Mipham Mendha Rawa

“My journey with weight loss started in 2018 when I weighed myself for the first time and thought I was obese: It was right before I joined college. I was not confident and comfortable in my own body. In fact, I was really disturbed. When I was younger, I loved dancing and never had body-image issues. But I was ‘body shamed’ even before I knew what the words meant. Becoming too self-conscious, I stopped dancing eventually. So, before I went to college, I took strict measures to lose weight. I enrolled in a program at YDF, went for chorten koras and maintained a strict diet. I even went to the gym, did Zumba and yoga for a faster result. I even deactivated all my social media because comparing myself with others made it harder. I concluded that losing weight was the only solution to my problems.

However, even after losing a lot, I was told that I still looked fat. So, I kept on trying to lose more weight during the first lockdown. I finally felt confident in my own body and could wear whatever I wanted. But the negative comments never stopped. Every minor flaw was getting scrutinized. It lowered my self-esteem and I stopped interacting with people. I became addicted to working out 7 days a week and 4 hours daily for instant change, while still going to college which was very extreme. I prioritized and put too much emphasis on my weight, to the point I didn’t even attend classes leading to attendance shortages. I had the notion that if I skipped it for a day, I’d gain weight again. My parents sought professional help and sent me for counselling. They gave me healthy advice about positive body image and prescribed medication for depression and anxiety.
Now, comments about my body and weight change don’t bother me anymore. Due to the lockdown, I don’t spend as much time working out as I used to. Now, I do it to rather enjoy the free time I have.

My advice to the young girls struggling with body image, as I did, is to be happy and comfortable in their bodies, no matter the size. The change should come only if it is for yourself. Doing it to fit others’ perspectives and expectations of you will never make you truly happy or satisfied.”

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories

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