How did this happen? It really does seem like yesterday when I used to rock size 8 dresses.
I’m not built to fit a fashion model’s size and I can’t recall a time in my life when I had a flat tummy. However, once upon a time in the not so distant past, I didn’t have to worry about sucking my tummy in to the extent that I could easily suffocate myself.
This morning I woke up in a good mood. I had a good night. The previous day, I had met up with my brother for lunch and it didn’t end up in a fight. Conversations with Ems ended on a good note, his sarcasms did not get to me. I brainstormed with Dame and Fene to come up with ideas for my new blog. Despite the fact that I was unable to cross out more important tasks on my to-do list, it was a pretty good day and I went to bed happy.
Even before I swung my legs out of bed, I became acutely aware of a gelatinous mass of fat on my tummy. A body part which has never been a source of pride to me, nonetheless has never been this flabby. Maybe the decline of my physique actually happened over time but I truly did not experience it that way. All I know is that this morning, I woke up fat!
Standing right in front of my full length mirror, I wondered if things had crept into my stomach at night. You never know these days.
It seemed like I was a normal weight one day, a little bit overweight the next and then suddenly I woke up fat. I don’t remember when I gained inches on my waist, tummy and thighs that I no longer fit into my favorite clothes. I was too busy eating…. Too busy burying myself in work and food trying to escape reality. I’m very good at that.
Stress triggers in me a desire to buy and eat every possible pleasurable food; I’d be overwhelmed with emotion and to escape it, I would whip up batches of Shoprite bread, sausage rolls and donuts to sedate me. Afterwards, the fullness, sickness, guilt and shame overshadows whatever it was that was stressing me out before. It’s somewhat distressing and comforting all at once.
In this moment of self-cognizance, I try to convince myself that tonight will be the night I pull out my trainers and track suit. But wait a minute… It’s Buhari’s birthday today and I have no intentions of missing out on his cake and small chops feast. Come to think about it, my iPod is broken, how am I supposed to jog without music? And my buddy Marian, left me and relocated to Abuja. It’s no fun jogging alone. Niyi has not been able to check out the new estate gym with me, I could use the treadmill and pool there. Plus Mrs. W told me that I’m not fat enough to get on the Cambridge weight loss plan… Oh… not to mention that eating happens to be some sort of exercise (don’t quote me) and the weight loss book I read said its easier for pear shaped women to lose weight. I might as well have one more donut.
In essence, if I don’t get back on the track tonight, you know why and I know who to blame. You see, in my world excuses are abundant and there is always someone to blame. So NO. Not today. I’ll start my weight loss journey tomorrow.
Weight loss is such a slow process. Every day I hopefully look for subtle changes in my body indicating that I am losing weight… I never find them.
I woke up fat. All of a sudden my clothes are too small. Who shrunk my clothes? Bloody laundry guy! He must have left them in the dryer too long. And why are there holes in the inner thighs of my stretch pants? Who knows… my first instinct is to buy some more clothes – bigger sizes though. Perhaps a different brand this time because obviously the other brands have smaller cuts. 8, 10, 12 everything is cut wrong. I’ll just stick with my comfy stretch pants now, that way I don’t have to worry about size.
I don’t remember noticing stretch marks blossom across my thighs and bum. I wondered why my face looked puffier in pictures… mutated, almost. It must be because I’m getting older. I’m not a teenager anymore you know.
I woke up fat. But now that I am awake and aware of the changes I need to make, one thing is perfectly clear, I cannot allow myself slide back into that oblivious slumber where reality is denied, ignored and avoided. I need to notice when my tummy starts to bulge and when my knee caps get so submerged in fat that they begin to hurt. I have to stay grounded in the reality and not let myself go into a fantasy world of bliss and pleasure by stuffing myself with donuts and plantain chips.
As long as I stay self-aware, not numb to my feelings, not blind to what is in front of me, noticing reality, I won’t let days or weeks or months go by again being disconnected from myself.
I woke up fat. But the most important thing is that I woke up and awake I shall strive to remain.
In loving memory of my Uncle, Aponi Kpiasi (June 25, 1953 – October 27, 2013).