones to modify your behaviour. Yeah. No.
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