10 years back...
Mr. A: Arre, beta tum itni patli ho, kuch khaati nhi ho? (You are so thin, don't you eat anything?)
Ms. B: Dekho to is ka haath, saari haddiyan dikh rahi hain! (Look at her hand, all her bones are visible.)
Ms. C: Beta kela khaaya karo roz, moti ho jaogi. (Eat bananas daily, you will gain wait.)
Mr. D: Tum pe kapde aise lagte hain jaise hanger pe daale ho. (Clothes on you look like they have been put on a hanger.)
4-5 years back....
Mr. X: Thoda kam khaya karo beta, nahi to or bhi moti ho jaogi. (Eat less, otherwise you will become fatter after sometime.)
Ms. Y: You should exercise, do yoga, keep yourself fit, or no "fit guy" will marry you.
Ms. Z: Ab to shaadi ki umar hone wali hai, abhi se patla hona start kar do, taki sahi time aane tak tum patli ho jao. (You are about to reach the marriageable age. Start working out now so that by the time you are to get married, you will get slim.)
I am sure that by reading the above conversations, you would have understood the reason behind this post. I guess we all have gone through this situation at least once in our lives, if not, you are really lucky!
The most important thing regarding your body is that it is "YOURS." Nobody has the right to comment on it, no matter how close that person is to you. We all should respect other's choices and decisions in life, which even include one's body.
First of all, we all have to “love ourselves” and only then people will see us the way we want them to. If we find faults in ourselves, trust me, the people around have Ph.Ds. in doing so. Give them one hint that you do not love the way you look, they will find 1000 other faults in you. So start loving yourself, be confident about the way you look, and soon you will see people loving you for what you are.
Another thing to note is that society is a mirror of your imperfections. You will get to know your imperfections even before you see them, and in some cases, they will show you things which you did not even know existed. The decision to listen/not listen to them is on you, which undoubtedly is the toughest decision to make. Your brain would want to ignore what it heard, while your heart will suffer grief because of the comments. The choice lies on you to follow your heart or your brain.
Talking about myself, I was really thin until 6th standard. People used to throw in their suggestions on me to gain weight. I got the weirdest suggestions as well and it was since then that I started to hate my body. I thought there was something wrong in me. People need to understand that a child’s mind is too naïve, even a small negative comment can leave him scarred for life. He needs acceptance and not bombardment of his imperfections on his face. The child does not have the strength to accept anything negative about him. It is only through age that he gets to know the bitter truths of life. I was really going into a shell when people used to comment about my body. But slowly, I was starting to accept things, or that I realized that I had to live with it throughout. But then, slowly, I started gaining weight. I thought maybe that was the answer to all my worries but as destiny would have had it, I was getting overweight. I would call it “Chubbier.” And then, the people who used to advise me regarding gaining weight, did just the opposite. It was not easy, it really wasn’t. But somehow, I was again getting used to it. Did I have any option? It really tore me apart when people commented on my weight, and I was like, “Come on, haven’t you seen anyone worse than me?” People were so into commenting on me that I was left to think that I am the fattest person on earth. I had seen worst cases as well and I would say, “Why am I being targeted? Am I the only “fat” person these people have seen? Do I really look that fat?” I never had answers to my questions. No matter how much I tried, I was left clueless. Slowly, I was learning to accept those comments.
Then came a life-changing moment in my life. It was my cousin’s wedding in the coming 5-6 months and I knew I had to look good. I knew this was the time to give it back. No one could stop me now. I worked hard to achieve my goal. I avoided junk/oily food and fed my body with “good” things. And, it was working. I was shedding the extra kilos. I won’t say that I turned super slim by the wedding, but yes, I did manage to look good, look “slim.” It was a great motivation for me to continue doing what I had been doing. I was loving the compliments that I was getting. Within time, my own wedding got fixed and I was determined to keep working in the same direction. And yes, I have managed to achieve what I wanted. I look like I always wanted to.
In all the stages regarding my weight loss/gain, there were people who were never happy with the way I looked. They found faults in every state, maybe it was their only motive in life to comment. Slowly, I realized that people comment on other’s faults just to satisfy their ego, they know their imperfections, and to camouflage them, they find faults with others. My best advice would be to ignore such people in your life and just move towards your goals. The happiness that you will get in the end would be way beyond the grief after hearing those comments. So, love your body and keep working towards your goals.
I would like to say a big “Thank You” to Mr. R for being my biggest supporter during this time. He was the motivation behind me. He made me feel beautiful in every possible way. He motivated me to lose those extra kilos and show the world that even I could look beautiful. The way I look today is all because of his efforts. There were times when I got angry and irritated because of his constant push, there were times when I thought that even he is like other guys who want a “slim partner.” It was only later that I realized that he was doing this for me. He wanted that happiness on my face when people showered me with compliments. I really owe this to him and love him for what he has done for me.
* Images have been taken from Google.