June 26, 2006


It's weird you know, how young girls are becoming victim of diseases like Anorexia and Bulimia... I have been a victim of Anorexia... and thankfully, have been managed to get out of it...
In 9th grade, a certain line, said by a certain boy in my bus triggered everything off. I was fat back then. Really fat. Obese perhaps, I don't know. I used to have a packet of Lays chips everyday, had fried finger chips during recess in school, finished the half-eaten sandwiches left by my friends in their tiffin boxes-I hogged. My weight was a matter of discussion between my parents. My mom would sometimes object to my pig-like eating habits, yet my dad was the one who always defended me.

"Let her eat. She's young . If she doesn't enjoy life now, when will she? She'll grow up and start worrying about her weight in any case. She'll never eat then. Let her be for now." And with that, the conversation would end.

My daily food intake was huge. I loved eating... I loved food {still do actually}... People eat to live... I lived to eat. Jokes were usually centered around me... or involved me in someway or the other... Terms like 'moti', 'fatso' etc. were often used to refer to me. I didn't really care about my weight back then. I was thirteen! Guys in my bus often made fun of me. I usually ignored them.. Retaliated... Fought back... did whatever I could to keep my pride. If I had an argument with anyone of them, the first thing they would attack on would be my weight, my size, anything and everything. Yes, it did hurt me, but then again, I was used to it. No, not immune... I just learnt how to live with it. But that all changed. One day, in my bus, a guy (whom I used to hate.. Have had several fights with him) said something really painful... He pointed out to one of his friends, loudly, that I wasn't walking properly due to my gigantic size.. (that wasn't true by the way).. I was walking pretty well.. but for some reason, what he said, hit me. I don't know what it was.. maybe it was the sudden outburst of laughter that affected me or the smirky looks given to me by some of the teachers in the bus... but it just hit me... a whole run. I went back home, crying all the way, crying in the lift, crying.. just crying. When my mom opened the door, she consoled me, comforted me and said,

"To hell with those stupid kids! You are beautiful Radhika, ignore them. Now, I know what will make you happy. There is nice Aloo ki sabji for you... Your favourite. Now go wash up and I'll get the food ready."

That did it. Food. That was the reason to my unhappiness. That was the cause of my humiliation. I started hating food from that day forth. I stayed away from it. My mom was happy that I was controlling my eating, so she didn't say anything when I suddenly reduced my food intake. I started with having one spoon of rice, one chapati and a bit of sabji... then, I removed rice from my eating list. Mom made me join these Shamak Dawar classes, where I learnt the importance of exercise and how out-of-shape I was. I started exercising day in and day out at home. I used to work out for an hour on Tuesdays and Fridays, then Tuesdays, Thrusdays and Fridays, then I started working out even on weekends.. and then the entire week. I stopped eating chapatis... I learnt that sugar was something I couldn't do without, so I switched to drinking Real Mango juice (3 packets per day-120 Cal/pack) and peanuts... It is said that an average human being needs at least 1300-1400 intake of calories per day... I reduced mine to 600 calories and exercised like crazy. In Dec 2000, I was 70 kgs, in May 2001, I was 55 kgs and by the time July arrived, I had become 50 kgs. In six months I had lost 20 kgs. With a pale face, a considerably thin waist and no strength at all, I had turned anemic. My parents tried to reason with me, literally begged me to start eating again, sometimes my dad screamed at me for abusing my body, but I didn't listen to him. At 50 kgs, I wasn't happy, I was determined to lose more weight-a definite sign of anorexia. Even with a waist of 26", I felt I was fat, huge, humungous! I stayed away from food. If I had even a small bite of my mother's chapati, I would feel like I have put on a kg. I used to envy girls who were skinny and wondered why couldn't I be like them. When I returned to school after the summer holidays in July, I was greeted with open mouths, surprised looks and utter astonishment. A sense of triumph visited me. Girls came up to me and asked me what I had done to become so thin. People couldn't recognize me. It felt good to be the centre of attention and not of jokes.

Back home, my dad and I fought every night... He would be angry about the fact that I didn't eat properly. To avoid eating food, I would sleep all day long. When I would get up, I would exercise, watch TV, have my juice and then sleep off again. My hair started to fall along with my weight. The group of popular girls at school befriended me, bcoz I belonged to their 'size' now. As for my old friends, they were still there.. and were very concerned. They tried to shove food down my throat on the grounds of friendship... But that all didn't work. There was a point of time when I took to Bulimia as well. Whatever little my friends managed to feed me, I would puke it all out in the toilet. I wanted to look 'good'... I wanted to do away with the title of 'Moti'... I wanted to impress guys around me (I had turned 15). But there was something terribly wrong in all these wants. I wanted to look good for others, I wanted to impress others, I tried to find happiness through others. My mother started taking me to doctors and made them drill some sense into my head. All of them explained how badly I was misusing my body and offered me correct alternatives for losing weight. They told me about other girls who had ruined their lives due to anorexia. Mom made me read several articles on the disease and its side-effects (some of which I had started to encounter already). I wanted to lose weight because I thought I would start looking prettier, better... After reading one of the articles, one day I went and stood in front of the mirror and I saw how pale I had become. How ugly and fragile I was looking. I realized how stupid I had been.

Slowly, slowly, I tried to get myself to eat food again. I started enjoying solid food in my mouth. After about a month and a half, my face began to regain its colour. I was happier, healthier... Eventually I got out of anorexia and as soon as I became well, I gained weight like crazy. This is one MAJOR side-effect of anorexia. You put on weight after loosing sooo much. Moral of the story, just lose weight the normal way-exercise and eat healthy.

When I look back now, it feels almost like a dream. I learnt that instead of finding happiness within myself, I looked elsewhere. Thats what peer pressure does to you-it prevents you from thinking straight. You start living for the world and not for yourself. Screw the world! Who cares what the world thinks? At the end of the day, nobody gives a damn, seriously. Everyone is concerned about their own life. Be happy with who you are, what you look like, what you weigh like. Now, I'm not saying that its 'okay' being overweight, I'm just saying that its pointless pleasing other people. You need to be happy with yourself, you need to find that happiness within yourself... don't be dependent on others to give you that happiness. So next time you think anorexia is the anwer to all your stupid weight problems, slap yourself, read this article all over again and go have a proper meal!