For the winner within you

A very Happy New Year to my readers!

It’s been a long time since I used this platform to address my thoughts, but I knew when I’ll get back here I’ll have something different than the usual to share.  I started blogging in 2014 and I have come a long way since then. Most of my blog posts addressed emotional conflicts, they still do, but I have learned to make peace with it and they don’t trouble me as much as they did. However, there’s something else that overpowered my rational sense over the past two years, and it’s not related to the matters of heart, but you can give credit to my emotionally insecure disposition for things that unfolded.

So, in October, 2016, I went to a chemist shop and asked for over the counter Diuretics after wrestling in my mind and exploiting internet search engines for about 2 months. For those who don’t know what a diuretic is, it’s a pill that claims to make you lose weight by flushing out all the water from the body. You have to pop the pill within two hours of eating any proper meal and the pill will not let the meal get absorbed by your body. So, basically you’d be not be gaining weight and since you are denying food to your body, you’ll lose weight; you’ll have to go to the loo too often though and your body will lose its minerals, for which you’ll have to again rely on supplements. But it doesn’t sound so terrifying when they tell you that you can hog on pasta and pizza all day and not let any of that affect your body. It was a well thought decision, I’d say, because I was looking for a magic pill to change how things looked. By “how things looked” I mean how I looked. I had grown 4 inches wide in a span of 8-9 months, and I couldn’t face the mirror. Things had started to go bad a long time back but it was only when I couldn’t fit into any of the jeans I had that I realized the situation has gone out of hand. And my immediate reaction was to reverse it. I didn’t like the way I had started to look, but more importantly I didn’t like the way people looked at me. I was called out in public often by the appalled faces of my close friends who saw me after a long gap. I was stopped and commented upon by neighbors and relatives for the way I looked. I was already not at a happy place within, and their interest only made matters worse for me. In those 8-9 months, my life had changed terribly in all quarters and a lot of it played a toll on my mental and physical well being. It came to a point where if I went to a psychiatrist, s/he would have diagnosed me with clinical depression. Issues with body image was just a result of how my body reacted to that particular situation in my life. I had never experienced such strong emotions about my body image earlier, neither had I struggled to accept my reality at such grand scale. But it had come to a point where I didn’t want to face the world. I tried to close myself into the comfort of the four walls where I had food to binge eat, a pillow to cry on and a mirror to curse myself. I was hard on myself, and I believe anyone who is struggling with such emotions is. Even though I had been emotionally insecure for the major part of my life, I had never felt my confidence level hit such ground bottom. If someone tells you how the world sees you doesn’t affect your confidence, it’s a bunch of lies. It matters how they look at you, because that disgust in their eyes when you find a place to sit in the metro but it’s a little smaller than the standard size and they don’t think your butt could fit in really blows the self esteem out of you. It matters how they make you feel when you meet them after a long time and all they have to say is it’s a struggle to wrap their hands around now because you’ve grown so much bigger. If you would see me then, you couldn’t possibly say that something was going wrong with me, only I knew how all the wires in my brain had gone haywire. But that’s true with most of the people who are constantly tussling within.

Overeating was the first sign that I ignored. It was an alarming sign, but I could never understand it then. I only wanted to feel good about myself amongst the terrible mess I had to live with everyday. They call it comfort eating for a reason. All the excessive sugars and salts going inside your body gives you a pleasant high and for a while you believe that things have become alright. Added to excessive eating, I had literally stopped moving. I just wanted to lie on bed all day. It sounds normal when you hear it from someone who has been working all day, but I was not working, all I had to do was sit and study, so all I did was sit and think; lie and think; sit and eat; and cry and eat. Besides being low on self esteem, I grew lazy and comfortably blamed it on my mental well being. It took me almost two years to realize that it’s us who control the brain to move and not the other way around. Taking into account how things were going on then, these signs were easy to overlook because at that time I was only looking for ways to feel good about myself and they served the purpose.

However, every struggle has a threshold point, and for me that point had come in April, 2017. I was tired of being the way I was, and on one bright, sunny day a wisdom struck. I outgrew my passiveness and decided to face the problem. I decided to not be a victim of my situation anymore and do something about it. I had become mature enough to understand that things are not going to change overnight, since they didn’t go bad over a night. This was the first step towards acceptance. I accepted that I had grown miserably out of proportion and I had no one but myself to blame for that. And, I accepted that it will take time to reverse things. I understood that popping pills was not the solution. The solution was to undo the things I was doing wrong. So, I slashed my food intake to half, and doubled my mobility.

My move towards acceptance taught me patience. I know a lot of people who undergo weight loss transformation advise you against stepping on that weighing machine everyday, but I didn’t follow the rule. After one day’s exercise and diet I wanted the machine to show my desired weight, but it didn’t. I was impatient. I wanted results quickly. I used to think, I’m putting so much efforts but why isn’t it reflecting on the scale. Of course I never got the answer to that, but I accepted that the scale isn’t going to move in the reverse direction so soon. I could only learn to be more patient and do the things that I’m supposed to. I didn’t stop stepping on the scale daily, however. I used to keep track of every few grams that were moving up or down, noting every change and the reason behind it. And one day I saw the scale moving towards the weight I had wanted it to. It took a lot of sweat to get there though, and a lot of suppression for untimely cravings. But it made me more disciplined. My weight loss journey gave me a new purpose in life, and I fought all the challenges that came my way as a warrior. I just knew I had to do it, and there was no other way of doing it except the traditional way.

During my transformation journey, I learned new things about our body and how it works. I studied and watched almost every weight loss manual there is on the internet. It easily became a passion and I was committed to it. I figured the kind of transformation that I wanted for my body and planned it in small goals. My rate of weight loss wasn’t great, I could only lose 1-1.5 kgs a month, while I saw others losing huge chunks of weight in the same time, following just some kind of diet without any physical exercise. This worried me for a while. I’d harass myself into sweating out extra to reach the rate others were losing in, but I came around that worry and accepted that not all bodies work in the same way. Moreover, I knew physical immobility had a significant part to play in my weight gain, so I wanted to defeat that weakness by getting stronger and fitter. Besides, physical exercise helped me channel my thoughts and not give into emotional lows. It made me mentally fierce. Every time a thought about my situation would trouble me, I used to fight it away by saying, ‘atleast I’m doing something about it and it’s giving results’. Just the fact that I was acting on the situation and not being a victim gave me mental strength everyday to get up and train. And soon I realized that my insecurities were withering away. I understood that the reason why others’ opinion troubled me so much earlier was because my own insecurities became vocal through their reactions. I defeated them when I defeated my insecurities. I won the battle with myself the day I picked up the fight. The only thing stopping me was my own thoughts.

I am still not where I wanted to be, but it’s a journey I’m headed on.

P.S. I have steered clear of any weight loss tips or diet guide in this blog given the length of the blog. However, if you want me to share some tips from my experience, please comment on the post and I’ll be delighted to do so.

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