My Struggle from Overweight to Underweight

Tabitha Mwai
Posted October 17, 2018 from Kenya

It’s told that all girls are in love with mirrors. Actually, the greater part of their morning is spend admiring themselves. For the longest time, this was not the case for me and I never knew something was off. It’s only after going through a certain Life Transformational Program, I realized that I had an issue with my reflection.

When I look back at my life, it is clear that there has never been that moment where I was okay with my size. As a little girl, I was petite and everyone told me how much I needed to eat. Eating made a very minimal difference to my weight despite me having a voracious appetite. Little did I know, puberty had something drastic in store for me.

Being Overweight

At the age of 11 years, I had already started to develop into a woman. As a bonus, I had gained so much weight nobody needed to tell me about food. The narrative had changed and they now wanted me to eat less. As the changes came, they had no impact on me but after a while, I became uncomfortable in my own skin.

So many times, people would ask me whether I am older than my sister who is 4 years older than me. Those who were a bit kind would ask whether we were twins. This went on to the point it became a joke and at times I would say I am older. When I got to 12 years, I kept growing and gaining physically. In so many occasions, I lied about my age because people did not believe me when I said I was 12 years old.

I was left in a state of confusion because, everyone had been encouraging me to eat and be bigger and now that I was actually big it was not good enough. One of my painful moments was when a close relative asked me who I had taken after given that nobody in our family was a plus size. This made me feel like an outcast but my tough skin made me put up a smile as I hurt inside.

The lowest moment for me was when a doctor declared me overweight. I was unwell and when I got to hospital the first thing after my weight and other vitals were checked, the doctor said I was overweight. My mother had taken me to hospital that day and I weighed more than her. This only added salt into injury.

Due to the issue I had, coupled with my weight, the doctor ordered me not to take any type of protein for several months. You don’t want to imagine what my diet options were. On most occasions, I had to make my own food on the side as the rest of the family enjoyed the same meal.

Being Underweight

My weight remained the same for close to 6 years. When I joined campus, the change of lifestyle and environment took a toll on me. Within a span of 2 years, I had lost over 10 kgs which I have never gained up to date. Suddenly, I had become very tiny and I was told it was not good for my health.

My fortune had changed and now I was dealing with the challenges of being underweight. Severally, I was mistaken for a school girl, other people thought I had a terminal illness, and others said I was stressed while others simply admired my tiny body. However, the challenge was feeling that I had lost weight together with my esteem and value. I didn’t think anything good would come from me and waited for other to approve me. All this time, I really never cared to look at the mirror because subconsciously my reflection brought me distress.

Today, I still get comments of people who think my appearance is perfect and others who think I need to eat some more. I had been waiting to get to that ideal size all these time; in the process losing out in appreciating myself.

There are days I look at the mirror while others I don’t because I am no longer slave of my reflection.  One day I may gain some weight or not but I love the women I have grown to be!

 

This article was first published on http://www.morethanbeautifulke.com/the-irony-from-overweight-to-underwei...

Comments 12

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Lisbeth
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Hi Tabitha,
I loved your last expression "I loved the woman I have grown to be" this is all we need self acceptance, and not based in another persons evaluation.

People can toss us like bread on pan, we want to be proud of who we are no matter the circumstances.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Hugs
Lisbeth

Tabitha Mwai
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Self acceptance is a journey and many women get stuck at what others say about them. Thank you for the love.

Lisbeth
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Wlc dear :-)

Marie Abanga
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Hi Tabitha,

We women have suffered. I don't have time for Mirrors too because what's there to look at? But I love me and don't even wear make up and etc. I had had a journey too with weight and etc, once clocked 115kgs sef lol

Thanks for sharing your story

Your last line says it in a sum

Hugs all the way

Tabitha Mwai
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Thanks Dear.

Jill Langhus
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Hi Tabitha,

Thanks for sharing your personal and troubling story. I hear you. I don't think you're alone on spending so much time, especially as an adolescent girl, worrying about how you look; and then having to put up with all these comments from people who really have no say in how you look. I'm sorry you had to go through that but I'm glad you are at peace with it now. You may want to consider submitting this story for the current story awards, "DayOfThe Girl:" https://www.worldpulse.com/en/voices-rising/story-awards/88828

Hope you have a great day!

Tabitha Mwai
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Thank you. Let me do so immediately.

Jill Langhus
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

You're welcome! Good luck with your story submission, dear:-)

Tabitha Mwai
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

Thank you. I just submitted.

Jill Langhus
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

You're welcome:-)

ARREY- ECHI
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Hi Tabitha,

Thank you for telling your story and exposing your vulnerability. The issue of Overweight versus underweight has been a long one and unfortunately, many use it for body shaming.

I am glad you have decided to just be you and be confident of the lady you have become. Acceptance is always the first step to that confidentiality we all yearn for. Sorry about the myraids of emotions you passed through.

Love and hugs,
Arrey

Tabitha Mwai
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Thanks for the love. It has been a journey.