By Nancy Cherotich
I am a truthful person; well, most of the time. There are times when the truth is not very necessary, like when a potential husband asks you how many men you have fallen in love with before him or if you are feeling hungry (our ability to eat endlessly can only be revealed after he puts a ring on it). I am however going to be truthful, exercise wise, I have done very little this week but I have tried my best to stick to the diet despite having over one million hormones gathered in this soon to be very tiny body. However I have learned so much, my motivation level is on a new high.
The week started with me being visited by a multitude of hormones. It was that time of the month and there was nothing I could do about it. I am among the women who become almost bed ridden and possess super powers at the same time during this period. I battle with pain, countless emotions and the ability to punch someone to their death all at once. I used to be told that once I gave birth, the pain will be a thing of the past. It was a big lie; the pain became worse. We are women; we somehow survive, without killing anyone. Any attempt to walk during this time was met with the urge to throw fellow pedestrians, especially those who walk while holding hands, below the Umoiner buses. Not wanting to be a risk to the lives of innocent romantic Kenyans, I avoided walking. [Bikozulu: Sorry to interrupt but is she talking about pees up there?]
I also decided to visit my family back at home. My parents could not believe that I was still insisting on checking my portions after they had gone out of their way to slaughter two chickens just for me. In the midst of all the party, my son was not a very happy young man. He is allergic to chicken and eggs hence a different source of protein has to be prepared when we are having either of the two. He hates that fact and during my visit he asked me “Mum mbona ulinizaa hivi sasa?” As I was busy trying to find an intelligent answer, my parents started laughing with my mother saying “Kweli ulijizaa.” They then reminded me about an incident when I was young and I asked them the same question. Apparently I also said that I was much comfortable in the stomach (smh).
I was born with a growth just below my right chin. It was barely noticeable when I was given birth to, but it kept growing as I grew older. By the time I was fully aware of my existence in this world, the thing was hanging down close to my chin (I should look for the photos). Going to school made me realize that the growth was actually not a beauty spot that made me unique as my mother kept telling me. I was endlessly teased and it made me think that my mother did not like me very much because my brother was not like me. This is what led me to ask them the question I was now being asked by my son. What I did not realize was the fact that my parents had in fact done and were doing everything possible to ensure that I got well. They told me something that they had never told me before. In their quest to see to it that I became ‘normal,’ they visited a mganga. This was after a friend told them that nimerogwa and they should sought help from a mganga.
Being young, desperate and first time parents, any suggestions that would make their daughter better, was welcome. They went to the mganga who apparently removed some things from my stomach and promised that I will be better after a few days. Nothing changed. I was a toddler then so I do not remember a thing. They have of course grown wiser and they repented but they still told me that a parent can go to any lengths to see to it that their kids are okay.
Few years later, I had my first surgery to remove the growth but it was not successful and the thing grew right back. After some time, I had a second surgery and it was successful but it left me with a scar and a dead nerve. This left me with a crooked mouth. When I talk or laugh, my lips move to one side. It always reminds me of that woman who was being prayed for by that fake pastor in Embakasi. Her name was Mwende if I am not wrong. I was devastated at first and kept asking God a lot of questions and praying for him to make my mouth okay. He gave me a high self-esteem instead and I am grateful. I laugh hard, talk like a chatter box and no, I do not close my mouth. My father reminded me that my son was waiting for an answer and all I could come up with was “Nitakuombea.” My mum told me that I am strong and there is nothing that I have ever put my mind to that I did not achieve. In her words, all I need nikuamua. That was all I needed to hear.
The journey to lose weight is not complete without having a few people to remind you that you are fat. They are many I tell you. I think in their heads, we do not own mirrors. When however the observation comes from a young one, then you know you have to do something. My son came to me looking quite upset and told me, “Mummy, Jojo (his best friend) amesema ati umenona na wewe si mnono.” These are two different opinions from two kids so I have decided that I am average. Mimi si mnono lakini nimenona kidogo tu. I told my son to give him one of the kebabs I had bought and crisps ndio tukue wanono wote. He went away laughing, clearly very happy. In town around the archives, a tuktuk driver who was shouting “watu wawili twende,” changed his tune to “Mtu mmoja mnono twende.” I just smiled and walked away. There was no way he was talking about me. I am average remember.
I do not know how the coming week will be. My son’s birthday is coming up in a few days. I have the option of just behaving badly in memory of my last days of pregnancy, eat a lot of cake on his birthday then join a boot camp after the celebrations or continue being a good girl, hit the gym real hard and continue checking my portions because I have eyes on me and I also want to prove Jojo wrong. Decisions! Decisions!