As a child I used to love swimming. During the summers we would often go to the club to swim. As I hit teenage years I was made to be aware of my body. I was told I must try and coverup while walking from the changing room to the pool. Because boys/men were watching. I have big thighs and have often been told to hide my “thunder thighs”. I became conscious & that 1 minute walk from the changing room to the pool became uncomfortable. I felt all eyes on me. I would walk fast and dive into the pool as quickly as I could throwing my robe to the side, hoping no one saw my thighs. I’ve been called “motu” (meaning fat) by loved ones. Why? Because I am big. I have never been a size 0 or 2 or even 4. I’ve been more of a size 8, 10 or 12. I’ve been often told (till this date) don’t wear sleeveless because I have chubby arms. Don’t wear shorts in the sweltering heat because my thighs are “fat” and it won’t look good. In fact 6 years ago while I was pregnant, a man who had not seen me in a decade told me I must “lose some weight”. When he was told I was pregnant he apologized! But yes, we, especially Indians love to comment on each others weight. The first thing we will do is comment on how much you have gained or lost. How you must get rid of your double chin or your belly! Luckily for me I have never chased sizes & weights. My goal has always been to be #healthy. And over the years I have grown to be comfortable with how I look as long as I am healthy. Last year I started taking my daughter for swimming lessons. I am in the pool with her, and I am still a size L but I walk the ramp with her with utmost confidence not caring a hoot at how I look in that swimsuit.#BodyPositivity is not something I learnt early on, but I am now. Its been work in progress. There are days when I stand in front of the mirror and dislike how I look & then days when I can’t stop complimenting myself. Days when I am mindful of what I’m eating and how much I’ve moved and others when I cave in. I am learning and choosing to love all of me as is, and be caring and kinder to my body today & everyday! #mybodymymind #bodypositive #bodyimage
This story was submitted in response to The Real Me.