Things I wish I could tell body-shamers.

Picture source – Google

Most of us have perfect body images in our heads and it is alright, as long as we don’t criticise someone for not confirming to them. Body shaming is all those subtle and not so subtle, unkind words and criticism, targetting someone for not fitting another person’s idea of an acceptable body type. It is not limited to a particular gender or body type and is sadly, everywhere.As someone who has been fat shamed a lot, I just wish I could tell every body shamer that:

  • All of us have mirrors at home and look into itEverytime I’m told I’ve gotten fat, I want to tell them that I just looked into the mirror and also that I’m not blind. If only they could concentrate on watching their words more than the changes in my body ! *Rolls eyes*

  • Not everyone is blessed with great genetics – Some of us try very hard and lose fat or gain mass really slowly. Our efforts might be double than that of a genetically blessed person, but the results come out to be really slow. Next time they stuff burgers into their mouths, in bodies with superior genes, and fat shame me, I will pray to God that their genes feel bad for me and ask their metabolism to teach them a lesson!

  • Unkind words are not a source of motivationIt is so bold of some people to assume that someone actually needs to be hurt and told unkind things about their bodies to start their fitness journey. There is a thin line between encouragement and body shaming and until one can see that, they should really try this exercise called *lip curls* where you curl your lips inwards and seal them tight.

    • People suffer from several disorders and their words are not helpingPeople suffer from disorders like bulimia, anorexia and Body Image Disorder, which are most of the times, a result of body shaming. Imagine someone induce vomiting with a hand down their throat, everytime they eat, because they were told they’re too fat! How hard is it to be kind?
    • Nobody is perfect As cliched that line might sound, it is every bit true. Nobody has the perfect body. I might try and fit someone’s standards, someone somewhere would still have complains with it. So if they are telling someone that they’re too skinny or too fat or too muscular, they should probably know that some people are struggling to be what they might have just criticised, and even if not, then they should atleast consider their imperfections. I mean, with their eye for flaws, I’m sure it wouldn’t be that hard to seek within.

    Of course, we should concentrate on being healthier and have better lifestyles and encourage others to do well, but not by being critical or hurtful. In a world so unkind, people are making efforts everyday. They have their own struggles and their own fights. It is always nice to be nice, to be kind.

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    The struggles of a Cyster – Life with PCOS and the “hacks” that didn’t work.

    I was 16 years old when I found out I have PCOS. Before I knew how complicated this disorder or syndrome is, I would thank God for every month my menses wouldn’t come. A month free from the painful cycle was such a relief until hormonal acne started spoiling my teen-age face.

    In simple words PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a condition where the eggs in a female’s ovary develop cysts around themselves and don’t get released during the “supposed” (because most of us cysters have to speculate) menstrual cycle, thereby making the ovary bulky. Along with erratic menstrual cycles and fertility issues, one might experience weight gain, acne, hairfall, mood swings and depression.

    I had bilateral PCOS, meaning cysts in both the ovaries. The doctor put me on the usual birth control pills and metformin release tablets and within a few months, an already chubby me, became a pumpkin. Well, what would you expect after being on hormonal steroids?

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    That’s me before I started my medication.
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    Three months into taking birth control pills.

    My acne was a lot better from the additional progesterone but my weight situation was getting worse. The doctor would suggest me erratic diet changes which included cutting major portions of calories, eating sprouts, fruits and vegetables only, and not having dinner at all. I had severe bloating issues that would make it impossible for the denims to fit on certain days. Oh, and it always somehow happened on days when I needed to go out.

    I was desperate to control PCOS and its clinical symptoms to such an extent, that I would follow whatever any Tom, Dick or Harry would tell me. These are some of the things I tried and failed to help myself.

    Yo Yo Diets:

    So with time, my diet was decreasing multifolds. I would go on a diet, get skinny and when I would go back to eating normal foods, I would gain back all that weight, faster. Each time I would yo-yo diet, I would eat lesser than I was eating earlier. Yo-yo diets are the biggest step to reaching the stage of ” I gain fat even when I’m breathing.”

    Chemical Peels and Skin treatments:

    I remember getting multiple sittings of chemical peels and watching my skin go back from normal to worse. Thousands of rupees spent only to watch my skin go back to its original sad state. From dermatologists to parlour didis, everyone had tried their hands at my skin’s treatment. I remember a parlour didi confessing that she loved to pop my whiteheads and it gave her a strange satisfaction. *FML*

    Fat burning Supplements and extracts:

    I have tried a lot of things ranging from garcinia cambogia extract to homeopathic fat loss tablets. I’ve tried ayurvedic fat loss pills as well. The only thing I lost was a lot of money and my confidence.

    Cardio:

    I hate Cardio, period. Like everyone, I thought that’s the only thing that would help with fat loss and would spend or rather waste time at the gym, running on the treadmill or going crazy on the elliptical. And I would stop doing it (because I couldn’t make it a part of my lifestyle) and gain all the weight back because my body would get used to the calorie deficit I would create through cardio.

    Hair oils and Anti hairfall shampoos :

    I was on the verge of losing all my hair. My doctor did the hair tug test and exclaimed, “Oh my God ” after seeing about 10 strands of hair between his thumb and forefinger. I had tried all sorts of anti hairfall products before that but later found out it was the beginning of androgenetic alopecia that is caused by imbalanced hormones.

    Hacks

    I tried all those so called hacks like sleeping in a pitch dark room, drinking Fenugreek water first thing in the morning, eating papayas around my “expected date” and what not. I have also tried that “touch the thumb of a menstruating woman” hack. *It’s fine, you can judge me.*

    So what really made a difference?

    Quantified nutrition (calorie and macro quantification, which deserves a post of its own) and strength training, alongwith higher activity levels helped me balance my hormones. Trust me, for the first time in my life, my LH and FSH ratio turned out normal in the reports apart from normal testosterone levels. I feel more energetic throughout the day and saner without those crazy mood swings. I lost several inches off my body and started fitting into my old clothes. My skin also feels quite better if not completely clear and my hairfall is pretty less too.

    PCOS cannot be cured but only controlled. So, I’m still dealing with hormonal acne, body fat issues, mood swings, and unwanted bloating, but it’s a lot less now. Also my self esteem and confidence levels are a little up watching my old shorts fit and more than that, knowing somewhere that I’m treating myself better :’)