Health is a topic widely discussed nowadays. A lot of people want to be healthy. We are bombarded by advertisements of companies promoting a healthy lifestyle achievable by using only their products. We now have Digital Influencers that promote certain teas, drinks, snacks and co as the ultimate healthy foods. On the one hand, I agree to be healthy is very important, on the other hand though, is the obsession with your health healthy? There’s a very thin line.
Growing up I was always ‘the skinny one’. I was the one people mistook for a boy countless times. During my school days my hair was very short or close shaved, I had a flat chest, tall and lanky. I looked exactly like my dad and my brothers the only difference was that I was slightly lighter in complexion than them. When distant family members came to visit they thought I was one of my cousins. I’d greet them outside together with my other male cousins, they would go inside the house and they’d say to my grandma “ so where’s *Anna’s other daughter… Della?” yeah I was that much of a tomboy. Oh, FYI I was cute as a ‘boy’.
It wasn’t an issue for me. I liked being thought of as a boy, like I mentioned in yesterday’s post being a girl in the ghetto wasn’t easy, I saw what my male cousins would get away with. I envied them. I envied most of the males living with my grandma at that time. The freedom they had, the chores they didn’t have to do…etc
This apparent indifference toward what people thought about my physique totally changed in high school. I remember the exact day it happened. I was walking down the corridor on my way to homeroom. My crush and his friends were standing a few metres away in front of me, up to no good no doubt. I was having difficulty walking because duhh my crush was standing there!! The shyness was real. I slowed down a bit and tried to strut my stuff ! As I walked by one of the boys shouted “ko urikufambirei ko nemaoko” Engl. “You have such skinny legs, it looks like you’re walking on your hands.”
I was devastated. I ran the rest of the way to homeroom, I was a little teary and a bit of my confidence was shattered.
From that day I tried and failed to gain weight. I tried unsuccessfully for a year and it never took. I ate tons of junk food, I ate sadza/pap, 3 times a day, I didn’t exercise but nothing worked. For 13 years and essentially for most of my life I was ridiculed for being skinny. I didn’t care much for it but after my crush’s friend teased me that one time, my whole attitude toward my weight changed.
Thank goodness it only lasted a year. After I finished my high school I went straight to college and in college no-one cared about weight or anything else really. I can honestly say I was fortunate to always have people who cared about the more important things in life around me than how skinny I was.
What are my health habits? Eat well, keep your brain focused on positive things and keep your spirituality strong and unshakable. Yes, you could become ill, you could have a fall now and again in life but if you’re vigilant (not obsessed) about your overall health you’ll be a lot more present, happy and hopeful whatever size you are!
See you tomorrow for another post 😊