03.12.2021

I Realised That Losing Weight Doesn’t Bring Happiness

How many of you think that you are overweight and unhappy in life? Well, irrespective of what you have answered in your head, I used to be unhappy with my weight (yes, once upon a time, not anymore).

I so wish whoever said that money cannot buy you happiness had also mentioned that happiness cannot be measured by the number on a measuring scale. Well, that’s what I realized from the experience of my personal weight loss journey. Hear me out, guys: happiness is no way connected to the number or the size of your clothes. I can definitely explain this, read on.

My Problem

Being an Indian, it’s much easier to end up being fat, chubby, and cute (winks). From chacha ki shaadi, to gali ka kachori, as an Indian, you’ll find yourself devouring on the tastiest and the richest of the foods on multiple occasions in your life. And you know what happens when you endlessly gorge on so much food, right? Whether it applies to you or not, it definitely resulted in a moti (fat) version of me. Okay, I can explain- it wasn’t me, it was the food.

When I looked at the food, I’d think of the lyrics of Mariah Carey’s song-“You got me feeling emotions”. Yes, I was a total emotional foodie at heart. I used to connect with food more than I connected with people. Everyone in the neighborhood knew that if Shivani was upset, all it would take was a samosa from that corner shop in the market to cheer her up (oh and not to forget, that garam garam jalebi from the shop next-door). If you’re thinking that my mouth would be watering writing about these delicious foods, well, you’re definitely thinking right.

When I Started Off

I think I weighed my highest in my early teenage years- a massive 110 kilograms to be specific. I began to feel very conscious around the boys in my school, especially when around the ones I secretly liked. The consciousness ticked off everything in me.

My self-confidence, self-esteem, social behavior, my happiness, and basically everything that was supposed to be nurtured and developed in a person as a teen was diminishing in me. I blamed it on my weight (so did my mother and every other neighborhood aunt). So, I decided to start my journey by joining the world of weight loss. I began to follow every other fitness inspiration on Instagram, became well-versed with diet regimes, calorie intake calculations and even hit the gym.

The Result

Obviously, I failed! I couldn’t stick to my plan A or B or C. All my efforts to dodge those chole kulche stalls, the golgappe stands, everything went in vain. The more I resisted, the more I was drawn towards it. The failure started affecting my mental health. I began to feel frustrated and annoyed, and I’d end up crying myself to sleep on all nights. When I visited a doctor to get some help, I was told that I had developed bulimia. It’s a disorder, peeps. An emotional disorder that has got to do with an unhealthy body image and the desire to lose weight desperately all of which only leads to extreme overeating, which is followed by extreme fasting and then vomiting.

My parents couldn’t see me in such a miserable condition. They tried to help me. They got every product meant for weight loss- oils, creams, those weight reduction magical drinks and what not. They even decided to put their hard-earned money to get me non-operative intragastric balloon surgery done. The surgery made me puke as my stomach couldn’t digest anything. I did start losing a considerable amount of weight, close to 15-20 Kgs. But, guess what, I wasn’t happy!

The Realisation

I found myself facing similar stress, similar kinds of anxiety issues and frustration even after I lost all my flab (well at least I thought I lost most of it). It took me a while, 8 months to be specific, to understand that to be happy in life is a choice. It has nothing to do with how much I weigh or what the size of my dress is. Happiness isn’t dependant on the external validation of oneself. Of course, I lost weight but not in the healthiest manner, right?

If I’d found out my actual problems and solved them, I would be in a happier state of mind. I could have lost weight by eating right and staying fit. I learned to not pay heed or attention to what others thought of me. I decided to make two columns in my life, one that read “ignore” and the other that read “star-mark”. I started putting my experiences in these columns. Because only I know that I am much more than what I can see when I stand in front of a mirror.

Shedding a few kilos and losing all the flab is not necessarily the ticket to happiness. Sometimes, all it takes to be happy is to just start loving yourself. Have you battled something similar? Let us know in the comments below.

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