Take me as I am

Some of you might have been wondering what that previous post was about. Well I am here to shed some light. 

This year has been a struggle. In a good way and a not too fab way. 

I made efforts to go beyond my usual capacity of social interaction, particularly with family. My folks have moved about 5 minutes away from me so I decided this was a good time to get acquainted with my extended family and become closer to my parents. 

To a certain extent, it has been positive. My father and I have put the past behind us as much as possible (although it is human to get reminders now and then of the bad blood we had). Our relationship is less civil, less strained..which is a marked improvement. 

I put myself out there as a kind of announcement: This is Me, take it or leave it. I am not going to lose weight to make you speak kinder to me nor am I going to allow you to walk all over me with fat shaming. I am Visible. I exist in the world as a fat person and I have no shame in that. 

These encounters bore down on me heavily. There is no doubt that I care for my folks but it is still tough. It is tough when you know that your food portions are still being watched over, or that they mention how a family friend still looks slim as ever despite childbirth. It is there in the questioning looks of family friends who want to ask you – Why are you okay with yourself? It is there when uncles who have seen you grow up look at you and don’t know what to say, so they ignore you. Instead heaping praise on the rest. 

Do I want an award for this? No. Did I expect acceptance? No. My goal did reach its fruition. I existed in all those settings I had kept myself hidden from for almost 10 years because I am no longer ashamed of myself. Self-Conscious, but not ashamed. 

Naturally, the younger ones have questions as well. How can she be satisfied being the size that she is? Isn’t she glorifying unhealthiness? 

I am not here to answer those questions. I am here to say again and again, until my very last breath “My appearance does not make me any more or less of a person. I am what I am. Take it or leave it”. 

Some of these evenings have left me emotionally fatigued for days. I have got to say the fat shamers on social media have been having a field day this year. I’m more or less immune to that now. But still. It can be tiring. 

When you make it a point to dress up and suddenly become the point of derision from a group of other Indian girls..that was harsh. I had two panic attacks in a row. But, I got out of the house and made it to the event. I left early, but the point is I got out of my comfort zone. I struggled. I survived. 

I went for important functions and heard hurtful things being said about me. I survived the functions. I cried in bed for days after. But I was visible. There Is a point to this pain and I am realistic about ‘leaving the table when love is no longer being served’ (that’s a fav from Nina Simone). 

I would like fat shamers to know that what I do by staying visible in the public eye is something they could never do. If they really mean to be ‘concerned’ they’d realise that the effect of telling someone to be healthier based on their appearance garners the very opposite reaction. It makes the bullied want to hide behind their comfort food, hide in their homes, hate themselves. It has Never worked, this sort of negative reinforcement. 

When I spoke of changes and discomfort in the previous post with all those quotes, this is what I have lived and learnt. 

I have learnt that in order to learn a great deal about yourself and to come to a place of inner acceptance for all that you are, you will be uncomfortable at first. You have to ride those choppy waves out and when the waters are calm again, you don’t feel a sense of jubilance or euphoric joy. You do however make sense of the pain you have put yourself through over the years. You realise how much you have ignored Living all this time.

I am now learning to Live a proper existence, after spending years merely surviving. When you see me vanish from blogging once in a while, I am hurting and healing during those times. But I will not shrink back into the person I was before. 

If something isn’t easy we push back, harder and make more room between what we Can do and what we Cannot. 

I have spent the past two years having so much fun with blogging and now the personal work is underway too. I cannot possibly sit here typing away ‘You can do it’ when I am unsure if I can. 

There is a newfound confidence in this uncertainty I have discovered. 

And it feels good. 

Just thought I would update you with what’s been going on with me personally aside from my typical health woes. This doesn’t mean fashion blogging or my other posts are on hiatus…this is a concurrent journey. 

Our bodies are not all we have. There is a place for coming to love all of who we are. 

  

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10 thoughts on “Take me as I am

  1. Sometimes I think it would be easier for you if you moved to Australia. The family stuff notwithstanding, I suspect we have a more understanding culture when it comes to curves than some nearby countries.

    I think you are awesome, and I know you can do whatever you set your mind to. 🙂 hugs to you. And piffle to your family!

    1. Yeah no I don’t agree with that. Australian fatty here and I get harassed and abused every single day I set foot out of the house. That we have a “more understanding culture” about fatness is a total myth.

  2. Very powerful post, Aarti. The line that really resonated with me was this one: “I cannot possibly sit here typing away ‘You can do it’ when I am unsure if I can.” This is how I started to feel about feminism in general. After a while you DO realise that the stories of resistance and transformation that you have been drawing courage from and using in your narrative need to be manifested in your personal performance of struggle. Only then can your own story add to those and set others free. It is horribly painful. But you reach a point when you cannot unsee. When you are ready to leap. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey.

  3. I found your closing especially powerful: “Our bodies are not all we have. There is a place for coming to love all of who we are.”

    I wish you much love on your journey, and less judgement from others. ❤

  4. I am so glad that you were able to be brave and realize that you survived!

    I also do wish that people could really understand that their comments about someone’s weight, or “health” are the furthest thing from “motivating.” Some people are just mean, but others really believe their intentions are good, without realizing their words have the opposite effect. At this point everyone has heard all Tue bad facts about obesity, and knows that diet and exercise are important. Sharing this information in an attempt to be “helpful” implies you think the other person is stupid or has been living under a rock for the last 20 years.

  5. Love this post!!! I’m writing a post for my site that is launching Monday (Lifelovesandlipgloss.com) about ‘The sisterhood – Learning from each other’ and I’m going to be linking to this page and your about page as well as celebrating your comment ‘Self conscious but not ashamed’ I have learnt and gained so much from this post. Thank you! Please keep doing what you’re doing 🙂

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