I know how it feels to take two or more deep breaths, bend and suck belle before hooking the button of my favourite jeans. I know the feeling so well that I became obsessed with my body, hating the way I looked and wanting to be several sizes smaller. In Nigeria, it’s another added frustration, having to squeeze in a space meant for two in public transportation, aka Danfo. You can feel people’s eyes on you, complaining in their minds why you picked that exact spot to sit. Some others will outrightly attack you for being chubby. The joke of it all!
As if that is not enough, really skinny people also get their side of the public gaze, with people all but poking fingers and passing out random comments about your body. Being self-conscious back then, I always wanted to lose some weight, so anytime I felt the skin on my laps beginning to chafe or a slight belly bump, I would go on a strict diet. It resulted in the loss of some fat, sure, but my methods began to affect my health. The extreme ways I went about it – skipping meals for long hours or trying out a new weight loss article I saw online. That was until I realised that I let the idea of a perfect figure define my confidence.
I decided something had to give. It was time to accept my body weight without losing sight of what is good for it. The thing is, working to shed some weight is okay if you are in it for the right reasons. But more than that is making the choices that are good for you. In my journey to reclaim my plus-sized confidence, I pretty much…
Stopped Fad Diets
Especially those ones that pop up on Google. There was one a friend tried that involved swallowing cotton balls soaked in orange juice, the crazy diet promises to keep you full so you wouldn’t consume much. That friend fell seriously ill after, Fad diets promise a feel-good solution quickly but it comes with consequences that will affect your health in the long run.
Worked on My Confidence:
No one is you and that’s your power. It might sound cliche but it’s the truth. Stay active, engage in work that builds up your self esteem. Learn to appreciate everything you do and love yourself entirely flaws and all. A person changes the moment they begin to get confident, they walk straight, they smile more, they believe their work matters and that changes the game.
I also realised the value of having mentors. There are a lot of people who are making it in all sizes and shapes. There’s Lizzo, Gabourey Sidibe from Empire, even our very own Teni Makanaki. Let them inspire you anytime someone points out an imagined body flaw that you have. Always remember to own your beauty