Dorothy stared at her image in the mirror, her heart bursting with pride and joy. Even though she was still 15kg away from her target she had already lost 37kg and was so proud of herself. She decided that she was going to reward herself with that very decadent chicken salad from her favourite salad bar. The very thought of it made her mouth water and she quickly grabbed her phone to place the order.
It had not always been like this. As a teenager she had been almost underweight and with her lanky stature she had been nicknamed “Miss World” by her schoolmates. She had been an active sportswoman as an undergraduate and maintained her fit stature. She had gotten married 3 years after graduation and the children came in quick succession.
As was the custom in her village, her mother had come to look after her whenever she’d had a baby, and she followed her mother’s instructions concerning what to eat to produce milk for her baby. She had not even bothered to find out for herself what she really needed to eat. Her mother had also told her that as a nursing mother she needed to look healthy. Between eating to produce milk for her babies and looking healthy, she had become progressively overweight by 52kg in 7 years.
She had never really thought that she needed to lose any weight. Social media was filled with stories about why women needed to lose weight to look good, fit into nice clothes or feel good about themselves. Well, she had always been a very confident woman and childbearing had not changed that one bit. She had great dressmakers and with the help of body shapers, she always looked good if she’d say so herself.
There was also the case of losing weight so that nobody would ‘snatch’ her husband. This was the most laughable reason of all. She understood that nobody could snatch another’s spouse without the full participation of the said spouse, so that did not bother her. She had just accepted herself and her body as the price to pay for motherhood. That was until the day she went for her last annual health check-up.
Her blood pressure was raised, she was borderline diabetic, and her liver was showing inflammation; her doctor had told her that the condition of her liver could lead eventually to a more serious condition and even cancer. Now, THIS worried her. She had been told that all of these were reversible if she decided that being healthy was worth it. This was her wake-up call. She was only 35 years old and she did not want any illness in her future.
Dorothy was upset that the people who talked about weight loss never mentioned any health benefits of having a healthy weight but rather, the narratives were usually around the things that were less important and beneficial to others. But then again she realised that she was actually responsible for the quality of information she got especially about her wellness. She realised that she was actually the biggest beneficiary of wellness. If her body was a house then as the house owner, she benefitted the most when the house was clean.
Having taken full responsibility for her wellness, Dorothy consulted a trained Wellness professional who advised her on the type of exercise to start with putting into consideration her health status, the best and sustainable eating plan to use and also put in place accountability measures to help her stay on track. She was also counselled to take it easy and pace herself, she had taken 7 years to get to where she was therefore she should not expect magic in 2 weeks.
Today was the 1st year anniversary of her wellness journey. Even though her husband and family were pleased with her results and kept encouraging her, she was especially pleased and proud that she had undertaken this journey for herself and for the right reasons. Her numbers were back to normal, and she felt very energetic throughout the day. She was indeed the biggest beneficiary of her wellness journey.