Be At Peace With Your Body

Sharon Jane Akinyemi

Sharon Jane Akinyemi

By Sharon Jane Akinyemi

The reality may be tough. But if you hate your body, now is the time to do something radical: Get over it. Especially if there’s a woman, lady, daughter in the house

The truth is, many of us are in abusive relationships with our bodies, internally beating ourselves up every time we gain a few kilograms, externally jeopardizing our health with crash diets, binge eating, even serious surgeries.

Poor body image is passed on like a computer virus from mother to daughter, its disadvantages well documented: low self-esteem, sexual promiscuity, smoking (weight control being a major factor in the rise of smoking among teenage girls), and eating disorders—which can kill. Body Confidence sends a passionate plea to all those concerned (most of them female, many with daughters and body issues of their own), to break the cycle.

No one’s saying it’s easy. The society today, with its fixation on subzero supermodels and the invasion of Botox, clearly belongs to the young and the fleshless. (Do we really need a movie to remind people that real women have curves?) Men don’t seem to appreciate women who are “large”. The diet industry will no doubt keep us jonesing for ultra lean as long as Nigerians  spend more on weight-loss products than some countries’ entire gross national products. The whole media machine is not going to change course: When magazines use plus-size fashion models with some meat on them, most women turn the page.

Our mothers, often unwittingly, have driven these messages home—if not by harping on our weight or looks, then by their own diets or anxieties about physical inadequacies. “Kids are sponges,” says Nancy Snyderman, MD, author of Girl in the Mirror: Mothers and Daughters in the Years of Adolescence. “A daughter sees that her mother is beautiful and doesn’t like herself, and thinks, ‘What does that mean for me?'”

“The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages,” Virginia Woolf once wrote. It’s up to us to escape with our self-esteem intact. If we don’t, we and our daughters will remain hostage to our society’s belittling messages.

Millions of people struggle with bondage to unhealthy habits-poor nutrition, lack of exercise, emotional eating, and bingeing. After years of dieting and going on and off exercise programs, many are frustrated and ready to give up, thinking that perhaps they cannot change. Many are continually asking:

* Am I thin enough?

* Am I pretty enough?

* Why is it so hard to change?

* What is wrong with me?

* Why do I feel this way?

A friend I wish to call Kike  was a young woman who struggled to find the right answers to those questions. Ultimately, she resorted to starvation  and sticking to a particular type of diet to address her continued failure. But even that extreme measure did not produce the results she sought. Kike shared some of her deepest pains with me few years ago. Let’s see what she shared about her personal journey and experience towards a healthy and fitness lifestyle.

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Week one: It’s so disappointing when I come home and there is no message  from Bosun.  I haven’t heard from him or set my eyes on him for  five months now so I decided to call him. He said that I sounded ” fascinating.” He’d  feel differently if he’d actually seen me. What’s the matter with me? Am I really that ugly and  fat? I’m trying to lose weight. I don’t think the effort am putting in is really worth it, because sometimes I feel like I’m  doing my best by abstaining from some types  of food and concentrating on a particular type of diet. I have to remember I didn’t go through all that pain for nothing. If I can’t lose weight after all the stress I’m hopeless. I feel like such a loser.

Week four:  I want to be super slim before my friend’s wedding . If am not , it’s the real and true end for me. Life isn’t worth living if no one will accept you. I keep remembering  Bosun  and wishing he would just give me another chance. I don’t want him to  get married. I must be a real horror when even Lara  my own sister won’t fix me up. I don’t blame her she is probably ashamed of me. I just wish I had someone who liked me for me. I am so desperate to be loved.

Week seven: I don’t know what’s  the matter with me! My head is all mixed up. Here I was sticking to a high protein diet for almost three weeks, then I blow it! Last night I went out with friends to the cinema to watch a movie and I ate chips, popcorn, and ice cream. What is wrong with me? If I’m not thin by December , it’s bye-bye Kike!  I’m not a head case……..but no body understands. Why in this society is so much emphasis placed on your looks? Why can’t guys accept you for your personality? I am so depressed. But put up a good front! If people only knew what was going on in my mind they would be shocked!

Week Ten: I need someone so bad, but unless I lose weight….I’m hopeless. God why didn’t you kill me? I’m not accepted in this world. What are you trying to prove by keeping me here? Are you testing my strength? Well I am weak and worthless. I can’t even name one worthwhile thing I’ve ever done. Help me! I am so desperate and disgusted with everything. I just want to fold up and die.

Well that was Kike’s  case, and am sure some ladies right now are in the same situation as Kike. Well she never found the answers. Even deliberate starvation measures were not enough. That’s because we must allow ourselves to be transformed from inside out. It’s important to do the right things with regard to nutrition and exercise, but knowing what to do is never enough. We have to change our thinking so new, healthier behaviours can become healthy habits.

Some years ago it was easy enough for me to be lured into unhealthy  diets and dangerous shortcuts. Today, more than ever, the multimillion-naira diet industry is taking advantage of the fact that the battle of the bulge is an enduring epidemic. The Nigerian public has allowed itself to be abused for far too long after all these years, it is ridiculous  how many people are still falling for the quick fixes and sudden-success advertising. This magic bullet mentally continues to sidetrack  many from taking responsibility for adopting permanent lifestyle solutions.

  Let me tell it to you bluntly-get over it. Magic bullets don’t exist. Don’t waste your time or money. Take responsibility. Unhealthy eating, inactivity, and excessive weight gain have created significant health risk for millions of men, women, and children.


We must learn to use the tools God has given us to transform our lives. I love what Oswald Chambers wrote:”We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do.” I think this truth applies to any area of life. In the physical dimension,we have an incredible body and that  body is our vehicle for life. It is a tool to move us around during our time on earth. It allows us to reach out and connect with other humans. And it will serve us only as well as we service it.

It took me way too long to stop looking for shortcuts. I learned there is a price to pay for a healthy body. And it is paid  in the small details of your daily lifestyle- EXERCISE AND HEALTHY  EATING IS THE ULTIMATE PRICE!

To achieve the best results, you need to regularly challenge your body in new ways. So while classic movements like the pushup, lunge, and squat are the staples of any good workout plan, varying the way you perform these exercises every 4 weeks can help you avoid   boredom, and speed fat loss.           

In addition, here  are some common foods that are rich in antioxidants and equally good for weight loss and weight maintenance : garlic, onions, Green tea, wheat, fresh tomatoes,  fish, cabbage, leafy green vegetables, carrots, oranges, sweet potato, soy beans, nonfat dry milk. Variety is the spice of life. You can start today!

Let’s connect @ [email protected]  or send me a personal message at

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