Aliya is a fitness freak, a determined individual who loves and embraces life, a mum and someone who unexpectedly had to deal with the skin condition vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition where the individual experiences loss of skin colour and it occurs in blotches.
Aliya shares with Mums and Stories, “ I had a difficult and disturbed childhood due to parent’s separation. I didn’t want to be an added responsibility on my grandparents so I chose to get married when I was as young as 19 years old.
As ironical as it would get, I believed that girls growing up should find their destination under the umbrella of marriage. So marriage really wasn’t compulsory but when given the choice of marriage or further studies, I chose to be the bride.
Fortunately I was blessed with a nice husband and things seemed to fall in place and I managed to pursue my studies after marriage and at the age of 22 I had a miscarriage. Those two days were the most difficult days, physically and emotionally.
Soon after the process of abortion, I discovered marks on my hands, skin around my eyes and that’s when vitiligo triggered me hard.
Soon thereafter, I immediately conceived within 2 months and was on complete bed rest. I had gained a lot of weight too from 50 kig to a whopping 85 kgs.
The only beautiful thing that happened to me was the birth of my daughter.
Life went on with my world revolving around family and home. However one incident truly shook me up.
I was travelling abroad and also expecting my second baby. At a hotel, another woman guest saw the marks on my hand and she didn’t want to touch the same serving spoon from the bowl at the buffet area.
I was in tears n completely broke down. I asked God, why was all this happening to me?
Time flew and again I was blessed with another daughter. Also it was time for introspection on how I really wanted to lead my life. I decided on managing a business and wanted to try my hand in clothing. My first interview was at a boutique and I was shivering like a wreck. I realized I didn’t have an ounce of confidence that was fuelled by severe body image perceptions. I was not comfortable being the person I was in life or of my skin.
I cried and literally picked pieces of my life. I didn’t want to do binge eating like I had been doing since I had been a mum or watching television to spend time. I decided to be more constructive with my life. I did realize if I didn’t love myself, others would care less for it.
I really worked hard at the gymnasium. I lost all those extra weight within a year and I was beginning to feel happy. The hours spent over being fit cured me in more than one way. Vitiligo marks had lightened on my face and I looked younger. Compliments were beginning to shower and I was happy. Soon I decided to take this as the profession to be a fitness instructor and be part of this world. I still have vitiligo marks on my hands and feet but it doesn’t bother as it used to earlier.
I have become someone who is confident to be myself from a person who really couldn’t step outside home without my husband’s presence .
I have to admit, my husband and kids have been very supportive of what I have been doing in life. There have been instances of discrimination or rude stares like once at a spa, the staff didn’t want to touch me as I have this condition. But instead of feeling embarrassed or apologetic I gave them an earful on what is it like to live with this condition, I had to explain them that I feed my kids with my hands on many occasions and that its absolutely non contagious. I might have been rude but it is important to stand up for yourself in life.
Lastly I would like to tell others, especially other mums, eat healthy, stay happy and do explore the world.
Also in case if you are one of those individuals who has vitiligo, remember vitiligo is triggered unexpectedly and can happen to anyone at any age. Stress aggravates it and perhaps fitness can bring it down. At least it will boost your self-confidence.
Live in the moment and eat healthy and nutritious food. Choose happiness and fitness in life to make life better. Also don’t let this slip from your mind’ We are special- we do not have something which will lead us to death. Probably the underlying statement would be to note that we do have something that leads us to be a fighter everyday.”