“Are you on a ‘go zero’ diet, you look malnutritioned!”…. “Oh! please take my share of food and feed yourself.”… “You must be saving up on a lot of ration supply at your place.” … “Why don’t you eat a lot of junk food and take long naps to become healthier”…”Why don’t you opt for modeling, with your long and thin stature you’ll give a pretty tough time to those flat chicks who walk the ramp”… “You look like a stick draped with cloth.”… “And worse still, when it comes upon my family for not feeding me my share of food.”
Well, such concerned comments of the concerned populace and a lot more than these are an inevitable part of my life. My weight has been a constant 42 Kgs since the past five years. And in India where the average female height is around 5ft 5inches, I’m towering above all my batch mates at a whopping 5ft 10 inches. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to be a normal curvy teenager with the right amount of flab, and a normal height as regards Indian standards. But that hasn’t been much of a choice to me.
All throughout my school years I faced the gawking people around me like they’ve just set their eyes upon an alien. It used to be torture to set a foot outside the safe walls of my ‘home sweet home’, and walk the streets without turning a few heads in my direction. With the onset of adolescence, a new volley of comments began to plague my life; where any random stranger would show concern on finding me a groom of my height! I was tired of explaining it to every passing commenter that no matter what I eat I don’t seem to gain weight. And that was an enigma for me too.
My life was filled with this negativity until my 1st year at graduation, where I was doing a bachelor’s in medical technology. In one of the grilling anatomy-physiology lectures we were taught about marfan’s syndrome, and that was the day of my enlightenment. I learnt that people having marfan’s syndrome, which is a genetic disorder are exceptionally tall and thin, and even if such people gobble down an elephant, the needle on the weighing scale wouldn’t budge much. Voila! That was me! The prospect of having one’s life inflicted by marfan’s syndrome isn’t very exciting, and yet I was relieved of all the guilt and offence I’d faced over one and a half decade. Finally I’d come to accept the condition that my body faced, and my mind found its long lost peace.
Even to this day I encounter people with the same comments or advices or criticism. But all I do is nod in agreement or shake it off humorously. It wouldn’t matter to them even if I explained the condition of a marfan’s afflicted person, its true “it’s easier to give advice and criticize, until you put yourself in the marfan’s shoes.” Since the time I’v accepted myself in the body that I am in and feel confident about myself, I’v even met people who compliment me for my amazing height and lean physique. It’s a wonderful feeling to hear that.
Now, I truly love myself the way I am.