Always a chubby little kid, I ended up getting cheek-pinched a lot by well meaning aunts and uncles. But that also meant not-well-meaning uncles on the bus wanted to pinch me too and not on my cheek. Yet, these incidents were only of nuisance value and I was always a happy kid with great self image. You see, being the adamantly positive idiot that I was, too busy dreaming of winning Oscars, Nobels and even marrying British Princes, besides becoming Prime Minister etc.
I was mostly aloof to all the teasing and when I heard those cat calling songs in pre-teen/teen years, I actually giggled and embarrassed the offender (guess they expected a blush not full blown laughter). My favorite instance was when I was walking to school with a friend and someone cooed "Yendha Kadai-la nee arisi vangare.." and I started giggling and the guy just ran away! :-D.
(For the uninitiated, the line is from the song "Kathirikka, gundu kathirikka", translated as "Brinjal, plump brinjal". You see, in Tamil, we get pet-named after veggies(Poosinikka, pumpkin, is my fav!) ;-) And the particular line from the song: "Yendha Kadai-la nee arisi vangare.." is effectively translated as "where do you shop for such fattening rice"!)
So until I hit late teens, I was blissfully plump. Later while in college I still wasnt depressed (I was too busy dreaming up a grand future and I went to a girls college so got a good chance to develop a lot of individuality) yeah but did miss wearing those bootcut jeans with fitted shirts (My first jean, since I was 15, came way too late at 24!).
So what made me loose weight finally? To answer that question, another one stared in front of me. Why was I fat in the first place? I wasn't exactly a couch potato and had a very healthy diet at home. One thing led to another and it was soon discovered that I had an hormonal imbalance that was causing an insulin resistance in my body. I was told it was a vicious circle because the hormone imbalance was causing insulin resistance and that in turn was worsening the imbalance besides continously reducing my metabolic rate. And I was told its very difficult for me to loose weight because of this, but, not loosing weight wasnt an option anymore. Insulin resistance is a good indicator of middle age diabetes. So I set out to loose weight. This was in May/June 2006. And I weighed a startling 81 Kgs!
1 years and 2 months later, I had shed 24 Kgs! How? I did a lot of things right, some knowingly, some inadvertantly. I exercised vigorously (walked along Marina for 1 hour every morn - 7 Kms), adjusted diet (all home food allowed, no outside food) and sustained my weight by a super healthy diet while in Europe on a business trip.
Thinking back I am pretty sure that this is one of my biggest achievements and the very first one that I set out doing with so much drive. And I succeeded.
Along the way I also shed my spectacles, opting for contacts and it startled me to know that I had admirers! It wasnt easy! It shocked me, because you see I had grown up being the happy ugly duckling! People cannot believe the "happy and fat" part, but what better proof than the fact that Gopi and I got together just as I hit the roof at 81 Kg? The weight loss came more than 3 years later. I still am fat in my head and still shocks me when I catch people staring (different from fat days stare) and I even more shocked when someone tells me I am not fat anymore - In my head I always react with 'really?'
Years later, my weight does fluctuate often along with the hormone fluctuations, but I have managed to retain an average BMI. I still always plan to loose weight, and one might think that its so much easier since I have done it once.. But no.. the scale seems frozen in time, because the last 5 years taught me something beautiful. To love myself, unapologetically.
The much awaited before and after pics: