I feel like we all publicly support body positivity but secretly hate being on the chubbier side. And I want to talk about it today.

First off, I’m not ashamed or afraid of the idea of being a heavy person because I’ve been chubby almost all my life.

That said, I am neither normalizing nor validating nor glorifying being overweight because it has only brought me pain, both emotional & physical – so I don’t actually support it.

After facing real medical consequences for my poor fitness, I made a definitive lifestyle change last to last year, shedding a record 20 kilos in just ten months. I reached the lowest weight I’ve been since my college days. My friends & family were thrilled to see this. So was I. They said I was looking so much better & happier … and yes, frankly, I was!!

But what many people quickly shunned or discounted was the fact that I chose to take a complete career break/sabbatical to make it work. I had dropped my work, fired my part-time clients, and solely focused on taming the scale.

People said they’d never be able to get such results alongside all the responsibilities & hustles that they had to do to survive. And it made my entire struggle look like a privileged kid’s rectification of a mistake he should’ve never made in the first place.

What nobody acknowledged was that putting your entire life on pause while others around you race ahead, takes balls of steel. It takes guts. It takes deep thinking, prioritisation, and commitment.

But I get it. When it was time to go back to work last summer, the stress made me gain back some of that “cheddar,” and I’m now in a bit of a struggle to cut back again. However, I’m confident that if I stick to my old strict regime, I’ll be back in tip-top shape before the rains hit.

More to the point, one unhealthy emotion I caught myself having was that I’ve not been putting in all that effort for myself.

A lot of my motivation to literally run stems from anxiety. The anxiety of people pointing out the re-emerging dad bod, the belly, the tires, and the double chin. The anxiety of my dear ones asking if everything is okay.

I am quite literally running away from the idea of a fat person. Because … I realise that I’m not actually ashamed of being fat. I’m just really damn tired of the assumptions it brings.

I am quite literally running away from the idea of a fat person. Because … I realise that I’m not actually ashamed of being fat. I’m just really damn tired of the assumptions it brings.

I’m tired of the assumptions it brings with itself, and frankly, all of them aren’t even negative, they’re just plain annoying.

First, fat people are supposed to not feel good about themselves. Because anytime someone complains about being fat, they’re assured that “they still look beautiful,” whereas that is seldom something we want to imply.

Second, when I was over 100 kgs, not a lot of people took me very seriously or made me feel like they do. Because fat people are rarely taken seriously. I was the stereotypical “funny brother” for girls. This isn’t some toxic masculine Andrew Tate talk, it’s the reality. As a fat boy, I was really never really respected.

When I lost the excess weight, I noticed a shift in people’s tone & how they treated me. They listened and touched me more.

It was as if they’d just realised I was capable of walking on two feet like them. Like I was somehow worthy of attention. Whether you agree with me or not, I know for a fact that it did make both serious job interviews & flirting with my crushes a lot easier.

When I brought this up in a dinner conversation, someone insisted that I had gotten it all wrong. They said that it was more about me being confident and happier in my new body, which is what many people were noticing and reciprocating. They said my real & honest best friends & family had always loved me (and always will), no matter how I look or how much I weigh.

To put it simply, it was me who had recently joined my own fan club.

I didn’t want to admit it but my friend was right.

Being healthy is good for us, mentally.

I did feel lighter. I did feel happier.

‘Cuz no more sweat marks! No more being cautious about sitting on theme park rides and getting asked to leave because you can’t fit in properly.

No more issues taking or appearing in selfies. No more sucking in my belly & struggling to wear my belt at job interviews.

NO MORE AVOIDING TREKS OR OUTDOORSY STUFF because I can now finally sprint & twist my body without chaffing my thighs red or puffing hard like I’m being choked.

Trust me, losing weight is the most satisfying & nearly ORGASMIC experience you can give yourself. It is worth all the hunger, restraint, discipline & physical turmoil you’ll have to go through at the gym. It is worth every bit of it.

I treated myself better after coming out of the personal war. And like my pal said, maybe that just spilt over into how others approached me too.

This is beautiful but also instructional because it teaches us that a large part of our struggles with body confidence stems from shame.

Subtle SHAME that we think it’ll invite from other people. Like the subtle shaming at parties and weddings and beach activities.

For example, many of us feel ashamed to take off our shirts at swimming pools because we know people will stare.

On that note, I also hate how people assume that girls have it worse. It’s not a competition but nobody talks about how big of a nightmare it is for men. Chubby men who often get turned away on dating apps. Chubby men who often have to stand at the end behind someone else in group photos. Chubby men who must pretend to be comfortable in their bodies & look all chill about it but can never talk about how they really feel.

It’s time to say the truth – Being fat (or too skinny) SUCKS ASS. To put it in Wolf of the Wall street style, I’ve been a fat man & a fit man, and if I was given a choice, I’d choose fit every time.

It has taken me so much time & practice to fall in love with myself. More so it has taken me 22 years to finally fucking respect myself.

And so I’m teaching myself to overcome the negativity. I refuse to let go of that self-respect just because part of me is still afraid of what other people think.

The toxic mindset that I’m trying to remove is thinking that other people’s opinions define our real worth.

Remember this. You’re worthy even when you’re struggling. You’re worthy even when you don’t fully & honestly love yourself.

You can be fat or underweight, or be working on improving your health, and still love yourself all at the same time. They’re not mutually exclusive states.

If anything, coming to terms with the realisation that taking care of your body will always be an ongoing conversation – like an eternal wave that dips & flows high – is probably the healthiest mindset shift you can make.

Your body is not glassware. You cannot mould it into one shape & then expect it to stay that way throughout your lifespan.

Your body is pottery. Your body is thick rain-smelling, semi-fluid mud being spun on a wheel every day. It will change constantly with every decision you take. It is a sum of your past choices but not a completely unfixable product until the very end.

Your body is pottery. Your body is thick rain-smelling, semi-fluid mud being spun on a wheel every day. It will change constantly with every decision you take. It is a sum of your past choices but not a completely unfixable product until the very end.

On some days, it will bloat & make you feel miserable. On some days, it will shrink into place when you successfully skip those pizza slices & desserts a few times, and it’ll make you feel good about yourself.

Realise that you are worthy on both types of days. And realize that it’s human/normal to occasionally feel like you’re not because maybe that’s just your survival instinct pushing you to be the best possible version you know you can be.

I am learning to take care of myself because I have finally found the courage to admit that I like it. I like maintaining myself and I will no longer pretend that I don’t care.

Yes, I liked the results it previously gave me. I got addicted to the gym lifestyle, the high of natural dopamine & serotonin release it offers me after sweating hard on the floor for an hour. And there’s no going back. I will pull myself back into form every time I stray off the path (which I now know will happen often).

Self-care is not a one-time journey. You will constantly break out & make mistakes, have bad meals, or just become too forgetful & busy to care the same way. Where most of us go wrong is that once we realise we’ve lost the flow, we completely let go & let it become an entire streak.

We go back to feeling SO SORRY FOR OURSELVES, and this self-pity is what leads to the entire mess.

But people who understand how habits work know that consistency is an over-glorified myth. Humans don’t work that way. We fall out of our habits from time to time. And we constantly need to check back in, which is OK.

Fat. Skinny. Bald. Hairy. Brown. White. Pimples. No pimples. Specs. No specs … Wait, I’m not going to say we’re all beautiful (ew) because that wasn’t the point of this whole article. The point was to say that building your self-image is an uneven & neverending process and you need to let the journey take its own course.

Know that even at your worst, lowest and I dare say, ugliest points in life, YOU ARE STILL WORTHY of love & respect.

Those are four words I wish someone told me when I was down.

So now I say them out loud for myself every morning. And for times when you don’t have the strength, I’ll say them for you, too.

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