Sruti Dhara Mohanty

“Don’t you feel bad being fat”. The statement was worth a thousand needles piercing my spine and in meanwhile a moment of sheer realisation had struck.

That day, those words from a stranger kept jolting me. It was to be a happy day for me, decked in a good saree for Office party, was something to look for. But then as reality bug bites, that cab driver was no less. The moment I entered his cab, he gave a hasty grin. May be laughed at my heavy appearance .Just few metres from home, he started with the expected questioning. He asked- “May I ask you something Ma’am. Please don’t mind.” I was joyful in my mind regarding the events of the day. I was anchoring at many events in office. With excitement running through my veins. I smiled and said“yes please”.

“Ma’am, don’t you feel bad being fat.”To this he instantly modified. “You are good looking ma’am, just that you are very healthy”. “Healthy” was a lucrative term of hideous mentality – Body shamming. It seemed like the bubble of joy just ruptured. When did I reach office, I have no memory .But the moment of reality snapped me out of my daydreams in seconds. The enthusiasm turned to a silent gloom. I asked myself – “Do I really deserve such questions from an absolute stranger”. I remember, it was in 2018 , month of November ending. The whole day, I was absentminded over the same subject. I couldn’t enjoy the entire week. Although,  just few days ago, I had a different heart break. My Ex got engaged to someone I didn’t expect. A look-a-like as my friends say.

Well ! 2018 was year of heartbreaks. Although I was accustomed to  my ex leaving me lonely over one single comment. “Sruti, you are fat. I can’t marry you”. “We will look like Mother and Child on dais”. Really? Even after 5 years of relationship, what changed was “I was just more obese for you”? I had almost weathered myself for it. It was not only that , even a so-called-friend who asked me for marriage but again crushed me with the same statement. May be some social inconvenience. But a Stranger? I kept asking myself same question- “What is with Men around me, do with my obesity? “

It was even that as if every male member of my family, relatives, were chasing after me, like my very presence was inconvenient to them. Wretchedly the only reason was me turning 28, single, obese and obnoxiousin their eyes. Off course my brother was always to my rescue. Mum was concerned over my health, yet it was harmful not only with my obesity , but the current disposition I was into. What a difficult time it was.

Coming back to the recent rendezvous with the question- Do I love being fat? It was hovering over my senses for weeks now. At first, my inactive brain started creating a defence mechanism of excuses, remorse and stress hormones, thus created  more storage of fat and water retention. But then an inner voice spoke, “shouldn’t I do something?”. I wondered what to do. Because it’s been “N” number of times that I have tried. Crash diets, starvations, excessive exercising. It took a heavier toll on my mental health of being disposed of like an used paper, even my ex left me in the pile of resentments. The reason – “I was fat”.

It seemed like everything was revolving around with the bitter truth of my obesity. But then, like the silver lining in the clouds, I found my door of opportunity in end of 2018. QNTS was exactly the forum and Durgesh, my junior colleague was my mentor. 2019 resolutions wascreated – I will transform myself. And so very successfully after a long time of hardships, restrictions and determinations, I did. 2019 was, as I thought , a shut on their mouths, or as it seemed.

With help and hard work, I embarked on my transformation journey. Gradually, I got results and appreciations. I became motivation for many as they told me. But, at back of my mind, I still kept thinking , will my journey would really curb the question that had already broken me inside. They say you boost up self-confidence with taking care of your body. True, but the contradictions  was what is body positivity. Should fat girls not be accepted? Will I ever find someone, who accepts me as I am, helps me in this difficult journey? Oh well, the question still remains.

Nowadays,deep down, I knew, this maintenance won’t be easy. We are ITians, Time , is what we need to struggled with. And then come the Age and Responsibilities . And with that to add, 2020 mishappened to us. The current became on contrary now. What I feared, happened. I couldn’t maintain any more. Well, once a fat girl, always a fat girl. That’s how I was back at square one. Again.

We often isolate ourselves and demotivate ourselves with a lie. “We can’t do it anymore”. But how long can we deceive ourselves. The mirror always tells the truth. “I will do it”, that’s what I say to myself .Every day. Truth is, this is a blatant world, though not like a sugar coated movie where happy endings are always apparent. We do take measures, fall , and fall again. But ultimately we will rise and shine. And yes, the cycle continues lifetime. Yes, we always have Hope.

Total Work Experience : 9.4 Years (Infosys)

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