‘Why can’t I look like that?’

By: Rishika

Avi’s (15) best friend Roshni refused to eat food during recess for the third consecutive day. Roshni’s reasoning has worried her even more. Let’s listen into their canteen talk.

Why can’t I look like that

Just not hungry 

Avi walked to her usual spot near the back of the dining hall where her friends were eagerly waiting for her so they could all start eating. The five of them placed their lunch boxes next to each other and began eating. It felt like a huge potluck. 

As the initial hunger washed away, Avi noticed that Roshni had barely touched anything, even though her favourite Pav Bhaji was right in front of her. 

“Rosh, why haven’t you eaten anything? Is everything alright?” Avi questioned her. 

Romil, Saniya and Riya turned towards Roshni and urged her to eat something. Roshni smiled and refused to eat. 

“I’m not hungry, yaar,” she mumbled weakly and turned to face the window on the side. 

“But you didn’t eat anything yesterday either… or the day before that! Are you sure everything is okay?” Riya questioned her. 

“Haaaaan!” Roshni replied while still facing the window. “I just have to skip lunch for a week and then I’ll be one step closer to having a waist like Kim Kardashian.”

Does it work? 

Is this the right thing to do?

“What? I don’t think it works like that, Rosh…” Avi replied, alarmed. “Where did you read this?” 

“It was on this Instagram page, they give tips and diets on how to lose weight quickly so you can look like your favourite celebrity! And it is working, I lost 2 kgs this week and --” Roshni was cut off by Saniya. 

“Sacchi? I’ll follow them too!” Before Roshni could give Saniya the username Avi stopped her.

“Roshni, Saniya that is wrong! You should never starve yourself to lose weight. I used to think that way too until last summer, I fainted at home while exercising on an empty stomach,” Avi said. 

Everyone around the table looked at Avi in shock. 

Isn’t exercising good? 

“At the hospital, the doctors explained to me that what I was doing was more harmful for my body and mind than eating that extra slice of cake or packet of chips. During puberty - the time we are in, we tend to put on weight due to the hormonal changes in our body. This increase in weight, especially fat is a normal part of growing up and helps cushion important organs in our body,” Avi was patiently talking. 

Roshni and Saniya’s faces lit up with realization. “But isn’t exercising and dieting good for you?” Roshni inquired. 

“Yes, being conscious of what you are eating and exercising for muscle development is great for you but skipping meals and over-exerting yourself can be damaging for health!” Romil chimed in. “Mumma explained this to me when I had started training for basketball.”

 Just the way we are

“But everyone on social media has perfect bodies and I am nowhere close to that, looking at them just makes me feel bad about myself,” Saniya admitted in a defeated tone. 

“What I found to be really helpful was to unfollow those people who promoted such unrealistic expectations. They have professional trainers and chefs who guide them and cook for them. Did you know most of these celebrities usually have surgeries to have their bodies look the way they do? I never knew any of this until I read a few articles my doctor suggested to me. I will send them to you all!” Avi stated. 

Saniya continued “That makes so much sense. Perhaps we should ask our Physical Education teacher Miss Nidhi to organise a session where we can ask her more questions and she can give us the right answers from the correct sources!”

Everyone around the table exchanged looks and nodded in agreement. 

“Guys, we all are beautiful just the way we are. We need food and exercise to nourish our minds and body. From now on we will be more open with each other and talk about our problems no matter what, okay?” Romil smiled brightly. 

Roshni quickly grabbed the last pav and started eating while everyone laughed knowing she would finish it before the bell rang for class. 

Just the way we are

Have you felt the need to skip a meal like Rohni to look good? Share with us in the comments box below. Remember not to share any personal information in the comment boxes.

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