When people tell me “Hey you have lost a lot of weight?”, “You really look better with this kind of figure”, “Wow, I couldn’t recognize you, you’ve become so thin” I’ll be flying. Today it makes me feel so nice, but the past and the experiences that made me a fitness freak is really hard to digest.
I still remember the guy’s name who first called me “Gundu”-Its funny but I do. I was in my 3rd class then and the guy named Alpha seemed to be the villain of our class. Everyone warned me about him. They advised me to give him my pencil/rubber and whatever he asks for or else he might break my pencil box or will steal my things. I never cared and hence he said “Po di gundu” Giggle...Though it sounds funny now, it did hurt me a lot. I was crying. That’s how it started.
Me and my younger sis used to go for something called the morning practice. It was sports training given by our PT masters in the morning. My sis used to be very thin then. There was a running track on the ground where me and sis had a running race. I was very sure that I won’t win the race but they purposely had it for them to have fun. It was really embarrassing for me in front of more than 30 school kids all big and small and 2 teachers. It happened as I had predicted. I controlled my tears, rushed back home and started crying in my bathroom.
I even remember when my uncle fooled his newly wed wife saying that my birthday was on Ganesh Chathurthi, where his intention obviously was to say that I look like an elephant. I cried the whole day - mum was consoling me and dad scolding me for not being sportive. Irrespective of age and gender people teased and bullied me. :-(
When I was in 8th I was really stout, weighing 68 kgs. Whenever I was called for sports they always compelled me to take part in shot put and nothing else. Once during the usual medical check up in my school I was asked to bring my mum to talk about my weight, the Doctor was really kind and sweet but still I felt very insulted in front of all my class mates. [Thank God!! Guys weren’t there] My parents have never told me to restrict myself on food or to exercise and even I didn’t realize the importance. Only when I saw my class group photo I realized how huge I was. I was really shocked. I was standing behind my class teacher and all looked like school kids except me and my teacher. That is when I started starving in the name of dieting. I maintained my weight to 65 kgs till my 12th, but still I have heard [even] some of my good friends mentioning me as “Gundu Aarthi”-coz we were 2 Aarthi’s in the same class. I always wondered why can’t they call us with our initials like M.Aarthi and P.Aarthi and not ‘Gundu’ Aarthi and ‘Olli’ Aarthi. Criticizing one's physical appearence is the worst thing one can do.
The irony is that the person who called me so, is suffering from obesity now and getting tips from me about how to cut down her kgs. My uncle who teased me, now weighs more than 100 kgs. Today when I told people in the gym that I used to be plump, they refused to believe me!!!!! :-)
After all this, now I feel happy about the way I look, if I had not faced all these comments I doubt whether I would have worked so hard to keep myself fit. So I always take this as an example and tell myself there is no good teacher than our own experiences. So let us learn from our experiences –good or bad and I strongly believe in the words of “Bhagavat Gita” which in simple says “Everything happens for a reason”.