“You’re Fat” – How I overcame my ‘fat’
I wanted to pen a thought on being overweight and obese. I was for most of my teenage life a chub (chubby). Quite large, I had phases where I literally looked a cheese ball. This was because I was a comfort eater and I was on hormonal drugs that made me hungry (this I blame the doc).
I was never a fat child. Obesity is not in the family. Greed is. But I went from skinny to fat because I started comfort eating as a 9 year old thanks to the upheaval in my parents’ relationship. This coupled with puberty and resulting hormonal issue as a teen, made me on a constant battle of the bulge. I was always athletic and fit but my weight was this constant thorn in my side. I was anyway big framed so any bit of weight I put on made me look like a bus.
I used to binge on chocolate and sweets in fear and each time my dad put me on a diet, I had this urge to keep eating more. I went to Sigrid (a dietician) 3 times. Each time I lost weight for a month or two and then ended binging in the 3rd month. Once I ate a whole loaf of bread – plain.
I was called many things from ‘stuffed turkey’ to ‘hippo’ to various derogatory sayings from random boys who pass in school vans. Family members kept up their condescending comments on the need to lose weight. It hurt, it made my self confidence zero but I endured for a while and then started fighting back and retaliating.
My rowing years I was super fit and trim but once I stopped I put on again and then got two bulging discs in my back which ensure that I can’t do strenuous exercise anymore.
This continued on into my adult years and only when I was around 28 years old did I happen upon a blog article that gave me a solution – eat clean 6 days and on the 7th day you can cheat. This was appealing and after many years of excuses I got down to it. I actually felt better and did not overeat on the 7th day coz I had put so much effort in to the other 6 days. Finally I lost weight, became slim enough to be happy with myself and I realised the problem was me all along. Not diets and fads. But general discipline, a sense of self worth and a realisation that I need to stop giving myself excuses. My mother used to say I have puppy fat but that did not make sense when I was in my late teens and early 20s. And of course, I took care of my hormone issues as well by going to a proper doctor and getting the right medication.
Now I have put on again and I know it’s a matter of balancing diet and exercise. I don’t binge eat any more either. I think that went away with improved self esteem and a sense of contentment with who I am. Now I eat what I want but there is no need to stuff myself. I am on a goal to get fit and make sure my output of exercise is more than my intake of food. That is what it basically is – energy expended vs. energy taken in. This way I also balance my hormonal issues and ensure I don’t’ get on the fast track to diabetes and other diseases.
Being healthy is a way of showing yourself some self love. And it is about discipline and setting goals. If you find you can’t do this, speak to someone coz binge eating comes from deep seated issues. And they must be addressed. Obesity is a no no. I do not believe in fat shaming and I have been subjected to it. But I don’t’ believe in encouraging unhealthy habits out of sympathy either. One has to address the issue without hoping they will go away. I remember my uncle saying, “your body is the temple of your soul”. You have only one body. Treat it well.