It’s funny how certain incidents that hurt us in the past make us smile when we think about it in retrospect. I remember one story I shared earlier about my weight loss journey. That day, I was on my regular evening jog down Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island Lagos, and decided to stop by a Mall for vegetables. While ogling the chocolate I saw on the rack, a man behind me had the nerve to say:
I don’t think they made that for people like you…
I was so mad, but I did not say a word to him. On my way home, I cried. At the time I had managed to lose 3 kg and felt I had earned that small victory (If only I knew I would go ahead to lose another 30kg). And this stranger from nowhere came and dampened my spirit with his unsolicited comment.
When I got home and recounted the incident to my sister, the first thing she said was:
Don’t mind him…
Three simple words, yet so powerful!
Three words I wished I practised before then.
Thankfully I learned the much-needed lessons. I learned the hard way that in Nigeria, a lot of people have an unsolicited opinion about your weight, whether you gain it, or you lose it.
That experience has sharpened my response to criticisms about weight loss. In this post, I decided to share three of them with you.
Don’t mind them
Yes, I’ll say this again. Opinions are a-dime-a-dozen. Everyone has them. Sometimes it could be an unkind word from a stranger or a not-so-friendly acquaintance. You cannot afford to waste your emotions on every comment that comes your way.
I know, right?! Even though there are some people you should not mind, there are many others you should listen to. Putting it plainly, fat is unhealthy. If you are out of control and you soon find yourself in the 100s weight threshold, Sis, I hope someone in your life speaks the truth to you in love. I hope you have people in your life you can mind. In my few years of coaching women, I have seen husbands pay for their wives’ fitness training, friends pay for friends, sisters pay for sisters, and more. People loving you enough to invest in your health. Like I said before, fat is unhealthy, and this goes even beyond a dress size. So please, mind them.
Now, this sounds funny because we can be quick to label people haters when they are not. Now, there are some haters, but there are some who are frankly not. Let me give an example. The lady who cleans my parent’s home only knew me at over a 100kg. Then one day, she saw me at 75kg. She was shocked. She kept asking me what happened. In fact, one day, she asked me if I was having marital issues. I could see she was genuinely concerned, but I could also have interpreted it as someone trying to be nosey. However, I understand that for her, it was just genuine shock at the change.
My sister was also genuinely shocked when she saw me at over 100kg because she had only known me slim. Meanwhile, my friends who knew me from my University days of modelling didn’t see me in my 100kg days, and reconnected only after I had ‘bounced back’. Some of them were shocked that I had a baby and stayed the same. It gave me some context and understanding of how people react to us. But you must still do what is right and whether you mind them or not, you should understand them.
All of this is why your motive for weight loss is very important and has to be right. If you keep doing it for people, then you will continue to be affected and tossed by their opinions. But if you are doing it for yourself, your health, your kids/husband (yes, they matter too), then you are a bit more confident in your actions.