I still remember an incident from over ten years when I cheerfully waved out to a neighbor while riding my bicycle. In return, she gave me a sharp stare and commented “reduce your hips, else they’ll look distinct in a saree”. Shocked by the response and subconsciously haunted by it every time I tried out a saree since, I’ve unfortunately not been able to erase it from my memory at all!
You see, I didn’t grow up with a conventional female silhouette that people stated was beautiful. I was a well-built child, who had completely gone on her father. It was also never the point of focus until I started getting mocked for my physique and having body hair. So, despite all that I’d achieved till then, the shaming from all corners did somewhere make me feel depressed and worthless.
Now adding further to these insecurities were the visible changes I started noticing soon after. Massive hair fall and facial pores were just the start to a bigger issue called PCOD, that wrecked my body from within. I was put on hormonal pills, and people immediately filled my head with the idea that my goal should only be to lose weight. And as a consequence, I tried every fad diet out there, even if it sometimes involved starving or sustaining on a single piece of fruit for an entire day. Naturally, this unhealthy shift did make me drop 15 kilos, but my mental health too, trenched deeper. I’d achieved the supposed goal that everyone wanted me to but wasn’t happy at all.
And thankfully, it was this realization, that made me view health from a completely different perspective. I started opening up about my condition and tried stirring up conversations on related topics. It also got me exposed to a whole army of people out there dealing with similar situations, giving me the required impetus to launch my own yoga studio.
Even on the psychological front, this change in mindset has gone to reward me manifolds! It’s made me confident of my body image, which is a refreshing change after years of doubt. Of course, sometimes it still feels weird to accept compliments, but hey, I’m in pursuit of happiness and I’ll get there eventually!