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The Big Round Barrel

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I couldn’t stop eating….. I was a big, round barrel, waiting to be rolled downhill…

The famous quote by Robert Frost that says “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by” reminds me a lot of myself and my battle with weight. Only that unlike Robert Frost I took the road that was not only more traveled, but severely trampled upon by numerous persons before and alongside me.

I have traveled far and wide in my quest to lose weight and although I am still not at my ideal weight, I have conquered quite a significant distance. I love my food. I always have and I think I always will. The reality is that love for food unfortunately doesn’t go away just because you wish it away; far from it. Our call to action however, is to be conscious of this love and manage it.

I have many stories to share from my countless ‘slimming’ adventures, but the one that springs immediately and that I will start us off with as we endeavor to get our pre-pregnancy shape back, is how and why I joined the famous and widely viewed weight loss reality show – SlimPossible.

I had reached a point in my life where my eating addiction had reached an all-time peak and I couldn’t stop eating. I was big and round like a barrel, waiting to be rolled downhill to get moving. My turnaround came when my late dad cautioned me to watch my weight lest I go down the same road as him; he was diabetic coupled with hypertension. And so when the SlimPossible opportunity came, I grabbed it and ran with it.

To get us into context and to share a vivid picture of where I was at, I’d like to share with you the letter I wrote as my application for entry into the SlimPossible programme:-

“My name is Monica Mbugua, 34 years old and 106kgs. I have been piling the kilos year after year – from 78kgs in 2004, 89kgs in 2006, 103kgs in 2009 and 106kgs in 2011, my prayer is that it starts going down. I have always been overweight; even as a child, I recall being 60kgs in Standard 4.

The irony is that I am quite active physically, I swim 50 laps daily 3-4 times per week and / or when it is very cold I walk and jog 6-10 laps every 3-4 days per week at the Nairobi Club field. My greatest weakness is my eating habits as I eat more than I burn. I love my food especially potatoes (crisps, chips, wedges, mashed potatoes, in stew, POTATOES ANY DAY!), fatty meat especially pork chops and any fatty nyama choma. With my weight increment I am on the borderline of high blood pressure which I lower with frequent and rigorous exercise.

I am pear shaped so most of my weight is piled around my hips, thighs, rear and legs. Of late though, the weight it is now evident on my face, bust and hands. Attached are my two passport size photos – Before and after – I am sure the difference shows. Lilian, if I had a child(ren) to show for this weight gain it would be somewhat comforting BUT this is not the case . I hope to be a mother of three sometime soon and I know my weight will complicate matters from getting pregnant to carrying the pregnancies to term without any complication.

Between 2004 and 2011 , I have tried a couple of diets (13 day- diet – thrice , Cabbage Soup Diet , Protein Diet – which I abandoned because I missed the potatoes and a 10 day detox which did wonders then I went back to my bad old habits. After every diet, upon resuming normal eating, I would gain back the kilos lost by double. I have since abandoned any attempt to diet, I now know DIETS DO NOT WORK !

Below is an indication of how my weight has been increasing on certain body parts :

Before 78kgs Now 106kgs
Bust 38 inches Bust 44 inches
Waist 28 inches Waist 35 inches
Hips 44 inches Hips 54 inches

My greatest challenge is food discipline and regulating my eating. I believe Slim Possible will offer me the opportunity to “behave” and get into discipline of eating right foods and just enough and have a complete lifestyle change. I appreciate the fact that I am aging and so would be delighted to shed off at least 15- 20 kgs and even more after Slim Possible for good!

I am no longer afraid to admit that I need help! I would be honored to be one of the participants in the next season of Slim Possible. I look forward to a favorable response soon.”

This was only the beginning of what proved to be the most trans-formative time in my life and I still have lots more to share. I am thankfully now about 73kgs and still working at it.

I invite you all to share your ups and downs as we journey towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

 

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