I grew up in a country where it was fashionable for women to be fat, big hips and an even bigger butt not to forget the plump legs I sometimes see in my host country Albania. In my birth country they would willingly give a kidney for those plump legs. According to Kenyan men, those thick legs were to die for. Being fat meant you were well fed, happy in your marriage, in your life, that you were content, andthe good lord was looking out for you. Being skinny was an implication that you are on the breadline and you are miserable and believe it or not, it is not something that we Kenyans wanted to advertise. Depression was not in our vocabulary, but with my skinny legs and slim figure I was not happy.
Then I moved to Europe. My slim legs were a hit, the big hips that I had longed for but not acquired, were frowned upon. I was considered sexy, slim was in and fat was out and that’s just the fashion bit before they told me that being fat would kill you. High blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, fatty liver disease….that’s right. I was sold before they got to heart attack and cancer. My ass was African sexy but not quite European standard of sexy. Of course that was before Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian, followed by the inevitable butt plastic surgery and the jeans with an inbuilt ass…
The years that followed were easy, 20 sit ups a day and clubbing 5 times a week misled me into thinking that I could never put on weight. Even when I was pregnant, I was the sexiest mama this side of the Adriatic Sea and my husband can confirm that, at least if he wants to stay married. And yeah, at eight months pregnant I was still clubbing every weekend possible, it is no wonder my kid can’t stop dancing.
During the time that I was “slim and sexy” , I would see fat people eating a double Big Mac plus double fries and give them an evil eye. ‘Don’t you think, you are fat enough, Can’t you see you are killing yourself, think of the poor starving kids’. Those were a few of the thoughts the self-righteous judgmental me came up with. I mean I was disciplined, I stopped eating when I was full, regardless of how much I had paid for the food (Africans will understand that), or how good it tasted or how much pressure I got from a host.
But all good things come to an end, even the super slim sexy me. The weight creeped up on me and before I knew I had an extra 5 kilos. Now, to most people that is nothing, to me, it was the stuff Freddy Kruger spews, a nightmare the size of Everest. I could no longer fit into those super sexy skinny jeans but I am not one wane in the face of something like 5 kilos, leggings were not going to be my norm.
`Just eat less, it is no big deal’, and that was the beginning of my big deal. The minute I decided I was going to lose weight, I started to think about food all the time, all day and all night. I was just permanently hungry. In the not too distant past, I had foolishly opened a club, which meant that I was dancing every day for two or three hours and could eat mountains of food with zero weight gain. The club did not work out and when I closed it, my body demanded the same amount of food, only this time, it was minus the dancing. My self-discipline had been washed down the drain in a night club. I wanted food, loads of it so maybe I could eat less fattening food. Did you know that in our world it cost more money to lose weight than it does to gain weight? Integral or whole wheat as it is better known, tastes like shit and it leaves an even nastier taste in your wallet. Raw carrots! Come on, I am African, that is the food we give to rabbits before we eat them. Salad is definitely unfit for human consumption as anything other than a side-dish.
My respect for over-weight people was growing by the second. Losing weight was no easy feat as I had previously imagined. I joined a gym, how do people do it, riding endlessly to nowhere?
Today I respect all over-weight people who are trying to lose weight. I understand their struggle. My respect grows with over-weight people who are content with their weight and are happily munching on McDonalds.
After all Sonisays, being slim is not a recipe for life everlasting while being content is a recipe for happy everlasting.
Did I lose weight? Yes.
How? Watch this space.