My Struggle from Overweight to Underweight

Tabitha Mwai
Posted October 18, 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 she did. 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 from 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 on 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 story was submitted in response to #DayOfTheGirl.

Comments 13

Log in or register to post comments
Kay Link
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Thank you for sharing your story, Tabitha! So much pressure is put on women to look a certain way, but what really matters is exactly what you mention: loving the women we are and have grown to become.

Tabitha Mwai
May 15
May 15

True

Jill Langhus
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

Hi Tabitha,

Thanks for sharing your story. Good luck with your story submission:-)

Tabitha Mwai
May 15
May 15

Thank you

Jill Langhus
May 15
May 15

You're welcome!

Lisbeth
Dec 15, 2018
Dec 15, 2018

Dear Tabitha,
Its was great hearing your experience. And yes these two words are siblings :-). You got to be careful how to treat each ha.
Best regards

Tabitha Mwai
May 15
May 15

So true

Ngala Nadege
Dec 17, 2018
Dec 17, 2018

Hello
Thank you for sharing

Tabitha Mwai
May 15
May 15

Welcome. You can actually visit my blog where I post more articles
http://decentconversations.blogspot.com/

Beth Lacey
Apr 10
Apr 10

It can be a long journey to loving yourself. I am glad you are there.

Tabitha Mwai
May 15
May 15

Thank you

JANEKALU
Apr 13
Apr 13

Dear Tabitha, am so happy that you know your self worth and maintain it.

Big Hug
jane kalu

Tabitha Mwai
May 15
May 15

Thank you