As a fat Mosotho girl, I have always wanted to be like that Tyra Banks on TV shows. Unlike me, she is slim and has a flat tummy. I weighed 85kilograms and every time when I tested my Body Mass Index (BMI), I was always overweight for my height. The fear of being exposed to several illnesses for overweight people, such as sugar diabetes and high blood pressure began to evolve in my mind.
I tried several training programmes, such as Taekwondo, playing tennis and early morning jogging, but I never saw any difference and it was probably because I just did them without perseverance. Moreover, people that I was engaged in those things with were slim.
However, one day while I was listening to one of the local radio stations I heard that there was a fitness club (aerobics) for people who wanted to reshape their figures and it was only M70.00. My heart started with excitement. The very following day I went there and registered myself. Fortunately, it was not far from my house, about an hour walking distance.
There were about twenty grown-ups (in their late thirties) and I was the youngest. Furthermore, they were all fat, fit and flexible. It looked like they were not beginners. We used music to keep up the spirit. My first day was not that tiring because we just did dancing. The second day was more strenuous and I almost quit.
We were dancing on blocks of 2m long, 50cm wide and 20cm in height. The trainer said that she was working on our hips and thighs. Normally, we train in tights and body suits but perspiration was dripping all over my body. I was dizzy, I took a break but within two minutes of watching older ladies training like they did not feel anything, I could not bear it. Immediately, I went back. I went home as exhausted as a dog in summer.
Arriving at home, I took a bath and slept like a baby. The next day I was highly energetic and flexible. I felt light the whole day. I never felt hungry and if I felt like eating, I ate fruits and then drank a lot of water. The gym started in the afternoon and took only one hour, although some days it felt like many hours.
Since then, my skin has become clearer and more radiant than ever and I feel so good. I started abstaining from fatty foods, although sometimes I feel pressure from my friends to eat them anyway. When they do buy food that gets in my way towards fitness and a healthier life, I buy something that I like most, for instance a muffin, plain yoghurt and grapes to stay away from temptations. One time my friends were mocking and criticizing my lifestyle. I told them that if they were truly my friends they should support me. My confrontation worked, because I gravely expressed how deeply I felt about their teasing.
Since we were using a classroom for exercising, we normally run on the spot. The trainer said that since, I was competing with the old ladies. I had to keep up. Sometimes, we did stomach exercises.
After just three weeks, people who know me started asking me questions, “How did you do it, you look good?” or wow, your tummy is smaller than usual.” I was impressed and I promised myself that I will always go to aerobics because it was a very good place to be. Right now I weigh 65kilograms.
Seff, 21, is a young scientist working hard towards being a Civil Engineer. She is currently a coach at Kick4Life helping to empower other young people and deliver HIV/AIDS programmes in Maseru district, Lesotho. She is also a student journalist in the Kick4Life writing club.