Mine are even more so.
I have legit reasons to dislike (to put it mildly, because I don’t really want to say hate because really, they don’t quite deserve even the hatred) them, mostly because they are so hurtful and hateful and generally vicious.
I have always avoided confrontations of any sort. Have always lived in a shadow of an elder sibling who is known to have spoken her mind, and thus not widely loved in the family. She’s lovely, but if she doesn’t like people (and she doesn’t), she will kind of let it known. I, on the other hand, have mostly kept an air of indifference. And a lot of times, genuinely liked some people I am related to at different points in time. (over time, I kind of start developing indifference even to them, but that’s because they defy all laws of common sense)
Oh, and have I told you I’m kinda fluffy? Technically, overweight (ok, not technically because I have not even weighed myself in forever so, just assuming I fall in overweight range, and not morbidly obese or something)
So, you see, all these years, the only thing that has defined my has been my weight. Which is fine, as long as you also acknowledge other qualities I have (even though I am overly generous to myself and I kick humility out of window by ackowledging I have qualities).
But even then, I was never recipient of mean comments from family mostly because their vanity never reached me. You see, I was never the competition. The competition of vanity was between elder sibling, one insanely stupid elder cousin and few aunts. I was not even considered because, well, I have always been fluffy. Who finds fluffy attractive anyway?
Now, I have managed to gain exponential weight in last one decade. It was perhaps one of the shittiest decade of my life. Not that I’ve had many. But still. A lot of personal and professional shit happening. Too much to get into detail now. (also, considering I’ve always eaten my feelings, I’d not bet on talking about it even now when I stopped doing it – I may need loads of coaxing and maybe few incentives (like the deathly hallows metal symbol for my harry potter theme keychain collection) to get me to speak up).
Now, this post is mostly to let the steam off. Because one particular aunt has pissed me off to no extent.
And because mom wouldn’t let me answer back (plus, I don’t think I can really answer back – remember the confrontation issues? yea, I couldn’t quite defend myself without breaking into tears).
This aunt has been particularly cruel. Oh, and not to tell insanely vain who competes with her own daughter (who’s 32 – and epitome of stupidity) and is basically pretty much messed up.
So last year, as I have said before, I started my journey to reclaim the life I had let go. It sounds dramatic, and it is to some extent. It was that one moment when I decided to be little selfish and love myself more than I loved others.
Anyway, first step was to reclaim my health. A time when I could not walk 2 kms in 30 minutes without going out of breath. Yea, pretty bad. January 2013 it was. And for no other reason but to be able to do things I want to. Travel across Europe – see the world – eat the food I want to eat – (yes, Pizza in Naples – just tomato sauce and cheese and that’s it) live in New York – go to all the places I have only seen in romantic comedies – and why not? You only live once, right?
Coming back – it was in January that I started – by March, it was too hot to go for evening walks, and I started walking in mornings. So, vicious aunt gets to know that I have started morning walks. She calls up my mom and asks, “oh, does she want to get bariatric surgery done?” We have no idea where that came from.
1. You never asked me before why I let myself go this far. If you were so concerned, why didn’t you ask? Why didn’t you intervene? Ever wondered what was eating me up?
2. I have finally – on my own – started taking steps to better health – why the fuck would you suggest the extreme option?
Now, it may not seem like much to you, as a reader, but as someone who had just started out taking care of her life after 27 years, it sounded like a major blow – am I that much of a failure that I need surgical help to get healthy? Not helping. Not helping at all.
Thankfully she asked it to my Mom, who was equally hurt by the outrageous suggestion. Mom told me not to pay much attention because “she is like that only”.
And honestly, I don’t believe, “she doesn’t mean bad in her heart, she just doesn’t know what to say”. Bullshit. I know her well enough to know how much malice she has in her heart.
Now, I moved on. (no, I’ve never forgotten that, and never would)
Last Sunday we again had a family gathering. Now, a day before I had gathered some comparative pictures of me from before my health journey to now. (my victories have been non-scale – I refuse to get on the scale because I know that would be discouraging, but I’ve gone down two sizes in jeans, so that’s something to be happy about, right?) And another aunt was going through pictures I had recently clicked at the gathering. She stumbled upon my comparative pictures. (like, really, people should stop going through other people’s pictures without permission. Especially when there are chances that the person may not like you) And she was surprised and happy to see them. When the vicious aunt comes to the room, this non-vicious aunt showed her my pics.
Now, first of all, for first 4 minutes, vicious aunt refuses to believe I have lost any weight. Okay, maybe you see me often to not notice the change.
Then she sees the comparative pictures. And still refuses to believe any changes. “Must be the angle”.
Okay, then. I don’t need your validation, but it wouldn’t hurt if you say one good thing at least once.
Then she adds, “why don’t you lose the weight faster?”
I say, it will take its own pace, because I am not really aiming for that – I am just trying to be healthier, weight loss is an added bonus, which I am very happy about. I am in a much better mental health than I was last year.
“But then don’t you wish you would look nice? So that we can get you married?”
Took me two seconds to recover from this blow before I said, “I anyway look nice.” as I tried very hard not to cry. Was I just told by someone my mother’s age I am not married because I am not thin which makes me unattractive?
So apparently, only reason a 28 year old girl is unmarried is because she is fat. Because obviously, the fact that I could be kind, sensitive, loving holds nothing in front of my body weight. The only way to get me married is for me to lose weight. And I have decided to lose weight is so I can find a good match to marry. Thank you for making my weight as my only identity.
Fat shaming is one of the cruelest thing a fat person has to undergo. “You are so funny, smart, intelligent. If only you’d lose some weight.” *proceeds to order a large pizza and eat it at one go*
But you know, despite being overweight, let me point out a few things I can do:
1. walk 5 kms in less than an hour (yes, I’m improving on timing)
2. 20 pushups. (not all the way to the floor, but on my toes – I’m improving on the intensity)
3. 20 burpees/suicide jumps
4. 8 tricep dips (yea, working on improving that too)
5. 30 crunches. (counting only the ones I can do without a break, and not losing form.)
few more things. Oh, and know what? I plan to take part in the marathon next year for which I plan to start training soon. Even if I don’t run the full marathon, I’m totally running the dream run of 5 kms. Trust me, I’ll finish it in less than 30 minutes. Why? Because I want to. Not because I have to.
I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive her. I have lost whatever little respect I had for her.
Oh, and yes, I do have stretch marks. What if a guy finds it gross and doesn’t want to marry me? (yes, that was also a concern)
Well, these are like my war wounds – I have fought near clinical depression. On my own. However flawed my coping mechanism was and is, I have fought my own battles without belittling others. My wars. My wounds. I am proud of the fact that despite reaching the lowest of the low points in my life, I have tried to bounce back.
And know what? It is okay. If my being fluffy is a deal breaker for someone to fall in love with me, then so be it. I am better off on my own, loving the internet.
But I am willing to hope the world is not full of men whose only criteria for loving someone is how thin she is. And there will be someone who is willing to accept me for who I am. With all my weight. (physical only, left the emotional baggage far behind – it was travelling Air India) Though I sometimes wish there was at least someone who cared enough to scan through it.
Anyway, I don’t know where this post is heading.
Ah, well, let me get back to internet. Where no one is judging and everyone is weird and I don’t have any hurtful relatives lurking around.
Anyway, gotta wake up early – planning an early morning bike ride. :D