Monday, July 02, 2007

The Naked Truth

One of the things I was seriously worried about when I moved back home was that I would put on a lot of weight and become a big FAT mama. I would be walking less and driving around a lot more. I would be eating less healthily; I knew for a fact that I would indulge myself in all my favourite starchy and oily foods. I only hoped that I would not indulge myself too much. I also knew that chances were that I would hit the gym less, after all who wants to sit in traffic for perhaps an hour to and then fro just to spend the same hour working out? Not me, I didn’t think.

Well, I have become somewhat used to the traffic (I still hate it with a vengeance, but what can you do?). I have found a gym that works for me. However, I am not as slim as I used to be. While I am yet to become the enormous woman that I thought I might be, the weight has crept on all the same. For a start, I am definitely partaking of a lot more of the types of food that would make most dieticians keel over in shock. Never having been so keen on eating fruits or vegetables to start off with, I am definitely eating even less now (This is sheer laziness on my part. I find the washing and peeling that goes with eating fruits simply too bothersome). The hours added to my drive by going to the gym have become a huge disincentive to going (especially now in the rainy season and having to deal with the ever-worsening roads).

Despite it all though, I think I have done fairly well with my fitness regime – well, perhaps "well" is not an entirely accurate way to describe my efforts; more like "could have been worse." Anyway, my clothes (mostly) fit me and when I encounter some discomfort, I can typically explain it away with "Well, everyone knows (cough, cough) that ankara shrinks when you first wash it"; "It was time to throw out that outfit anyway"; "The label did say that it might shrink when washed." You get the generally idea. It was the clothes shrinking and not my girth expanding. And I lived quite happily in this state of bliss, until I recently went for a work-related meeting one day at an oil company and ran into an ex-corper friend of mine who works there now.

After the greetings he beheld me with a critical eye and commented, "Wow! You have really added weight oh!"

I barely held my disbelief in check.

- "What???", I exclaimed.
- "Yes, oh! You are much bigger than you were during service year."

I was staggered that someone would offer a (totally!!) unsolicited and potentially crushing review of one’s appearance in such a cavalier manner. Didn’t he realize that this bit of news could drive some women to low self-esteem and an eating disorder? (I will admit that I am given to occasional bouts of melodrama).

He continued, "You better be careful or else you will just become bigger and bigger until one day you look at yourself in the mirror and see that you’ve just become so fat."

I thanked him for his concern with a sarcasm that I know was totally missed. I later retold the story to my friends and sister and we laughed about it. I really should thank him because I think I needed that reality check. 'Good enough' isn’t working for me as well as I would like to think.


classybabe said...

He might have meant well but am sure he could have worded it better.I can appreciate someone telling me when i am gaining too much weight but i would appreciate it more if they said it with more tact

disgodkidd said...

ha ha. am laughing with you.

Refinedone said...

You may have needed to hear it but, that was downright insensitive...that is the only problem i think I have with Nigeria is when ppl think they can tell you anything about how you look!

I give you a joke!...I went home recently and the complain I got was that I have lost to much weight... the reasoning my Sister-in-law gave was this" dont you know you are a mother of 3 or you want to look like under sixteen ( i wish) it got so bad that she was determined to fatten me up before I

My response to them was...”My husband like me like this”...after a while i truly was getting offended..But what can you do, but stand your ground and ignore them, they would be happier if I was overweight, then be accused of eating there brothers money :))

each to there own I say...sorry for the long comment :)

SongReach said...

I have to say agree with your viewpoint, at times those hard critics come along as a blessing. Get moving!

uknaija said...

I know it feels like being in your face, your friend's comment but I think I like the way in Nigeria we are not so weight obsessed and so as Jeremy Weate and Chimamanda Adichie said elsehwere "fat" is just an adjective in Nigeria not necessarily pejorative

Anonymous said...

I totally feel "refinedone"! My wife still looks what I like to call Elegant after two kids, but when we go to Nigeria, people dont believe she has kids and wonder whether her husband is "taking care" of her!!!

On the other hand, my single sister who is big (fat to some) had one girl come to our house in the villa and say to her "come oh, you are fat, whats happening"

My sister responded with a "you are stupid, now get out of my house" The same Xmas, people came to me and asked me to talk to my sister about "slimming down"!!

If I have learnt anything, Nigerians at home will say whatever the hell comes to their mind, the word sensitivity is too long a word for the nigerian dictionary!!! Political correctness? Whats that?

Anyway, you either ignore the comment or you dish back!!As for me, my wife still looks Elegant because of Pilates, so me I dey Kamkpe!

Nigerian Woman in Norway said...

bollocks! that was not on. i hate men sometimes. what the hell? the mindless ways they try to belittle women. that was a typical male dominance technique.