Struggle with Weight Loss
Growing up I was always thin, I actually thought I would never gain weight. Things started to change when I joined college. When I was in college most of the time it was just me and my mum. My mum never liked making veggies called Sukumawiki and when veggies were prepared she could ensure we ate them with something else like fish, omena, beef, or eggs. Things became worse when we both had ulcers and sukumawiki was taken off our menu for a while. Eating what you have every day resulted in me increasing my weight dramatically. I did not even notice that my weight had increased until when I went to visit my young sister at school. All my official clothes that were big suddenly could be tight on me. I did not have a big belly by then but might weight had increased from around 68kgs to 75kgs.
The weight did not scare me at all, I disliked being skinny, especially on a man. I started jogging 5 days a week and visiting the gym in the hood. The funny thing is instead of decreasing my weight it kept on increasing. This still did not bother me at all, I was able to run for an hour without stopping and my breathing was okay.
In 2012 I got a job working for a company that belonged to some foreign Japanese guys. Just after getting the job, I started becoming very sick. I was not able to eat as usual and my appetite disappeared in months. I was sick for over six months without the doctors coming up with a diagnosis. During these six month, things became worse and I was not able to eat. My weight had now gone down and I was about 55kgs for a man. None of my clothes fit me and I had to put some extra hold on my belt to hold my pants up. I was so skinny I could count my ribs when I took off my shirt. The worst thing was people saying I was HIV positive because of my dramatic weight loss. I had dropped from having a weight of 80kgs to 55kgs and still going down. I remember walking in Nairobi Central Business District and people hitting me with their shoulders to see if I would fall. During this period I just wanted to gain my weight back, ad rather be overweight than keep losing weight this way. My mother really had a hard time because at this period even her friends had started talking about me. Earlier in the year 2010 we had buried my dad and the way I looked it seemed I was the next one in line.
I had been to three different hospitals with no diagnosis. I was still young and I did not know the importance of having insurance back then so I had to pay cash. My employer had to let me go because I was not able to do certain work. My big sister took me to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Langata. There I had an x-ray, ultrasound, and Endoscopy done on me. My endoscopy experience was not good, I got pinned on the bed as they performed the procedure. During the procedure, they managed to find a tumor that is in my Esophagus. I was able to see it too because the video screen was in front of my face. The doctors cut a piece of the tumor for testing and I was asked to go wait for a while. When the doctor called me again I was told about the tumor and he said it could be cancerous, and I had to wait for a month’s time to get the result. The medication they gave me when I left was to reduce the growth and after two days I was able to eat properly.
By the time I returned for the result my weight had moved to 63kgs and my ribs were now not visible. The result was positive and I do not have the cancer nor HIV that people believed I had. Doctors believe the tumor might have been caused by my ulcer issue. I was under meds for two months and my weight increased during those two months to 70kgs. When I got my next job I was okay and with a belly. Now working on this job made me love good. Yes, I loved my mum’s food but the chef’s food was amazing. Chef at this facility made me love cooking my own food and being friends with the chef made it worse. I had money to and was able to buy anything my heart desired. Junk food also became part of my menu. I went from being around 79kgs – 80kgs to 90kgs – 83kgs. I was too big now with a big belly. Breathing started to become a problem and I was now not able to run the way I used to. What bothered me the most was not the weight but my big belly. I started doing tummy work out but still, my tummy was not reducing. So I started reducing my intake but no change was happening. It is like every time I reduced my consumption my weight was still increasing. This went on until I lost my job and stress started hitting me. Food was not a problem but my weight again started decreasing. I did not understand why I was losing weight again after losing my jobs but am still eating the same way I used to.
My weight loss journey has been caused by illness and stress. My sister once told me when you have peace you will always gain weight. My journey with weight loss and gain is a bit different from other people’s. Some people have been big all their life and are working on reducing their weight. Some have been skinny and trying to increase weight. Do not change your appearance to please other people, but for you. Everyone on this earth is on their own path or journey, just try and live your life to the fullest.
NOTE: Make sure you get health insurance you will never know when you will need it.