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
Mary Smith says
Good for you. There is far too much emphasis on the way we look. You are right when you say it is being healthy that is important rather than being thin.
You have achieved so much – good luck with the rest of your many ambitions.
Thank you for your support ma’am. It is so nice to know such a wonderful person & accomplished writer like you. And yes, I WILL fulfill all my ambitions 😀
Judith Barrow says
Reblogged this on Judith Barrow and commented:
A celebratory post from Fiza
That was too kind of you ma’am 🙂
Judith Barrow says
Oh, what a wonderful post – well done, Fiza. We should all accept ourselves for what we are… and celebrate. Good luck with your ventures.
Thank you for your constant support ma’am. Going to be reading your books next week & reviewing them. They are so fascinating 😀 😀
Sue Vincent says
Reblogged this on Daily Echo and commented:
“I’ve got a life and it’s beautiful,” writes author and teacher Fiza Pathan.
Beyond our conditioned response to what we are taught to see as beautiful is Beauty.
Not just size, or colour, shape or disabilty… behind every face is a unique mind and heart.
I couldn’t have put it better myself ma’am. Thank you for the appreciation & wonderful words of inspiration 🙂
Sue Vincent says
A lovely and pertinent post, Fiza. I was glad o share it.
Don Massenzio says
Great post. As someone who has struggled with weight my whole life, I admire your attitude and confidence. I recently read that people who are overweight in middle age have less of a chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Goal accomplished 🙂
Wow !!! That’s a new theory on the ‘weight’ issue totally. I completely understand what you must be going through sir. But you are a great writer. Will be reading your books as soon as I finish of some teaching to the seniors at the tutorial 😀
Don Massenzio says
Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy them.
Marilyn Armstrong says
Great post! I’ve been very thin, very fat, and a lot of in between. Always, I have been me. People have always come in many sizes and shapes. Just, these days, Hollywood and television have so idolized thinness that it’s easy to forget that very thin isn’t necessarily the only attractive or “valid” shape.
Oh ma’am you have hit the nail on the head ! The media all across the globe has gone berserk over the idea of a perfect body & it is at its worst here in India because it couples itself with all our other social issues. Thank you for the support 🙂
Found you via my bloggy buddy Sue Vincent’s share – and so glad! Awesome Post! (BTW, when I first gazed upon the picture of you – first thing I noticed were friendly eyes and beautiful smile! 🙂 We, as a species, still so tend to ‘judge a book by it’s cover instead of content”…Sigh – – I do so hope we, as a species, get over that, collectively… soon…. 🙂 Kudos!
So glad to connect with you & thank you for the wonderful compliments. I guess the ‘thanks’ should go to my family & my students who have ,by the grace of God, always have given me a reason to smile 😀 😀 😀 I am also quite a friendly soul too. Stay in touch !
teagan geneviene says
Tell it Fiza! Thanks for sharing this. So many times I feel like jumping up and shouting “So what if I’m fat!” It doesn’t make me stupid. It doesn’t make me older than I am. It doesn’t make me inferior to the person next to me. It doesn’t make me a less valuable employee. It doesn’t make me a poor leader.
I am bored with being surrounded by people who look at me and can talk of nothing but what they are doing to lose weight — as if the words are a talisman to keep them from ‘catching’ my weight…
Fiza, you are an inspiration. Wishing you success and happiness in everything you do. Hugs. 🙂
Thank you so much for the support & your inspiring words. I know exactly what you are going though & it is sickening, I admit that. However, we have to keep a straight face through it all until sanity sets in & people realize that it’s not just because a person is ‘over eating’ & that is why he or she is plus size….there are so many other health issues….but let’s pray for a a healthy life & a better tomorrow. 😀
Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says
At the end of the day, it’s not the size of waistline, or weight that matter, it’s quality and talent that speak… loved the post, Fiza… 🙂
Thank you ma’am for your constant support & words of wisdom 🙂
This is so inspiring. You are so beautiful not only from outside but your soul is full of light, talent, determination, courage and power. This is the most important thing to me personally. Hope you do well and continue giving the world what actually needs. Good luck!
Noel Williams ...www.klassicportraits.com...www.photopincher.com says
You have the right attitude, my friend. I am 100% on your side. But I wish there was a way for you to shed some of that weight. It is not good for your long-term well-being. Of course, you should love yourself. But, you do not live on an island by yourself, so other people’s opinions do count. I would like to suggest you do not give up on trying to get your weight down. Make sure you pay strict attention to your blood pressure, sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
Never give up
You are absolutely right sir & that’s what I’m trying to do in spite of having a hectic schedule & many health issues that are actually beyond my control. Keeping it healthy as I can 🙂
We are women of traditional size. 😀
Margaret Kell Virany says
Wonderful, Fiza! Thank you for this message from your heart on Valentine’s Day. Love, health and happiness to you always.
Thank you ma’am for your good wishes, prayers & blessings. You are truly my mentor 😀
Dear Fiza, Have known you for years, and though I haven’t met you lately I would love to say that you have been a wonderful person and an awesome student. Your achievements speak of all the hard work you have put in and you have a long way to go. All the very best!!! Love you just the way you are!! God Bless!!!
Thank you so much Sharon ma’am for your blessings & support. I am glad to know that you love me for who I am & yes, I have a long way to go, but I’m determined to make my dreams a reality. Warm regards to all at home 😀
Brava to you Fiza! It’s those who can love a person for all that they are who understand real love and compassion. You are a shining example for many to learn from. 🙂
Thank you for your kind words but truly, there are even better people out there who are plus size & are doing much better work than me. 🙂
Never discount yourself! It is with the collaboration of everyone who does good and kind work that contribute to making the world a better place. 🙂
Wishing you all the success and luck in the world you have achieved miracles so far and there can only be more on the way. As for friends who dont contact you because of their mis informed mindsets, they can not have been real friends. You go girl, you are an inspiration to many.
I of July says
And you’re beautiful too 🙂