Weight Gain and Self Esteem

self image

Today I’m going to share a very personal experience with you that empowered me with a great learning. I reduced approximately 48.5 Pounds in 4 months as a result of strict diet and extensive workout. Why? Because I was embarrassed of my body shape like most of the chubby or obese young people do. I couldn’t wear body fit narrow bottom jeans which is in fashion these days and trendy t-shirts of popular clothing brands which gave me a feeling of helplessness and worthlessness when I see them displaying at dummies behind glass window in malls.

I don’t feel any shame in confessing that I envied my friends who were smart and could follow latest fashion in all seasons. I got burnt in the fire of jealousy when I see them in sexy outfits that I could only dream of.

While shedding extra pounds I became super-duper excited (which also triggered hypomanic episode due to heavy cardio workouts). The overwhelming compliments soaked in deep surprise, wonder and appreciation from friends, acquaintances and relatives took me at the peak of pride and greater sense of achievement. Now, I could wear anything. I was feeling out of the world. No less than a prince charming. And yes, I felt more confident and the esteem trespassed into a bit of arrogance. I deserve that credit after all.

In a very short span of a year my ‘slim image’ got faded away as I and others got used to of it. The weight reduction no longer excited me nor did it sustain the sense of accomplishment. The sudden boost in my self-esteem and confidence was very shallow and it split like a water bubble. Now I see many overweight and obese people around me and feel so normal about them. Even some of the darling television starts, comedians who make me laugh, all of them are so confident about who they are and how they look. They always look beautiful and do amazing work in their respective domains. What they wear also looks good on them because they carry it with confidence.

In this period of severe hard work on my appearance and dwelling between low and high self-esteem, I learned that your confidence and comfort with yourself is directly linked with your self-image i.e. how you see yourself. The inferiority complex, which haunts and makes us look inferior to others resides within that we try to cover and polish it with make-up on the body.  Therefore, changing outer appearance, materialistic acquisition of goods or any such superficial thing won’t make any difference to how you feel or your emotions in a long run.

It’s not others’ opinions that matter; instead it’s our own perception about ourselves that translate people’s comments accordingly. For instance, sometime I wonder, how can these fat and bald actors take humiliating jokes and sarcasm in shows on public channel? How can obese women come on television at reality shows and perform so well with confidence? This is because; they have accepted them that way and they have a firm realization that their obesity or baldness doesn’t define them. Self-acceptance is more important before you seek acceptance in society. In order to get long lasting results we should work on inner part of our body that provide foundation to our personality i.e. thoughts, attitude and perception. Appearance is an outer part that keeps varying with age and time and it doesn’t affect much on your inner self.

We need to keep us reminding that I am the only one who can make me feel good with dignity despite all the imperfections or I can degrade myself by competing in a rat race with peers and considering myself worthless, despite having a lot of things to be grateful for, that millions of people on earth desire.

Rayan Ahmed.

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