Weight loss is something that many people face, both male and female. Being a teenage girl who attended a single-sex high school for 7 years of my life, I was surrounded by so many people who were struggling with their weights and had an inferiority complex with the way their body looked. As much as I hate to admit it, I was one of those.
I didn’t take much notice of my weight until I was around 14 years old, when those around me started to point out my weight. Those people weren’t friends, but adults I’d grown up around.
Before I carry on, here’s something to keep in mind. There are two things most* Sri Lankan Tamil parents** are good at: gossiping and lying. Now I’m not just talking the small stuff. Tamil parents, especially mums, could start conflicts between countries if they wanted to. They are so good at keeping an eye out for other people’s children, in the hope that an opportunity comes by which they can use to ruin the child’s future, so that their own child can “excell” or “look better”. You might think I’m exaggerating, but I’m really not.
So these Tamil mum’s love to point out flaws, and facts that go against the status quo. “Your daughter looks a bit.. bigger.. she’s gained a bit hasn’t she..” or “I heard she got into the University of Southampton.. she must have done badly in her A levels” (I’m sorry but what.) After hearing from so many people that I gained a lot of weight, weighing in at around 59kg and being only 4’11”, I became quite conscious of my rounded, chubby figure. But I didn’t make an effort to lose weight. I didn’t think I could so I didn’t bother. Even when someone I knew insulted me and my weight on Facebook for everyone to see, I did want to lose weight to prove him wrong, but I didn’t bother. In my mind, I had other priorities.
However, after I had turned 16, I started to lose weight due to a mix of stress, a better eating plan, and a little bit of dancing. I was happy that I had managed to lose some weight, not noticeable but I was still happy. However I still didn’t make an effort or go out of my way to lose weight. I didn’t make it a personal target. It just happened. So eventually, I stopped keeping track..until I started university, when I realised my size 8 clothes suddenly weren’t fitting as well. I knew I had dropped a dress size, and after a weigh in I found out I had dropped to 45kg, but I didn’t think it was that much of a change. In my head it wasn’t that much of a big difference. That was until I tried on a pair of jeans I wore about 10 months ago, that has now become horrendously baggy. It surprised me, finally being able to physically see how much I had lost. It did feel nice being able to wear clothes I didn’t think I could pull off before though, or seeing my body having more shape to it in the mirror, thanks to less fat and more muscle.
I recently came home for Easter break, and before the break I had a few weeks of intense dance rehearsals and a bad diet, resulting in my weight dropping just slightly again. But as soon as I came back home, those Tamil mums I mentioned earlier now had a new “flaw” to point out: “oh aren’t you being fed properly, you’ve lost so much weight.” ..What is with these people?! You gain weight, it’s a problem. You lose weight, and it’s a problem. Whenever I heard this I just shook it off with the standard “I dance a lot now” answer. But it my head it really did frustrate me. Having people point it out makes it seem more like a loss than an achievement.
Weight loss wasn’t a goal I was aiming for, but now that I am here, I want to maintain it and also my healthy lifestyle. And I just want to stay to anyone who is trying to reduce their weight, do it healthily, because it is possible (as I found out). I think it definitely gives you a better outcome than starving yourself, for example. And also, stay motivated because the result becomes something you can smile about.
*I do mean most. Seems to be a trend, however. And yes I’m talking to you Sri Lankan Tamils who grew up in big towns.
**I don’t know many Indian Tamils so I can’t say anything regarding them