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Body battles My weight is my own to bear

I try on about four different outfits every single morning just to find the one that will hide the excess fat around my belly and waist area.

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I had not seen my mum in almost six months, so I was excited to go home after work, not because of the needed rest I was going to get but it was all about getting engrossed in the wonderful conversations I miss having with my mother.

So I entered my house bearing a cup of smoothie as a welcome gift to my mother.  But all the excitement went out the window at the speed of light when the first comment from my mother was “Aden!!! (meaning “Why” in the local dialect) you have to do something about the weight. You have gotten worse since I last saw you.”

I handed over the smoothie to her and went into my bedroom. But my mum wouldn’t end the lecture about my weight and how everybody is trying to lose weight and the many foods and exercises routines available to get the weight off.

I tried to be strong and take it all in like the good daughter that I am, who misses her mum so badly and just wished we could talk about something anything else but my weight.

“Leave me alone!” I yelled.

“It is my weight to carry. Are you the one feeling the back ache? Are you the one struggling to fit in your clothes? I am the one bearing all the pain and not you so why can’t you leave me alone? When my time comes to lose the weight I will.”

I know my mum is genuinely concerned. I know she wants her beautiful daughter to lose some weight and be healthy. But I wish it was that easy.

I don’t talk about my weight.  I just don’t. It is not a subject I am comfortable with.

I am 5.3 feet tall and I weigh 220 pounds.  I know many people who have weight problems may relate to this but I can only speak for myself.

I used to be slim and slender when I was growing up. I remember the kind of excuses I would give so I would miss a meal. The cat in our house took all the blame. Poor cat!

Once I was served with a meal and the cat dared to come closer to me, it would be the reason for my decision to starve myself.

I remember I would say “the cat has dipped its tail into my food.”  And that meant no food will go down my throat.  That also marked the beginning of my mother‘s rant. But my grandmother took things cool. She somehow knew I was going to put on some weight and she could tell by looking at my calf - the science of this I cannot explain.

I do not recall when I started gaining the weight. But when I got to Junior High School I was a full fleshed young girl. And since then things have only spiraled out of control.

I am a happy bubbly young woman if you see me. I carry my weight along so well people tell me “wotumi wo ho.”  Meaning you carry yourself so well despite the fact than you are fat.

Fat is one word I will fight anybody who uses it on me. It is one word that pushes me deep down into the sea of my reality without any life jacket. So I fight my way up and that always gets nasty.

But I am in my late 20s and it is time to face my demons and by writing about it maybe it will help me break out of this shell that I am stuck in.

I dare not have breakfast before slipping into that dress I want to wear to work.  I cannot try on any new clothes. It’s hard finding your dress size when you go clothes shopping. So I wear the same clothes over and over again. Woe unto any dress or shirt or jeans that make me feel comfortable. I will wear you consistently until you fall apart.

I try on about four different outfits every single morning just to find the one that will hide the excess fat around my belly and waist area.

My breasts are knocking the life out of me. I carry these melons on a daily basis and they have never forgotten to remind my back that they are in charge.

When your first impression about me is confidence, don’t be deceived because I work extra hard to pull off that confident look.

I hate it when people talk about how someone else lost weight and how beautiful the person has become. A part of me feels I am being insulted anytime I hear such stories from my friends.  I have become an expert at shifting the conversation to something else when it is about weight loss.

My dating life has been affected. My relations ended about four years ago. And anytime I am asked why my ex-boyfriend and I split my excuse what it was a mutual decision.  If he reads this it will be the first time he will be finding out the real reason why I left.  I NEVER FELT GOOD ENOUGH FOR HIM.  That is it. I have said it. He is such a handsome man with a kind soul who took care of me in every way.  He loved me and I loved him too so much. But anytime I looked at him and I, I asked myself “What is this fine gentleman doing with someone like me. Can’t he go for a slender better looking lady?”

There were also the insecurities - what if he leaves me for another girl? I tried so many times to lose the weight but it didn’t work. So I pushed him away after six years.

Anytime I am introduced to a new guy I worry so much about my weight when we have to meet for the first time. Is he going to like me the way I am? Will he want to have a second date after today?  I hope he looks past my weight and see the wonderful and smart person I am. These are few of the questions and thoughts that run through my head. When I can’t find answers to them I bail. That has been my life for the past four years.

I have developed hypertension. I have developed chest pains, back pains and neck pains. So believe me I know how my life will change when I am able to shed some pounds. But it is hard.

I can still remember my mother saying “you don’t carry the pain alone. It affects everybody around you. Find the discipline to also lose weight. “

I just hope it is that easy.  I have every motivation to start my weight loss journey per the effects the extra pounds have on me. But it is still hard. I have had my fair share of weight loss medications. Anytime I start my journey I slip back after a couple of days.  Maybe writing about it will be the first step for me to overcome my fears.

So you see, i know my body more than you do. I know its struggles more than you do. I am not fat shaming, i am only saying my weight is my own to bear.

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