When I was young, people used to tell me I was fat, even when I wasn’t. At the end of secondary school, although I wasn’t like every other person, I was quite beautifully developed and I would constantly get, “You are too fat! You are too fat!” That messed up my psyche and spoilt my self-esteem.

Getting into university, I would dress tomboyish and would overcompensate because I felt I was fat and for a long time I thought I was ugly. I did start to pile on the weight. I remember someone once told me I needed to quickly find someone to marry and then have a child, and continue to get fat. (She said this in Yoruba.)

Sometime during my university, I was hanging out with my friend, Abounce. I had been so sad all day and he kept asking what was wrong with me. He was a very good friend who was like a big brother to me. He would tell me not to care about what anybody said to me and that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Whenever I tried to exercise and I got on the road to do a brisk walk, people would yell at me, okada men scream, people stare, laugh and jeer. I would lose it and get discouraged. When eating, people would also say things like, “Are you meant to be eating?” and I would retort, “No, I’m supposed to starve and die!” People can really be very nasty.

In the end, it took God’s grace and that conversation I had with my friend, Abounce, to help me realise that I am who I am. I should love myself in spite of whatever anybody has to say.

I am a dream chaser, I am living my dream, I am loving my life and I am beautiful. I do not dress like a reject. In my speech, in the way that I walk and talk, I am proud of who I am and I know I can be a better person.

Perhaps tomorrow I will be able to win this battle called weight loss, not for anybody but for God and myself. Being plus size doesn’t make me less of who I am. It just makes me extra special, extra goodie, extra loving, extra teddy bearish, extra blessed and extra loved.

Somebody needs to hear this. Remember to find love with God and remember to love yourself.

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