My journey to fitness started quite by accident. I didn’t grow up being particularly active in sports or anything like that except for the regular PE that was required in school. In fact, I found most sports boring and only ever showed interest in running (and that didn’t last long). Fast forward many years later and the scope of my physical activities were limited to normal everyday activities the most consistent being walking. On the other hand, I went on my first diet at the age of 16.
I remember clearly, for 2 weeks my meals consisted of beans, efo riro, Schweppes and yo-yo bitters. I don’t even know how I came up with that combination but it worked, I lost a TON of weight and for the first time in my life felt beautiful and attractive. So, there began my tumultuous relationship with food and dieting that will last for years and will unconsciously occupy most of my thoughts, take up so much mental space and be largely responsible for my self-worth and body image.
When my son was about 6 months old, we went out to grab a bite at KFC one night. I was throwing my son up in the air and he was chortling and giggling so adorably, I turned to my husband and squealed ‘take a picture, take a picture’. He did and I excitedly grabbed the phone from him to ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ over the cutest baby in the world but when I looked at the picture, I was horrified!
I could barely see the baby’s face- my arms were huge! I turned the phone upside down, left, right, trying to view it from all angles but alas…my cheeks still looked like I had balls of puff-puff stuffed in them. I angrily shoved the phone across the table and accused my (confused) husband of being a bad photographer. I mean…there was no way I looked like that, hian! But much later that night, when everyone else was asleep and the house was quiet I couldn’t ignore the truth anymore and it was way louder than all the excuse, rationalizations and lies I had been telling myself.
And so, my fitness journey began. Up till that point, like most people my concept of fitness was diet and exercise and this was where I started from but as I progressed on my journey, I began to realize that those two were just facets of the protean nature of fitness. I was experiencing changes, not just physically but internally too. As my body grew stronger so did my mind! I started discovering strengths (both physical and mental) that I didn’t know I possessed. 4 dress sizes down with a 29 inch waist (post baby No 2), more fit at 34 than I was at 16, my self-assuredness and confidence has sky rocketed in areas that don’t even have anything to do with how I look physically!
Every area of my life has been positively impacted by my decision to lose weight (the right way) & get healthy. I’m able to approach tasks I would have shied away from previously because I now know I possess strengths, abilities that I was unaware of hitherto.
And this is why we should all be Fitness Enthusiasts…
…..Because we owe it to ourselves to live life maximally, optimizing every resource that we have been furnished with both physical and mental, every day we are privileged to be here on earth.
…..Because we owe it to our loved ones to take responsibility of those aspects of our health that we have control over and fight for the best quality of life possible.
……Because we owe it to our world, to leave our little corner of it- a better place than we met it and this is only possible when we have the physical strength and mental agility to carry out activities
……Because there are so many things in life we can’t control, but how we feel and look are entirely within our purview.
……Because we can only be all we were created and designed to be when the mind and the body are healthy and fit enough to work in tandem to help us achieve our goals, actualize our dreams and fulfil our destinies.
Imagine a world with minimal disease and sickness. Picture a world where everyone functions at optimum capacity both physically and mentally. Where obesity and its myriad of associated medical conditions are a thing of the past. Improbable? Right now…yes. Doable? …yes again. And it all starts with you and I taking responsibility for our bodies and in turn, our world.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our minds strong and clear”-Buddha
Damilola Bode-Ogundipe is a certified nutrition & wellness coach who is passionate about helping women live fit and healthy lives. When she doesn’t have her head buried in a book, she spends her time experimenting with recipes & theories on her long suffering husband and two amused kids. She’s on Instagram – @thefitmumhub and on Facebook – Thefitmumhub