I never wanted a ‘size zero’ figure. And yes, I am perfect

Media hype around size zero figure girls often leads to low self-esteem amongst women. (Photo: News Intervention)
Media hype around size zero figure girls often leads to low self-esteem amongst women. (Photo: News Intervention)

All through my life, I had suffered from weight issues. No matter what size I was, I was never thin enough! I struggled with body issues since the time I learnt about waistlines and cellulites. I would not even look at the mirror as I hated my body and how it made me look. Nothing suited me and I was envious of women who had the perfect figure or a slim body. I would look in the mirror and suck in my stomach until I couldn’t breathe.

I hated the way I looked and never felt comfortable in my skin. I was more comfortable wearing baggy or very loose clothes throughout my life. It was very frustrating and depressing. There were days when I would starve myself in the name of dieting. What made things worse was being body shamed by people around me. I recall instances where a close relative told me that I would never become thin in life and I had more chances of contriving diseases sooner than other unhealthy people.

Often women are perceived and assumed to be lazy, unfit or eat unhealthily if they are bulky or are simply fat. But it isn’t as simple as that. I personally after my second pregnancy felt physically tired and exhausted most of the time. I realized later in life that I was suffering from what is called ‘postpartum depression’.

However, one good thing was that I always had faith in me that I would someday overcome this issue sometime in my life. I had attempted all kinds of fad diets like the keto diet, intermediate fasting to name a few, but it wasn’t until I trusted and began on home cooked or balanced meal along with proper workout. Also not to forget the importance of good sleep and rest. I learnt with time that there is no easy way or quick fixes to lose weight.

With this realisation, I took control of my health and started working out and taking a balanced diet. During my weight loss journey, my husband became my only support. His helped determined me further. For almost many weeks I did not see much changes in my body and weight but I did not lose hope. I consistently focused on myself and continued with my new regime.

Soon everyone around me noticed the changes in me. I lost more than 30 kg and body goals were achieved. This achievement was possible because I learnt the importance of being healthy and became the healthier version of myself. I also learnt that working out and eating healthy can be fun. There’s not a single day since I started working out that I have skipped being active. Even if I do not exercise properly I still maintain my 10,000 steps every day. I do light walks, dance or play with my kids.

Divya Burman had to face body-shaming for being overweight (left photo), but with a positive outlook she has transformed herself and now leads a healthier and happier life (right photo).

My day starts with one hour workout. Initially, when I started working out I started walking and then joined aerobics and Zumba classes. There I found my interest in dancing as a workout. So its always important to do what you love otherwise one tends to get bored with the same kind of exercise and very easily gives up. My classes continued till everything came to a halt due to COVID-19. All the classes and gyms were suspended. Fortunately, until the pandemic I had already had the habit of working out so I didn’t require external motivation any more and started practicing what I had learnt and found Google to be helpful in trying to find fun ways of working out at home. During this time I lost most weight while still eating a healthy home-cooked meal.

I am enjoying the best time of my life as peoples’ opinions hardly matter anymore as opinions are there to stay. Today, I don’t need anyone to tell me how beautiful I look or I don’t need any particular outfit to make me look pretty. I am not size zero today and never wanted to be. But what I learnt is to love yourself unconditionally as beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.


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