They started body-shaming me.

They started body-shaming me.

When I was 11, I discovered my love for swimming. My parents saw my passion and supported me with swimming classes. I started competing and won at the district and state levels, surprising everyone. Excited by my success, I asked my parents to enroll me in more classes. Little did I know that this decision would shape my life.

At the age of 11, I began training twice a day, juggling swimming and school. While my peers enjoyed a typical childhood, I was always busy with my rigorous schedule. I aspired to represent India at the national level and make my dreams come true. However, life had other plans, and I moved to the USA for my undergrad and everything changed.

In this new environment, I had to navigate life on my own. I longed for a social life, wanting to hang out with friends, attend parties, and look my best. Slowly, I started developing an unhealthy relationship with food and started quitting food. Balancing swim classes with the pressure to perform, my coach questioned my lackluster performance despite my dedication. I spiraled into a negative mindset, losing interest in swimming, and then the pandemic struck.

During the pandemic, I convinced myself that I didn’t deserve to eat freely because I was no longer as active. I developed a desire to be thin and attractive,and attracted to this idea of “dieting”. When I was back home in Delhi, I was scouted by a modeling agency. What I thought was a dream come true, turned into my worst nightmare. They started body-shaming me. I was told I wasn’t thin enough, my complexion wasn’t fair enough, my hair wasn’t straight enough. I was told I wasn’t enough. And the vulnerable teenager inside of me started to believe that. Before I knew it, I was the most obedient puppet in the hands of the beauty industry. I was eating much less and working out much more than I should have.

This experience was deeply traumatizing, leaving me feeling inadequate and unworthy. I decided to quit modeling and found solace in focusing on mental health. When I came back to the US to continue my undergrad, I realized that my true aspiration was to collaborate with brands, creating content on my own terms, while embracing a healthy relationship with food. Ironically, everything fell into place when I started following my own path.

Recognizing my troubled relationship with food and social media, I knew it was time for a change. I reset my life, committing myself to make a positive impact through my content. I attracted like-minded individuals through my platform, encountering amazing opportunities and forming meaningful connections.

Through my journey of recovery, I confronted my eating disorder. I questioned society’s expectations of how I should look and how it affected my pursuit of dreams and self-worth. I realized that I didn’t need to conform to a narrow definition of beauty to prove myself.

Driven by my passion, I established an NGO (defeating.disorders) dedicated to combating eating disorders. Collaborating with experts in the field, this project reflects my true purpose. Along the way, I discovered that our struggles and achievements should not be measured by our appearance. Our value lies in the impact we make and the lives we inspire. Now, my focus is on living authentically and empowering others to do the same.

" I aspired to represent India at the national level and make my dreams come true. However, life had other plans, and I moved to the USA for my undergrad and everything changed."

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