Let’s All Be Fat


There was a time I frequently visited She Likes Sweet Things A funny diary of a chick who wanted the perfect body but who couldn’t keep away from sweet things. It was about food and ex-boyfriends and hilarious hubris and the foolishness that comes with youth and more food mixed in with racy anecdotes that gave way to the struggles of a hip young urban female. It was written with a fluidity and brevity and a wit I loved and enjoyed. Which is to say it was unhinged. At the time the author, Wanjiru Gaitho, was a Business reporter with Citizen TV and she seemed to posses that “invisibility cloak” that allowed her to write whatever the fudge she wanted. Then something drastic happened, she went into PR and the blog grew flaccid and irregular and after visiting it a few times and finding nothing fresh I gave up.

Like most writers who sold out, every time we would meet she would moan about “going back” to writing but nothing happened. Too many demanding accounts. Deadlines. PR was eating her inside, it seemed. Then she got married and I thought OK, now it really won’t happen because happiness, I think, is the greatest killer of writing. I think very happy people make very lousy writers. Moderately happy people make better writers. I think the best writing comes from a place of darkness, just like heartbreak songs, well until that stupid “Happy” song came about. Then this month she quit her PR job and joined the corporate life and I told her, Come on Shiro, write! And she said, OK, let me send you something and three days later she did and as I read it, I saw the heart of that unhinged writer. I could hear her voice, distinct albeit covered in the drudgery of her professional past.

Nobody writes well by writing one great piece every two months. You write well by writing every day even if it’s shit and you are insecure about it.

This, wasn’t shit. This was written by someone who needs to go back to writing.

Gang, meet Wanjiru Gaitho.

Let’s all grow fat.

Are you on Instagram? Do you spend countless minutes of your life trolling through your friends’ and potential friends’ and haters’ posts, trying your darndest not to like a 9 week-old post because then you’ll have made it pretty obvious that you’re interested in their lives and that would completely ruin your “I’m too cool to care what you’re up to” attitude?

I am on Instagram and that is exactly what I do. And I’ve been ashamed of that but you know what, I’m coming clean. I’m confessing. My name is Shiro and I am an Instagrammer. Instagram has been my drug and that I have used it to see what people who are no longer in my life are up to. I’ve used it to prove to myself that my life really is cooler than person X’s; I just can’t be bothered to post all that really cool stuff that happens to me because then I’d look like I’m trying too hard.

Let’s be honest; social media is the devil. Social media is the cause of many sins; from tweaking your answer to “So what were you up to this weekend?” to using filter on filter to make your skin look flawless when really it’s just as bad as mine..and that’s on a good day.

Social media is the reason I can say with complete confidence that I am not wearing any make-up when I know damn well that I’ve drawn my eyebrows and brushed on at least two layers of mascara on my eyelashes to make them look “naturally long and thick.” But hey, at least I’m not wearing foundation or bronzer or concealer or lipstick or any of the other 15 products that girls use nowadays to achieve that “naturally flawless” look.

Now I’m writing this and my husband of 2.5 months just read my confession and I can swear he’s laughing more on the inside than he is on the outside – and he is laughing on the outside – but you know what, I’m confessing so that you too can have the confidence, the titanium balls, to come clean.

I was on IG – yeah, we Instagrammers call it that – the other day going over some blogger’s pics. I was wondering how the hell she got her tummy looking so trim that soon after giving birth and I concluded that she’s hiding something from us because you know what: she is a blogger and bloggers love sharing. And she’s not sharing pre or post workout pics – so obviously she’s not working out right? Which then led me to the conclusion that she’s definitely hiding something. She’s trying to look like she just popped out a baby and then got into the best shape she’s been in since she got onto IG without working out. Or dieting. Because there were no diet posts either. Then I scrolled down to posts from a couple of weeks ago and saw what she’d been using: a waist trainer. Or at least what she claimed she’d been using because that might just have been a “sponsored” post. So I spent more minutes of my life that I will never get back looking at the post-waist trainer post pics until I could swear I spotted the outline of the waist trainer under one dress because it was looking very Kim K-ish. And I was happy. I’m sure this is the feeling God had when he finished creating the earth. I looked at it and I was pleased.

I’ve just re-read all that crap I’ve written up there and I can’t believe how incredibly sad my life must seem. I’m not a troll. Honest. I’m just really into other people’s lives. I want to be able to contribute to Kenyan pop culture without having to read Ghafla or Mpasho, and being on IG makes me feel like I’m a tad bit classier than those unfortunate Kenyans who read gossip blogs and sites. At least that’s what I think I heard someone say once.

So anyway, I’ve been on my usual weight-tripping nonsense, obsessing about my weight and not doing much about it apart from watching workout videos on – yeah, you guessed it – IG. I keep telling the husband that we need to work out and we need to eat healthy and we need to get right with this healthy lifestyle story. Of course completely ignoring the fact that he’s very comfortable in his body and has absolutely no intention of torturing himself with home/gym workouts or cutting out junk. But I refuse to be alone in this struggle. And IG ensures that I’m not.

I enjoy seeing people whine about their weight struggles over indulgent desserts. I feel a strong sense of kinship with these people because I do exactly the same thing. I’m a pro at moaning about my weight while licking a spoon heavy with Cold Stone’s Mud Pie Mojo. Half the time I don’t even hear anything over the sound of the ice-cream melting on my tongue causing me to moan in satisfaction. I have a feeling I sound like a horny whale while doing it but you know what? I don’t care. OK I do but not at that very moment.

I’m caught in a vicious cycle of not caring what I eat then suddenly being overcome by guilt and trying to get right. So what do I do to make myself feel better? I go onto IG of course. I enjoy tracking people’s attempts at working out only to fail after week one. I completely get them. They are my people. I mean, last week, after looking and relooking at Ashanti’s IG and her bangin’ bod I psyched myself up for the gym. I started psyching myself up on Monday. By Friday I hadn’t even removed my gym bag from the corner of the closet I hid it in to avoid the guilt that came with seeing it every day. But I did successfully check out a ton of workout vids on IG.

And by Saturday afternoon I had packed my gym bag. My grand plan was to go for a one-hour high intensity workout after my salon date. I went to the salon. Then stopped by the supermarket to pick some water because I was thirsty and hydration is important when one plans to work out. I started driving towards the gym. Next thing I knew, I somehow missed the turning to the gym and drove straight home. I told myself it was for a reason because the clouds were fat with rain and I needed to get our laundry from the line. I mean, who wants their clothes getting wet after all the work of washing them? Logical Practical reasons.

And I did indeed make it to the gym on Sunday morning before going to church. And it felt great. I mean, I still remember that exhilarating post workout feeling. To be honest, I think I’ve used up more energy trying to cling on to that feeling in the week since I was last seen at the gym, than I used at the gym that morning. I’ve used all sorts of excuses this week; from work to not feeling well to needing to be home to cook for bae. Name it, I’ve used it.

And I feel terrible, I really do. I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time in front of the giant mirror I convinced the husband to buy, scrutinizing my body for signs of weight gain. I’ve checked out both my on and off-duty – on is when I suck in my stomach, telling myself it’s a great exercise for the core, off is when I just let it all hang out. I think the husband only sees that when I’m dead asleep and have therefore lost all consciousness and/or will to hold onto the on-duty stomach – versions of my body and told myself I’m not doing too badly.

That was, until yesterday when I put on some small shorts and they fit better than they did when I wore them during our honeymoon. I should have been happy right? Wrong. I realized they’re marked size 18 UK. I’ve been a size 14 UK bottom for the last couple of years so why the hell am I fitting perfectly into shorts that a size 18 UK? Do you know what that did to my weight-esteem? I mean really…I know for sure that I’ve not gone up two sizes but damn!

So, what is my plan of action. I’m finishing this little rant then I am going to have a small breakfast while I scroll through IG looking for workout videos. I need inspiration. I won’t lie and pretend that I do not draw immense pleasure from seeing people continuously post their workout pics and videos only to see no difference in their before and after pics/real life because you know what: I’m a sadist. I am. I want us all to be fat together. I want us all to plan our trips to Cold Stone and all other sinful places and not give a pig’s badonk about our weight.

I want us to be in this struggle together. Is that too much to ask for?


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  1. I so feel you and yes. Let’s Get fat together by indulging in icecream,fries and barbeque fleshes(chicket,beef fillet) But let’s also take lots of water, taking evening strolls with our guys, do veg-fruitful breaks.

  2. a bit confusing for the likes of me.our days it was large and extra large
    now this size 14 and 18 i dont get it but all the same you seem to be doing well in our days they used us as weight lifts to determine our progression in mass build up.lucky will be you if he does not drop you dead and out as too heavy

  3. He he he.The self loathe I carry to the bathroom after weighing myself is heavier than my actual weight.Kwani its a sin to be fat? #WeAreOne
    Join our campaign.

  4. OK, I cant say I’m an IG sort of person. My attention span for scrolling through pics is pretty short! But THE struggle of losing weight and getting into shape is so so real! I have bought books on dieting and workouts and I’ve never finished reading them. Like did you try the DODO diet? You fast one day and eat the next day and you have to stick to some crazy strict diet for 8 weeks. I lasted 4 days. I started doing an ab challenge, so far Ive missed 2 days! Then I decided to walk from work to home (like an hour, 3 times a week!), I’ve done it once so far! Its so sad its funny! But I cant do gyms, I prefer to go walking or hiking but the thought of doing it exhausts me! And my friends telling me I’m not fat doesnt help. OK I cant say im fat but I know myself and I know how I want to look, so telling me what I want to hear is neither useful nor realistic! I just need a serious no nonsense work out buddy to kick my ass when I fail to push myself towards my goals! Anyone keen!!?

    1. i think yazmin if thats you on that picture next to your name..that some folks must hate you right now…what are you…A size 4?Lol…ION what happened to being all about the bass…no trouble..sigh

      1. lol Kate, Im not a size 4, that pic is super misleading!I gained 11kgs in a few months! I think thats a lot!

  5. Biko, isn’t it a refreshing thing for you to post someone else’s thoughts of life? Isn’t it a pleasure for Wanjiru to be a guest on your blog and open up such a succinct confession about her obsession of wanting us all to be fat like her? Wanjiro, I am inspired by the honesty with which you make such pregnant proclamations. Quite a thought-provoking read! I hope your writing journey continues.
    Pleasant Read!

  6. looove looove
    damn weight!! why the F do we have sizes on clothes. they kill my weight esteem me every single time.

  7. Lovely piece ! These struggles are real. #WeAreOne However for me and you who will read this, you cant move from size 14 to 16 , you are ;under 50 and still hold onto gym wishes ! Wake up and hit the road/gym/watch diet … not just for the shape but for your health .

  8. Ladies and Gentlemen! Give it up for the best Female
    Blogger South of the Sahara. Serious. This has to be it. This is the Lady we have been waiting for since Eve.
    Where have you been, dear Shiro? Where oh Where?

  9. Standing Ovation! Awesome, hilarious and true writing! Yes PLEASE GET BACK TO WRITING!!!

    In other news… I relate, I relate so deeply I wasn’t even laughing because, for real, that’s my life story. I now follow @AfricanGirlsKillingIt on IG and dig myself deeper into the abyss of sadness but I am going to join the gym! I am… right after you do. #OkBye

  10. hehe,ati sadist
    with this kind of spirit n rallying I will lose clients bana
    kindly pull down this post,hehe

  11. Shiru is a great writer, what!I have loved this piece and have quickly read the rest…She is seating on talent literally.
    @Shiru, this struggle is real…. social media making it worse.

  12. Hehe I always wondered why the missus loves Instagram so much…Much gratitude Wanjiru Gaitho, I’m entertained and educated.

  13. “I think the husband only sees that when I’m dead asleep and have therefore lost all consciousness and/or will to hold onto the on-duty stomach – versions of my body and told myself I’m not doing too badly.” Too funny!

  14. hahaha yes lets all be fat together. I am with you on packing gym bags for a whole week. sometimes I convince myself I look better now than when I was skinny 🙂

  15. “I think the best writing comes from a place of darkness, just like heartbreak songs”

    and the missus asked me….is biko happy, seeing as he keeps getting applauded for how he writes.

  16. hahaha…i cant tell you how many times i’ve said to myself that i need to workout after seeing how my “off-duty” belly looks like. no worries..we’re in this struggle together #weareone

  17. i can see her fattening her way in she will melt you you will not be there to win it for the n th time just like kyuks

  18. Wow I thought I was alone. I am guilty saying this since I teach yoga but hey,,..Lets get fat, just a little bit. Until we are fat enough to donate blood

  19. Kadish, thanks for directing me to her blog. I can’t get enough. Her writing is for tears I swear. Loved it!!

  20. sincerely Biko are you happy? Since you are such a damn good writer. If you aren’t am sorry but (for selfish reasons?) I never want you to get happy 🙂

  21. The only reason we procrastinate is because we do not want something BADLY enough.
    The day you will want it , badly , you will do it.

  22. isnt it just like him to tempt us with gourmet during the fast?i too am of the faith and have taken this in moderation

  23. Too funny! Good one. Thank you.

    I had breakfast with a friend this morning. Above our table was a sign that said:

    Lord, please make me skinny.
    And if you can’t make me skinny, please make all my friends fat.

    Hehehe. Amen and hallelujah!

  24. I feel you gal, but do little regimes that work for you,it is good to have a feeling of solidarity but at the end of the day, it is your stomach, your waist and your size 18 UK…!!

  25. The struggle to lose weight is so so real!! Unfortunately, it’s something most women are undergoing. Very few actually get to lose the weight and 3/4 of those gain it right back after a while. It’s a vicious circle. Luckily for me, I’ve incorporated the Gym as a necessary evil in my life. Check out ——>>

  26. Ha ha.You are not alone Shiru.My gym bag has been lying in my car boot for the last 4 months.I have run out of excuses !I hate the wobbles that I see often but I love my food.The struggle is real.

  27. You guys have been duped. Biko is the writer. He has only used a woman character persona to tackle a topic not so easy for a man to.
    As a fellow writer and linguist, I greatly appreciate this cunningness…and let’s all be fat!

    1. It might as well be the case but we are entertained all the same. That’s all that matters. The end justifying the means.

  28. Nice writing shiro…i was 50/50 on it though only because am so over people writing about social media, or its influence in their lives blah blah.feel like i’ve read all that before.that being said, you should write more.And Biko you are right. the best witting does come from a place of darkness.The best writers of all time were clinically depressed..i think most readers(ahem..or maybe just me) here would agree that your craft clearly shows in your posts that are not so “happy go -lucky “although we do enjoy the laughs occasionally.

  29. It’s ok writing. It reads more like a diary entry from an average girl than the musings of a literary virtuoso. I find it basic. There is literally no interesting wit or depth. Forgettable.

  30. Hehehe….we can all relate to this real struggle….when i was skinny i used to jog on a daily basis but now i find the little kautambi of mine so life affirming!!

  31. There’s a reason I don’t have a picture…Ahem! Try some yoga. Just don’t do it bi monthly like me. #WeAreOne

  32. #TheStruggleIsReal #WeAreOne Wanjiru Gaitho. I’ve been meaning to start gym since January this year. I am still trying to find my way to the gym. I walked too, for three days, sometimes early this month from work, I have never gone back again. The plan is to eat all that I can this month and start on a clean slate come July. As I write this, I am at Cold Stone,I swear the devil has pitched camp in that place to derail me. Cheese Cake Fantasy ice-cream will be my undoing

  33. Am not trying to hate here but thats boring. Do people still mourn about being fat? Not all of us are you know…poor choice of subject

  34. One must consistently write. Write every day, even though its crap. Wise words from the guru. I find it soo hard to. write. daily. Despite all the inspiration all round me. Example. two stories, one above Shiro’s story worrying about being fat. and my colleagues story about being saved from serious motorbike incident by being fat, not that am any light..

  35. Am so not like you shiro…On the contrary i want to gain weight I’ve lost….eating junk isn’t helping…anyone in such mission as mine can let me know so we embark together..#Noprocrastinationplease

  36. She’s really really good….keep on keeping on Shiro (fellow instagrammer) meanwhile… checking out your IG…we need more women writers *girl power*… Biko.. Thank you for sharing.

  37. I used to excuse our ladies for being ‘meaty meaty’ thinking its genetic until i crossed borders to Rwanda and Tz.Ladies got nice shapes out there.Simply cut back on this Pizza and ice cream culture or hit the gym hard!Ain’t no joy looking like a box of wet wipes ladies#Wearenotone!

  38. ‘Next thing I knew, I somehow missed the turning to the gym and drove straight home.’ This line right here, killed me dead!
    Lets not get fat, lets curve our bodies into sexy little pieces of work, and THEN flaunt our progress on IG. 🙂
    Great piece!

  39. I was very tempted to stop at “Are you on Instagram?” I read through tto the end but I don’t relate with the social media OCD…

    @biko, the absence of a photo on this thread is telling, least of all for the fact that this was a post on social media….

  40. I feel you, been doing it from the beginning of this year..I even bought home workouts.Three days later, I had my icecream..i will start again today I guess #weareone

  41. The number of times I have installed workout apps and uninstalled them is too many to count. I have the 30 day ab workout which I go through while seated watching TV looking forward to the rest days as if I did the exercises..smh. Let’s all be fat!