This is true. I know better. I lay no claims to being more knowledgeable than anyone, but I do confess that I know better than I did yesterday, last year and a decade ago.
You see, there is this conversation that we all have with ourselves, within ourselves and most times I just listen to mine. So, here’s an introduction to the Isio that is; beneath the surface.
There’s my mind: sharp, witty, caustic, 100% Realist. No nonsense. A ferocious reader; likes to acquire knowledge, highly opinionated.
And there’s my soul: soft, kind, maternal, nurturing, and forgiving. She is the lover, the spiritual one, the deep thinker, very empathic.
And there’s my body: which is where I come in, this vessel, experiencing life. The voice of the mind and soul. Likes beautiful things. Does not like driving, does not like traffic, absolutely detests saliva, sweat and yucky bodily fluids, loves laughing, exotic food and pretty much is concerned with the more mundane things of life. She is the everlasting referee between the caustic mind and the sensitive soul.
This is Isio.
Isio Knows Better is an attempt to capture the shocking and highly entertaining conversation within myself. Now I must say that these conversations happen in various languages, in any situation and underneath a poker face and a hidden smile.
The truth is, I like food.
No, I am not one of those skinny people who just say it to non-skinny people who barely eat to exponentially increase their body image issues. I am definitely not one of those models you would meet at a function, who would look through eyes set in a sunken face and shrill at how “FAT” you have become while hugging you and giving you air kisses. And then the said model would help herself to a “mountainous” portion of disgustingly delicious greasy unhealthy food that tasted like heaven. For sure, she would remind you how she never gained any weight. For sure she would laugh and flick her weave as she asks, astounded at your “largeness”, “Oh dear, what size do you wear now?” She would look at you with pity, and look with horror at the sickly leaves on your exquisite plate at that thing you choose to call a “salad”. And then she would ask loudly (so everyone will hear) “JESUS! Is that all you are eating?! You better don’t kill yourself o!” She would laugh again. It would sound like this: #HionHionHionHionHiHiHiHi… Everyone would laugh with her.
At this point you would be contemplating how you could smash your exquisite plate on her head and get away with it.
For the record, I would NEVER call you fat. It is so terribly rude.
Now, like I was saying. I like food. I don’t smoke, I’m not a drinker (since I am allergic and most alcohol give me hives) I don’t do drugs, I don’t enjoy clubbing (because of statements 1 and 2), I don’t “man-ize” (My Waffi pidgin opposite of womanize) so it’s only logical that I have to enjoy something godammmit!
So, if you are like me. You like good food but would like to lose weight fasttttttttttttttt; I have some tips for you. Modelling and maintaining a (+/-) 65kg body for the better part of 12 years, I have picked up a few tricks. Hopefully, it works for you. Here goes! A short-cut to a slimmer, healthier YOU!
Seriously, it’s worked for me, so hey- there’s no harm in trying, right?
Forget that short cut thing mehnnnn, there are no short-cuts. You have to compromise and sacrifice and change your eating habits and exercise. Don’t worry; you can hiss now! No vex, but walahi, my method works, just keep reading.
Change the way you think about yourself, and your body will follow. The body is smart, and it’s just a machine that converts food to energy and stores the unused one as fat. Which means you can’t just stop eating- it will only counter that by storing up every iota of food you manage to eat as fat- anticipating that there will be NO food later. Plus if you still starve- it won’t want to give up its fat, so it will counter that by just hitting you with this crazed ravenous hunger which might lead you to binge and binge and binge- and eventually, you backslide into your regular unhealthy eating habits. It is very important that you understand your metabolism.
You may be wondering why I said all that, but you need to understand your body, and work with it to get the body you want.
More activity + constant eating habit + time = A little weight lost.
More activity + healthier eating habit + time = More weight lost.
Lots of physical activity + clean eating habit + time = A lot of weight lost.
It is a simple formula really, you just need to get active. A little a day, then you push yourself.
I call this the Isio 6- Weight Blaster.Yeah, I just made that up.
When I went for the Nigerian regionals of face of Africa in 2004, I lost 20 pounds in about a month. What did I do? Well, 6 things really.
Please cut out most bread (especially Agege bread, baguette, etc) from your diet. Whatever it is, as long as it is white and baked and ‘bready’, it has to go.)
Cut out soft drinks from your diet. All those extra biscuit, chocolate, ice cream, greasy foods have to be really limited. Even milk and other high fat dairy.
For your cereal, go for wheat based or whole grained cereals. If you like ‘swallow’ food, you can make wheat. It looks exactly like Amala and goes with all our delicious native soups.
If you are really serious about losing weight, you will eat your native soup like that without any ‘swallow’ but with lots of chicken/fish/meat. You will get used to it, you will come to enjoy it, and you WILL lose weight.
Water is your best friend o! Drink water like there’s no tomorrow. Just before a meal, take water to ‘cushion’ your tummy. After water, please befriend tea. It is absolutely good for you. If you have a sweet tooth (like me), tea is an excellent substitute for soft drinks. There are low fat milk/coffee creamers (if you must). There’s lemon and honey you can use to add flavor to your tea. At least try to take it first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
4.3. EAT BREAKFAST
Different people have different weight loss theories, but, I know what has worked for me. When you eat breakfast, no matter how ‘heavy’, your body has a longer period to burn off all that food, as opposed to when you eat the ‘heavy stuff’ at lunch or worse, dinner.
You can eat regular breakfast. Don’t be over zealous and cramp your plate with lots of rice, stew, meat, fish, plantain, banana or boiled eggs.
And no, it’s NOT a good idea to eat as breakfast: WHITE BREAD, BUTTER, FRIED eggs, FRIED sausages, FRIED bacon and a hefty amount of cocoa beverage and milk and SUGAR and call it TEA.
Just eat just enough, and as the day goes by you can eat JUST ENOUGH for lunch, and a little less for dinner- IF u need it. Don’t forget to drink water, trust me, it helps.
The key message is: eat or drink water when you are hungry, but the moment you are full, just STOP!
4.4. NEVER EAT AFTER 7PM
Or make that 5-6:00pm if you really mean business.
It doesn’t have to be hectic or fancy, just do something. For me, when the sun goes down, I take a little walk down the road or around my neighborhood. I am a Pilates baby, it works for me. Dancing, Skipping, swimming, and even doing house chores are all forms of exercise.
I could go on and on and on, but these are the basics. The water thing is essential. The more you drink, the more you pee (excuse my French), which rids your body of toxins and is good for your health.
4.6.PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR FOOD COMBINATION
I learnt this later, but this is the key to boosting up your metabolism, and eating yummy food! I promise you that proper food combination and doing Pilates are ALL that I do now to maintain my figure. What if I told you you can eat rice/yam/eba and not feel guilty about it? Just be careful what you eat your rice with. Carbohydrates don’t digest properly when consumed with protein. So no, rice and beans do not go well together. Bread and meat (burgers) isn’t the such a great idea after all. Eba and efo-riro is a good idea, but when you throw in Ogufe, ‘orisirisi’ meat inside, you don spoil am be dat.
This is what happens, the enzymes that digest carbohydrates neutralize the enzymes that digest protein (acidic-alkali-chemistry stuff), so when you stuff your mouth with all of that, the body (being the amazing machine that it is) releases both enzymes and since they neutralize each other, no digestion actually takes place and so all of that just rots in your tummy, hence the bloated tummy, sluggishness and smelly gas. It’s stressful to your body, stressful to the people who are going to be around you when all of that rot in your tummy starts to come out as gas.
Imagine your body as a car or even your generator. You wouldn’t mix water and fuel together and pour it into your car now, would you? And even if you did constantly, you WOULD expect the car to pack up now, wouldn’t you? That your body is still functioning in spite of this, just tells you how efficient a machine God created for you. So, make it easy for your body to lose weight.
There is so much information on food combinations, but don’t freak out on them all, just pick a few basics (called eating clean), combined with proper hydration and exercise, and in as little as 1month, you will start seeing the difference.
Now, I know that many of us like to dismiss healthy eating habits as ‘un-African’, but the truth is, our African food is delicious and amazing, many of our ingredients are freshly grown and organic, and quite healthier than lots of western processed food, so by all means, please indulge- but in moderation. You cannot do what our forefathers and grandparents did (notice how lean many of our relatives who live in the villages are). They wake up in the morning and consume a nice bowl of fufu, then they head to the farm, some climb trees to go tap palmwine.
Please note, they probably walked MANY kilometers in the HOT sun to get to their destination, and then toil from dawn to dusk. Then they walk all the way back home. Some are hunters. Running the length and breadth of a forest looking for an animal to kill and then carrying it on your shoulders back to your home is not beans. Don’t copy them o.
If you eat like them, and you are not exercising like them, you are on your own o. Sitting in your nice AC car/ sitting at your office desk from 9am-5pm, munching cookies and ordering pizza for lunch and eating beans and dodo or yam and egg for dinner is not the way to a slimmer you in 2014. You cannot eat like an elephant and work like an ant. No Jupiter can make this equation favor you- unless you are one of those rare people blessed with an amazingly fast metabolism. And note, being SLIM and being HEALTHY are two very different things.
O yeah, something else- tuck in your tummy when you are walking. And you could buy a girdle for starters, and when you become comfortable, you can lose it.
But, I must tell you, ITS NOT EASY O! Your body will rebel at first, because it’s not used to such discipline- and that is when you’ll truly notice the food billboards with their scintillating arrangements, all the food-seasoning ads, and all these fast foods and restaurants with their billboards with all kinds of food that will make a saint sin.
Don’t worry sha, e go better.
I reluctantly release to you the shortest cut possible to losing weight. If you cannot be bothered to do anything remotely stressful, but must still, absolutely and thoroughly lose weight, well… you can simply do this:
Go browse the internet.Type in: HEALTH HAZARD! OBESE PERSON WHO CANNOT STAND/WALK/MOVE/BREATHE WITHOUT HELP.
Go to images. Pick a high resolution image.
Please print several copies.
Paste photo (preferably size A3) on your fridge and on your provision cupboards.
For maximum effect, paste it on the ceiling above your bed.
And watch how you will miraculously make a U-turn anytime you approach your fridge.
And watch the pounds drop.
May God help us all.
Isio Wanogho is a top-model, TV Personality and entrepreneur. She is conversant in five languages and has a 12 year experience in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Isio, popularly known by her brand name Isio De-laVega, captivates audiences with her signature wide smile and relatable, quirky personality which endears her to many. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @isiodelavega