Confessions of a Fat Girl 35: Willpower!


December 12th, 2009

There is a part of me that wishes I could lose an extra 10kg before we leave for the East I just over a week. It would be so awesome if I could shock all the villagers as a tiny size 14! And my dad…I wonder what he would say if he were to see me looking so light. But I did a bit of reading this morning, and I have realized those things aren’t really that important.

One of the things I have learned from my weight loss is that your body isn’t holding you back in all the ways you think it is. In fact, most of the problems you have before you lose weight will still be there after you have lost the weight, unless you work on your inner self, as well as your outer self.

I have learnt that it’s not your fat that holds you back…it’s you. Even if I lose all the weight in the world, and become a size zero, it won’t resolve the deep and profound issues I have with my father. Our relationship is so dysfunctional, it would take a miracle for us to have anything close to a normal father-daughter relationship. The same goes for my other sisters. I’m not sure any of us can ever recover from the kind of mental and emotional abuse we endured in his hands.

Anyway, as I didn’t have the strength to go running today, because I was still recovering from yesterday’s night out, and also because I always get emotionally exhausted after every reminder of my near-marriage breakup, I decided to stay indoors all day, reading. I then stumbled on a 7 Habits list that actually concerned me…7 Habits of People Who Lose Weight and Keep it Off! Interesting!

To say the list got me confused would be putting it mildly. Here’s how it went:

  1. Expect failure, but keep trying
  2. Don’t deny yourself
  3. Weigh yourself often
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Find ways to add little bits of physical activity into your daily routine
  6. Eat a high carbohydrate, low fat diet
  7. Eat about five meals a day starting with breakfast

Don’t deny yourself? Eat a high carb diet? Ah, I need to discuss this list with Dr. Nkechi oh! Before I follow it and enter trouble!

But I kind of understand the rationale though. I guess it’s all about doing something one can sustain, and making a permanent habit…but I still have to make double sure.

As I lay in bed, reading and meditating, the smell of fried plantain wafted into my bedroom. Obviously the children’s lunch being prepared, and it made me think about willpower.

Willpower. I’ve decided I hate this phrase, at least in how it applies to dieting. It is thrown around a lot, usually by people who are not or never have been fat, and is usually used to blame a fat person’s obesity on their own weakness. A few weeks ago, I might have agreed with this…but now, I’m not so sure.

For the past few weeks, I have somehow managed to maintain a steady weight loss, something I have never done in all my previous attempts. So what was different this time? Did magic fairies recharge my “will” battery overnight? I don’t think so. I have as much willpower today as I did when I was fatter and failing.

I actually think the biggest factor in my weight loss isn’t so much my desire to lose weight, which I’ve had pretty much all my life, or some amazing spurt of willpower that is causing my fat cells to dissolve. I think the most important thing is my current state of mind and circumstances. I have found a diet that personally works for me, and has helped eliminate most of the food cravings I used to get. The people closest to me, JJ, Chidera, and my sisters, are all eating and living healthy. I have better access to gym and exercise facilities. And I have started reading lots of weight loss blogs, which has made me part of a community that, on a daily basis, encourages me, and reminds me that I’m not alone.

Comparing these circumstances to my previous ones almost gives credence to why I failed multiple times in the past. When I still had a 9-5 job, my eating schedule was erratic because I hardly any time to organize myself for healthier meals. There was also a lot of junk food readily available everywhere.

Sure, I could have found ways around these problems if I was totally, absolutely die-hard determined. But for most people it’s little things like this that will totally trip you up, and cause you to fail.

Of course I’m not saying that willpower is completely unimportant in dieting. It’s just that you obviously have to reach a point where you realize you need to make a change and actually go make that change. Sticking to your changes also takes a certain amount of will and dedication, but I don’t think it’s absolutely the most important thing. And when so many dieter’s fail, I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s completely their fault. Sure, part of it involves how dedicated they are to their effort. But it’s also a result of factors they literally can’t control.

By the time I made it out of my bedroom this evening, I felt so rejuvenated. I do enjoy times like this when I retreat into myself to think and meditate.

It also helped me avoid JJ. Anytime I get such a vivid reminder of the Ashiedu encounter, it takes me something close to a week to look my husband in the face. It has been 8 years, but sometimes the pain is so raw, it feels just like yesterday.

JJ realized this, and has stayed well away from my path today. And if he knows what’s good for him, he also needs to make himself scarce tomorrow.

Maybe if I get a good weight loss number on Monday, I’ll be able to forgive him quicker 😉



Photo Credit



Catch up on Ihunna’s story here:

  1. Confessions of a Fat Girl 1: Grubbido
  2. Confessions of a Fat Girl 2: Fragile
  3. Confessions of a Fat Girl 3: Defiant
  4. Confessions of a Fat Girl 4: Progress
  5. Confessions of a Fat Girl 5: The Gym
  6. Confessions of a Fat Girl 6: Killjoy
  7. Confessions of a Fat Girl 7: Pain
  8. Confessions of a Fat Girl 8: Frenemies
  9. Confessions of a Fat Girl 9: Exhilarated
  10. Confessions of a Fat Girl 10: Popcorn
  11. Confessions of a Fat Girl 11: Free-fall
  12. Confessions of a Fat Girl 12: Sunday Morning
  13. Confessions of a Fat Girl 13: Mission Reactivated
  14. Confessions of a Fat Girl 14: New Things
  15. Confessions of a Fat Girl 15: Bad Business
  16. Confessions of a Fat Girl 16: Luxury Items
  17. Confessions of a Fat Girl 17: The Solution
  18. Confessions of a Fat Girl 18: Magic Formula
  19. Confessions of a Fat Girl 19: Date Night
  20. Confessions of a Fat Girl 20: Quinoa
  21. Confessions of a Fat Girl 21: Perfect Fit
  22. Confessions of a Fat Girl 22: Keeping In Touch
  23. Confessions of a Fat Girl 23: Delete
  24. Confessions of a Fat Girl 24: Philosophical
  25. Confessions of a Fat Girl 25: Keep it Moving
  26. Confessions of a Fat Girl 26: My Co-Wife
  27. Confessions of a Fat Girl 27: Old Jeans & Old Friends
  28. Confessions of a Fat Girl 28: Prawn Stir Fry
  29. Confessions of a Fat Girl 29: Facebook Tagging
  30. Confessions of a Fat Girl 30: Detox Part 2
  31. Confessions of a Fat Girl 31: Abs & Crunches
  32. Confessions of a Fat Girl 32: Making Notes
  33. Confessions of a Fat Girl 33: Christmas Party
  34. Confessions of a Fat Girl 34: Ashiedu



  1. awwww hugs..couldn’t have been an easy period. I’m glad you didn’t resort to comfort eating. Let go, Our Father in Heaven forgives us of our sins…

  2. @bosa yes oh, she tried for avoiding comfort eating.
    Some men can be very naive with this type of matter. @ihunna you try. Please I don’t understand the high carb, low fat diet oh. Me, I count calories before looking at macros.
    Willpower….like you said, easily thrown around. For me, at the end of the day, I am fighting for me by myself (of course, God is involved oh!). I feel alone in this weight loss thing especially during a “mistake”
    Long story jare…. keep up the good work.



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