Follow Up: #1 Letter to My Body

Hello sweet peas!

I know that the previous post was quite heavy and chockfull of tragedies,
sad happenings.

But I’d like you to know that the reason I share my story is because I no longer hide in shame from it. I shied away from talking about it for a very long time, after which I did nothing but talk about it lol .. and this is the first time in a very long time that I have been so open about it. It was hard to write and I took a few breaks in between to woosah, but the message that I wanted to deliver through the post was that nobody should ever make you feel bad or inferior about who or what you are.

We are the sum of our parts and the past is a part of who I am. It does not define me because there is so much more to Me.

Yes, I had a sickly childhood.
But I was a very happy go lucky child.

As an older child and sibling, I was not someone my baby sister could follow by example because I was Always getting into trouble!

In Kindergarten, I organised a Milo-coup. After getting a tummy ache from drinking the mug of Milo during recess time, I deemed it poisonous. So imagine my teacher’s confusion when no one touched their snacks or Milo. She had a field day complaining to my Mom when she found out I was the pesky instigator..heh.

In primary school, I was bullied at first.
I only started making friends when I was 9 and most of them were boys because they were funnier, less catty and loved to play sports. Also, they couldn’t care less for my size..they liked my jocular personality and that was enough.

I was rather outspoken when I wasn’t feeling shy so I made it clear when I didn’t like something. Having been brought up like a boy by dad, I was not tolerant of girls picking on other girls.
They were being malicious and I hated it.

When I started secondary school at 13, I became more aware of my gender.
I saw pretty school girls walking coquettishly when a boy crush passed them by. I couldn’t be coquettish, batting my lashes makes me look cross eyed. But I could refine what was there. Although I had so much bad flack about how I looked from family, relatives..I didn’t think I was hideous. My late maternal grandma had told me in confidence once that she thought I was a pretty dusky skinned girl who looked beautiful in red. Coming from her, it meant a whole lot. Especially since I was wearing them
Bottle coke glasses, with a confused bob cut (trying to figure out hair beyond a short crop took a loooong time) and a constantly confused expression on my face. I have been told that my face is very expressive and is like an open book. I would tend to believe that, Im horrible with a poker face.

So I got a new haircut, changed my glasses to the more then-fashionable metallic framed ones. I changed my school bag, took off my tie and the dozens of bobby pins in my hair. I started to read tips on skin care and managing difficult hair. I perfected the art of walking without swinging my arms like a gorilla.

I wasn’t garnering wolf-whistles, but I did get some attention and it felt good because I heard such rubbish at home. I was always complimented on my cheerful nature and bright smile. I did get rude, snide remarks from other girls but hey it was teenage-hood, of course they’d be angsty!

Where I was solemn and quiet at home, I was boisterous and funny in school. Nobody could sniff out what was going on at home. Not until I was 15 and my friend saw me changing t shirts and started crying when she saw the fresh scars on my back.

I was the funny, entertaining, life of the party girl for the longest time. Nobody likes sad people so I played along. But I was very sad inside and although I was liked in school, I was unable to take compliments seriously. I am still working on taking compliments, it makes me bashful and I feel like the ostrich who places it’s head into the ground.

Over-exercising, Purging, Raging and Self Mutilation were the inconspicuous ways that I acted out. Okay well, I did cut my dad’s tie once and cut my mom’s scarf. I felt like Matilda, the alien of the home. Who was born and brought up in that household but had no similarities whatsoever with her own blood.

I was aware that there was something wrong with my attention span and with how scatter brained I was. I was aware that the ways I acted out above were wrong. But I didn’t know how to make it right. I couldn’t talk to someone about it.

When I was unfairly treated in school, I refused to take that nonsense. It’s still quite similar to how I live today.. Because I have been subject to so much unfairness and harshness, I refuse to allow my friends to get away with being rude or hurtful. I deserve to be treated better, I deserve a happy life so damn you if you cause me hurt.

Before I met Suresh I had ceased purging, cutting and over sleeping. I was in a better place. He was the icing on my cake. The first two years of our relationship will always be very special to me. I’m not saying it all went to shite after that. But it was challenging. He is a quiet, non-confrontational person. I was a chatty, in your face person. But no matter what, he loved and loves me as I am. He is still the champion of my causes and there is nobody who makes me feel as special or beautiful than him.

Although life was a constant roller coaster ride, I kept picking up timely lessons and silver linings. Each rough experience made me sit back and reflect. They smoothed out the rough edges to me, making me more emphatic and accepting.

Living in Australia, I saw so many beautiful plus sized women. They dressed with style, carried themselves with such pride. A major part of accepting my size started there. I was more daring, more comfortable with my wardrobe choices and I did not feel scrutinised.

Of course it was a completely different environment once I got back to Singapore but I surged on. During rehab for the injury, I reminded myself that I was still my own person –
Capable, Confident and decent to look at.

A bigger tidal wave of change happened upon moving out. I was not chastised for my eating habits, I wasn’t egged on to have a workout – I did it of my own will. I started to enjoy eating and yes I gained a whole lot of weight as a result but c’mon! That’s not a crime. I will always be a foodie, not like my portions are large frankly but I am adventurous with my choices.

Of course the tsunami of change came after Maa passed away. Mortality certainly put things into perspective. And I have not looked back ever since.

So fret not, it hasn’t always been all doom and gloom. I am a sum of all parts.

Now it’s time for ginger tea and choc chip cookies 😀

Love yourself and Love your body,
because it beats living in shame by a pretty vast margin. Trust Me.

All my Love,
xxxo Aarti Olivia Dubey

P.S: Am attaching some pics from the past, because pictures give more clarity to the words 🙂

The Tomboy

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Adolescence & Young Adulthood

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Wheelchair-Bound Hottie

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Marriage

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30 year old

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31

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Freshly minted 32yr old

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7 thoughts on “Follow Up: #1 Letter to My Body

  1. Oh my gosh! Your radiance on your wedding day! And your hubby is such a catch. The thing which pains me the most is looking at your photos from your young life, you were barely fat AT ALL. What is the matter with people?! I’m so glad you are in a better place now and I’m so excited for this journey we are on.

    1. I was stressed with the weight loss for the wedding but I felt beautiful so I guess it showed 😀 Would you believe I had SEVEN wedding events?? It was a mad extravaganza but everyone loved it because they felt it was personal. I got to dress to the nines so Im a happy camper 🙂 Plus we had a studio photoshoot and all. Maybe I oughta do up a post on the wedding..it was quite decadent!

      and You’re SO right. After I got to my heaviest at 30, I looked back at my pictures and I was so angry because I was not fat at all. I was athletic, curvy but I was fit. But do you know what? I was never happy. And it took me to get to my largest size to realise that I had every right to be happy and proud of myself. So I may be thrice the size I was before, but I am so much happier. Sure, I get my off days..we all do. It isn’t easy having a chronic illness and injuries, and allergic reactions. But I don’t live feeling pressured to adhere to what my Asian society considers ‘slim’, which believe me is a ridiculous aspiration. Asia is so obsessed with being thin, fair and glamorous. All the superficial things that I cannot give a flying feck about. But I’ve got my lil bubble and I keep myself strong.

      Tight Hugs!!

    1. thank you for reading it Abbi 🙂
      I share so that others out there can find it in them to stop with the self hate. We take ourselves way too seriously and life is too short to be lived feeling suffocated by society’s standards.

      You, my dear friend, are beautiful 🙂

  2. I see a lot of myself if you and I want to tell you that you deserve all you want int life. I know how it feels to be bullied and I always did my best to be funny and outgoing to hide the fact that I really hated the way I looked. Today I feel great, I love myself and because I believe I deserve a better body, I am working hard to actually accomplish that. In the end I am losing weight not to look like a model of anything but to be healthy and hopefully live a longer healthier life. You are beautiful and it’s funny how you were bullied for your weight cause u were quite skinny, but I know you are a survivor and can accomplish anything u want in life if you want it xxx

    1. I am so happy to meet ladies like you who have made past the shaming and moved on to feeling better about themselves. Nobody – regardless of size, color, gender, religious affiliation, age – should be subject to prejudice. Well when I was bullied as a skinny kid, it was by racists. I am a northern Indian and the majority of Indians here are from the South. They hate us because back in India, we are the majority and they are but a small portion. So they made it their mission to make me feel out of place. But it only lasted until I got angry and decided to fight back. After the age of 13, I refused to allow being bullied. Life toughened me up and made me grow up at a much earlier age.

      1. I truly understand what you went trough, when I was younger I was bullied a lot because I had relatives that worked in the school I was in. They thought I was being treated better than others were, when I was actually treated worse, so as to not show any preference. I was quite skinny myself when I was a little kid too, then I started gaining weight from the age of 13 basically. Chocolate was my getaway, I used to immerse my emotions by having a lot of chocolate. I was a very quite and shy girl back then. Music changed me a lot, being that I sing, I was super shy to sing in front of people. I loved to sing and I wasn’t able to do it, so I decided that I had enough of being shy so I stopped. Now I am a more confident person and I am slowly getting over my addictions, because now I believe I deserve better 😀

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