What would you say is your greatest lesson since you made news with the incredible weight loss?
Well, I think loving who you are inside is the most important thing I have learnt. Considering what I have been through these past few years and the challenges I have faced, I have realised the importance of being beautiful from within.
When you are completely happy with yourself, with who you are regardless of the situation, when you begin to pay attention to the beauty that is inside of you, you will begin to experience changes on the outside. I used to think it was all about the perfect body and looks, but while I think they are important, I know now that true happiness comes from inside, from accepting who you are.
Do you sometimes think your achievement has motivated so many young women?
Yes, definitely. The feedback has been overwhelming for the most part. A few days ago, I was at the gym around 8am. I got a message from BOUQUI, the rapper, all the way from America, telling me of how I inspire her. People like Kemi Adetiba, Lolo of Wazobia FM openly say that I am their inspiration.
Sometimes, it is from people I would normally think do not notice what I am doing that I get the best wishes and encouragement. These things keep me going. It makes me want to work more. I post some of my work-out sessions on Instagram. Sometimes, I don’t want to because I don’t see the need. But when I see people’s response, it motivates me as well. It does keep me going.
What would you attribute the success to?
I say in the end it is grace. Because if anyone had told me that I would go to the gym this morning before going out, I would say it is not possible. You had a lavish party on your birthday a few months ago… Yes. My birthdays are usually moments of reflections for me. I hardly celebrate them.
I don’t even throw parties. I spend the whole day with myself. But I did this one. And I wanted to go all out. I don’t feel scared about my birthdays anymore.
Was there any time you were scared?
Yes, there were times I was scared like “This is another birthday, God, what is going on?” Now, I approach everyday with confidence. I face it squarely knowing that tomorrow is going to be better. The more the days come, the more I find reasons not to be afraid of them.
You once narrated your post-weight loss ordeal; would like to shed more light on it?
To my mind, I thought that when you lose weight the world would love you for it. I thought when you do what I have done, the world would celebrate you. That was not the case for me in the beginning. And it came as a rude shock to me the avalanche of criticisms and cyber-bullying I faced.
On the internet, people said so many negative things about me. At the time, I kept asking myself if what I did was wrong. I had to learn how people’s opinion should not define me. It was a shaky time for me. So, it was important to address why I did what I did. I knew I didn’t lose weight because of people. I knew it wasn’t because I wanted attention that I shed all that fat. It was because of me.
But you once said that you made more money when you hadn’t lost your weight…
I was completely misquoted. Someone asked me why I decided to lose weight. He said I was making lots of money with my former weight as a comedian. I was like, ‘O yes, I was making a lot of money as a comedian, however, I needed to lose weight for a number of reasons.’
This person put the story out, saying I was making more money when I was fat than now that I am slim. It made me look ridiculous. I was upset. To be honest, I cried. Until I realised that people’s opinion should not define me.
Why did you shed so much weight?
On one fateful day my nephew said to me that I was breathing funny. I asked him how and he said, I was breathing like somebody that was going to die. How he said it really scared me. He looked at me straight in eye and with pity he said: ‘Please, Aunty Bose, don’t die.’ I took a check and decided to ask myself some questions: ‘Is this all there is to life?’ I took an inventory of my life and asked myself if I was truly happy and the answer was no! I wrote a list of things that made me happy.
I couldn’t find much to write. I tried to write a list of things that made me unhappy and I had many things to write. The first 10 things were tied to being fat. So, I decided it was time to make a change. I decided to take the bull by the horns and do something about it.
How were you able to achieve the implausible feat?
I tell people that there is nothing miraculous about weight loss. The problem with people is that, I was losing weight right under their nose and they just did not know. I started the weight loss journey say four years ago, I have been losing weight for four years and some months now, I am still going on, I have not stopped. I stayed away from eba for three years. I missed good food. In three years, I had only eaten pounded yam like three times. It wasn’t something I like. It took hard work, discipline and commitment.
A lot of people started sending me mails. You must occupy your soul, spirit with it. When I wake up in the morning, it is what I think about. When I am going to sleep at night, it is what I am thinking about. All I think about is, I have to lose this weight. When I want to go out, I am already thinking of what I am going to eat.
If I am stuck in traffic, I am thinking of what I can snack on. I try to avoid junks, soft drinks on the road. Those are things that make you pack up fat. I have to think ahead. I am at a party and I am already thinking, what can work for me and what cannot. There are parties I attend and I don’t eat anything. I just take my eyes off food.
What is your current size?
I am size 14. I was 32.
What would you say about the prophecy of your name, Lepacious Bose, coming to pass?
It has always been that way for me. In secondary school when people call me orobo (fat), I would be like “Ojo ndun yi ni (are you blind!). I am lepa (slim). Can’t you see?” That was how I got the name. And seeing that it has materialised makes me realise the power of words. I realise how powerful words are.
It taught me how to apply words in other areas of my life. It is not just about my size. For instance, I refuse to say negative things about Nigeria, about myself or about anyone. The more you say negative things, the more you pull negative things to you. Do you think it is only about the words? No. it is not only about the words.
You have to work hard at it. I know how many times I had looked at ice cream and had to walk away. I know how many times I would drink only water in an event when people are eating good food. But it is all part of the puzzle. It is all part of the big picture.
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