Living in an era controlled by social media –and a group of influencers– we tend to seek their perfection. Although this perfection is mostly fake, surprisingly, it affects our self-confidence –and makes us uncomfortable. Since I have always been a thin lady, it doesn’t feel right to be a plus-size now. Today, is the first time I ever open up about this subject, and how I really feel about it.
As I said, I have been underweight all my academic years. I stayed in shape till I got married when I took contraceptives, then later wanted to get pregnant. Contraceptives messed up with my hormones, and I had to be given some medication to encourage my body to get back on track –only to find out later that this was the beginning of a long journey of weight gain. Seeing myself gaining weight because of hormonal changes encouraged me somehow to let go and stop worrying about my weight. It was like I gave myself an excuse for the increase, I thought if I am gaining weight then why not enjoy the things I love eating.
Months later, I got pregnant with twins, which was another reason my body shape got severely affected post surgery, because my tummy was horribly stretched –leaving me with a big sack of un-stretched skin full of cellulite. It hit me hard at first, and I hated to look at myself in the mirror. I was very angry at the way I looked –I couldn’t recognise myself. Despite being in love with my twins, I felt I can no longer relate to the body I was inside. I felt I grew older. I was always shocked when I see me in group pictures. I tried not to pay too much attention to the fact that I had gained twenty kilos, but slowly –and gradually– I found a solution which made things even worse: I began to embrace dark colors, especially black. I felt inclined to buy anything I like in black to ensure I look slimmer –only to discover that It made me look dull and boring.
Then I was encouraged to lose weight by my sister –who is a certified nutritionist– and who has a very respectable weight loss journey: changing from an obese child to an athletic mother. She helped me lose some weight, and because of her I changed a lot of things in my eating style to lead a more healthy life. While I am still willing to lose weight, I began to feel confident again. This confidence was caused by embracing a healthier lifestyle; by my achievements in my career that made me look at myself beyond what I see in the mirror, which encouraged me to value myself regardless of the excess weight I always seemed to consider. Lastly, seeing all those curvy models world wide, I loved how plus-sized models looked great in bright colors and fashionable outfits. So I let go of the black, and decided to wear whatever I like –as long as I don’t look obsessively overweight. It feels nicer now. I am happier wearing the clothes I love, and being trendy. I am sure people think: well, maybe she is a little overweight but she is a cool woman.
Writing this down, I find that I am still concerned about how people think of me, and how others look at my weight, which is something I still can’t get over –but at least I am trying to fix things on my side. I learnt to be more confident. I learnt to look at myself as a valuable, productive person who contributes to this world beyond my looks. I stopped punishing myself by wearing boring colors, and decided to embrace life and be a colourful person. It just takes some will, and a positive mind to enjoy life. I would still love to see myself ten or twenty kilos lighter, but until this happens, I will just love myself, and accept it the way it is.