I hated “fitting rooms” for years (apart from hating to shop unlike most women). Nothing would fit me. I had reached a stage in 2012, even a size 20 (yes, SIZE 20) would be a tight fit. I felt miserable. I felt disappointed, I shouted at my self, swore at my self, hated myself, would get back home and ‘think’ about a new diet – would not eat for a few hours…promised to do better, and then forgot about it as soon as I smelt yummy food!
As my size was getting bigger, my self-esteem was getting smaller.
Then last year, one spring day, I went to Marks & Spencers here in London to simply check out how far away I was from a decent fit of size 12. I wanted to know whether I was an inch or two away…so I could plan better. I went through lot of emotions just choosing the size 12 jeans – hands were shaking, heart was thumping. I felt nervous. Thanks to Nicola, I even took a size 12 skinny jeans to the fitting room. Just to try!
Imagine my absolute surprise, when the jeans went up my legs, my thighs, and my butt and then the zipper went….! and I was a easy size 12! I WAS SIZE 12 FINALLY. I felt elated, but more than that, I felt overwhelmed. How far I had come over those past 8 months started to grip me… This emotion can only be felt by someone who has been obese (so to speak), someone who could never imagine that it was possible to get back there. So, now I am a size 12, and my next goal is to get to size 10. But the next size is not just about getting to a size under, it is about getting leaner and fat free…!! (will no doubt share more on that, as I go on the journey)
What was interesting around the pre-time size 12 times, was that the ‘fitting rooms’ syndrome goes beyond that. It goes into ‘fitting in’ syndrome. You cringe at social gatherings, you feel you don’t fit in anywhere…but you keep a brave, fat smiling face and keep going. Your self esteem is at the lowest. You either sit with bunch of overweight people so you can feel thinner or simply to fit in, or sit in a corner, or just hang out by yourself. We all know that ‘first impressions are important’, so meeting new people became an ordeal. I met so many new people every day on my projects, that looking back I realise what an impression I must have left.
My Fitting room has now changed. It has had a huge revamp. I now go to a ‘Fit Room’ and enjoy going in there and I feel that I fit in not just in there, but also in a normal world. No more fitting room syndrome!
The joy of ‘fitting into’ a pair of lower size jeans, can be compared to the joy of ‘fitting in’ into a normal life.
That was the blunt description given the mounting problem of Type 2 Diabetes within the South Asian Diaspora community in the United Kingdom a few years ago.
According to research, immigrants to the UK from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other nations from South Asia are six times more likely than the indigenous white population to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
Whilst current evidence is inconclusive as to why British Asians are more susceptible to the disorder, medical experts have pointed to the twin evils of a diet high in carbohydrates and saturated fatty acids (all those chapattis and rice dishes) as well as alarmingly low levels of physical activity, especially among older South Asian women, as two of the most significant contributory factors to a problem that is certain to put a huge burden on families and the community at large.
Alarmingly, there is widespread ignorance about Type 2 Diabetes within the community, according to medical experts, which threatens the lives of thousands.
Mumbai-born, North London-based marketing and advertising expert Raga D’silva was among those ignorant masses.
The 43-year-old mother of twins, whose family had a history of Diabetes, was diagnosed with the disorder in 2012. The news brought about a radical change in Raga and has inspired her to help others with Diabetes and raise awareness. This is her story, in her own words.