You see, about 10 years ago, my dad took me to one of those slimming centres where they discourage you from doing any rigorous exercises in order to lessen the effects it would have on my fats turning into muscles. How they tackle weight loss is through a series of 'treatments' which involved body massages with various types of fat burning creams, wrapping me in clingwrap while I stand semi-naked with mud splattered all over me, sweating me dry under a hot blanket, and the oft times humiliating sessions where I'd stand in my tinies and be weighed on the scale and be measured head to toe to see if I'd lost any inches. They also had me see the nutritionist (who I do not even know what her credentials were) and was given dietary plans to follow.
For a while, it sort of worked. The weight came off, I could fit in smaller sized clothes, and for the first time in my life, my dad was not criticising my weight. Although I was still fat, before long, I had lost 10 kilos worth of water. But there was a catch... I was a) constantly hungry, b) tired all the time, c) constipated, and d) very stressed because of the weekly humiliation I had to go through. The weighing scale became my biggest enemy and fear. Every single tick up the scale was like a death sentence as I were lectured by the nutritionist. After a while, I became unhappy despite my losing weight.
Then the course ended. The investment was quite hefty and I am so ashamed of myself that I couldn't reach the goal my dad had set for me. Instead, slowly but surely, I began to put on more weight - regaining back what I had lost in a short time. However, I came to accept myself and my family could see how much happier and freer I was! Regardless of my weight, I still had confidence and I suppose, eventually, my family came to accept me too.
As I left school, went to college and entered the University, I was exposed to a different crowd. I was all along in an all girls' school. So this new crowd included boys. I had no problems making friends with both boys and girls, but there was always something that held me back when it comes to the other sex. I felt insecure. So I focused on learning and somehow was proven to be one of those students who'd perform. I wasn't a genius but neither was I dumb. And boys do talk to me but all for the wrong reasons. They weren't mean to me but they also didn't want to have anything to do with me when it comes to the matters of the heart. Just when I thought, "could this guy be acting this way coz he likes me?", I'd discover them shirking away from me, sort of to "not give me the wrong idea". They didn't want to date me, but they wanted to become my team mate for assignments just so they could score in their paper. Don't get me wrong, that was flattering too. But, I wonder what it would be like for one of them to actually like me enough to date me.
Uni came and went. I graduated and still, no boyfriend. Three years of Uni and I barely went on without any dates at all. In fact, I don't even remember having a date! Okay, I had near dates and those were fun too. I became rather shy with guys that I liked and obviously, I became blind to the 'signs'. So I never did know if any of them liked me back. Besides, who'd like a fat girl like me? Nonetheless, I didn't dwell on it much. Somehow, it wasn't a priority. Having a boyfriend was more like a fantasy to me. Something I'd wish I had but it wasn't important to have one.
Work began and I thought to myself, "I need to be less shy with guys. Time to socialise". Wrong! I had a new aim, Work. Work, work, work and no time for love. Obviously, no time for losing weight either. I did go to the gym but even that came to a screeching halt as work became busier. Plus, I am lazy to exercise (there, I've said it!).
Then, the second year of work, I suffered through some terrible abuse at work, partly associated with my weight. That was a black year for me and without recounting it, suffice to say, not only was my career confidence shattered, my self-confidence also went down the drain. My weight was still stagnant (maintained) and it started to slowly make me feel terrible. By this time, I was in my 20's - Fat, single, almost without a career, and absolutely no love life.
Thankfully, I was 'saved' in the third year of working. I got a great boss, a better team to work with and a fresh outlook in life. My confidence boosted ten-fold and my career was salvaged. I'm not saying I've found my calling but I'm making the most out of it as best as I can. Still, I wouldn't say I'm so successful at work either. But it's better than that black year. Of course, no guy was interested in me even though I was the fresh faced new kid in the block. Whatever.
Before long, happy news of friends and family getting married come floating by. Then it seemed like everyone had someone to be with. My sister finally found someone to spend her life with. Friends went through break ups and hook ups. Yet, there I was, going into my 25th year of living, and still single. My weight remains unchanged.
This year, I'm approaching 26. I've been introduced to guys who were told that I had a great personality and what a fun person I am by those who knew me. But the moment we meet, I'd sense his withdrawal and hesitance to get to know me more than a friend. I had to face the truth that men do not fall for me at first glance and my layers are too much for them to look past.
I know it's wrong for me to associate being slimmer with having someone in life or even with being successful, but then recently I had a sort of epiphany. I came across this careerist's blog. She wrote an entry which opened my eyes...
Because beware: Heavier people do worse at work than everyone else, employers discriminate against overweight people, and it's even legal to do. (via Management Line).
So stop putting your work before your weight. Miss deadlines, cut corners, and disappear if need be. Do whatever you require to lose the weight because no amount of workplace genius can overcome being overweight – people subconsciously underestimate the quality of work a fat person is doing.
It was like a siren, a wake-up call, a rude awakening. I knew this is what's missing. Whether I like it or not, I allowed myself to be discriminated upon because I neglected to make myself lose weight! It's not that I'm unhappy but I don't want to be a fat person all my life. I dream of having more energy. I want people to not underestimate my quality of work or my abilities. I dream of that day when I'm promoted and I look like I am that deserving, energetic, robust person. I dream of meeting someone who would not see a fat, listless person but instead a person who is interesting and appealing. I dream of being able to wear the heirloom rings for my wedding.
I know that some would think the health risks I put myself through with being fat should be enough to wake me up. But you know how you never really appreciate what you got till it’s gone? This is sort of the same thing except, I want to regain my life before I lose my health.
So I need to lose weight. I cannot make being busy with work or study or anything at all an excuse for not losing weight. I have to help myself by hook or by crook.