I have to start from the beginning…… when I was cute and chubby. Let’s not lie, everyone loves chubby kids and I was the most adorable of them all. Well, at least my mom and all her friends who bribed me to smile with goodies said so. She gave me a lot of attention while growing up and it was understandable. After all, I was her ‘Kibeti’ (handbag), her last born, she never went anywhere without me.

She had used all her trial parenting on my two siblings so when it came to me, she was quite easy-going. Ok, I lie, not too easy-going, just a tad bit. I was always slightly chubbier than all my mates but my mom always consoled me saying it was just baby fat, it would go when I was a bit older. I was always happy and contented when she said this, after all, mother always knows best.

So I became a teenager, a pretty one at that, just slightly chubbier and curvier. I had begun reading magazines and wishing I was thinner like the girls I saw in those magazines. Mom came to my rescue, “don’t worry, you’re still young, it’s just baby fat. it will all be gone by the time you turn 18.”

I turned 18, a beautiful adult who was still slightly chubby. For some reason, I must have thought I would look totally different on my 18th birthday. I was quite disappointed when I woke up still slightly chubby. what the?? Baby fat be gone !! I am 18.

This time round, I did not ask my mom. I had already anticipated what she would have told me. Like many other teenagers in my situation, I decided to take matters into my own hands and work for the image that I so badly wanted. Little did I know, this would be one of my major life lessons.

Lesson #1: You need to know what drives you to achieve goals. If what drives you is superficial, the results will be superficial.

I decided that I would not be the chubby girl any more…..and that’s how the gym obsession started. I wanted to be skinny because that was what society pushed as ‘normal’. I didn’t care what was needed to be done as long as I got the results that I wanted. I cut down my food intake, I became a vegetarian for a while and spent most of my free time in the gym. It would have actually made sense if I worked there because I became part of the family of regular gym goers.

I have to mention that I did achieve my goals, for a short time at least. I just was never content with the results because the ‘normal’ image that society pushed was ever-changing.