I don’t like my body very much these days. Am I allowed to say that? Am I allowed to be skinny and feel ungainly? I don’t know. Everytime I have tried to complain about this body, I am shut down – my well meaning friends and family gather their bodies, pinch flesh, grab bellies, and then they say to me – you have nothing to complain about. So I keep quiet, and stop talking about the fact that sometimes, I feel fat.

Ironic I know. I’m a size 2 abi 4 abi 6 – I don’t even know what size I am anymore. I think that’s the problem, I don’t know this body anymore. The body I used to have was tiny and lithe and responded eagerly to my most basic attempts at exercise. I got carefree with that body, got used to that body.

These days the body is not so sensitive, it’s a lot more deliberate, a lot less obedient. So I have folds where no folds used to be and to be honest I have no idea what to do about it. This new me. This thicker me.

This me with an accordion like tummy and jiggly thighs. I don’t like my jiggly thighs.

Can I tell you another secret? I’m scared of exercising. Because, what if, just what if, I start working out…and nothing happens? Does that mean I have to live with this body for the rest of my life?

Today I met a designer with a tight lean body and a sense of fashion that celebrates that body – she looked at me and said “Great! You’re skinny, you can wear my smaller clothes” She grabbed my middle and I wanted to shrink – I wanted to say “I’m not skinny, I am a fraud. I have fat under my skin and I am much thicker than I look” I didn’t though, I came back home and looked at my chubby-ish belly and I growled at it – this body part that is falling out of line. Grrrrr.

Please don’t laugh at me when you read this. Please don’t tell me how minor my issues are. They are MY issues. I’m allowed to have them. And like my dreams, they are perfectly valid.

I’m doing something about it though, I’m starting workouts and working myself into making fitness a part of my life. Its not my diet – I like vegetables, sugar makes me nauseous, as does grease. I love salads, raw food makes me happy. It’s just my body, changing, telling me time is passing.

Maybe I panic because it feels like a metaphor of my life – I am growing older, time is passing, I don’t have the same chances I used to have.

Flip that coin and look on the bright side – I might not have the same chances, but I have new chances now, like I have a new body. It’s time to stop looking at the body I used to have, time to stop growling at the mirror. It’s time to build the body…and life, that I have. Work on it, fine tune it, sweat over it, till this new one becomes the best one.

I saw this beautiful picture of Beverly Osu, in her underwear, and an afro. I like it. I’ll make it my inspiration, not to look like her, but to look like my best me. Just like I need to take a picture of the life I want, and work on it, to live the best life…for me. I want to be able to stand and look at my body, and my life…and love them just the way they are. Look at them and smile in the mirror. And when another person comes up to me and says “You’re perfect for what I need”, I can say “You bet I am, I worked damn hard to make sure of it”

That’s the plan.





  1. I know exactly how you feel! I felt this way around Sept/Oct last year. All I did was cut down on my carbs – no more baked goods, very little rice, and loads more veggies. Exercise is a 10 min run to the gym, an hour of weights and abs, and I’m done by 8am. As long as you are consistent, you’ll look the way you want in 6 months. You don’t have much to lose, so don’t worry. Try to avoid long hours of treadmill running and cycling, and do short intensive bursts with rest in-between. Age is not a factor unless you believe it is. As our metabolism slows down, we fail to notice and make the adjustments in our food intake and exercise levels. Stick to your plan and you’ll be in model shape by Christmas!

    • Hi Michael, thank you for these great tips. I’m starting HIIT and zumba, and I also have gotten a trainer, so I’m looking forward to having the body of my dreams in the next 6 months!

  2. ‘but to look like the best me’. It’s always the best look anyone could ever have. I believe in sharing what you will on your space. Nice read

  3. OMG Ms Arit why did you have to write this????? i hate exercise with all my soul, the only exercise i get to do is when am chasing after the bus.(lol)
    I endure my body, it looks good on the outside but i always feel sooo fatigued on the inside now you have succeeded in making me consider the exercise before it gets too late and most importantly, i too want be able to look in the mirror and love what i see. Thanks for the wake up call.

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