Discover more from Rest My Opinion
07. I bought too much...
...of the same thing and then wrote about it.
Good morning, ladies (and a few gentlemen)!
I should officially change the publication time of this newsletter from Sunday night to Monday morning – just a bright, little ray of sunshine for your morning commute or lunch break!
How was your week? Mine was oddly stressful & satisfying. A trip to Berlin and back meant I was barely functioning by the end of Wednesday. But the weekend gave me the much-needed self-esteem boost + rest that I desperately needed. And it helped that the salary swooped into my account just in time for some much-needed book & clothes shopping.
And that’s when I noticed something odd.
My shopping history on Zalando (you know, this amazing online fashion retailer who also happens to be my employer) was almost exclusively activewear. And apparently, this has been going on for the last 3 months or so. I have subconsciously only been buying workout clothes and shoes (other than the one odd splurge on a heavily discounted AF1 ).
“Like wth, Sanj, what’s up?”
“Let me tell you a story. We will travel back in time.
I went back to India in June 2022. For the first time in 2 years, since I had left India, I was back in my sweaty, sticky, humid, middle-of-a-fucking-volcano hometown. My family was happy to see me. So were a bunch of random people. Foreign-returned and whatnot. But you know what they were NOT happy about?
Ya girl was fat.
I was shocked, disappointed, and discouraged by the barrage of comments that came from every end during this month-long trip. I had lived in a beautiful little bubble for two years where people didn’t outrightly body shame me. In fact, I never felt conscious of my hairy legs, my flabby arms or my tummy. I could wear anything, be anyone and everyone around me loved me just the same.
I came back to Hamburg as my 15-year-old self, hating myself, only seeing flaws where a person used to be. All the trauma that I had cocooned myself against had burst through my flimsy bubble and started living in my head.
When I decided to visit Kolkata again earlier this year, I promised to become stronger. So that I can answer back the random lab employee who told me to lose weight while literally putting a needle in my vein, to be able to look the uncle, who asked me what I have been eating, in the eye and ask him why he doesn’t mind his own damn business. But most importantly, I didn’t want to come home to Hamburg and refuse to even walk past the mirror.
I did the work, I got stronger and when I went back to Kolkata, boy, did I tell them. I was loving it. I was finally happy in my body. I could be fat, but girl, was I brave. I was shutting people down left, right and centre. All the while not realising what I have done in my attempt to not give a shit about my body.
I had become her worst enemy.
At my gynaecologist's office on the last morning of my Kolkata stay, I got the news. My PCOS was back with a vengeance. My weight gain was drastic, the condition was severe. My doctor – someone I have known since I was a child – told me that this time he would not be prescribing any medication. I need to do it myself. I need to work out, eat right and kick PCOS in the ass.”
“Girl, this story is hella long, get to the damn point.”
“Oh, sorry, I got lost in the flow.
The point is, I realized I am a lazy bitch. It’s not that I hate working out but I really love not working out. I love being comfortable in my bed after work. I love eating a bunch of junk and I love my ice creams, and chocolates and just, generally, sweet shit. I have ZERO self-control.
But what I also realised is that at 30 years old if I were to have back pain, PCOS, how long till I just fucking drop dead?”
“That’s a bit extreme, don’t you think?”
“No, but really think about it. I needed to change something now. I needed to get the fuck out of my toxic body-positive shell and see it for what it is.
My fatness was unhealthy. Not all fatness is. But mine was.
And here’s why I have been buying activewear like a maniac in the last few months. Because I stopped looking at my fatness as something to be ashamed of.
I am fat, and that’s okay.
But I want to be so goddamn strong, fit and powerful that the next time someone called me fat, I wouldn’t even care. I wouldn’t need to give it back. Because I would know that I am taking care of this body which will be with me till the end.
I needed to change the way I looked at my goals.
Cut to now, I am not trying to lose weight. I am trying to be fit. Everything that comes with it is a bonus.
I don’t diet. The anxiety that comes with cheating on your diet is unbearable for me. So, I eat whatever I want to but only however much I need. I don’t make excuses for eating junk. It has helped me get in control of my emotional, impulsive eating.”
“Okay, I get it, you are a fit girl now.”
“I am trying so damn hard. But I have never been that girl.
Girls who look like me are not fit girls.
And I believed that all these years. But trust me, when I lift heavier weights in Archita’s class or when my sparring partner praises me in boxing class, or when I am walking too fast for Alex (the man who made me walk 5 kilometres on our first IRL date while I was jetlagged), the satisfaction is unparalleled.
So, I guess, you are right. I am a fit girl. Stereotypes can suck it.”
Until next time, lifting weights and kicking ass,