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People have best friends. I had food.

I don’t care what you say. Food does what nobody else does. It’s there for you!

I couldn’t go a single day without popping a Red Bull for 2 months at a stretch.

An ice cream sundae, pizza/burger and a shake at night, over and above the regular breakfast lunch routine was just another day for me.

Having grown up fatter than the otherwise average girls around me, ‘fat’ has stuck around from an early age, when you’d rather have grown up being called anything else less hurtful.

I’d gotten so accustomed to being called fat, I didn’t quite realize when I became it. When girls around me learned to love their bodies and how to accentuate their curves, I was figuring which lingerie would hide my stomach best.

The word has made me feel dirty and ugly like I need to shower 10 times to get rid of those last bouts of self hate.

The journey from hating your body to wanting to work on it because you don’t like it as it is, isn’t always successful. And in my case, hasn’t ever been until very recently. I would make fun of my body before people would, so I don’t feel as bad when someone else would say it.

Breaking away from that to feel good about myself hasn’t been easy! An absolutely new routine, no sugar, no carbs, no time for bullshit and a zillion other no’s have gone into doing the right thing.

I’ve come close to a breakdown more times than I can count. What keeps me going?

Reaching a state of mind where I don’t feel like the fat kid I was made to believe I was and appreciate every inch of who and how I am.

Because I’ve come to realize that Fat is a state of mind that sometimes nobody can help us get out of. We need to actively work on it. It won’t be easy, the right thing never is.

If there’s one thing I’ve taken out of this, it’s this. You can make yourself feel fabulous or absolutely shit.

I choose fabulous, finally!

Shachi is a 25 year old writer-illustrator based in Mumbai. She talks about the little things that go unnoticed by people. She doodles to make a difference, one day at a time. The image is an illustration from her series on mental health and self-love.

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