My doctor told me I have an eating disorder. She said, whenever I am sad or anxious, I overeat. I paid her R 2,000 to tell me something I already knew. If I opened a packet of chips or other snacks, I finished it, even if I was full to the point where I knew I would puke. (This had nothing to do with Lays’ tagline ‘No one can eat just one’)
But she did not know was that I had been to the other extreme as well.
I was 17. My friends used to ‘jokingly’ call me an elephant. I used to think that I was the ugly duckling who would never grow up to become the swan. I was a fairly good student — I was top of my class, I participated and won debate competitions and dance competitions, and yet nothing mattered. I could never look at myself lovingly.
I needed to lose weight, I decided.
And from the next day, I started cutting down on the amount of food I had. It reached a point where I just had a cup of milk and one chapati a day. And, it took my mum a long time to figure out what was going on because I used to carry my breakfast and lunch to school and gave it to other people. I only had dinner with my parents and I always made excuses like I am not very hungry, dinner should be light, I had snacks with my friend and the list went on.
I realised something was wrong only when I started blacking out one day while travelling in the car. It took me ten minutes to climb a single flight of stairs because I just could not bring myself to move. I could not watch a cooking show; as soon as I saw the scrumptious food on screen, I needed to puke.
Although I have no medical confirmation, I think I was anorexic. The weighing scale showed that I had shed only a couple of kilos, yet the loss of strength was very noticeable.
It took my mother several weeks of increasing portion sizes slightly to get me back to a proper diet.
Fast forward three years.
I was surrounded by skinny model-like friends who always talked about the best methods to lose weight. They never taunted me or made fun of my weight (okay, sometimes they did. But, I could cope better by then), but my insecurities worked up. I tried this diet and that.
I did my research on the internet and decided to try the GM diet, then reduce carbohydrate intake, cut down the junk food, and consume only proteins at night.
And this time around, I lost a considerable amount of weight. It made me confident. For the first time, I felt that boys dig me, that they actually wanted to be with me. (No, its not petty of me, it does matter when you grew up thinking that no one could ever find you hot.)
Over the years, I eventually did put on all of that weight back, and some more, but the experience made me realise who I am and made me feel in control of my body and the way I see it.
So, now, even though I am much heavier, I refuse to go on fad diets. And, the only reason I want to lose weight is that I want to live a healthy life.
This rant was to convince people that they must love what their mama gave them. And, to have a positive body image because it can go a long way in preventing self-harm in the form of fad diets, limiting intake of nutrition or puking out the tasty treats so that they do not make you fat.
Instead, it is important to follow a healthy diet, eat small portions and indulge every once-in-a-while. And, most importantly, exercise. (Here’s a piece of advice girl — if you find a guy who wakes up and goes for jogs with you and also takes you out to a pub/club/movie at night — he is a keeper!)
Also, keep reading my blog to see what I am doing now to shed the extra kilos (fifteen, to be exact) that I have put on in the last three years. And, yes, I know it is an unhealthy amount of weight gain, but, I got a job and moved to a new city which had amazing restaurants. What was I supposed to do?
(UPDATE: I have already lost five of the fifteen Kgs. It makes me hopeful. )