MY STORY: I was always laughed at for being fat. Things are different now
I have never been appreciated in school, mainly because I was overweight. I didn’t know how to tell my mother and that just made it worse. I lacked confidence, and being the first born did not help matters. I was supposed to set an example to my siblings.
First it was just about my clothes. My mom wanted me to wear dresses to school and I knew that everyone would be wearing trousers, pedal pushers and jean skirts.
I knew I would be the biggest joke in school, and that was just in class four. In class 5, the same school, I had no new clothes so I had to wear the same ones.
One that particularly stood out was a hipster joined to a skirt. I hated it so much that when I immediately reached school I ran to the toilets to tuck the skirt in. Going back to class, everyone laughed at me. I had not tucked the skirt in properly so I looked like I had a doughnut around my waist. I was ashamed.
In standard 6, my sister and I moved to a new school. On my first day, I was forced to wear a skirt suit to school.
When the teacher took me to my classroom I heard someone ask ‘Huyo ni mama ya nani?’ I felt so hurt that I asked to be taken to an empty room.
Later on in the day, after I had gone back to class, my sister came looking for me. Standing at the classroom door, she asked, ‘Have you seen my sister?’ and someone had the nerve to answer her ‘you mean that tall, fat and ugly girl is your sister?’ He pointed towards my direction.
I just stood up and walked back into the room I was in. It felt like an arrow had been shot at me and pierced my heart. I ended up crying the whole day.
HIGH SCHOOL BREATHER
High school was a bit of a breather. It was an all-girls boarding school and they sort of understood what I was going through.
It was an upcountry school. I had to transfer though because with my weight I could not cope with the environment and the activities. The food portions less and the manual activities more, I was constantly fainting and feeling weak.
My parents decided it was best to transfer me to another school, a day school. It was hard. People would stare and point in public. Wondering how a school girl could be so fat. There was even a time I fell asleep on the bus and woke up way past my stop.
CHANGED MY LIFE
I changed my life at the university. I was still overweight and was taken to an international university with students from all corners of the earth. People were free with themselves. No one was bothered by what the other student wore.
Being fat, I was always uncomfortable with myself. I always thought people were judging me. I felt out of place. I felt left out and abandoned when it came to activities with my friends. I was always self-conscious about my body.
You can only take so much criticism before you’ve had enough. I decided I wanted to be healthy.
I started in bits. I always watched what I ate. I engaged in little pieces of exercises that I could handle. I cut my food portions in half. I didn’t want a gym membership so I used to run around the house.
NOT GOING BACK
It was not easy but it had to be done. Determination and perseverance was major when it came to temptations, and I was determined. I couldn’t afford to go back to my old ways.