Updated: Sep 23
I have always been a foodie since childhood. Puberty made me go from 47 kgs to 70 kgs. Initially I was not concerned about my weight or my body. But as I began growing up, I started getting body shamed by my friends and teachers in school. These things genuinely made me question myself, which made me feel terrible about my body. My parents weren't very supportive either.
It's so ironical that we are supposed to ask our parents for help in difficult situations, but this is not how it was in my situation. My mom herself started body shaming me (she does it even now). This is when I decided to join a gym. I had stopped loving my body and no matter what, I needed to love myself and my body first and then expect it from others. We can still love our body without the gym, but I thought of it as appropriate for myself.
I started gymming in 8th standard, and I gradually got interested in weight lifting. It was fine until I just did cardio but when I started lifting weights, I began hearing a lot of weird comments from everyone. Discrimination and stereotyping became a part and parcel of my gyming routine. Comments like “No, you cannot handle so much weight” “Oww, just look at your hands it’s so hard, a girl’s hands should be soft” and the most irritating one was “kya karogi itne sab muscles and masculine body, jab ladkon ko patli ladkiyan pasand hai”(what is the use of such muscular physique, guys like thin girls). Stereotyping was not just limited to gym. People used to compare my femininity with other girls. But all this did not stop me.
I can’t change the mindset of narrow minded people, who still judge me, but I have learned to focus on myself. Because weight lifting has not only shaped my body but also my mind. It has taught me to hard work and struggle. My broad shoulders have taught me that I can carry weight on them and still be calm. They make me feel strong. My thick thighs show how I can be soft and rigid at the same time; my strong calves have taught me to walk and walk till my work is done, and not stop when I am tired.