September 14th, 2009
I am so depressed this morning. Yesterday was my daughter’s 1st birthday party, and it was a nightmare. The party itself was a raving success, and everyone had a great time. But I almost seemed to steal all the attention from the birthday girl, as everyone seemed so preoccupied with my weight! If I got 10 kobo for every “Oh my God! You’ve put on weight!”, or “Are you pregnant again?”, or (and this was the worst) my husband’s colleague joking about how many airplane seats I had to pay for, I might have been able to buy a plot of land from the proceeds! As much as I tried to camouflage my weight in an expensive loose fitting tunic, and professionally applied makeup, it couldn’t hide the fact that I was now HUGE!
After my dress ripping encounter in London (you can check out that story here), as determined as I was to start my diet, I had foolishly decided to postpone it till after we were back home in Nigeria. And so, I had continued with the muffins, cakes, burgers, and just about every unhealthy meal you can think of. By the time we were preparing to return home, even the loose fitting jeans I had worn for the trip were now tight. I felt heavier, and knew I had done myself even more harm by continuing my binge eating.
When I got back to Nigeria, I was so preoccupied with getting the kids ready for school resumption, and preparing for my daughter’s party, that I wasn’t able to start a reasonable diet. I would start the day with something unrealistic, like some slices of fruit, and then leave the house for my runs. By the time hunger hit me early afternoon, I would descend on food with all the ferociousness I could muster.
So, this morning, I’m all alone at home, wallowing in depression after yesterday’s debacle. The older kids are in school, and my daughter is in playgroup, so I have more than enough time to feel sorry for myself.
It is now an everyday feeling for me to be uncomfortable in my own skin. I have always been able to use food to fill the hole caused by my feeling of inadequacy, but if I were to give it up…how would I be able to fill that hole? And as I cast a hapless look at the gym flyer my husband brought home for me, I wonder how on earth he expects me to sign up at that gym, or anyone for that matter, when even walking down my staircase is a task in itself.
For the first time in months, I am too depressed to eat even a crumb. I have pushed myself so far away from what is ideal, that I have no idea how to make my way back…
September 15th, 2009
My parents separated when I was a teenager, and I think that’s when my comfort eating really started. Even though they never fully divorced (in fact, my Mom was still referred to as Mrs X till she died), the separation hit my sisters and I hard…and we spent the next few years doing everything, and anything, we could to impress our runaway father. But the fatter we became, the more full of criticism he was. He had always taunted my Mother about her weight, and when my sisters and I started falling down that slippery slope (even though my own slide didn’t happen as early as my sister’s), he transferred his taunting words to us. It was as if our weight overshadowed everything we did…academic achievement, career milestones…everything seemed to pale in comparison to how we looked in our Sunday best, and how ‘hard it would be to find any man to marry us in our size’. Thank God, none of us had any problems finding men to marry us…well at least, 2 of us. My oldest sister, Ogonna, is still unmarried at 43…and even the one who got married is now separated. It also didn’t make things any better that his new wife was rake thin, even after giving birth to 2 kids…not counting the 2 she had from her previous marriage. We always felt like Cinderalla’s fat sisters, anytime we had cause to spend time with his family. The irony is that, back then, my sisters and I were no larger than a size 14…maybe 16 at the very heaviest! The thought of what would have happened if I had been my current size actually made me laugh. I’m sure if that had been the case, we might have been thrown out of his house.
But you know what?! Enough with the victim mentality! The buck has to stop here, I’ve got to pick myself up by the bootstraps, and shift my ass into gear if I want to be in a semi-fit and healthy state before middle age sets in. After having just turned 37, I am only too aware that if I don’t start now, it might soon be too late.
But I’m not fooling myself, thinking I can do this on my own. Not only don’t I trust myself enough, the truth is I don’t have the foggiest idea where to start.
I wish exercise didn’t seem like a chore, like something that will cut into my free time…the limited time that I get to do exactly what I want to do, rather than ticking off items on my “to-do” list.
I know I definitely need an attitude adjustment…and badly too. A drastic change in the way I think. It’s time to stop punishing myself because ‘daddy didn’t (doesn’t) love me more than himself or his trophy wife.’ It’s time to start treating myself with some love and care. I’m fragile, but I’m also strong. I have to care for the fragile bits and cultivate my strength. It’s simply time.
Catch up on Ihunna’s story here: