In a world where exhausting our entire reservoir of love on others and their happiness is glorified, self-love is nauseatingly underrated. How many of us insist on setting aside dedicated hours in a day or week exclusively for our consumption? The things we do for ourselves are to be felt, experienced and treasured, every single day. Why wait for someone else to make us feel loved and special? Go ahead and celebrate yourself!
If you want to know what self-love is about, closely observe kids. My daughter will be 6 soon and the way she loves herself is refreshingly adorable. I love stealing a glance at her standing in front of the mirror and gazing at her image indulgently. Hands on hips, she flutters her eyelids sweetly while running her tiny fingers through her silky straight hair. When did I do this last and what happened to my self-love, I often wondered.
Thanks to my transformation journey, I got introduced to a new and better version of myself: Varsh Version 2.0! Although I set on it with good health and better fitness in mind, this renewed self-love was a happy side-effect. Let me share some other perks I’m enjoying that I hadn’t bargained for.
- Reverse Ageing – These two pictures have been taken two decades apart. For the longest time I hid the photograph on the left in my college album, too embarrassed to acknowledge my not-too-flattering existence. I was loved, made good grades and was easy to get along with. Yet, the dreamy teenager in me felt hopelessly trapped. My sincere self-acceptance finally encouraged me to share it with my readers. For every girl or woman out there who thinks ‘ab wo time gaya’, here’s your proof. You can turn time around, at least give it a try!
- Owning myself in every way – Although the cute chubby girl was blessed with the sweetest friends and family, deep down her weight nagged and punished her. Do I feel better now that I’ve done what I intended to with myself? Physically yes, mentally just a tad. I wish I could go back in time, hug her tight and tell her that she’s doing great. When we give others the agency to judge us we’re doing the biggest disservice to ourselves. It is ironic that with every kg I lost I developed a thicker skin. More than appearance, it is self-love, respect and the confidence to live with our head held high that matter more.
- Say Hi to good skin! – I’m heavily tanned in my old picture, thanks to treating sun block with naïve disdain. Age has, however, brought some semblance of sense in me. I’ve never had clearer skin before without being aided by regular parlour visits that burnt a hole in my Mom’s expensive purse. Eating healthy, snacking on fruits and dry-fruits and less oily food with a regular exercise plan have had an amazing effect on my skin though. It also helps that I apply makeup sparsely. A simple routine is enough when your skin is naturally healthy. Same goes for hair as well.
- Deck up pretty! – Apart from white shirt and blue jeans, our college uniform, I’ve mostly worn loose-fitting salwar suits. My tailor, possibly in anticipation, stitched them at least 2 inches wider than my frame. My conservative wardrobe, deservingly, had the first big overhaul after I shifted to Mumbai post-marriage. The second one started a couple of years ago and hasn’t stopped since! Right from skinny jeans and skirts to short one pieces and frame-fitted tees, my collection is getting wider and better. Women, self-love and shopping are an awesome combination, I tell you. So go ahead and drape yourself in the outfit of your dreams, ladies!
Despite the many flaws I have, self-love has finally found me. Who would appreciate the beauty and sweetness of a rose without the sting of its thorns, right? Just like Geet in Jab We Met, ‘main apni favourite hoon’ and so should you be. The biggest responsibility we have is one towards ourselves. If we don’t, why and who else will?
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