The Grind Continues


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!

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  1. omg this is so funny and since im pretending to work ( i sit opposite my boss) i cannot even laugh…. tukue wanono wote, I die

  2. Hahahaha second time I’m reading about the “amerogwa” explanation about unexplainable experiences in Kenya. Bitange also referenced the same in his article this week. (smh)

    keep up the good work… you will get there.

  3. Haha take it from an obese girl, I know the feeling. The other day I discovered I’d lost 2 kgs and now no one can get me down with anything they say. Mimi si mnono lakini nmenona kidogo

  4. Nancy Cherotich,
    Interesting article and am glad your son’s got your back. As for the birthday, eat the cake but don’t join boot camp… life is too short. YOLO

  5. The struggle is real..keep up..My 6year old niece poked my belly with her finger and told me “uko na mtoto kwa tumbo”…she thinks her uncle is pregnant…am a dude, what do kids know?..time to get rid of the one not keeping it like Nerea

  6. finally got to read the entire piece. Its a good one. on the contrary I’m slim and i hit the gym four days a week and people keep asking me what i’m going to loose. in my mind i tell them i don’t want to have something to loose so that I can work out. All that matters is that working out makes you feel good. Never relent.

    1. I am slim too. I started working out partly to feel good but majorly in an attempt to gain weight. People think am crazy; they are just short of calling me so.

  7. Hehehehe way to go gal… I love your humour. Self esteem is everything. It makes one radiate and endear people around…looking forward to next Thursday.

  8. Your articles are so witty…I’m still rooting for you!! PS: Book its P’s not ‘pees’ that sounds like kukojoa

  9. Hahaha, I used to wait for Churchill Raw on Thursdays so that I can at least crack my ribs, now I got Cheru @80 and you are the best. I am very slim but this is my favourite section. Addicted ( in Miss Karun’s voice)

  10. So hilarious. Kids can be brutally honest. Unlike grownups who would rather be philosophical and cut corners on something that is so obvious, in order not to hurt you, kids just drive the point home! Hahaha…keep doing your thing gal,

  11. Hahahahahaha Nacny you always make me laugh till my stomach hurts ……yaani since high school you have never stopped being comical.

  12. You only know you’re fat if you start edging people out of their seats in an average bus in Nairobi. Or when your leg space invades the one of your neighbor in a Mathree. I have never understood hawa watu kwanza hukaa ni kama wanaota Jiko kwa gari…pretty annoying peeps.

  13. About kids; just a couple of weeks ago, my six year old son innocently told her mother not to come for the closing day because the other kids were always laughing at the way she’s fat. Now we had to look for a good answer for him, that she was created by God that way. Well she got a good reason to send me for the closing day.

  14. just as i was rogwad and missed a fortnight subsciption.but that is a story for another day recalled back to enjoy the cookies and i hope you do just the same they envy the shape hence the names

  15. Tunone wote!!
    hahahaha that’s what I tell my girlfriends when I share a fresh large red velvet from valentines cake with them!!
    yum!damn now i’m hungry!!

  16. ‘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.’ Hilarious!!

  17. ‘Mtu mmoja mnono twende!’ iKent! Plus the people who keep telling you that you’ve added weight. We know! Hilarious! So what’s the scale saying this week?