Some months ago I stumbled upon a very old picture. It was a picture taken at my brother's 10th birthday. In the picture the celebrant stood with my other elder brother, my mum and I. I was 6 when the picture was taken, and the fourth child. When I saw the picture recently I was blown away by how good my mum looked, a mother of 4. She must have been a size 8 or 10, at most; belly flat as a table top and skin that glowed. I was both in awe and depressed all at once. I was looking at the picture of a woman somewhere around the age of 40, one whose body had carried several babies, and then I looked at myself, not even 30, not even married, not even pregnant, not yet a mother, and I became terribly saddened. At the time I must have been a size 18/20.
All my life I always thought my mother hated food. For years on end I watched her eat two slices of toast, one boiled egg (or a variant) and a cup of coffee for breakfast, a small meal for lunch and almost nothing for dinner. She must really hate food! She was a very busy career woman who would get home at about 7pm, spend time with us and then at 9pm go for a walk. She must be very restless, this woman. That's what I thought. It was only a few years back, after old age had begun to set in, when I noticed she had started to eat like regular people that I said to her "but mummy you used to hate food, old age is making you eat more than normal", she only chuckled and continued to chew.
And that was when it hit me, this woman never hated food! She never hated food, she only stayed disciplined for several years, ate right, ate healthy and ensured that she did not have a matronly body regardless of motherhood. For years she had sacrificed mounds of garri and Akpu (which I later learned she really loves), she shunned sodas and pastry and so I thought she hated sodas and pastry. I only learned recently that these are things she actually enjoys. But, apparently when a woman hits a certain age, and/or starts having kids, in order not to let herself go she would need to be severely disciplined and willing to make some sacrifices.
I'd gotten tired of people addressing me as Ma. Some months ago a couple met my siblings and I and gave me the most respect. Apparently they thought I'm the oldest, and I'm actually the youngest. They thought I'm older than my elder sister, who's almost ten years older than me!!! It was then I knew I had to do something.
Some time in February this year I shut that voice in my head that said I would never be able to go on a diet or eat healthily again. I began to pay more attention to what I ate and cut my portions. It's just been a little over 2 months and already I'm several kg lighter.
Yet, there's still work to be done, I'm work in progress. I'm not be at my desired weight but I'm so excited that I'm getting closer.
I took the picture on the left a few months ago, and the other one, yesterday. I'm so glad I no longer need to wear sweaters, blazers and boyfriend jackets to hide my arms. Plus my face is smaller too. Halleluyah! LOL. It's serious work in progress and daily I continue to ask God for the grace to stay this course, and I know He will not fail me.
*coincidentally someone just sent me a text asking my diet plan. It's nothing special; discipline. We all already know what and what not to do.
***Good luck doing that thing you've been wanting to do. And CONGRATULATIONS in advance. Kisses!