A few years ago, I was teaching a sold-out Indian modern dance class at the local yoga studio in Toronto. Everyone had an amazing time, and I felt fantastic as an instructor. It was then a brown aunty walked up to me and said, “You are such a good dancer. I can’t believe you are dancing with your weight. Very pretty for a BIG girl.” I was speechless. No matter how much I achieved in my life, my weight loss struggles were always reminded to me by the people in my community. Good job guys!
Most of my life, I struggled with weight because I focused on the scale and not on how I felt or how the clothes fit me. As a woman who loved fashion and fun, it was extremely difficult when my weight would go up and down with thyroid issues. I have cried in dressing rooms when I couldn’t get out of clothes, did all the “lose 10lbs in 7 days” weight loss diets, would binge eat junk food when I was stressed, drank Chinese tea to poop my guts out and wore waist-trainers that killed my ribs. I assumed that skinny girls had it so easy because they didn’t have to do all this to lose weight. I would wonder how some of my girls could eat anything and still be skinny. But my friends, it all hit me one day! I love weight lifting so I started attending boot camp and decided to take some of my skinny friends who I assumed were fit. One puked right after the warm-up and one had to run out of the gym and pass out under a tree. I felt bad for them but I realized that being fit and healthy has nothing to do with the size of your body. I slowly started building my confidence and showing off my curves when I realized that concept.
One of my grandfathers was a body builder and was Mr. Sri Lanka a few times. The other was a police officer with a very athletic body. My dad played soccer for the Sri Lankan team and was in body building as well. These genes made me naturally inherit a thick body that worked well with weight training. It is not common for brown women to lift weights and flaunt their curves, so I did feel lonely for a very long time in my 20s. I was also not sure how to work with my body when I was hit with thyroid issues. Eventually, I figured how to be internally happy and embrace my body (during the good days and the bad days).
My mother decided to get her yoga instructor certificate in her 60s and my brother was a gym rat, so I was always the odd one in the family. I am not going to lie about my feelings as if I would never be able to live up to their athletic standards. My parents are 5 feet, so I always felt like a giant with heels when I stood beside them. South Asian cultures are very blunt about commenting on someone’s weight, and I hated going to any parties or when my relatives came over. I am glad I also built up my confidence to tell those inconsiderate people to F*** OFF in the past few years.
There were times when I wondered if “feeling thick” would be my entire life because of the negative attributes attached to it!
But then came the Kardashians; they made it a lot easier for girls like me. All the skinny girls are lined up in the “booty market” trying to buy a fake booty. It is really sad because media told us women that size 0 was sexy for years. Now the media tells us that women need to lift and be thick to be considered sexy. It went from fat-shaming women to skinny-shaming them. I have friends who don’t have a big booty and they worry about it every day. This includes my 17-yr-old niece who is trying to build her butt at the gym. What I hear a lot is, “Oh man! You don’t have to worry about anything with that big booty.” Please keep in mind that I had to wait so many years for my thick body to be accepted by society and now my flat-ass friends have to wait for their turn to be accepted. People, do you not see the issue here? Why the F*** do we care about society’s standards? Why don’t we take control of how we feel and make changes?
To the women who are reading this, I want to say that I used to think I was fat when I looked fantastic. I look at some of my old pictures and wonder what the hell I was thinking. Do not waste a day feeling like you are not worthy because of your size. It is fantastic to have body goals and achieve them so it helps you grow internally, but don’t make them a reason for your unhappiness. Flat ass or fat ass – you are FANTASTIC MAMA!
Click here to listen to why Sumu started the BluntTRUTH journey.
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