MAMA’S WORDS – ON LOSING WEIGHT

We were having late breakfast when my Aunty J came to visit. When she saw me the first thing she said was, “Why are you so skinny? Are you losing weight deliberately? Or are you in love?” Now, anyone who knows Aunty J knows that i) she is a woman bursting with life and ii) she asks questions (however uncomfortable they are) in rapid succession. She is the type of person whose presence can simultaneously comfort you and make you stutter.

“I have always been skinny,” I replied, after deep laughter that failed at changing the topic. “You know being in love can also make you skinny,” she said. “It’s true,” she added and proceeded to tell us her “oh, that youthful love!” story.

When Aunty J was a young gal she dated a fellow who I will call John (because I can’t remember his name to protect his identity). Things between John and Aunty J were going great. Their relationship was like the perfect African sunset, complete with the acacia tree. Then one day John decided to break it off. He offered no explanation, well, none that was worthy of being committed to memory. Of course Aunty J was heartbroken because she thought of John as the love of her life. She told her mother (my grandmother) about her unrequited love. Aunty J walked around John-free and in love, hoping that the two of them would get back together. All the emotions associated with that resulted in weight loss. She eventually moved on and lived to love another day.

And the moral of the story according to Aunty J, “If you are going to lose weight do it deliberately,” and “Never lose weight for a man…he either loves you as you are or he doesn’t.” My personal take away, “Love can do and make you do the unexpected.”

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