November 19th, 2009
Getting dressed to leave the house this morning, I knew I looked good. Even though I had to use a brooch to hold the area where my boobs were threatening to burst loose from the top, the overall outfit came together very well indeed! I had paired the brown striped top and navy blue pants outfit, with statement earrings and bracelets. There was no need to look too stiff and corporate. As I drove out of the estate, I made a mental note to go to the gym in the evening, to ensure I didn’t miss my workout for the day.
I got to Chocolat Royale in good time for my 10 o’clock breakfast date, with 2 of my colleagues from my older bank, Jane and Moroti. It had been over 9 years since I’d left that bank, but we had still stayed in touch. The irony is that, even though they are the ones who knew me when I was a much smaller size (probably about a size 16/18), they have been the least critical of my ballooning size. Maybe it could be because they both consider me a younger sister, and have had a soft spot for me from the minute I was assigned to their unit, as a Youth Corper. Yes, they expressed concern a few times, but they have always been quick to empathise with me, and have always had words of encouragement for me.
So, understandably, they were excited to see the new me! In fact, Moroti even had tears in her eyes, as she gushed about how great I look! It was such an emotional reunion, and I had a great time with them. I almost wished I had scheduled them for lunch, instead of my other set of colleagues. As I told them about my business issues, they were very sympathetic, and agreed that it was time to look inward for other ideas. When I told then about the diapers, they were less than impressed.
“Why don’t you go into consultancy, Ihunna” Jane suggested “You are extremely smart! Don’t let that brain of yours go to waste!”
“Consultancy, or any other type of service” Moroti had agreed “You can still sell the diapers…nothing wrong with that. But you have so much more to offer!”
As I drove to Yellow Chilli, to meet my other colleagues, that was all I could think about. I know that there is definitely more than I can do with myself than settle into living as a trader. The question is what?
Walking into Yellow Chilli, my stomach began to rumble! I had taken only a cup of black tea, when I met up with Jane and Moroti, so the smell of assorted soups and delicacies was making me salivate. As I sat, waiting for my colleagues to show up, I was metally calculating if I could afford the calorific damage of a plate of pounded yam and egusi soup. Maybe just this once.
Soon, Ntianu, Adaobi, and Lilian showed up. We had all been in the same marketing team, and, probably because we’re all Igbo, had been duffed the Biafra Mafia by our boss. We had been reasonably close at work, and have kept in close touch since I resigned. But their criticism of my weight sometimes borders on offensive. And it turns out that today was no exception…
Seated by the window, I watched as they alighted from the chauffer-driven Honda Accord owned by one of them. They were all Senior Managers now…as I would have been, if I hadn’t left the bank. I felt a brief pang of jealousy, but quickly waved it aside.
As they approached me, in their crisp suits, and designer heels and bags, I suddenly felt frumpy in my outfit, and berated myself for not making more of an effort.
“Fatty bum bum!” Adaobi exclaimed, when she saw me. That had always been her nickname for me, but it kinda stung today.
As we all exchanged pleasantries, I realized that there were no comments or compliments about my weight loss. So, I decided to bring it up myself.
“Haven’t you guys noticed? I’ve lost almost 20kg” I beamed.
They looked up from their menus.
“Oh, that’s nice…” Ntianu remarked.
The rest had also smiled politely, and proceeded to talk about the menu, and what had happened at work.
I was deeply hurt by how they had brushed off my milestone achievement, especially as they were the ones who seemed the most offended by my weight in the first place.
“So, what are you up to these days?” Lilian had asked me.
I made the mistake of my life by telling them about the issues I was facing with the shop, and a bigger one by telling them about the selling diapers idea.
“Diapers kwanu!” Adaobi exclaimed.
“Are you serious, Ihunna” Ntianu said, clapping her hands in wonderment “Thank God I didn’t follow you to resign that time oh! What?! Diapers?!! Please, give me Atampkpolo any day!” Atampkpolo was the nickname we had for our Regional Head, who had been one of the reasons I had opted to resign, and Ntianu’s main reason for toying with the idea for years.
“It’s a serious matter oh!” Lilian said, shaking her head “This economy is a serious matter! We need to count ourselves lucky!”
And they had proceeded to talk about how lucky they were to still have their jobs, and for their bank to be one of the few that was still standing strong. There was no more mention of my business, nor any suggestions for me to work on. I felt so foolish for exposing myself the way I had.
By the time our orders arrived, I could barely eat a spoon of the fish pepper soup I had ordered (I had already lost my appetite for the pounded yam dish, when the waiter arrived), and just sat in silence, as they gossiped about all the goings-on at the bank…who was dating who, who had sacked who, who was on the verge of sacking who…
Very entertaining…but very mundane talk.
By the lunch date was over, I couldn’t help but lament over the time I had wasted. I would have been better off doing something more productive than spending time with those women. Only my breakfast date had made any sense! I made a mental plan to make sure I see Jane and Moroti again.
Driving into my estate, I was tempted to buy an ice cream cone from a popular store, but instead chose to step on my accelerator and drive right past the shop.
I am more determined than ever to lose even more weight! And I am equally more determined to make a success out of any business I will venture into.
That is the promise I have made to myself, and I’ll be sure to keep it!
Catch up on Ihunna’s story here:
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 1: Grubbido
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 2: Fragile
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 3: Defiant
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 4: Progress
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 5: The Gym
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 6: Killjoy
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 7: Pain
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 8: Frenemies
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 9: Exhilarated
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 10: Popcorn
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 11: Free-fall
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 12: Sunday Morning
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 13: Mission Reactivated
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 14: New Things
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 15: Bad Business
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 16: Luxury Items
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 17: The Solution
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 18: Magic Formula
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 19: Date Night
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 20: Quinoa
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 21: Perfect Fit