October 25th, 2009
As there was no more hiding the fact that I had fallen off track, I didn’t feel the need to feign sickness any longer. So, I got up early this morning, to make some pancakes…and do some baking. Something I haven’t done in a long, long while. The kids were shocked to see me in the kitchen so early…and even more shocked to hear that we were going for Evening Mass today. By the time JJ was up, and walked into the kitchen, he just stood there, watching me…and the mess I had created with flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and baking tins, littered all over the kitchen counter.
“You’re baking?” he asked, bewildered.
When I nodded, he shook his head again. “Let me guess. Also part of the medication.”
Before I could answer, he had ordered the kids to go get ready for Church, and that they would go without me. I was seething with rage as the confused kids, now dressed in their Sunday finest, walked past the kitchen, with their Dad, out the door. What point was he trying to prove??!!
So, I sat there in the kitchen and ate all the pancakes I made…every last crumb of it. Alone. And when the first set of cupcakes and muffins I had baked were ready, for every one I put aside for the children’s weekly snack, I ate two. A few hours in, I decided it would be a good idea to frost these cupcakes, so I had proceeded to whisk butter and sugar, licking probably half the bowl as I went along.
As the hours rolled by, I wondered where JJ and the kids were. Mass would have ended by noon, and it was almost 2pm now. Irritated, I realized he must have taken them out for brunch. The nerve of that man!!!
I was neck deep in frosting the 2nd batch of cupcakes, when my kitchen door opened. Chidera stood there, her mouth open in shock.
“When JJ called me today, I thought he was exaggerating!” She exclaimed “I thought there was NO WAY the Ihunna I know would have gone back to this!!!” she gestured around the kitchen.
As I looked around, I could see the mess I had created…not just in the kitchen, but also within me. It wasn’t long before the tears started pouring…and in torrents.
“I can’t do this, Chi!” I wailed, as she embraced me “This is not me. All this dieting and food counting…it’s not me.”
“But you were doing so well!” Chidera countered “Babe, wasn’t it you that was boasting about how much you were enjoying the diet?! Didn’t you send me the pictures of that chicken you made?! And, my goodness, can’t you see how fast the weight is falling off? You yourself told me how many compliments you’ve been getting, even from the Stepford Wives!” (that was Chidera’s nickname for JJ’s friends wives).
Before I knew it, she was in tears herself. “This is all my fault! When I got home that night, I knew I shouldn’t have made you join me to eat all that rubbish. I am almost certain that all this happened after that day!”
So, we just sat in the kitchen, in each other’s embrace, with her offering me words of encouragement. You see, Chidera and I had both been meaty girls. We had both moved from a sexy size 12 in high school through early Uni, to size 14…and then size 16. But after she had given birth to her first child, and had become a size 18, Chidera had decided that enough was enough. I remember laughing at her as she switched to an obsessive lifestyle, with daily runs at the National Stadium (she lived near it at the time) every morning before work, hours in the gym after work, and strict meals of salads and lean protein.
She had been extremely obsessive about it, and had succeeded in dropping down to a size 8, with enough muscles to show for it. But her weight loss had been too extreme, and she had wound up looking like a local Igbo wrestler (you know those skinny ones, with the silly pounded yam looking muscles). Her husband had complained, and that was she had met Dr. Nkechi, the nutritionist she introduced me to. With a less aggressive meal and exercise plan, she had gained some weight, and is now a size 10, with her arms and legs retaining just the right amount of tone. And now, 10 years later, she has succeeded in keeping it off.
It was when she confessed her own daily struggle with food, that I realized that it wasn’t only me. She cited the example of her own slip-up at the cinema that day, but told me that, rather than punish herself with over indulgence after every slip-up, it just pushed her to work even harder.
I knew then that I had to pick myself up, and get back on the wagon. The last few days have been a royal mess…but hopefully, it isn’t too late to undo all the damage!
When JJ and the kids came back, they met us, still in an embrace, in the kitchen. My husband kissed my forehead as he walked by, and I knew he knew that I knew (phew) it was time to get back my act together!
I am determined to get right back on it. This thing won’t beat me!
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