This is the first part of a 2-part article (as I am trying to keep my posts less than 10 mins to read).
Prior to August 2019 when I started to successfully lose weight the first time, I had attempted to lose weight several times and failed woefully. I do not remember the timelines for these other instances but I know some happened before I got well in December 2018, while some happened afterward. What I do know is that I felt shamed by even my loved ones (LO) for being fat. I know it came from a place of love as these are people who love me the most on this earth but still, it hurt a little bit no matter how much I tried to deflect the hurt by saying “na fat I fat I no kee pesin” and continued eating excessively. I remember a few of the things said to me actually. LO1 would call me orobo repeatedly while laughing and one day looked at me and said “mo sure wa ti wo 150kg ni isin”. (I am sure by now your weight is 150kg). At some point, I had to talk back saying everyone else in my family had earned the right to call me an orobo as they were all skinny but not him. Both of us were orobos together so he had no right to call me an orobo when he was in the same boat as I was.
Another time, LO2 said to me when I complained that I was sweating that only fat people sweat a lot as a result of all the toxins in their bodies. Some days or weeks later, I was sitting on the bed with her, and she kept looking at my thigh. When I asked why her gaze was fixated on my thigh, she replied that she was just surprised that one of my thigh was equivalent to two of hers. orobo was my standard nickname both at home and outside. My niece, Lamipo must have heard me being called orobo several times and one day she called me “orobo” and began laughing hysterically. Lamipo’s laughter is almost as bad as mine and can be very hurtful. On a different occasion, I was in a friend’s house who also used to jokingly called me “orobo” and her 7-year old son called me “orobo” just like Lamipo did and also began laughing hard. However, I guess I had had it up to my neck at being called orobo and vented out my frustration for all the people who had called me orobo in the past on him and gave him a hot abara on his back. That immediately turned his laughter into hot tears and I was quite pleased with my agbaya behavior for which I apologized much later by the way.
I wasn’t too happy about how I looked if I am being honest. Before I became well, I wasn’t really bothered about my looks. Food was my major source of happiness and if being fat was a consequence of eating then so be it. However after I got well, I wanted to go back to looking good as I have always been vain and except for those few months in Diploma first semester when I gained a few pounds, I had never been fat. Yet despite all these name-calling and body shaming and my discontent with my weight, I never went beyond 3 days in my weight loss journey for a few reasons. One of those reasons was I was looking for get-thin-quick schemes so I would do a 3-day juice cleanse that wouldn’t last beyond day 1.5 after which I would go back to my old eating habits, or I would attempt to starve my self during the day only to gorge myself at night. At some point, I reached out to a couple of weight loss/fitness experts to find out the cost of their weight loss programs but the amounts I was told shocked me. The cheapest fee I got was N30,000/month while another one said £180/month. Eyin eyan odidi £180/month just to lose weight for an iya ijebu like me? Can never be me edakun. It’s really not that deep. I said to a few friends and my cousin that based on those prices quoted, I would rather be fat than spend all that money on weight loss and continued my “na fat I fat I no kee pesin” mantra.
P.S. If you can afford to pay these amounts to lose weight, by all means, go for it. After all one of the reasons you make money is to buy comfort and convenience for yourself. However before you engage any of these coaches, be sure you are mind is in its right state to adhere to all that you are asked to do. I would also advise you try on your own to slim down first because the things you learn yourself stick with you much longer than what is just taught to you in my opinion.
Another reason I never went past day 3 in my fitness journey was because I wasn’t in the right state of mind to lose weight and that’s why I would fail before I even started. When everyone else was pressuring me to lose weight, my bestie would say that whenever I made up my mind to lose the weight I would lose it without any external pressure and she was the only one who was right. If your state of mind is not right, it is very difficult (though not impossible) to lose weight or adopt a healthy and fit lifestyle. Please note that not everyone wants to be slim — some people are very happy and content with how they look and feel. As long as you are healthy/fit and your size doesn’t pose a risk to your health, and you are happy with your weight please do you. No one should lose weight or adopt a healthy/fit lifestyle out of pressure from someone else. Any habit you develop just to please other people is not very sustainable and would most likely fizzle out once the relationship goes south and the person is no longer in your life. If however, you aren’t happy with your weight and physical lifestyle and want to change it or you’ve attempted to change it and failed in the past, it might be as a result of your mind not being in the right state and that’s what I want to discuss in this article.
In the heat of my D-zone, I once told my mum that I had zero self-esteem and self-worth and she expressed alarm saying that you can’t achieve anything with no self-esteem and she’s 100% right. If you believe you can’t achieve something, you’ll always find a way to sabotage it no matter how skilled you are in getting it done. Once you believe you can’t achieve something not just weight loss or adopting a healthy lifestyle, you’ll never get it done. It extends to a job, a project, a relationship, a certification, an examination, a transition, etc. Your mind is at the epicenter of everything you’ll ever achieve on this earth and it has to be in the right state for you to achieve anything meaningful. So though I desired to lose weight in the D-zone, I failed at every attempt because my mind did not really believe I could do it, and what happens when you think this way is that you find ways to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. By this I mean, if you believe you are clumsy for instance, every time you accidentally spill a drink clumsily, your mind says to you “see! I told you you’re clumsy” and reinforces the belief that you are clumsy in your mind. Once you believe you are a failure, even when you fail at what everyone else fails at, your mind reinforces the belief that you are a failure and you continue to live out that self-fulfilling prophecy.
On the contrary, if your mind is in the right state, there is almost nothing you can’t accomplish. In Genesis 11, just after the flood that destroyed the earth save for Noah, his family, and the animals he preserved in the ark, the people gathered together and decided to build a tower that went high into the heavens and make a name for themselves. If you’ve ever wondered how people knew heaven is above and not below the earth, these and many other scripture verses confirm it. God saw their ambition and came to earth. Please take note that they hadn’t yet built the tower but hear what God said about them “But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” The previous verse says “ They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves;”. They were only declaring their intent to build — they hadn’t begun building but from God’s perspective, because they had conceived it in their mind and resolved to build it, he knew they would finish it.
That’s how powerful the state of your mind is in helping you achieve whatever you set out to do including adopting a healthy lifestyle. It is when you believe you can accomplish a thing that you start to find the necessary information on how to get it done and create a workable plan to accomplish it. If you don’t believe it’s doable, you are already stumped just from thinking about it and you decide against it before even trying to figure out how to do it. The right state of mind my friend is so critical in adopting a healthy lifestyle. In the next article, I would share how I believe you can fix the state of your mind based on biblical principles that have worked for me.
P.S — I try to be as inclusive as I can in my posts but my faith has played the most important role in the journey to who I am today and most of the things that have worked for me are as a result of my relationship with Jesus. However, I would try to include general principles that have been recommended by others in helping them fix the state of their minds and I would welcome suggestions in the comments too. Still, I can’t verify any of these principles just because I haven’t adopted them and seen them work in my life.
Orobo is a Nigerian slang for a fat person that’s often used as a derogatory remark.
Abara is a hot slap on your upper back given with the palm of the hand.