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Eji Ifeoluwa: How I Fell in Love With My Body



Let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m fat. Curvy. Plus size. Whatever you call it. But I have not always been fat. I used to be skinny. Well, until I turned 17. At first, I began to gain weight around my thighs. And my belly started to get bigger. Nothing too serious at first. However, I began to look thicker.

Then it began. I experienced body shaming for the first time in secondary school. Everyone who knew me would see me and be like, “Oh, Blessing, you have gained weight oh? What are you eating sef? I began to lose myself. I became self-conscious. By that time, I was wearing a UK size 10. It got so bad that anytime I met someone, I expected them to comment on my weight. And trust me, I was never disappointed.

When I turned 18, I got into university. And it became worse. I went from a UK 10 to a UK 16. I went through what I would call the most painful period of my life. My family and friends made my life so miserable. Every day, someone reminded me that I was fat. I had a problem. I was going crazy. I went into depression. At the time, I did not know what it meant to be depressed. But I was. I tried everything. I stopped drinking water. I drank lime water. Lime, green tea, and 5 AM workouts became my obsession. My phone was filled with screenshots of workout routines. I would do squats, planks, run, skip, everything. But I was not losing any weight. It seemed like I was getting bigger every single day. Even fat girls would tell me I was fat. I mean, girls who wore a UK 22. I was still wearing a UK 16 at the time. My personal style was just there. I dressed horribly at times. If you knew me at that time, you would never have thought I was depressed. I lived life.

But the fat shaming did not stop. The most painful part of this period was the comments from family. I was told I needed deliverance. I was lazy. I ate too much. But if I reduced my food portions, I would hear comments like, “So, you won’t eat, abi?” I practically lived on nothing. Shebi it was because I had money, that was why I was fat. If I had little money to buy food, I would become skinny kiakia. I laugh now. Even with the little I had, I was still fat.

By my second year of university, it was the same thing. My 3rd year was the worst year of my life at the time. I had to commute to school from home and I went into the worst depression ever. I could not sit down. I could not sleep. I could not do anything right. I slept too much. I sat down too much. I ate too little. I was lazy. I was expected to be involved in a physical activity 24 hours a day. I could not sleep sef. Sleep ke? Who am I to sleep? Me, sleep? I had no peace of mind. Zero.

Even the stress of going for 7 AM classes from home to school every day and coming back in the evening, sometimes at night, did not make me lose weight. I would go for hours without food. I had to rush to school for my 7 AM classes. I would not eat breakfast. And I would not eat anything till I got back home in the evening or at night. I was so unhappy and stressed.

When the 4th year arrived. And I made a decision to learn to love my body. I wear a UK 14 now. I hope to complete my degree this year. However, year 4 has been one of the best years of my life. It was quite challenging. I had to make a lot of changes that I was not particularly comfortable with. I lost some friends. Like Adele said, “I have insecurities. However, I do not hang out with anyone who points them out to me.” Adele gets it. Adele is a curvy girl herself and she understands. I had to stand up to my family because the abuse was getting too much. And if I hoped to get out of depression, I needed a healthy environment. I moved out of the house.

Fat girls are tired. We are. We know we are fat. We own mirrors. We probably use them more than the average person does. We know. But reminding us every time does not help. Many parents have no idea what their children are going through.

If you have a fat friend, learn to love them or leave them alone. Or end the friendship if you can’t stand fat people. It is damaging to comment on their weight every time you get together. It really is. Weight gain is a serious issue. People are going through a lot. If you are skinny, you are blessed. But you have insecurities, too. And your fat friends do not point them out to you.

And I am not trying to promote obesity. But some people are happy being fat. Very happy. And they are not settling. They are happy and fine. Some people are not. They are trying every day to get that dream body they have always wanted. And that is okay. But in the process of losing that weight, these fat people need support and love. Fat girls especially. If you have nothing good to say, don’t say it. Don’t.

Encourage them if they want to be encouraged. Some people cry themselves to sleep every single day because of weight gain. Some people even contemplate or attempt suicide.

I’ve had honest conversations with friends who have always treated me badly because of my weight. Especially when it is verbal abuse. I’ve had to cut many of them off. Bad energy, stay far away. Make you stay faraaawayyyy! If you cannot respect my feelings, I do not want to respect yours.

At this stage of my life, I am happy and excited for what the future holds. I do want to lose belly fat. My tummy is still big. However, I had a honest conversation with myself and realized that I actually really like being thick. I’m surprised at myself. I just want a flatter tummy. And who knows, I might become skinny again if I want to. But, I love myself now and that is all that matters.


Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Eji Ifeoluwa is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger. She is in her final year studying Economics at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She works as a content curator for blogs and online publications. She is launching her fashion blog in March, 2019. Follow her on Instagram & Twitter @ejiifeoluwa.


  1. GirlOnTop

    January 29, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    This is a very good write up.

    I’m glad you got your confidence back. Some people are naturally big and there’s not much they can do about it.


    • GirlOnTop

      January 29, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      And there’s nothing wrong with being big. You just need to love you and do you. 🙂

  2. anon

    January 29, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    First of all a UK 16 is not FAT!! Secondly have you bern tested to see if you have a thyroid condition? If you work out so much and eat so little maybe your hormones are off? Good luck on your journey and smart of you to remove the nasty haters from your life…

  3. ebere

    January 29, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Curvy or slim we are all beautiful. We all cannot be slim, God made it so that we appreciate the variety. That’s why not all fruits taste the same. Lovely writeup

  4. Mama

    January 29, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I’m sorry but that isn’t true. There is a lot you can do about fat. I get the self love thing but being overweight is one of the major causes of almost every illness. Even if your weight is as a result of say a thyroid problem ( which is not often the case) it can be managed.
    UK size 14 is not yet a major problem but if she is just in her early 20s, by the time she is 40 she might be a size 20. Every doctor will ask her to loose weight. She can’t and shouldn’t encourage anyone to be comfortable with fat

    • This is deep

      January 29, 2019 at 7:44 pm

      God punish you.

      She said she is UK 16. I am sure you did not read the article. And her current age has nothing to do with how much she will weigh at 40. She can maintain and stay at her current weight and if she gains more. So what?

    • Somebody

      January 30, 2019 at 8:51 am

      Merely reading your comments, I’m sure fat people around you are in a state of depression. It’s her body and not yours. Yen yen yen…don’t encourage fat… Are you a medical doctor?

    • Teenah

      January 31, 2019 at 11:27 pm

      I feel sad just reading your comment
      Dont encourage fat,really???

  5. Kachi

    January 29, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I’m glad you got your confidence back. But we all have insecurities. I’ve been a UK size 8 for most of my life but they’re other things I want sorted my like skin. I think sometimes we focus on our insecurites so much that it consumes us and that’s all people see. I don’t think a UK size 14 is big, I’ve seen bigger girls rock their bodies. The way you see yourself matters.

  6. Sherri

    January 29, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    You GO Girl!
    chop knuckle!!

  7. This is so deep

    January 29, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    I grew up with similar struggles. While my immediate family was kind, my extended family was not. In hindsight, I realize that those people who constantly called me fat where actually struggling with deep insecurities of their own and instead of dealing with it, they quickly latched on to mine and made me miserable. I have solemnly sworn that I will NEVER let anyone say one mean word to my child or any child. I literally fight and curse out people who call children and young teenagers fat. Thunder fire your mouth.

    The me that was called fat, eventually lost all the weight and went from size 16 to size 4 and I realized I hated being skinny. I pushed myself back up to a size 8-10 and I am very happy there. Now if anybody says 1 about anything about me, body oh, Spirit oh. I reply with 100 about the person’s entire generation. As a country we really need to do better

  8. Amaka

    January 29, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Eji, girl, you did the right thing by loving yourself, because that is the best thing you can do for yourself. SELF LOVE all day, all night. I can totally relate to you, how people tend to put their two cents, in issues they were not called into. I was growing up very skinny and tall. I came to Nigeria with my parents and one of my cousin’s friend a guy, called me an “electric pole” because of how skinny and tall I was. Well I confronted him, and my cousin gave me the worst story I have ever heard. “Oh he likes you, and in Nigeria men tend to body shame a lady or say something mean to get your attention.” WOW!!! I was shocked to say the least. I went to my mom, and she said “some Nigerian men/guys are that way.” I was like WHAT???? You mean as a teenager, this guy thinks the best way to get my attention is to call me name and body shame me? Well, fast forward to 2016. In my early 20s, added some weight, because I am now an athlete, well toned and snatched. Came to Nigeria again, and this time my cousin thinks it’s the best thing to bring the same moron of a guy to come and visit, because according to my cousin, he has been asking about me. He saw me, and he goes, wow, you have gained some weight, but this time in a good way. What do they feed you guys there in America? You look so beautiful. Can I have your number? I did give him my number alright, but it wasn’t the type he was expecting because it was spelled out and it told him what he should go and do to himself… That’s how you get back at those people that think they have something to say to you, for being the way you were created. EJI, like I said, SELF LOVE, all day, all night. Your stomach will be flat. Just keep working on it. I like that I am a thick lady and I have the height that go with it too. STAY STRONG!!!!

  9. Jummy

    January 29, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    I guess some people will call me fat. I’m 5 foot 4 and a US 8/10 (UK 12/14) I would like to think I’m more athletic than fat. However most of my fat has always been concentrated on my lower body, so no belly but thunder thighs and big arms.

    In 2014 I started working out. I don’t mean like run for 20 minutes kinda work out. I mean like 1 hour cardio and another hour lifting. I lift and lift heavy too (for a girl I think.) Currently squat 70 kg and deadlift 50KG.

    Working out has really changed my body. My shoulders are definitely more defined, my belly is flatter but my thighs. My goodness my thighs and hips are still there. Defined but very pronounced. I mean they always have been pronounced but now they’re more defined than they were.

    I definitely still look feminine but more fit me thinks. I always get compliments on my figure and when I tell them to lift they’ll be like “no oh, I don’t want to look like a man.” Lol. Well you won’t be snatched like me sorry.

    Plus I’ve been thinking lately if lifting heavy with the guys at the gym intimidates men. Lol
    I get a lot of stares from guys at the gym but none of them ever come up to chat me up. Cute guys too sef.

    I guess what I’m saying is sometimes I feel I don’t live up to the popular consensus that really active people are skinny and that sometimes I feel that I should downplay how heavy I can lift at the gym cause I think it would make me more approachable to me. Oh well, we all have insecurities like you said.

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