When I first went home after my first semester in college, everyone could not help but stutter at how big and fair I had become. To them I looked like a round doll. In all honesty, I could not care. I mean I had a red mo-hawk! Right? With that mentality, I continued indulging in my unhealthy eating habits and over consumption of alcohol.
You see during my first year in college, being an “outcast” as the only African and more specifically the only Kenyan from the continent in my year I sought to do everything in my power to fit in. That meant partying every week consistently from Wednesday to Friday. My friends were all doing it and I thought oh well, I am in college right? For a whole year straight I never missed the; 1dollar beer on Wednesday at Splitures, 1 dollar margaritas at Lupita’s (not the Kenyan actress) restaurant, Happy hour on Friday and finally turn up sessions on Saturday. These drinking and partying sprees were always followed by hunger pans that resulted in late night snacking on 2dollar Mc Donald meals, 7dollar Dominos pizzas, Ice cream, vending machine chocolates and late night Chinese take away.
I was a time bomb waiting to explode. My efforts to be accepted among my peers led me to neglect my body and my body began to neglect me as well. My cholesterol levels shot up, my blood sugar was high and my weight had increased by 18kgs from 64kg – 82kgs. None of my clothes could fit and internally my body felt dirty. At that point I decided enough was enough and that I was going to embrace a new lifestyle change.
I have always been an active person and so this Academic year, I decided to reactivate that. I began going to the gym everyday at 6am so as to start my day well. At the gym I sought to push myself because I believe that our mind is the only obstacle in our body. Our bodies can do so much and withstand a lot if only our minds didn’t tell them to.
I also decided to change my nutrition. I began to do this gradually so that I do not give up halfway. I began eating breakfast and staying away from fast foods, late night snacks that weren’t fruits or vegetables and most importantly too much alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my Happy hour, but I have a limit to how much I drink. One thing most people don”t realize is that Alcohol contains so many calories and can easily make one gain weight especially around their bellies.
To me right now, fitness and healthy nutrition has become a lifestyle and not so much a means for me to lose weight or to get my hormones back in check. I breathe and live healthily. Your body is your temple treat it well and it shall treat you even better. 🙂
PS: I also want to be looking 26 when I’m 60, so I better prepare my body for that right now. As Mr Peter always says, Africa does not only need intelligent leaders, she also needs well groomed leaders.
If you want to follow me through my fitness journey follow @suzifit on instagram for inspiration, nutrition tips and lots of fitness fun. Always remember, why you began when you want to quit 🙂
By Sophie Umazi