The Vain Body Journal: I'm in love with the Shape of You

As you all know, I’ve been going to the gym for about two weeks, and I’m loving it so far. I am now more physically active than I was, I know have to deal with the guilt that used to plague me daily about me not working out.

I found out that the gym is a good place for networking, though I haven’t started doing that because I just have one hour to spend at the gym in the morning before I resume work, so right now, “ain’t nobody gat time for that…”

Anyway, one morning, as I was dressing up to leave, a lady came in to the dressing room. First thing I noticed was that she really had a great figure but her stomach was protruding. She was slim, but not very slim, slim with the right amount of hips, butts, and breast. If not for her stomach, she would have been a perfect hour glass. I automatically assumed that she’s just someone with a great figure, but just had a baby. She changed to her gym shoes, brought out a workout waist belt, which is the rave on social media, and wore it.

I them asked her if she just had a baby. She smiled with a surprised look on her face, and said “Me? No o. I am not even married.” I wondered who sent me message, but quickly improvised the situation, and said “Oh, sorry. I was asking because of the belt you are using. Please tell me, does it work?” She said it works a bit. She can even wear the belt all day, only that it will make your shoulders look abnormally bigger than your body. I thanked her, and told her it was important for me to know because I just had a baby (even though I really wasn’t interested in the belt. I was just making conversation because I really liked her figure, and wanted to let her know without being weird).

She went on to say she doesn’t have any child. The only issue is that she adds weight in her stomach region when she’s growing bigger, so she wants to work on her stomach so she can add weight in other regions while keeping her stomach flat.

All the bells in my head immediately rang at the same time, and my mind went


I screamed “Nooooooo, please don’t add weight. Your figure is perfect. Why would you want to do this? Just work on your stomach. People are killing themselves in the gym to have a body like yours.”
This lady wasn’t fat, wasn’t thin. The closest person I can compare her with is Ciara so you can understand better. I was just so surprised that someone who looked like that wasn’t happy with her body, so I just told her that “Well, I understand. We ladies are never 100% happy with our bodies, no matter how good it is. There’s always something we think can be better about it.”

She went on to say that it is not that she isn’t happy with her body, but she realized that people don’t respect her because of her body structure. They take her for granted because she doesn’t have the body mass to go along with whatever respect she wanted to command. To summarize the whole story, her figure was sabotaging her!

In my mind, I was like “what is this woman saying? So what does she want someone like me to say? I am short, petite, and not fat. Should I jump inside the river? Lol.”

In my own opinion, and according to my own experience, people might take you for granted when they first see you, but if you are good at your craft, know your onions, and are confident in the way you speak and carry yourself, once you open you open your mouth, everyone will take a seat. This is my opinion and I stand by it.

I made my opinion known, and she agreed. Her major worry though was the lack of respect given to her before she even opens her mouth to speak. However, I begged her not to add weight because people were dying to have her body. I told her how she would love this body in her mid-forties and fifties, when she doesn’t really age fast. We laughed over it, she kept thanking me for the compliments, and she said she won’t add it again.

As for me, I pondered on the irony. When it comes to body goals, many of us are not satisfied. We want what others have. Fat people want to be slim, slim people want to be fat. We want to be taller, we feel our legs are too long. We want bigger hips, while some are paying for hip reduction surgery. We wear coloured contacts, while some hate their naturally-coloured eyes. It goes on and on and on. We are always in love with other people’s body. We might as well be looking at other women out there singing “I’m in love with the shape of you.”

So at what point do we say “look at my body. I am 100% happy with it, and I wouldn’t change a single thing in it for the world.” I will be honest enough to admit that I haven’t gotten to that point yet. Please, let me know if you have or haven’t.

The Vain Body Journal: The Decision

Last Sunday, I came out of the blues, and decided that it was time, I have finally decided that enough is enough. I can’t take this anymore.

I would start going to the gym!

No, I am not big or fat or anything of that sort...

But still, I didn’t like my body. In my own estimation, my hips were flabby, bigger than they were before childbirth, I had “church mothers” arms, and my stomach hasn’t gone down totally (I’m not as bothered about this as I should be because if I’m going to be having another child, then why go to the stress to flatten something that would most likely protrude shortly after?). Anyway, I wasn’t just feeling myself, and I was unhappy about it, so I decided to take the bull by the horn.

I would like to state some underlying factors that made me start going to the gym.

Firstly, I believe every lady, no matter how modest they are, has something she is either vain, obsessed or near-obsessed about. It can be looks, fashion, shoes, fit-fam, cosmetics, hair, power, control, children, books (for the nerds), etc. For me, it is MY BODY. I won’t even lie or hide under the docks about it. I love to look at my body, and be okay and confident with it. If I am not okay with it, I won’t be 100% happy, and I will keep working and ranting till I get to the point when I am okay with it. A lot of things contributed to this vainness though, but there’s no need to mention them here.
When I told my husband that I was going to start gyming, I told him it’s because of some things, including not liking the way I look and feel. He said he likes me this way. But as far as I was concerned, if I don’t like it, that is what matters, since it is MY body, and I am the one stuck in it for life.

Secondly, I have always been team healthy-eating, healthy-living. Everyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that. For some years, I have been that lady who works out daily. I stopped in my first trimester because of nausea and vomiting, and resumed in my third trimester. I stopped again after delivery, and resumed 2 weeks later (just running at first). I kept trying to tailor the workouts to my new life demands, switching from mornings to night, styles to styles, etc. After a while, I just fell off the bandwagon because of time constraints. And for about three month, it had been hard to get back there. I had previously decided to be leaving my nanny at home with my son instead of us all going to work together, so I could trek to work and trek back home, which will take me about 1 hour 30 minutes per trip, but when my nanny disappeared, I ditched this plan because I need to get super-used to this new one before I leave her alone with my son. I then decided that maybe this home workout programs isn’t okay for this phase of my life… at least, till I get my grind back.

Lastly, I am a money manager, and I like to get the value out of every penny spent. I’m not a fan of paying for gym memberships when I can do the workouts at home. However, I know that at this point in my life, accountability is what I mostly need. If I can’t be accountable to myself, I will be accountable to my money, lol. If I bring my hard-earned cash, and pay for gym membership, lord knows I will squeeze everything out of that money, thereby making me get my desired results.

So yes, many changes are happening in my life, and going to the gym is one of them. What about you? Do you work out? Do you do it at home or at the gym? Which is the most effective for you, and why? Let’s know in the comment section.

P.S: I realize that I’ve been getting a lot of writing inspiration whenever I’m at the gym, so I will be doing a gym/workout/health/fit-fam series, from time to time, the first of which is this post. The name is of course, the Vanity Body Journal. I hope you all like it. Have a great week

Unbelievable Nanny Woes (2)

Hello people, hope you had a great week. I just want to update you on how my nanny woes continued, and eventually ended. I you haven't read the first post where I documented my nanny woes, you can read it here.

As at the time I wrote last week's post, I was waiting for three candidates to come to my house to be interviewed. I eventually interviewed them, and two of them stood out for me. I was quite impressed with them, their willigness, exposure, and other things, even though I was not okay with distance of their houses from mine, since it is a live-out job.

I decided to go for the lesser evil. She resumed the next day, did some cleaning in the kitchen, and prepped her food. On our way to work, we took a detour for nanny medical test. Her bloodwork was done, and we waited for the result.

When the attendant came out, she was like "Madam, carry your child." I instantly knew something was wrong, and I was like "Oh no, not again."

She had Hep - B, and was therefore not qualified to work as a nanny or in a restaurant. I was devastated, the girl was devasted. She kept begging me not to tell the agent (she was more concerned about the agent knowing than about the status of her health). She said she didn't want any of f her family members to know, but I told her she needed to get to the doctor to treat herself, and test her 3-year old daughter to know if she's infected. I doubt she listened to me though. On my own part, I had to disclose the truth to the agent so that he wouldn't send her to another family, who might be too carefree to carry out the appropriate tests. I also needed to get an immediate replacement, as the development threw a spanner in my wheel for that day.

I immediately called the second choice to resume the next day, even though she wanted to live-in. I had to increase her salary a bit because her house was much farther than the first choice. We did her medicals, and everything was fine. She's quite smart and literate. My only issue with her is that she said she is going back to her town in December, and might not come back because the stress in Lagos is too much for her. I was quite pissed cos if she had told me before, I probably wouldn't have employed her and done the medicals for her. I've informed the agent to start loooking for other options for me for that time.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

Unbelievable Nanny Woes

I’ve heard many people narrate their bad experiences with helps, nannies, or search for nannies, and I’ve always looked at them from the point of “pity” saying “eeya” in my mind. Well, right now, I’m very unhappy to say that I have my own terrible nanny stories to narrate. While I have not had an outrightly bad nannies, I recently had a series of unfortunate events, and I am currently in between nannies.

Firstly, I had to replace my nanny when we got into the month of july because the most terrible sets of attitudes I have seen in an elderly person. I got a younger person who was almost perfect in every sense, and then just like that, her mother died, or lemme say “they said her mother died.” One minute, she was in the house doing her work as normal, and the next minute, she was in her village, and I wasn’t even aware. I was later informed, and asked to send money so she could come back, which I did. Let’s just say that up till now, I am yet to see her. I couldn’t reach her nor her family members. If only I knew that this was the beginning of my nanny woes.

The first day without a nanny, my husband volunteered to stay home with my son because we believed my nanny was going to resume the next day like they promised. No show!

The next day, I took my baby to work, and I assigned a staff (who he absolutely adores) to babysit him. By this time, the family members had stopped picking my calls, and I knew there was foul play.
When the nanny didn’t resume the third day, I told him to send me some people to interview so my disappearing nanny could be replaced, which he did.

First day, I interviewed three girls. What stood out was that these ‘nannies’ lie a lot. They say they finished secondary school, yet they cannot read and write. This was very annoying, and I disqualified some people based on this because I just believe liars are dangerous people to have working so close to you. On this day, I decided to go for the last girl I interviewed cos I genuinely liked her. She seemed agile, smart, and ready to work. She said her past employer lived in my estate (she didn’t know I lived in that estate cos the interview took place at work). She had to leave the job because her mother died. I told her to take me to her past employer cos there was no way I was going to employ her, knowing her former madam live few doors away from me. She told me she had to go and get the contact number from her second sim at home, and she would meet me on the way home. Let’s just say that was the last time I heard from her.

I was so disappointed cos I really liked her. I had to go for the second choice, whom I didn’t really like because she seemed sluggish and lackadaisical. I told her to resume the next day, but the next day, she was nowhere to be found. I was kinda glad cos I prayed to God that if she wasn’t meant to work with me, God should make her not resume.

After informing me of the girl’s refusal to resume, he sent me four more girls to interview, and two stood out for me. The most perfect one lived too far from me, and I was concerned about this (it’s a live-out nanny job). She lived in the same area with my first nanny, and I remember distance being an issue with her. So I called the agent to discuss the two options, and he said my second choice, who lived close to me said she didn’t want the job again because I was asking her many questions. Ehhh, egbami. You want to interview for nanny, and you don’t want me to ask you questions??? I should just trust you and give my child to you? Funny thing is that she passed the interview in flying colours. I even spoke to her former boss in front of her, and he gave her glowing recommendations. She wasn’t happy about this. I said if I took her, she would be going to the hospital for nanny test. She wasn’t happy about this too. I just concluded that she was a spoilt little child who wasn’t ready to work, so I went for my first choice who seemed perfect in every way, apart from home distance. I told her to resume the next day, which she did.

The next day, little miss perfect was given money to go to the hospital for nanny test, while I went about my business at work. A series of test routines that was supposed to take about 60 to 90 minutes (it is a crowded mother and child hospital) ended up taking 7 hours! She left around 8.30am and returned at 3.30pm, and this was the result she gave me.

Not only was my “little miss perfect” pregnant, she forged the hospital report to make it look like she wasn’t pregnant, and that the hospital had made a mistake, hence the tipex. She wasn’t even smart enough to know that any idiot would see this, and know that it had been doctored. The handwritings look nothing alike. It all started making sense. Why she had been gone for so long, why her phone had been switched off, etc. Everything I did from then on was in a state of shock. I told my assistant to follow her to the hospital, and ask for who used tipex on the report (I honestly didn’t think she did it. I assumed she begged a staff to help her cover her lapse in judgement). Anyway, she saw we were serious, and we told her to confess, and she said she’s really pregnant. I was shocked. This girl was 21 years old, who looked like a 16 year old, and had the voice and innocent smile of a 10 year old. She said it happened last month wither guy in her neighbourhood, it was her first time ever, bla bla bla, and she would abort the child. I told her I wasn’t going to be a party to that, and she must report herself to her mother. I sent her back to the agent, and we all agreed I should employ her, because whether I liked it or not, she was going to abort the child. She said she was never going to tell her mum because it would break her heart. She was going to resume the next day.

The next day, this girl never showed. I called her, but she didn’t pick. She later sent a message to say she couldn’t do the job again because she had failed me by forging records, and would not be able to face me again. while I applauded her for her bravery, I was concerned about who would now refund the money I spent on her hospital test.

So here I am, without nanny for 9 days. My staff have been responsible for taking care of my son while I work during work hours. As I type this, two people are on their way for interview, and I pray I get someone perfect for the job amongst one of them. They sounded like correct people when I talked to them. Let’s hope they are fit for the job.

What of you? Have you had to deal with nanny, help or staff issues? If yes, how did you resolve them?