You people that go on diets, how do you use to do it?I’m not joking—this question is a very important question. In fact, let me tell you why.
You see, this year, I decided to change my M.O. and make only one resolution—to make no more resolutions. This decision was logically arrived at, after many hours of perusing my daily planners for the previous three years and realising that nearly half the resolutions I’d made had remained undone; there was one I was even carrying over each year, like a difficult course. Anyway, I decided to stop fooling myself. Everything was going well until the fourth day of the year.
That’s how that morning, I was standing in front of my mirror; three dresses lay on the floor beside me. I was struggling to put on the fourth dress, one I had sewed the previous November. I turned left, it didn’t slide down. I twisted right, ko le werk. I sucked in my stomach and hunched my shoulders. It slid halfway; I had to use my hands to forcefully drag it into place.
My jaw slowly came ajar at the result in the mirror. The bust was so tight, my poor breasts were looking like someone had ironed them away. My stomach looked like I was pregnant with the last chicken I’d devoured and the way my thighs were banded together, I could see an Okada ban in my immediate future.
That was how I climbed the bathroom scales and stared in horror as the digital numbers went from the previous 68kg to 74kg. Shame on December food and drinks for doing this to me. At that point, I concluded that it was imperative that I add a second resolution to my only resolution. I was going to go on a diet and lose ten kilograms before the 31st of January.
Why did the universe not laugh out loud as I was making this decision? At least I would’ve known that I was making a huge cosmic joke and stopped myself in time. But no, the whole world conspired to keep quiet and let me begin to show myself. It watched on silently as I downloaded meal and workout plans, went to the ATM, took out money, went to the market, cooked orishirishi and sat back to watch the kilos melt off. Little did I know, that each week, I would be learning important life lessons.
Week One: I have an addiction.
Whenever you hear of addictions, you picture people uncontrollably snorting cocaine and injecting themselves with heroine. Have you ever envisioned a young woman in one corner of the world, breaking out in hives because she did not get her daily soup and eba injection? Well, start imagining it, because that was me. The diet I was on frowned heavily at carbs, so I cast out my eba into the darkness. I almost didn’t survive that first week. I changed my diet, sharpingly. I’m a big eater, but I reduced my portions. Surprise, surprise, unlike my previous belief, I didn’t die from eating small.
Week Two: It is easier to be celibate than to cure a sweet tooth.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll understand what I’m saying. The diet called for no artificial sugars of any sort that I could help. I was to get my sugar fix from natural sources like sugar cane, watermelon, pineapple, etc. How was this diet plan to know that there in this technical recession fruits are expensive? Was this diet even aware that those fruits don’t give the kind of satisfaction that I usually receive from a cold bottle of Coke? Or the utter sense of wellbeing I receive from a Snickers bar?
I really tried to honour this rule. But everywhere I turned, in traffic, in stores, and in offices, I kept running into my artificial sugar baes. Running away was more exercise than I could handle. So I stopped running.
Week Three: Walking to and from my fridge is also exercise.
Honestly, I have to ask this. The people who do three-hour workout every day, how do you use to do it? A fitness expert advised me to start with small exercises and gradually ease into the big ones. So, that first day, I decided to skip rope. Just twenty jumps, which I would eventually build into two hundred a day. After the first ten skips, I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I kuku respected myself and stuck to my daily walks to the fridge.
Week Four: Every person who has consciously gone on a diet and lost weight deserves a medal.
This was the most important lesson of all. I know how many times I’ve cast a judgemental eye and sneered at some overweight people I’ve come across. Never again.
So here I am, still weighing 74kg at the end of the month. Rather than stress myself, I have wisely returned to my original new year resolution. No more resolutions.