Booski shares her journey of beating childhood obesity: “I was 12, 200+lbs and I was wearing a size 18”

Weightloss journey from @booski_fit

I don’t have any memory of being a slim or fit child, as early as the age of 11, I was already over 200lbs. It was Christmas time, and my cousins were visiting for the holidays. My mum had just come back from her trip to Canada and I remember her making us try on the things she bought for us. I watched my siblings and cousins fit into theirs perfectly but mine never did. I was 12, 200+lbs and I was wearing a size 18 dress from the plus size women section. My weight has always been an issue, and looking back at pictures at any given age I was always the biggest among my peers. I was the fat friend; the lazy sister, friends and even family members called me names such as amoeba, cow, hippopotamus etc. At a very young age words like this stuck to be but I always came off as this strong and confident person. But reality was that, with the bullying and being made fun of about my weight, I had to develop a thick skin because deep inside I wasn’t any of the things I was being called.

None of this made me want to finally lose weight until 2016 when I tried again on my own for like the 100th time. My dad got me a personal trainer sometime in 2013. I remember convincing him back then to please pay the amount, which was way over $2,000 back then for 5 months. I would never forget the disappointment in his voice and the sad look on his face when I went visiting to Nigeria the following summer, not only did I not lose weight; I had already doubled up in size. I went to my personal training sessions, but I would come back home to eat 4 packs of Indomie (Nigerian noodles). I was that foodie who would wake up at 2am to eat Jollof rice and plantain. I used to drink two bottles of 2L coke a day. So technically the trainer did her job, but I was living a lie by going to the gym but coming back home to eat rubbish. My mum suffered a massive stroke back in 2014. It hit me really hard but I had to stay strong for her. Her sickness was a reality-check for me; I remember the doctor telling my dad to inform me of the implications of being overweight and how I was also at risk of having a stroke sooner or later. At this point I started becoming uncomfortable but I still did nothing about it. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. So no matter how much I went to the gym, my relationship with food stayed the same. Summer 2015 was when I finally hit rock bottom, asides the numerous challenges I was going through at the time, I started having health complications, my blood pressure was on the rise and I was borderline diabetic at just 19 years old. Taking so many pills at such young age was something that did not sit well with me. Yet, it still took me another 5 months to make a lifestyle change.

January 2016 I knew I deserved better! I’ve started my journey since then and I haven’t looked back.

I had to get rid of all excuses. I began my journey in the winter and if you know anything about Canadian weather, IT IS BRUTAL! I was going to school full time, working part time at the time so it was very easy for me to make excuses. But I woke up consistently at 6am every morning for the first 5 months and went to the gym 5 days a week. I did not have a car so I had to take the bus. Snow storm, rain, whatever the condition outside I never made an excuse not to go the gym. My immediate older brother helped me with my workout plans. There was only so much I would do at over 300lbs so I started by just walking for 20-30 minutes and slowly worked my way up. My workout routine includes both cardio and weight training.

I started researching a lot about foods since this was my problem area. A lot of things I used to think were healthy in actual fact weren’t good for me so I had to relearn the whole process of healthy eating on my own and finding what works best for me. I started my journey by reducing my portions and just counting calories but after a month I decided to cut out Nigerian foods completely. I gave up rice, pasta, potatoes etc and went on a low carb diet. With this I saw and I’ve seen the most results till date.

My starting weight was 323lbs and my current weight is 247lbs. 

I haven’t reached my final goal yet because I still have about 60lbs to go. But it took me 6 months to lose my first 50lbs.

The mental part and time management was the hardest part of my journey. A lot of people overlook the fact that weight loss is more mental than physical. Its really not about who’s the strongest but willpower and discipline. I was going to Uni full time, working part-time and still had to go to the gym 5 days a week every morning. I had days I would just cry my eyes out while struggling to get through my workout, but I stuck with it. Physically I was tired but mentally I had to convince myself to push through every session. On days I had classes or work at 10am, I would wake u at 5:30am; go to the gym for two hours, take the bus back home, shower and get ready for the day so it was very important for me to plan my time correctly.

I see the most improvement in my self-esteem and confidence and how that has affected my relationship with other people. The same ones who called me names and made fun of me are the ones who want to be friends now. The saying “you teach people how to treat you” is very true because I’ve grown to love myself so much now that validation from others is something I don’t seek for anymore. The respect I get from friends and family who appreciate the hard work I’ve put into my journey is amazing. I can now workout on the stair master machine for 60 good minutes when I started I could barely hang in for 5 minutes, I can jog now, I can sprint now, I can skip now, and the list is endless.  Personally I’ve grown to take life one day at the time, my motto is to do something each day that brings me closer to my goal. I’ve learnt a lot of discipline, I plan every single day ahead, I used to be the girl who would stay home after school and watch Youtube videos for hours just wasting away. But now I barely even have time to do such. I go to bed at night knowing I made the best use of my time and day and it’s the best feeling ever.

Ultimately I would say God pulled me through my darkest days when depression set in and my weight loss was just an avenue for me to get closer to him. On days my own strength has failed me, as cliché as it sounds God has been my help because I know for a fact if I didn’t pray or depend on him as much as I did I would have failed at this again. Also my amazing brother Bobola. He is one of my biggest inspirations that it doesn’t mater how you start what matters, its how you finish. He taught me to believe in myself regardless of who did or didn’t and that has completely changed how I look at things and honestly it keeps me going. Also my weight loss community on Instagram is the best. The support system and motivation from complete strangers who are on the same journey as you comes in very handy on some days.

I would say believe in you first that you can do it before looking for encouragement or motivation from anyone else. Honestly I had no idea how discouraging people could be until I started mine. A lot of negative words would come form people and not just strangers but also those that are closest to you telling you that you cannot do it. Don’t let this get to you. Pick up the little strength and courage you have in you and run with it. And on days you mess up oh well, welcome to the club because we all mess up once in a while. Just pick yourself back up and continue with your journey. Weight loss is very hard don’t let anyone water down your hard work because if it was so easy then everybody would be doing it. Don’t compare your progress to someone else’s journey, they are not you and you are not them. So love yourself, fall in love with your journey and understand that it takes time. You did not gain all that weight in one month; so don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure. Take it one day at a time.

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