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The Prejudice that Didn't Last (5).jpg

Every morning, the first thing Seher did after waking up was getting on the weighing scale she kept handy under her bedside table. There were days when her feet hit the floor after hitting the scale. She needed to ensure that her body stayed in shape all day, every day.

Seher was so particular about her weight that even gaining a kilo or two meant days of intense workouts and giving up on solid food. Many may opine, as is their favourite activity to pursue, that she was probably going over the top; little were they acquainted with her past and the trauma she went through and was still going through.

For most of her teenage years, Seher had been obese. But most people thought that either she was unaware of the fact or did not know what to do about it. So, they tried to be of as much help as they could to her by reminding her as often as they could. Some tried to keep it as “light-hearted”, others, not so much, all this while, never realising that they were actually doing everything but helping.

Seher was lesser known by her name during those years and more by nicknames such as Motu, Moti, Hippo, Tun Tun, and whatnot. Apart from her closest circle, nobody cared if she was the smartest in class, or if she was a gifted writer whose stories could move you, or if was one of the most empathetic people you could come across - all they cared for was that she was fat and therefore the perfect muse for their not-so-light humour. 

As much as she tried, Seher found it extremely hard, more so as the years passed, to deal with all the unsolicited help and suggestions she was receiving - crash diets, weight loss juices, workout routines, “magic” medicines, - the list was endless. And all it did was add to her already overflowing bucket of misery. She was exhausted, physically and mentally, and this showed in anything she did, be it studies, extracurricular activities, social gatherings; she had started losing interest even in the things she used to love once.

There was another person who was almost as worried about the shame Seher was subjected to as Seher herself - her mother. Seeing her daughter suffering, she decided to pull out all the stops in order to help her end her agony. After days of endless search, she found the solution to her suffering - a dietician to help Seher transform herself. Done with the endless nagging herself, Seher decided to give it a go for one last time.

After two years of gruelling efforts and unflinching dedication, Seher finally managed to shed weight, both literally and figuratively. The initial few months seemed magical; all the jokes turned into praises, people stopped avoiding her and rather started “noticing” her. Life seemed perfect. But little did she know that it was only a matter of time before she would be plagued by another fear - the fear of going back to her old self. The thought of going through the trauma again, which would be even more mortifying the second time, started to traumatise her. And thus she fell down another spiral almost immediately after getting out of one.

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