Chubby Girl + PG Life + Body Shaming + Emotional Eating = Recipe for Disaster.
We all know this formula. It has been needlessly overused in scores of movies and counting, with no angle left unexplored – emotional, dark, motivational, funny, pathetic, even supernatural. But the best things about this storyline is, it will always sell like hot cakes. Why? Because this is the reality of the situation of thousands and thousands of youth in our generation today. And this was the reality of the situation for Richa Shree as well, around 2 years ago, a young girl of 23 years but 81 kilos, (un)fondly known as “Moti” and bingeing on icecreams and pizzas with generous sides of garlic bread and soda.
For Richa Shree, childhood life wasn’t a movie. It had been a nightmare.
In school, she was always the chubby kid who was too fat for stage shows and sports activities. As a teenager, her crush broke her heart when he turned her down – her friends were far prettier, he said. At home, Uncle affectionately called her ‘Moti,’ but all she was conscious of was a searing shame.
She did get some real good advice to help her face the body-shaming brigade. “Laugh it off, and when they can’t get under your skin, they’ll give up,” said her Dad. Made sense, and it did help too. But other than trying to laugh back at everyone who laughed at her, she didn’t do much else.
Actually, she did do one thing. She ate to counter her sorrow. Family felt it imperative to cook all her favorite dishes when she needed cheering up. So she ate those. She loved ice creams and pizzas and other junk, and so she indulged in those as well. By the time she came to her own, she was looking at 80 kgs plus body weight and a medical diagnosis of High Blood Cholesterol. And the truth dawned on her … in Richa Shree’s own words:
“[I thought] I had conditioned myself to stay happy in my own skin…[but I realized] it’s not my skin but my fat that I had convinced myself to stay happy with.”
Self-Criticism is the biggest twist in life. Holding up a mirror to herself – physically, emotionally, mentally – Richa Shree discovered that she had actually neglected her own will power all along. She could do something about this situation, and the medical condition was a stark reminder that she didn’t have much of a choice. Cardio exclusivity, Bro-science workout plans, and punishing herself with bland boiled food and gallons of green tea – only gave way to more depression and desperation.
“The whole experience made me feel I could never be a lean person and if I ever became one I wouldn’t be able to hold it for long due to my food cravings.”
Luckily for her, a friend introduced her to S.Q.U.A.T.S., and she joined with a view to change the way she approached food, exercise, and life in general. The change, Richa Shree figured, had to be at the grassroot level, in order to be sustainable.
Richa Shree’s savior came in the form of her S.Q.U.A.T.S mentor Rishi Manuja, whom she enrolled with in Jan 2017. Today, whatever she has achieved, she credits him for giving her the direction and the impetus to go for it. Knowing her to be a foodie, he even made space for her favorite dishes and taught her the value of moderation, and the importance of ‘earning’ it!
The Ups and Downs
Looking back, Richa Shree says,
“During my enrolment period, I hit plateaus several times, it would be months before my weighing scale would drop another kg, which at times made me weak and I felt like giving up…but I didn’t, because somewhere deep down I never wanted to return to where I started from.”
Now, at 26 years, she has gained everything she had dreamed of. She has won back her health and shown thyroid issues and high cholesterol the door. She has won the admiration of onlookers – family, friends who called her ‘fatso,’ little children who used to call her ‘aunty’ – now they call her ‘Didi,’ ‘Fitso’…. Even ‘Calorie-meter!’ And most of all, she has regained her self-esteem that had been the victim of years of shame and pity!
And there is simply no looking back for this girl. Life is still not a movie. There is just the eternal grind of juggling and balancing all that life throws at her. But this time around, she is undoubtedly the leading lady, the spotlight belongs undoubtedly to Richa Shree!
Check out her amazing transformation from 81 kgs to 56 kgs over 2 years. 25 kilos lost, and a lifetime of health and self-respect gained. Fitmag congratulates Richa Shree on her wonderful transformation, and wishes her all the very best in the journey ahead. Well done!
– The Fitmag Team