I’ve spent a huge part of my life being insecure of who I am. I was a chubby kid and from a very young age I was made aware of how that was a HUGE flaw. From taunts from known ones to mean comments from strangers – I experienced them all. It would be wrong to say that I was never complimented but for every compliment I received, I received about 10 criticisms. I changed from an outgoing, friendly child to an introvert, closed off adult because I was scared of people judging me for how I looked. In my late teens to mid 20s – I was an insecure, underconfident person who was often jealous of all the beautiful women around me. In 2017-18, after a pretty bad break up, I was a mess. I binged ate and ignored the mirror to stop feeling bad about how I looked. I was 95kgs then.
Then something happened that made me want to change myself. My ex told me he was getting married and that day something just snapped inside of me. I decided to start taking care of myself and joined the gym. Over the next 8-9 months I went on to lose 30kgs and get into the best shape I had ever been as as adult. While the weight loss was great for my health, I also noticed how it made me change as a person. I became more outgoing because I was less afraid of people judging me. I talked to strangers, made more friends and overall felt so confident about myself. I still thought I was fat but the kind of fat that fits into society’s acceptable standards.
Then 2020 happened and slowly as the crisis took a toll on my mental health, I went back to my old friend – FOOD. I went back to the habit that I had fought so hard to beat – binge eating. Over the past year – I again started piling on weight. While I worked out all of 2020 (from home), I gave up in 2021. With my clothes getting tighter again, I started to feel my old habits come back – feeling ugly, under confident and wanting to shut myself off from the rest of the world.
As I struggled with my mental health and these feelings, I actually found inspiration in the place I was least expecting to – Instagram. I’ve been following a body positive influencer, Sakshi Sindwani, over the past few years and just seeing her positive content made me feel like working on myself and loving myself irrespective of the number on that damn weighing scale.
So over the past few months, I started this project, to find a way to accept these ‘so called’ flaws and love myself for who I am. What all this project entailed –
- Not seeing myself as only my weight
- Wearing whatever I wanted even if it made me feel fat (eg: sleeveless)
- Appreciating every woman’s beauty and seeing them as more than just their looks
- Rejecting anyone that makes me feel bad for how I look
- Faking confidence till I finally feel it
- If someone (known or unknown) jokes about my weight – let them know politely that it makes me uncomfortable
- Look at myself every single morning in the mirror and smile
- Take A LOT of selfies – on bad hair days, break out days, bloated days, good days
- Compliment other women, pick them up, cheer them on
- Try to be a healthy person – work out every day, eat right, don’t binge but also enjoy dessert or a glass of wine once a week
How I’ve been doing –
- I already feel this connection building with myself as I work on this project every day. I don’t see someone else’s beauty as a lack of my own but just as something to be appreciated. We are all beautiful in our own unique ways – we just need to have the right view to see it.
- A couple of times even if someone said that an outfit made me look fat, I still wore it out with confidence albeit fake confidence. (every time I feel underconfident in a great outfit which I think makes me look fat I just think of Sakshi and repeat the reels lyrics – “mama said that it was okay”)
- Experimenting with what I wear to try and move away from typical fashion and to find my own personal brand (shout out to my sister for encouraging this)
- I’ve had the hardest time accepting compliments especially about my looks (wrote a whole blog about it some time back) but I am trying to be better at accepting them and actually believing them.
- I’ve been working out diligently this month and eating right (other than weekends when I let myself chill for a meal or two). I’ve also gone vegan for multiple reasons (animal rights, environment, lactose intolerance, trying to see if it helps with acne etc.)
- I’ve started experimenting with make-up a little. I don’t wear a lot of make-up on a regular basis – just my trusted kajal and a lip colour. I’ve probably done a full face of make up like 7-8 times in my life. But I feel like applying a little bit of make-up makes me feel so good about myself – so I’ve been trying to do a light base make-up look whenever I go meet people. ( I am in no way saying that people need to wear make-up to be beautiful or feel good – but if it is something that you like and enjoy doing – then definitely go for it)
We are all made up of so much and yet, the world around us has been designed in such a way to focus on our flaws. The world tries to find flaws even in the most perfect person. But the world is made up of us and we should spark a change. Lets stop focusing on our own and others flaws. Lets look for a reason to appreciate someone else instead of bringing them down. And always always always love ourselves irrespective of how the world looks at us. Are you with me? 🙂
PS: OMG, I feel so so vulnerable and exposed after writing this
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