I was not always a plus size woman. I used to be just around 45 kgs with a waist line that always measured 24”. However, due to health issues which were far beyond my control, I started gaining tremendous amount of weight by the time I was 20 years old. By the time I passed out of Degree College at the age of 21, I weighed 78 kgs with a hell of a lot of water retention due to severe hormonal imbalance. I tried everything I could to reduce: yoga, aerobics, gyming, walking, jogging, a strict diet you name it…but nothing helped reduce my weight as my health issues worsened.
Today, I weigh 106 kgs and have a waist line measuring 50”.
But am I saddened or troubled by that fact?
Do I always think about how I can reduce?
Do I kill myself with a strict diet?
No, I don’t.
I am Fiza Pathan, a plus size woman of 26years, and I love my body.
But sadly…not everyone loves my body the way I love it…
In a city like Mumbai in India where everyone is obsessed with looks, color of one’s skin and yes, weight – life is a bit difficult, but it’s not altogether impossible. Yes, I admit that everyone, and when I mean everyone…I mean ‘everyone’ I meet comments on my weight and chubbiness in a direct or indirect way. But I’m not typing this essay to lash out at everyone who have called me ‘fat’. I’m typing this essay because I feel beautiful being plus size and just the way people post up stuff about a new dress, new make-up, new shoes etc., I want to post up stuff about my life as a plus size woman.
And yes to all my detractors…I’ve got a life and it’s beautiful.
I graduated at age 21 with a B.A. in History and Sociology with a 1st class and went on to Teacher’s College to pass out with a B.A. in Higher education at age 22 my majoring subjects being History, English and Computers. After working for a year at a reputed I.C.S.E school teaching History and English Literature to 9th and 10th grade students, I decided to open my own tutorial and work there full time which I did when I was 23 years old and weighing 80kgs.
It was 2012 and as I opened my tutorial called the Pathan Academy I also with the help of CreateSpace (Amazon) managed to publish my first book which was a collection of short stories titled S.O.S Animals And Other Stories which was the start of my writing and publishing career.
There was no looking back after that.
In a matter of three years, by the grace of God, the Pathan Academy grew to accommodate children from grades 1 to 10 and even kindergarten from a variety of I.C.S.E schools; I wrote nine books, all of which received a number of international awards and critical recognition (21 awards in all and still counting); I started my own book club and library called ‘Born To Read’ where children from all backgrounds come to borrow books, read, write, take part in the book club activities; I began to professionally review books for Readers’ Favorite ; I also started up my blog insaneowl.com to spread the love of books and reading to others; I passed out with honors from the I.A.P Career College with a Certificate in Book Publishing and most importantly for me…I started realizing that I can go still further and make all my dreams a reality.
And yes, I did this with a plus size figure.
I’m not here to type about how great I am. I am still in my 20’s and have a lot to achieve. What I am here to say is that…women and men with plus size figures also…have a life beyond the confines of their body.
Those of you out there who are plus size and are ashamed of it especially in India as we make a big deal about it…I’m here to tell you these few things:
- I did not become a good teacher because of my waistline, but because I knew my subjects
- I did not become a writer because of my figure, but because I had writing talent
- I did not get international awards for my writing because the judges checked out my vital statistics, but because I had worked very hard on my writing
- I did not gain an education because I had no flab, but because I was determined to study
- My students don’t love me unconditionally because of my butt size, but because they see beyond that where the eye can go
- My readers don’t read my books and blogs because I’ve got a perfect breast size, but because of my writing
We need to stop focusing our whole attention on the way we look, especially in India. I’m not saying to ignore our body but at least respect it the way it is!
I try my very best to keep to a healthy diet, walk whenever I can and try to touch my toes in the bath room NOT because I want to become thin but because I want to be healthy. Plus size women and men have a right to be healthy and fit…and ‘healthy and fit’ does not equate with becoming thin or slim.
Many of my ‘so called’ friends have even stopped contacting me or speaking to me because I’m plus size and if we ever do come face to face, all they can see is my body not my achievements. I don’t blame them. They have been conditioned by society and the media to think a 36-24-36 figure is great and anything lesser or more than that is something to hate or to make fun of. I forgive them for it in fact; I pity them at times; for they are missing out on what a wonderful person I am (yes modesty is not my cup of tea).
Have I experienced ‘love’ even though I am plus size, yes I have.
Not the ‘love’ where the body comes first and then the soul but the other way around.
And I experienced this not with any man, but from my students who have become my adopted children.
When we have a group hug and I fall back banging my head on the floor because of the number of children wanting to hug me, that’s when I say:
I wish I could have been larger to fit all my kids into a massive group hug.
When I see the admiration and unconditional love in their eyes, I know that this is the ‘love’ I want…and this will be the love that not only will change my life…but the life of my neighborhood, church, society, state, country, continent and the world. For as it is said in the Christian hymn ‘A New Commandment’:
A New Commandment,
I give unto you,
That you love one another
As I have loved you,
That you love one another
As I have loved you.
By this shall all know
That you are My disciples,
If you have love one for another.
For the body changes with time, the soul remains the one still to be tapped. If this is done then I’m sure that let alone ‘size issues’ we won’t even have ‘war issues’.
I am Fiza Pathan a plus size woman, and I have a lot of things to do.
I have to open a nursery with my mother for the poor of our neighborhood, start a tutorial for street children free of cost, build up a publishing company, build study centers, and libraries in Mumbai in the slum areas, write more books and continue with my education while I am multitasking it all (as well as trying to get time in the bathroom to touch my toes).
Got a lot to do and I’m going to do it. Those who want to come on for the ride can hop on, for this ride is going to be a memorable one.
I am also preparing for my freelance writing course exam which I study along with my students…feels like heaven when they let me sit with them in the study room next to them, next to a multitude of Y.A. books and soft toys.
I am plus size and loving it!
Copyright © 2016 Fiza Pathan