Me and My Weight Issues

Maami

Maami

Anyone who knows me knows my relationship with food. The only time that I don’t really pig out is when I am happy.  When I am happy, I am too happy to eat. My world is full of sunshine and I forget to eat. But when I’m sad…People say that when they are sad, they don’t eat. Not me. When I am sad is when I medicate with food. I blame my family. I blame my mum,  I blame Maami my grandmother, I blame my aunties. Especially my aunt Toyin. Whenever she came visiting, she would come with biscuits, chocolates, all sorts of orisirisi medemede. My grandma, Maami was a caterer and she made the most delicious foods. Maami was the best grandmother ever. And one way she showed us love was by feeding us. Then, we were brought up to not waste food. So, even when I was sated, I would still continue to eat. I blame everyone. And I blame myself too.

When I was a toddler, my family sensed this love of food that I would go on to have and they  composed a Yoruba poem for me. I think it was my Aunt, Mrs Yinka Folawiyo who composed it. But anyway, this is the poem that they used to sing for me.

Olubunmi Ayinke.

Omo rere ti’n jeyan  – ( the good child that eats pounded yam)

T’o ba jeyan, a’a mu’ko – (after eating pounded yam, she drinks pap)

T’o ba mu’ko, a’a mu’yan  (After drinking pap, she then sucks on the breast).

I loved this song ehn! I really did. And I would dance to it. This is where my weight issues started. The nickname my family gave me was Michelin. You know how the Michelin man has rolls of tyres around, him? I had roles of fat around me. I have always been fat. Even when I was a size 12 in Uni, I was fat. Because my mates were size 8 and 10 at the most. When I was coming to the UK, I thought it would be easy to lose weight because of the availability of low fat, low sugar alternatives which were not readily available in Nigeria. Boy was I wrong! These low fat low calorie alternatives are easily available. But then, so also are the normal high fat high calorie normal foods. I toyed with anorexia, but I did not have the discipline to follow it up. I toyed with Bulimia, but that ingrained teaching of not wasting food makes me want to not waste even my own sick. Yeah. That is how bad I was.

My sister, Yemisi on the other hand, is more disciplined about her food intake. Which is surprising because we have the same upbringing. Yemisi was going to the gym at Liverpool Road Apapa before it became funky to work out. She was just 16 then. Religiously, she would go to the gym in the evening and she would have only fruits for breakfast, a light lunch and a light dinner. I remember once, Yemisi tried to stop me from finishing all the food on my plate even as it was obvious that I was sated. I told her I could not waste food. That there were starving children in Somalia. She then asked me a question that I could not answer. Not because it was a rhetorical question, but because the question made me think deep and hold a mirror to myself. She asked me if my finishing the food on my plate stops children in Somalia from starving. Hmmm. She taught me how to dish my food in Tobi’s baby sized bowls. She taught me how to quickly sqirm washing up liquid on food on my plate once I was sated so that I would not be tempted to finish everything. But still, I did not lose weight as what I then did was to go back for seconds. And possibly thirds.

My sister Bukola is another one who defies logic. We have the same upbringing too. The same upbringing that gives you a messed up relationship with food. But she is very weight conscious. Eats like a bird. In tiny portions. Writing this, I am now realising that though we have the same upbringing, my sisters differ from me in one way or the other. My sister, the baby one, Dupe only speaks English and is very ‘sprispri’ while we, the other sisters are hardcore Yoruba speaking peeps. She is very Ajebota. Funmilayo, is the one that is as at home in a lagbolagbo party as she is in a high end dinner party. She is the only one of us sisters that can roll on the lagbolagbo level. I, personally hate lagbo lagbo parties. I get bored easily in them.

I try exercising but don’t commit to it. I registered so many times at various gyms but only go for a few weeks and then continue wasting money on membership as I delude myself that if I continue paying, I will get to go. The only times I have committed to going to the gym were the times when I had great aerobics teacher. At the gym at Shephard’s Bush, I would go all the way from Ealing where I lived then. They had a great Aerobics teacher and his classes were always packed! And another time when there was great aerobics teacher  was at gym at Woolwich. I would go from Thamesmead where I lived then. But the ONLY time I have been fanatic about going to the gym, not because of any instructor, was when I did my first charity run for Cancer Research UK. I.WAS. DETERMINED! I loved working out so much that any day I did not go, I would feel restless (or reckless as someone called it). But after the race, I thought I would reward myself by taking a few days off the gym. And I have not gone back since then. I am an exercise DVD junkie. Taebo? Check. Insanity? Check. Ministry of sound dance? Check. And those are the ones that I can remember. They are there gathering dust in the basement.  So many others have ended in the bin or given to others as gifts. I have some amazing friends who have tried without success to get me to use these DVDs. Amaka first introduced me to Taebo some 15 years ago. She still swears by him. Sola swears by Insanity and she once tried to get me to her gym. I paid the membership fee and did not return. Yanmo does not do DVDs but is very very strict with her calorie intake. These friends have tried to motivate me. But when it comes to food, I’m hard to motivate. Please motivate me about anything. But not food. I will have to get there on my own. Some months ago, I decided to change my eating patterns. And I have lost 15kg in the past few months. This is what prompted me to change.

Me @ 3 Months - weight issues

Me @ 3 Months

 

Early last year, the soles of my feet started hurting slightly whenever I woke up, either to go to the loo or waking up for the day. It would take a few minutes before the pain would go. It got progressively worse and there was a particular day, it was so bad that I could not walk. I had to crawl around for about an hour before the searing pain subsided. And so it was that on some days, I would be able to hobble around for about half an hour and on some days, I would only be able to crawl for about 30 minutes. I was convinced that I was developing diabetes. JOPA had also mentioned some years ago on one of his holidays to the UK that I went to the loo too often during the night. I kid you not when I tell you that I would go to the loo no less than 6 times between when I go to bed and when I wake up. JOPA had told me to get tested for diabetes but I was so scared of being confirmed as being diabetic that I did not go. He once asked me why I thought I was fat. I told him it was because I love food. He said he was glad that I was not one of those people who deceive themselves by claiming that they ate very little. My dad’s friends used to kid him that he ate like a poor man. At meetings and parties, he would only have one piece of meat, some veg and eba or rice. Dazol. His friends on the other hand, would be piling up their plates in the way that rich men ate in those days in Nigeria,

Fast forward to some years after JOPA told me to get tested for Diabetes and I was developing this pain in the morning that practically paralysed me for about 30 minutes every morning. With much apprehension and after procrastinating for weeks, I booked a test at my local ASDA as they do free diabetes testing. I went for the diabetes test and I was told that I did not have diabetes and was also not pre diabetic. I decided to do a manual diary of what happened around the times I got the searing paralysing pains. It became obvious that the nights that I had a lot of sugar intake in the form of cakes, the soles of my feet would wake up in searing pain. So, I decided to change my eating habit. My aburo, Folake sent me some Chinese herbal tablets from Dubai. I lost 10kg in the few weeks that I took the tablets. I have stopped taking the tablets and have lost a further 5kg.

I have changed my relationship with food now. I now throw food away when I am sated. I also throw food away if I am not enjoying the taste. I have not pigged out on cakes and what nots in a long while. No, actually, I lied. A few days ago, Lawyerman told me about 2 female relatives that have been mightily messed up by their husbands and I was so so sad that I bought a pack of Gu cheesecake and finished the two jars in the pack within minutes. I was that distressed. The stories were that sad.

I am determined not to make the same mistake with Tobi. I do not force Tobi to finish his food on his plate. When he is sated, he is sated. I do not force Tobi to eat 3 square meals a day. He eats when he is hungry. Lawyerman keeps complaining that Tobi is too skinny.  Lawyerman is from the old school. You eat your three square meals. You finish your food. You do not waste your food. Some weeks ago, he tried to give Tobi a playful punch and his knuckle hit bones. Lol. Tobi is lean. So, Lawyerman ordered him to go downstairs to eat something. But the boy was not hungry. He had eaten pasta. Tobi told Lawyerman he was not hungry but Lawyerman insisted that he should go and have two slices of buttered bread. Tobi tried to appeal to me because he knows I don’t force him to eat but I also can’t interfere in Father and son kwanta. Go and eat buttered bread as your father said. Later on, he did payback for Lawyerman though. By farting under the duvet when Lawyerman wanted to give him a ‘by force’ cuddle. Lawyerman is no better when it comes to food. The good thing with his eating habit is that he does not do sweet stuff like I do. Portion control is what he can’t control. Which is funny because his mum, eats very sparingly and very healthily. Lawyerman is strange like that. He will only eat fried meat at home but mummy does not do fry-fry and when we go to hers, her food is not fry-fry at all. And he eats it lovingly. But back at home, he is king of the palace. Fry the meat.

So, now, I am about 15kg lighter, I am still not as slim as I want to be. I have still got Fibroids that are the size of a 6-month pregnancy from what my consultants have said. And that has got to be part of the reason I weigh so much. Certainly, that is why my tummy is soooo big. But I am learning to change my relationship with food. Yesterday, I bought some blueberry muffins and the first bite I took felt dry. Muffins are supposed to be moist but this one was dry. I promptly put the muffin back and threw the whole pack of four away. The old Bunmi would have forced herself to eat it all because there are starving children in Somalia. If I must be fat, I have to enjoy the ride. No point getting fat on dry muffins.

This Post Has 51 Comments

  1. I have spent the better part of this morning reading through your posts and they make for interesting reading! Well done and more grease to your elbow, keep writing and you will go places. In my teenage years up till early adulthood I was very tiny, I gained some weight after my first child but was still quite slim but gradually I started gaining weight such that people who knew me then would marvel I could grow this big! I love good food and I drink a lot of fizzy (my teeth can bear testament to that) Ido not have the determination to go on a diet and I console myself with the fact ” life is too short” but like you health scares recently motivated me to cut down on some stuff especially coke (cola)which I was somewhat addicted to, reduce my oil usage etc. I have a sister who is a fitness fanatic, she unlike me religiously goes to the Gym and does this eating right thing I tried to follow suit when I saw her results but ALAS I could not meet up. My mantra now is everything in moderation,keep moving as much as I can and love myself warts and all so help me God.

  2. Love this. And the poem, typical of yoruba families. And yes, more dry muffins to rid us of the urge to stuff ourselves silly

  3. Try this…..substitute the tube, taxi’s, private cars for a road bike. I started cycling almost two years ago and the wonders of it all never cease to amaze me. Not just lighte, but fitter with a lot more endurance. ? Strongly urge you to give it a shot. Plus you folks in the UK have a myriad of cycling tournaments at your finger tips. I know, l know you are wondering how the hell you are going to enter a tournament. Truth is that was me two years ago. A few months back l actually cycled 150km! ? I couldn’t believe it either when l crossed the finish line. “Yes You Can” ????????

  4. The struggle is real o. I am constantly battling to not put on weight. I keep hearing “you’re not that fat. You’re OK as u are”. But I don’t see it that way! Wonderful write-up Ma. Great blog!

  5. Congrats on your blog. Am loving it.
    Reading and remembering North Avenue and Maami too. Its amazing that we are all concious about our weight. As u r working on it so am i but its still the hardest thing to do. I have been laughing all the way. My colleague is even wondering why i have been cracking up. But dats his problem. Amebo! Well done sister!!!

    1. Larai! Yes, I know some of the stories will be familiar to you. I don’t think that there is any woman who is not trying to lose weight. We are neurotic like that. Please send my regards to Mama Larai. Thanks.

  6. Congratulations on the 15kg weight drop! ??
    The weight struggle is real for a lot of people. As you mentioned, peeps have different ways that work for them. Stick to what works for you and keep keeping on!
    Fantastic post??

  7. Yaaaay *dancing* Aunty B has finally started her blog…. I read the three posts and I was rolling in laughter. Kai! JOPASDAUGHTER is such a wonderful name for the blog, keep it up big Sis. I hope to visit here every other day *lemme even gwaan click the follow up button* Your writings just have a way of making me feel refreshed. E kuise ma. *Thumbs-up*

  8. Thanks for sharing, I was laughing out so loud my 3 year old was wondering what was wrong with mommy! How so true. I’m in this weight loss struggle everyday myself and can identify with some of the things you mentioned. Ahh 15Kg? I’m encouraged! Interestingly my mom tells me I was a pack of bones as a child and she used to force feed me to try to fatten me up as she was ashamed of the way I looked.

    Jopa’s daughter congrats on the blog, more blessings girl!

  9. I lol when I read how Lawyerman told you about his relative’s problems and you ate. You are such an awesome writer.

  10. Lovely blog . Love your writeups and how real you are. Thanks to the group for making me interact with you. You are simply amazing.

  11. I love this write-up, you seem to capture the Human side of people that want to lose the weight , however the will power is slightly not there the pain in the heels is called plantar fasciitis ?
    Well done so looking forward to following you on your blog

  12. Lol…The write up is very hilarious. I can totally relate though. I tell myself food must not be wasted. The weight loss is really not an easy one considering my love affair with food and carbonated drinks. *doing sign of the cross*

  13. Reading story about self really got me amazed because I find myself in such category aswel.Not always sated with little food especially wen its not me that dished it.If it were before I will eat until I empty the plate but when I findout am not always smart when ever I eat large quality,that’s was when I stoped the joke and started eating little but yet I still wish to eat large quatity because I want to add weight by all means.Have tried egg and milk,malt and milk,I take pap often and still my stature remains the same.what can I eat again to add weight pls?

  14. Loved reading your 3 updates and nice to learn that we both love food. Looking forward to more gist from your blog. Well done, very proud of you?

  15. Bunmi I alway enjoy reading your story.

    People from ola knows me as miebi Kalanda. I am mostly called Henrietta or paulyn

    I know it says comment just to clarify who I am in case you are wandering who is this person. Bunmi is me. You have not changed one bit

  16. Yaaaaay… finally ur blog.. i m one of ur spirispiri sistà s friends and i totally stalk u on fb, lil wonder i landed here yesterday. Well done for d blog.

    So i m not alone in ds weiggt struggle??? Its almost frustrating.sha. i was as skinny as a pole not too long ago and nw i m fat as a tomato basket sipping thru d sides. Good thing is, i kid not myself abt it and i ve taken up swimming as my work out strategy, as for feeding well… only Jesus can save..

    Nice one mam! Will def be back here…

    Ps: lawyerman shld rora o. Tobi wont want to get fat lailai not with all d bullying dat fat kids face in d abroad’.lol.

    1. Dupe’s friend. Yay! Thanks sis for dropping by. Is there any woman that is satisfied with her weight? I think it was Willis Simpson who said you can never be too thin… or something like that. At least you, you can swim. I must have had at least 50 swimming lessons. Still can’t swim.

  17. You brought tears to me when I read about your ‘Maami’ I referred to my maternal Grandma as Maami too. She was the greatest person in my life (no one has compared to her yet!

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