THE WEIGHT DEBATE

Hi Everyone!
I have been seeking an opportunity to bring up this topic and I am so glad that I have one now.
The issue of weight and weight loss is a big talking point (and big business!) in Nigeria. There are so many ‘weight loss centres’, most of which are uncertified and often advocate really unhealthy weight loss methods.
I know for a fact that many young (and older) Nigerian girls and women have eating disorders most especially bulimia.
The Nigerian environment really does put a lot of pressure on women in terms of their weight. I don’t think that the Nigerian ideal of beauty is a ‘stick-thin’ image but people (especially women) tend to comment very openly (without invitation) on other women’s weight. Voluptuous girls get the ‘you should lose weight’ comments while skinny girls often get the ‘you should gain weight’ comments.
How many times has someone that isn’t even a good friend or close relative said something along the lines of ‘Long time! Ah you have gained/lost weight….try to lose it/you should be eating more’….
Did I ask you for a weight assessment?
I was reading the new TW magazine (It’s a fab mag by the way, its geared towards a late thirties/forties audience though) and I saw this article on weight loss. I am proud of the lady featured for pursuing a healthier lifestyle but I am even prouder of her for discussing her eating disorder.

Here are some great Nigerian heathly lifestyle/weightloss journey blogs
London Buki F-I-T
Let us know what you think? Would be great if we should share our experiences.
66 Comments on THE WEIGHT DEBATE
  • ink January 24, 2008 at 11:22 am

    im firrrst! yup, i can attest to that. there are many young girls at the back of boarding house dining halls puking their lives out. sounds graphic? i know…and they r still in denial. we need to remmber that we are beautiful no matter what. tu sei bella! siamo belli!

  • Anonymous January 24, 2008 at 11:40 am

    second …. yahhh!!!!

  • onydchic January 24, 2008 at 11:43 am

    hmm, how weird. 3rd…

    Well as someone that has been (and stil is )battlin with weight for YEARS, I must admit I’ve never been that inspired to go to extremes like bulimia. I’ve tried lots of things and there’s nothing more frustrating than going at something for AGES and seeing virtually no difference.

    I can say that I have honestly not gone a day without thinking about what I’ve eaten for for more than 6 years. And you’re right, nigerians are more tthan quick to give you a physical assessment you didnt ask for. I can’t even begin to list the various stupid comments people have made to me.

    I’m not grossly over weight, but i AM overweight, and it bugs me. Luckily Ive been steady on the same size for ages as opposed to gaining. I know I really lack discipline, and encouragement, and mos times I wish I could find someone to do it with me, maybe that would keep me going. Also, I literally dont have the time for exercise. It got worse when I started working cos I’m in the office a good 12 hours a day. I wake up too early and sleep too late. Sigh…

    But I’m trying, looking for that inspiration… who knows.

  • Anonymous January 24, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Okwei story is different as she was not watching what she was eating. Nuitritionally: her food lacked it. That’s when she started gaining weight. She was not doing it for society’s sake but for her health.

    But to loose weight because of comments from pple and individuals is due to lack of self – esteem.

    One can be fat and smart except if it is a case of the size affecting one’s health like having diabetes, hypertension, heart attack … and so on, then one can think of loosing the weight. Not only loosing it but maintaining an ideal weight for one’s height.

    That is when what is called BMI comes in. It means that one has to match their weight and size according to their height.

    Bulimia and Anorexia i believe is not sthg that we should be experiencing as Africans and unfortunately we are experiencing it through some of our sisters, female friends, even brothers… yes! males experience it as well, no one is exempt, if one is not careful. It is sad though.

    On a lighter note Bella: MTV is the “devil” we should be mindful of what is infiltrating (i hope i got the spelling right) the Nigerian Media market.

    Some foreign programmes just expose our young ones to “nonsense” even the older ones, (although they don’t always tell the truth about it, that is, the older ones) and there is nothing that can be done about that. We cannot force them.

  • Anonymous January 24, 2008 at 11:46 am

    okay back from the excitement … the weight thing is really becoming a problem in naija everywhere you go women are complaining aout their weight. I think ppl should just aim at keping fit and healthy instead of focusing on weight loss.

  • CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS January 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I have always had issues with the way i look. I have started a gazillion diets, not because I want to be Kate Moss but because I want to be Catwal, toned and energetic.
    If I was not such a lazy girl, i would have achieved it a long time ago…

  • fade January 24, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I never thought a time would come when bulimia and anorexia would be issues that would concern nigerian women.I believe we have become victims of the foreign media,most of the time we are so interested in seeing how hot some one looks ignoring the fact that they have probably photoshopped the living dailylights of that picture.

    Even our TL is guilty of that.have u noticed how very different the pple on their covers look compared to what they actually look like in reality.

    Every ones wants to lose weight so bad that they do all sorts,even drink some funny looking slimming teas.My gran gave me some a while back cos she felt that i wasnt skinny enuff lol.

    I have never been one to bother about my weight cos i am comfortable in my own skin.

    Look into my wardrobe u will see clothes of 2 dress sizes cos my weight for some bleeding reason just swings anyhow but hey am happy!

    I met my boyfriend when i was fat,i lost some weight along the line.So mr man has had the opportunity of seeing two sides of me.

    I agree with ink,everyone should remember that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and stay fit and healthy

  • Justme January 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    We have Oluchi & Agbani to thank for our society accepting super slim women. Back in the day, they were called all sorts of names.

    If u look at all our beauty queens before Agbani, they are model slim why? to conform to international standards of beauty. The Bruces i guess realized that all the curvy naija beauties they were sending to Miss WorlD & Universe were not even making top 10.

    I attended an event with a male friend a month ago, they had a fashion show and the models were strutting in their very skimpy outfits, some in bikini’s, now, there was a girl among them who had a humongous ass, she has a nice shape, wasnt fat. Was probably a size 6(American), size 10( British) But with some SERIOUS curves. She stood out because she wasnt “model slim”. I thought she looked alright but my male friend was disgusted and said over & over that she wasnt meant to be on that runway.

    As a proud size 14 (British), size 10 (American). I think more focus should be on health & wellness than weight. So many women are “slimming down”, toning/lightening their skin and wearing some weaves that are more outlandish than beyonce’s. What the hell is going on?

  • Eny January 24, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    lol,@ just me, i agree the way things are changing lately baffles me too. I’m also a victim tho, i’v tried losing weight countlessly and am not even fat or anything…………i always feel the need to. Infact i’v always been a lepa b4 coming to the uk. But the pressure of keeping up the good looks used to get me till i realised how horrible i cld look if i deny my beautiiful body of its essential nutrients!

    Being fit makes u look good in clothes and makes u feel good too.
    I dont blame pple trying to keep fit, but pple trying to lose weight by vomitting is asolutely appauling, what the heck? Has anyone seen Amy winehouse lately (dunno if her wahala is ganga or starvation o)? Pls compare her to beyonce who evry1(who’s ignorant) calls fat now…………she’s ‘fit’ not fat and a very reasonable weight as long as she keeps it…………Now my point? U can always have a bit of flesh and look healthy, pple dont have to be skinny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My naija sisters abeg dont lose the natural beauty God has given u lot………..Lets jst try to live healthier lives, shikena!

  • Anonymous January 24, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Knowing one’s body structure and how to balance it with the right food is important. People will always give comments whether you are beautiful, skinny, ugly or fat.

    Someone with good self worth should not be bothered about all these cos of comments. I have been called skinny all my life but will i let it bother me, I have chosen eat food that is healthy and stay strong for me, My LIFE HAS NO DUPLICATE.

  • Thoughts Aloud January 24, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I have always been an avid weight watcher.When I gained a few pounds a while back out of sheer indiscipline, I was miserable. I put my weight to GOD in prayer and took it a step further, I began running and working out seriously.
    It’s all about GOD and discipline and you must want it enough to do it.Preseverance is key too, some days you just don’t feel like doing it but you’ve got to get up regardless and go do it.
    People want walk to me and tell me I’ve got a hot bod, whites and blacks alike and at the gym nko, I’m like one hero there.I’m not saying this to impress but rather that when you hear things like this it encourages ones and makes you wnat to soar and keep at it.
    And pls forget the fact that it’s a Naija thing or not, granted the comments are uncalled but if you look good, you feel good with yourself.
    There are some weight gains that are caused by health problems but the weight gain caused by indiscipline and simply the love of food should not be abided.Imagine, gulping down a full sized pizza all by yourself and adding a large milkshake to it.Haba now
    PS I work 8-4 but still find time to go to the gym at night every single day except sundays.IT CAN BE DONE.

  • Naija Chickito January 24, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    My idea of a healthy lifestyle:

    1) aerobics classes every Saturday morning,
    2)eating 3 times a day (dinner before 7pm)and in moderation. I never eat until I’m full. I stop just before:)
    3)Eat junk food once in a (long)while
    4) Monitor my BMI (Body Mass Index). As far as I’m within the normal weight range for my height (Usually at the tail end of normal), I’m ok.

    I’m no expert, but this works for me!

  • Anonymous January 24, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Dear Bella forgive me for derailing but you used to give us gist about who and who were getting married but no gist is forthcoming in that area just like adaure who is now a political blogger what ahppened along the way i know that tonnes of people got amrried over xmas pls update us

  • Sugabelly January 24, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    We’re all battling with weight because you see these thin girls that look good in everything, and at the same time you want to have this curvy sensual body. It’s VERY confusing. I’m sticking with curvy. And I mean curvy, as in slim but with hips, breasts, and a tiny waist, NOT the way Americans use it to describe every FAT girl. Yes, you ARE FAT. Get over it. *curvy tummy…… what the hell is that?*

  • Kpakpando January 24, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Hey Bella,
    Great topic, I’m sick and tired of tactless, rude and downright mean people (especially Nigerian in Nigeria) making comments about people’s weight. Like this trip back home last month, I got so many “O my goodness, you need to eat something, are you sick?” Meanwhile these are the same people who poked and prodded me about how much flesh I had when I was there for Easter. If I weren’t so nice i’d tell them that I can lose or gain weight and still be a fine girl, but what about them that have to live with their own ugliness? May thunder fire all of them!
    Since I moved to the US, I’ve employed some pretty harmful tactics to lose or maintain weight. Selective anorexia, but I called it fasting; exercise bulimia, binge eating, laxative abuse, you name it I have tried it at least once; but for me my “weight issues” were never really about weight, it was just an unhealthy outlet for the other things I was dealing with. I suspect that weight “issues” masks plenty of issues for others as well.

  • Kpakpando January 24, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    oh yeah, Bella, I am praising God o, I think you’ve had an update just about everyday. I’m going to do thanksgiving for this one o.

  • Anonymous January 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    in fact !! i dnt know where to start from.. this weight issue is one that i’ve been fighting since i moved to the uk. when i loose weight, people tell me i look sick, when i put on weight, they begin to frown and tell me that i’ll soon start rolling about as opposed to walking..( us naija people sef sha).. i realise that i should be of a certain weight that pleases ME and only me, but when u have a boyfriend that tells you that you’re beginning to take up all the space on the bed?? AH !!

    my people, i have tried all including that yeye maple syrup diet as well as one slimming tea that is total PUNISHMENT. i only take it when i have NO plans for the next day as i spend that day between holding my stomach in anguish and moaning on the toilet seat !! NO joke oh..

    i read this article, and actually thought i might try forcing myself to throw up after meals, but i no fit i beg, that one seems too extreme jo..

    na only God go deliver me from this laziness cos like some ppl, i seem to be looking for quick fixes.!!
    anyway, im open to suggestions oh. pls be constructive cos im just being honest and i know there are peple who are in the same situation..

    p.s absolutely loooove your blog bella, but i agree with anon 1:52, what ever hapenned to who’s marrying who?? ; )

  • kaffy January 24, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    It’s ironic that you say people who don’t know you or have been away from you have the audaicty to comment about your weight the first time they see you. I have had a lot of that lately and it gets on my nerves. I even wrote about it on my blog too and warned those with nothing to say to stay away.

    what’s wrong with having curves or having a fast metabolism. either way, you should love who you are just the way you are.

    I would warn those without any social skills to avoid using weight additions or losses as an introductory greeting when they meet friends and acquaintances, they need to go to finishing school.

    Love your blog by the way.

  • Daddy’s Girl January 24, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    The issue of body image is huge and is one of the things that inspired the Carnival of odes currently running on my blog – check it out!

  • Paris January 24, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    its funny and co-incidental cos a course mate who is american was just asking me yesterday why nigerians are overly weight conscious. she told me abt how she was attending this nigerian church, left 4 a year and then came back and the welcome back she received from pple who never even said hello 2 her in the past was “wow!! u have gained a lot of weight” she got so upset and never went back 2 d church cos of that.

    nigerians and never minding their business. na wa sha.
    d lady with d success story is very inspirational. ive had some weight issues myself so its always very nice nd encouraging 2 hear stories of pple who even had wayyy bigger wieght problems than myself come out a success.

    oh yea i had a friend in nigeria who was bulimic.sad but true. and the funny thing is if u happen 2 be skinny, then its either ur poverty stricken or u have aids. funmi iyanda spoke on it on one of her episodes. she talked abt how pple were constantly telling her 2 gain weight. well i feel d most important is 2 be healthy and have a sense of confidence b’cos people will always be people and what do people do?? TALK TALK TALK!

  • bleue January 24, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    i’m skinny. size 0 skinny. i have fluctuated between a size 00 and a 2 for most of my life. i don’t care. other people do apparently and have had very interesting things to say about my weight or the lack of it. but because i can’t be bothered to exert what little energy i must have (sarcasm), i try to save the sparring for special occasions.

    i love who i am. i have been called ‘teenygbekun’, ‘lepashandi’, and ‘the starving african’ for it but last time i checked, none of those names appear on my passport. i look FANTASTIC in my skinny jeans (HECK YES!), i feel FANTASTIC in my skin, and i am a FANTASTIC human being.

    as a sidenote, i’m skinny because this is my genetic predisposition. i went on outlandish diets in the past to gain extra pounds but ended up with a bloated stomach that was disproportionate with the rest of my skinny body and HUGELY unattractive. NEVER AGAIN.

    ALSO, can i just add that it follows, at least in theory, that i should be allowed to call fat people WHO CALL ME SKINNY fat. but i tend not to because it perpetuates a petty and vicious cycle that i am too educated to endorse. however, one of these days when i’m not feeling too self-righteous, i will remind such people that if they can take the liberty to call me skinny, famished, hungry, anorexic, etc., i have a bloody right to show them that i know just as many synonyms for ‘fat’. whaaaat? big girls don’t cry!

    :)

  • LondonBuki January 24, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Yup, some people are just too forward… A few years ago, some guy from my Mummy’s church in Lagos(okay, he was a Junior Pastor) saw me when I was still overweight and the first words out of his mouth when he saw me were, “Ahhh Buki, you’ve bohgad up”…talking about I’ve been eating too many bohgas(burgers) and I’ve boghad up… Please who asked him?

    Happy New Year Bella!!!

  • LondonBuki January 24, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Oh… I just like being fit an healthy… I like to look good… When I feel I have let myself go(like right now, lol), when I feel I am on my way to being overweight again, I work harder.

    I must admit I got too skinny at one point(during my initial weight loss) but I wasn’t starving myself, I just kept dieting instead of increasing my food intake. I don’t think I will go back to that… I have learned from my own experience :-)

  • Anonymous January 24, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    omg!some nigerians are plain rude!my mom too is like that she sees someone she hast seen in a while and the 1st thing is “o ma ti n put on”(u are adding weight) and i am like “mommmy,u cant say that”..she’s like “oh ,am only telling her the truth o”
    i was in 9ja this xmas and the 1st thing pple were commenting on was my weight “ahh!u r fatter”..”u have lost weight o”..”you are now looking like sisi”….all sorts of different comments…

    ..at time i love me in the mirror at times i feel fat!…right now i am between british size 12-14….sometime depending on d style i can wear size 10….for my skirts n pants i am a size 10!!maybe 12 sometimes…i want to be healthy….i dont want to diet..i just want to know how to eat the right food and adpot that as a lifestyle….cos i mean how long can one diet for?i want to work out more and be more active..

  • Anonymous January 25, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Nigerians do need to learn about boundaries about a lot of things including commenting on peoples’ weight or appearance, period.

    Last I went to Nigeria, people actually did not comment on my weight except how tall I was. I am almost 6 feet tall and weighed 210lbs then. Because of my height and that I carry excess weight well, I just appeared solid even though I was technically overweight for my height. They were more focused on how dark I was…at least the hateful women that commented on how “dark” I was.

    Since then I have lost 30 pounds using Weight Watchers and kept it off for almost two years. I am now in my weight range for my height.

    I have maintained my weight by following the Weight Watchers system loosely at home, doing Shape Magazine bootcamp program 5 times a week on dvd for 30 minutes.

    I also do a weekly cleansing tea to remove waste from my intestine and eliminate any stomach bloating. I avoid chicken altogether and eat other organic meats in moderation. I eat 3 veges (raw and cooked), 2 fruits, three bottled. I eat 2 servings of dairy such as soy milk and fat free yogurt. I take a multi-vitamen, b-complex for stress, hair vitamen, and ground flaxseed.

    I can go on and on with my regimen, but I put myself first and that is what every women reading this needs to do. I also seek out information on how to care for me.

    Ladies, stop vomiting or starving yourself and find out how to get healthy and loose the weight you want to loose. The information is out there and YOU are worth the effort.

  • Ladybrille January 25, 2008 at 3:46 am

    Lol @ the reader whose mother said you have put out on weight.Lol! I recall when my mom did that to my African American friend in the USA. Iy was a party at our house. I nearly just about died. My siblings and I quickly switched into the messed up, make u roll on the floor broken Eket language we sabi begging her to please stop o! That America is not Nigeria o.

    Growing up in Naija, my epitome of a beautiful woman was a plump woman, for real. That is because I heard so many times that I was really pretty but if I added weight “like dis,” I would be “banging.”

    For a while I noticed black/African men where disinterested in me and they usually urged me to put dem meat on dem bones. I would get more white guys always asking me out. It appears a shift for the black and African men took place, thanks to BET, MTV and the likes with images of skinny black superstars. The white guys still ask but now they got compettion. LOL!

    I got into the USA and for once I fit in b/c they LUVED the lepa shandi. The dichomities and struggles of body image is something I find really intriguing, especially from a Naija skinny girl perspective. It indeed served as one of my motivaton to write the article below. I am glad u r covering this issue. . .

    http://www.nigeriansinamerica.com/articles/1380/1/Demystifying-the-Exoticness-of-the-African-Fashion-Model/Page1.html

  • Anonymous January 25, 2008 at 8:08 am

    This weight loss story is not an inspiration,it was a case of the end justifies the means.Studies have shown that the ideal weight a regular sized person should lose is one, yes ONE pound per week. Yo yo dieting will come back to bite u in the ass when u are older. Brittle bones etc. Generally speaking u should not eat anything bigger than the size of ur palm. So lets say u want to eat rice, one regular cooking spoon is sufficient to satisfy your nutritional needs. Eba the size of a tennis ball is more than enough. Moin moin u can indulge in but be sparing in the use of oil, and canned meat while preparing it. Dodo once a week or two. That woman’s diet annoyed me cos it is not realistic,no nuts, no fruits, u cut back,not eliminate fat from ur diet. Cutting back is a lifestyle change, eliminating is a diet and when u go back to eating eba and rice, ur body holds on to more fat cos it is preparing for the next fast.I hope she keeps it off using common sense , but with this her diet, she is bound to put it back on when she starts eating naija food and cannot control herself, 21 cokes in a day, wow.
    Moderation and exercise is all u need. Instead of that three combo chinese lunch, have a small,u can get ur veggies from home.Research foods with a high glycemic index and stay within those guidelines as much as possible and u will be fine. Reduce processed and refined foods as much as possible.And above all else, keep moving, if u r lazy, walk every day for 30 minutes.walk for 30 minutes in the food court b4 or after getting lunch if it is too cold to go outside.

  • Anonymous January 25, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Correction, LOW glycemic index foods.Phew. Before i go kill people:-)

  • Uzo January 25, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Aghh…

    I will probably battle weight all my life…A healthier lifestyle and exercise is key. We know that in theory but the reality of our everyday lives makes that a little difficult so its a balancing act…

    Thanks for doing a post on this….

  • Anonymous January 25, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Well, I haven’t read the interview but I am enjoying the comments. My friend went visiting in Nigeria some years back (she was born and bred in the UK). In the market she attracted comments such as ‘Bournvita’, ‘ah fattie bom bom’ and these people did not see anything wrong with their comment. Matter of fact they expected her to laugh with them!!! Another time, I was with a friend at Tej. market looking for ankara, some market man shouted at my friend ‘ah this wan neva reash 15 she don dey wear make-up like this, I wonder wetin e go do wen e reash 20.’ My friend’s 25. But the joke was, the guy felt it was perfectly normal to shout that out in a market place. I was stumped.

    My point is uninvited comments are part of the Nigerian culture and won’t go anywhere for a while. Best thing to do when you get an unwanted comment esp as a greeting, say to the addressor ‘ I’m not comfortable with the way you are addressing me’. It may seem extreme but with time, the attitude will change.

  • Anonymous January 25, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    sha in Naija people tend to say whatever is on their mind, so you can give it back to them or be the bigger person and ignore them.

  • BeautyinBaltimore January 25, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    I am so happy you covered this. I sent you an email over a year ago to write about this.
    thank you

    I think with blk girls our problem is that our standard of beauty is so different from whites. We need to be curvy but with a flat stomach no pouch, at least in America(bodies like Beyonce,Buffie and Meliissa Ford). I could be wrong but isn’t the standard similar in Nigeria.

    I’ve read a number of Nigerian blogs in which the writer talks about wearing a size 0 as a goal(me included). Is the superslim look ideal in NIgeria?

  • Anonymous January 26, 2008 at 2:35 am

    OMG! I am so happy you covered this issue because i had a terrible experience when i went to Nigeria 5 months ago. I call it terrible cuz this people were so mean to me including my family! I left Nigeria when was 16 and obviously i was skinny as hell when i left. I went back last year when i was 23. As soon i got to Nigeria, the first thing they were saying was “you are fat oh” “You have gained so much weight” or the worst one “who did this to you” Anyone hearing them talk like this would think im really fat right? Im a freaking size 8! I weigh 150 pounds and im 5″6′ tall with curves in the right places. I dont have an incredibly flat stomach but i dont have a pouch either. I have thick thighs and a round butt. Its not as big as buffy or melissa ford but its nicely shaped. Im looking at myself like “am i really that fat?” Everywhere i went in Nigeria, they say the same thing. Everybody is so skinny in Nigeria that they look like they are suffering. I felt like crying cuz they would say it to my face all the time, even my sisters and my mom. Everytime they see me, its like “O ti gain weight o” I wanna just lash back but i cant because i dont wanna be rude. Its annoying cuz im very comfortable with the way i look but they just wont let me be!

  • Waffarian January 26, 2008 at 8:44 am

    My dears, its the same story everywhere. I am so glad Bella brought this topic up, I have been meaning to do a post as well based on the observations I had the last time I went home. I kept wondering how people dared to be so rude. Here, nobody would ever make a statement like that, especially not to people you do not know.

    Now, in Nigeria….another matter entirely. It is the lack of etiquette that I find particularly disgusting. You should come to Warri and see the kind of comments people make, not only family oh, but even the “sweet seller” at the road side, the “bread woman”, neighbours and in fact, everybody had the right to comment on your body.

    I remember a particular incident 2 years ago with my mum. We were walking down the street and we met a friend of hers whom I have never seen before in my life. My mum introduced me as her first daughter who was home for holiday. The woman said, and I quote,”Is this your first daughter? she is fat oh!”. I was so mad at her, I did not greet her or make small conversation as is required. My mum thought “I” was rude! Imagine!

    I thought people were exceptionally rude and I have to say that they were mostly women that made such comments. It did not matter if they themselves were fat, they still said something about your weight. I do not ever remember it being this way as a child. I remember most of my older female friends having very healthy attitudes to their weight. Most of them went “jogging”, or went for long walks. I do not remember them ever being obsessed with their different body parts.

    As for me, I am eating healthy and going to the gym on a regular basis and thats all I am gonna do!

    PS: but me, i dey trip for the way all those nollywood stars, na so their skins just dey glow! haba! abeg, if anybody knows the “creams” wey dem dey use, abeg, hook me up!

  • Anonymous January 26, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    One thing I’ve noticed is how sensitive we have become since living abroad. people talking about ur weight is not a lack of etiquette it is simply our culture. we are brutally honest and upfront. Instead of being offended when someone calls u fat, simply say “THANK YOU, I TRY, BUT I NOTICED U LOST WEIGHT, IS EVERYTHING OKAY”. This is what I told people this christmas and they were dumbfounded. When you come to naija you must learn to grow a thick skin, who are you losing weight for? the bread woman, or ur mother’s friend u don’t even know? No abeg love urself. Men love thick women, u husband will most likely leave ur skinny behind for that thick woman whose buttocks he looks at at work. GURLS PLEASE LOVE urself, society will not try to accomodate itself 4 u, so u must not accodmate urself for it. Curvy is sexy, has and will always be.(Marilyn monroe, beyonce, music video gurls name it). OR U WAN look like u suffer H.I.V or P.O.V.E.R.T.Y? (no insult or disrespect)

  • Anonymous January 26, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    It has never been our culture, abeg. What are you talking about? It is our culture to be polite and respectful, that is the true African culture. Talking about weight is not an African thing, so don’t even bring sensitivity into the matter.

  • Anonymous January 26, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    well I can see the point that the previous anonymous is trying to make, meaning that weight comments should not be taken to heart so easily. I don’t know about the correlation between weight discussion and Africa, but I do know that we nigerians especially those back home are very brash about how the say things. so is lying and telling someone they are ok when they are obese wat you consider polite? Apart from calling some fat, when you wear a tacky outfit people tell you you have on a tacky outfit, how come when it comes to weight its different. I personally believe that people especially girls should work on being healthy (watever healthy is for the individual) and self-confidence period.

  • Anonymous January 26, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    ahhh Naija girls with eating disorders??? what?? I think that shit is selfish, you have food and u wan throw am away? Please this is Western rubbish, Naija girls have confidence and are not afraid to carry their big yash around, if u don’t like abeg turn ur head. Me I consider myself okay, I don’t care if someone calls me fat or noT, out of my naija friends weight no be discussion sef.

  • Anonymous January 26, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Yes being honest and calling things what they are is our culture, we don’t sugar coat things. I personally hate it when my oyibo friends sugar coat things when they are telling me something, it’s very patronizing. If you want to damage yourself because some street hawker, bread woman or watever calls you fat, then naija people no be ur problem, ur self-esteem needs to improve.
    Bella I luv ur blog,sha, BIG BIG UPSSSS!!!

  • Anonymous January 26, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    LOL…”THANK YOU, I TRY, BUT I NOTICED U LOST WEIGHT, IS EVERYTHING OKAY”….lol thats funny, LOL…well weight issue and women is a universal thing, thats one thing that all women share. I guess we just have to learn to love ourselves. or else we will be living in perpetual weight hell. :)

    p.s its crzy my mom and her sisters still diet, and is weight obsessed.

  • Anonymous January 27, 2008 at 12:28 am

    All my life in Naija, people have commented on my weight, from being called skinny gboko to fat. That being said, i think those of us who now live in the west have been overexposed to media obssessed skinny stars and Oprah. Everybody has issues, how you choose to deal with it is quite telling. I know when i go back to naija,everybody and their mama will comment on my weight, will it bother me? a bit, will it stop me from eating, hell no.Do i advocate a balanced diet and exercise? you betcha.
    Would u rather everyone comments on ur weight and you are not descriminated against and people “see” you or nobody but your doctor talks about your weight but you never get called for the second interview,second date, because you are “not the right fit”, and people look through you?
    Naija women get a grip, there are more important things in life.

    For some women in Naija losing weight was for health reasons, diabetis, hypertension, infertility e.t.c, but for a vast number of women it was/is the in/ chic thing to say, “oh i am watching my weight”. Eat corn flakes at breakfast, eat banana and groundnut at lunch or meatpie and coke at lunch(afterall everybody knows that meatpie is not food, it is a snack:) what they for get to remind themselves of is the nkwobi,springrolls,cake,isi-ewu,akara,fried yam,boli,donut,etc they consume in between or on alternate days when no one is watching them.

  • Linda January 27, 2008 at 7:28 am

    @anonymouses @ 4:07, 7:48: Did you read the comments at all before waffarian’s own or you just saw waffarian’s name and decided to attack. Other people said the same thing so why are you attacking her? Please make up your own opinions and write them down and stop building on things other people say. At least she leaves a name when she comments. The rest of you can not even stand for your statements and I am very sure you are all in blogville. Faceless cowards. Waffy, don’t even answer these bitches, they can never say anything intelligent, just look at that idiot’s comment about hiv and poverty. Is that anything that comes out of a normal person’s mouth? Bush pigs.

  • pink gloves January 27, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    same story here.
    You have a cute face, but u weigh so much. I am 5lbs overweight by the standarads oh.
    My nickname that i got was “yellow orobo”, and i told the pesin that called me it, I said i might be overweight, but I am happy with myself, because I am personable and determined.
    Men like me, Women get along fine with me. What is the problem again?
    My doctor hasnt recommended any weight loss or excercise, I dont have any underlying health issues, my vitals are better than most.
    The only thing i want to do for myself is excercise regularly so i have more energy. that is about it.

  • Bella’s reader January 27, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    @people that have nothing to say:

    It is not by force to contribute to the discussion. Those of you have the best self esteem, carry go. Let people discuss about weight if they want to. Stop causing problems cos you have nothing to add.

  • Ifunanya January 27, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Women of all races and nationalities deal with this issue; if its new to naija women I suppose it was only a matter of time due to to globalization. My issue is that yea, Nigerians tend to be ridiculously tactful. Some people are just commenting because they don’t know better or realize the impact of their comments but some ppl really are hateful and because in naij you dont want to be rude you just have to ‘chest it’ lol. Basically love yourself and take care of your body and ignore the comments(overeating and laziness imho is abusing your body as you are not allowing it to perform at its optimum..not to say Im not guilty o)

  • Anonymous January 27, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    This is anonymous @ 4:07 don’t know about 7:48, no am not in Blogsville (I no go lie my bushpig self can’t keep up with blogging, lol), if I was I would leave my blogname. And yes I did read waffarian’s comment, I actually read all the comments (bored at work, lol). And if u read my comment u would see that it began with an analysis of the common message in all the comments. Also if u read the ending of the HIV/POVERTY comment u would see it said no insult or disrespect. Now to address your message. I don’t know anyone so I can’t attack, while typing I simply remembered a comment that stuck therefore I used it in my response. The discussion is about weight issues and people’s response to it. I, like all women have battled with it, women will always want to look good, hence the success of many cosmetics and diet companies. But making statements about how rude Nigerians are, this and that, is not the problem. I think its funny that people lash out at other peoples comments calling them bush pigs and wat not when we’re crucifying the “Nigerians” that comment on weight. I wanted to deliver two messages that got misconstrued, (1) People esp. women should not internalize other people’s ignorance, and create distress within themselves, (2) Not just Nigerians, Africans are very honest opinionated people, whether we want to hear it or not, we will always be that way, so the question is how do you deal with it.

    p.s why are people feeling personally attacked, lol, it’s not that serious, and where was all this aggression when people were calling you names?

    p.p.s my name is crystal, holler!!!! Lol.

    p.p.p.s on a serious note, heart diease is a No. 1 killer in women, far more than breast cancer, so being HEALTHY very very IMPORTANT.

  • Anonymous January 27, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I have never understood the comments and name calling. Last christmas I was fatty bom bom and I did not think it was funny. If that is African culture to be rude and call names, then I will definitely not be passing it on to my kids. I am currently on a diet and I am not going back home any time soon.

  • Mimi January 27, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    I am not Nigerian but I have many Nigerian friends here in the U.S. I think they are all very nice but I have noticed that the women tend to be very evil to themselves. My friends are always commenting on their bodies and gossiping about who has gained or lost weight. I think it is amusing because all of them are not especially thin. All of them are a bit over weight and I wonder how can they can talk about people when they all look like that.

  • Thoughts Aloud January 28, 2008 at 1:51 am

    @ Mimi, you’d be surprised.
    Sha Bella so it’s you bunz babe, no mistake, hot chick.
    I sorta, kinda wish I didn’t know you so I could read ur blog and keep on conjuring up images about you.Sha I won’t let it bother me.Keep up the good work babes.

  • Gorgeous Black Women January 28, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Bulimia is common in black women everywhere but no one talks about it. It doesn’t seem like anything’s good enough. If you lose, you’re too thin or look sick. If you gain, you’re a pig.

  • kpakpando January 28, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    There’s a difference between brutal honesty and being upfront and being tactless and rude. I do not see how someone gaining/losing weight is part of normal conversation, well except you’re the person’s physician; and even if you were concerned for someone’s health due to their “weight” surely “WOW YOU’RE FAT” is not the way to breach the subject.

    Half of the time, I think most of these women in Nigeria say their comments about others to be hurtful and make themselves feel better by putting someone down; not because they don’t have something different to say. I mean if it’s not your weight, it’ll be another thing they attack, like asking what type of weave you have in your hair (knowing good and well that is your real hair) or asking you where in China you buy your bags (as if you can’t be rocking a real designer handbag).

    It’s not our culture to be rude, at least I know I was raised to be that way and I daresay we’re not brutally honest people either. There’s evidence in many Nigerian cultures that we’re not straight to the point,or as upfront as claimed by anon, if you examine some of our everyday ceremonies or even our languages, you’ll see that too.

  • Sarawa January 28, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    WOW. Interesting topic.

    Haba its not just Nigerian Women, I (fortunately or unfortunately) have a very big bum. If you hear the kind of rubbish that comes out of peoples mouths esp. here in Atlanta you’ll be shocked!!! people esp. akata men feel I don’t know what am carryin behind, and they want to help remind me. Also my besfriend whose indian gets the same thing, lol. listening her and her mama’s dilemma you’ll think they’re nigerian. Her mom tells her to “ligten up” use this cream, stop eating sweets, this and that, fast, men don’t want u too fat. this and that. so lets not conclude it to be nigerian. I’ve gotten the same very disrespectful comments at both ends.

  • Calabar Gal January 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Bella,

    I was wondering why my traffic had increased so suddenly until I went to the referrals part of my site meter and discovered you were the culprit. (smile)

    Okwei’s story has made me even more determined to get to my 70kg destination by the end of this year too. Gosh! She looks good! I on the other hand cant say I’m an expert on the subject – just rambling and ranting as I go…….. LOL!!

  • Anonymous January 30, 2008 at 5:53 am
  • Indigenous Productions January 30, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    i don’t know whether commenting on peoples weight is part of our culture or not. However, I do agree to an extent with the comments made by Annonymous 7:48pm,Annonymous 7:40pm and Anonymous 4:07pm. It’s like someone once said that is you are going to accept it when people say you are gorgeous, you better accept it when the same person says you are ugly.

    But I do think that many Nigerians could try to be a little more tactful when they talk about other people’ weight e.t.c.

    But I wonder who said it was rude to talk about peoples weight? Is it Oyinbo people? Why shouldn’t we tell it like it is.

  • Gorgeous Black Women January 31, 2008 at 4:59 am

    I definitely think people should be taking care of their bodies though. You should like yourself but you should also treat your body with respect. Being fit isn’t a vanity issue. It’s a health one.

  • Nadia Ahmed February 1, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    its virtually impossible for we girls to accept the way we look when we know what majority of the people in the world actually sees as beautiful…..being thin.

    its been like this for ages and no matter what this perception continue to manifest itself.

  • CS February 3, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Bella Naija,

    You continue to rock!
    Love your blog so much! I would really like to feature it on a website I’m helping to develop. On it we are going to be featuring some of what we believe are the best Nigerian blogs on the net and i believe you clearly number in this class.
    It’s set to launch on Feb. 23rd and it would be great to have you on board by then.
    All we would require is your permission. So what do you think? If you’re interested I can be reached for more detailed info at bibi@yellowdognigeria
    Either way, like i said, mad props on your blog.

  • Anonymous February 4, 2008 at 4:11 am

    its true, i for one have been subjected to pressure of losing and putting on wieght. I must admit i have issues with my weight, and i persist on going on diets that u couldnt even imagine. When im at my thinnest i have been complaining, calling me ‘lepa’ and saying i look sick and when im at my thickest i have people calling me fat and saying that i should be careful. It seems weight is a very touchy issue, it has definatly affected me and i think it always will, infact all my friends either want to put on weight or lose weight, i think u should embrace ur body, and compliment it instead of trying to change it, and the most important thing is to be, look and feel healthy, aterall not everyone is meant to thin and not everyone is meant to be voluptuous, we all come in different shapes and sizes, but hey maybe i should take my own advice, lol

  • Yinka February 4, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Lots of people are bothered about weight. Too much or too little flesh might not be good, however what matters most is the effect on the health.

  • Kunle February 14, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Hello Bella,

    My name is Kunle and I’m the author of a children’s book called Sikulu & Harambe by the Zambezi River. I’m looking for feedback on the book.

    You can read the book at http://www.sikulu.com/sikulu_book.php and offer your comments.

    Cheers,

    Kunle

  • Doris February 28, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    When it comes down to weight there is no wrong or right answer, some people prefer a slim woman and some a bigger one, but that does not neccessary means that we all should be slim. We all have to take care of our bodies slim or fat by exercising and eat health. It funny how some women thinks having a child is an excuse to getting and staying fat.

  • patience May 19, 2009 at 9:25 am

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2181375&id=714816236

    PLEASE MY DEAREST, CLICK ON THIS LINK AND VOTE FOR ME BY JUST COMMENTING ON THE PICTURE ON THE LINK.

    I HAVE BEEN NOMINATED FOR MISS FACE BOOK AND FACE OF FACE BOOK,
    PLEASE YOUR COMMENT MEANS ALOT TO ME
    THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ME AND IT IS HIGHLY APPRECIATED!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NB: WHEN YOU ARE ON THE PAGE, PLEASE CLICK FIRST ON THE “FACEBOOK NIGERIA AWARD 09″ RIGHT HAND SIDE DOWN CLOSE TO THE PICTURE, AFTER DAT CONFIRM ATTENDANCE IF YOU ARE ATTENDING THE EVENT OR NOT,
    AFTER THAT RETURN TO THE PICTURE TO MAKE COMMENTS.
    THANKS

    LOVE
    EKENE

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2181375&id=714816236

    PLEASE MY DEAREST, CLICK ON THIS LINK AND VOTE FOR ME BY JUST COMMENTING ON THE PICTURE ON THE LINK.

    I HAVE BEEN NOMINATED FOR MISS FACE BOOK AND FACE OF FACE BOOK,
    PLEASE YOUR COMMENT MEANS ALOT TO ME
    THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ME AND IT IS HIGHLY APPRECIATED!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NB: WHEN YOU ARE ON THE PAGE, PLEASE CLICK FIRST ON THE “FACEBOOK NIGERIA AWARD 09″ RIGHT HAND SIDE DOWN CLOSE TO THE PICTURE, AFTER DAT CONFIRM ATTENDANCE IF YOU ARE ATTENDING THE EVENT OR NOT,
    AFTER THAT RETURN TO THE PICTURE TO MAKE COMMENTS.
    THANKS

    LOVE
    EKENE

  • Bebe June 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    What was it someone said about weight gain and childbirth? It’s funny how I noticed that many ladies start gaining weight immediately they get married and have children. I’ve often wondered why?

  • Secret July 7, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    To Indigenous Productions, “Why shouldn’t we tell it like it is?” because its NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you know what the fat or thin person is going through? If that person is just minutes away from committing suicide? If they just started a good diet plan that is progressing slowly but surely and you just assist in killing the person’s optimism regarding it? If you are not there to regularly support and encourage a person’s bettering of themselves, then your comment can be viewed as nothing other than being spiteful and gossipy.

  • Uju4eva January 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Hello Calabar Girl, I know your website is blocked, I would like an invitation. I am also going through the journey and I have two blogs myself. I would love to be invited into your blog.

    moufofnaija@gmail.com

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