It’s been six months since I gathered courage and walked out of our relationship. I thank God for the courage to walk away and I thank myself for realizing my self-worth. Every day I stayed with you felt like an acid on my skin. Slowly, you were eating my flesh away, but I was so scared to leave because, in my mind, no one will ever love me if I let you go.

When the love was new, you looked into my eyes and said all the good things I yearned to hear. You called me beautiful, and for the first time, I believed it. You said I made your life complete. I didn’t doubt it. And then you held my hand, walked me to your house and introduced me to your mother as the woman you’ll marry in the future. That blew me away.

Two years down the line, everything changed, including my name. I was no longer Edith, the girl you loved and promised her heaven on earth. My name became “Fatso” all because I gained some weight. I remember I told you my family has weight issues. My mother is a plus size and at some point in her life, she was called by her size, “Aunty Obolobo.” Look at my other siblings, none of them is slim. I was lucky. I inherited my father’s genes and that made me a little bit slimmer than all of my other siblings but I knew someday, the weight in me will show up. That’s why I was careful with what I ate and what I didn’t eat. I tried my best to do some exercise sometimes but that wasn’t enough for me to escape the family size.

I grew bigger than I used to be and that was when the problems in our relationship also grew bigger. I sensed the change in you and asked what the issue was. You answered, “Nothing, I’m ok.” You were ok but you stopped calling me. You stopped answering my calls and started giving me excuses where I expected you to be the guy I fell in love with. I loved you but I wasn’t stupid to see there was a problem. So one day after I’d pleaded with you to let me go if you didn’t love me again, you said, “If you can work on your weight, then we are fine. You’ve grown too fat for my liking.”

So that was the problem all along. I was slim when you made me your girlfriend but I had grown bigger and that was your reason for treating me the way you did. I even made fun of the situation so I wouldn’t feel embarrassed. I told you, “I’ve grown fat because you’ve taken very good care of me. That should be a feather in your cap.” I thought that would make you smile but instead, it got you infuriated; “If I wanted a fat girl as a girlfriend, I would have gone for one right from the start. I wouldn’t have picked you and waited for two years for you to grow fat.”

That really got to me but I loved you too much to be angry at you so I said, “Give me some time. I will lose what I’ve gained and you’ll come to love me as you did.”

Dear Kwame, I really tried. I started taking slim teas. The result wasn’t coming so I changed to diet. That too didn’t work out the way I wanted it so I combined slim tea, diet and exercises but still, nothing changed. It rather made the situation worse. Instead of you seeing my effort and encourage me, you were always on my neck screaming, “Lose weight oooo tom! All my friends are laughing at me because of you.”

When the results were not coming, I became depressed. I started getting scared of meeting you. When we were on the phone talking, I prayed you wouldn’t ask about what I was doing to lose weight but you always did. Till one night you told me, “If what you’re doing is not working, then you’re not doing it very well. If I were you, I would have stopped eating altogether. You’re already fat so what do you need food for?”  I don’t know if you meant it but from that day on, I started starving myself. I fasted for twelve hours a day for seven days. Even When I had to eat, I ate so little I could feel the hunger throughout the night. I didn’t mind. I was doing it for the love I had for you.

After a month or so I started feeling lightweight. I knew I’ve lost some weight. Some of my dresses didn’t fit any longer. I stood n the mirror and saw my emaciated face and said, “Yeah, this is working.” All I wanted you to say was, “Dear, you’re really trying” but all you said was, “Lose some weight or kiss this relationship goodbye. But before you do remember, no man wants a woman he can’t lift off the ground.” Your words broke me instead of building the confidence in me and the worse thing is, I believed your toxic narratives against my size and felt worthless. I felt you were doing me a favor for being with someone like me that no man wants.

So I clung to you with all my being and spirit. I didn’t want to lose you and stay single for the rest of my life so I did whatever you asked me to, just to continue being with you. Do you remember that night we fought about the girl I suspected you were cheating with? I knew it was true but because you were angry, I had to come to your house the next day to apologize. I had to apologize to you for cheating on me. You said, “I can only forgive what you did if only you’ll lose some weight.”

“But I’ve lost weight. Look at me. Yeah, I’m not like how I was when you proposed to me but look at me very well, I’ve reduced.”

You only smiled and walk away. Later that night, around 9pm, I prepared neat fufu and ate it with Palm nut soup. I drunk a whole one litre of coke before sleeping. The next morning, I ate banku and okro stew. In the afternoon, I repeated the neat fufu dosage. Later in the night, I drunk something else and had the best sleep of my life. That was when I realized I had missed eating good food. I decided enough was enough, if you wouldn’t love me the way I am, then I wouldn’t kill my self to achieve a size that only benefits your ego. What about me?

I stopped calling for days thinking you will call me but you never did so I said to myself, “If I can live the whole week without hearing from you, then I can go all the way without you. So when you called, I had already planned what I was going to say and I went straight to it, “You and I are over. Obviously you don’t like fat people. Obviously, I’m fat. Go your way and let me go mine.” I thought you were going to try to stop me but you said, “Instead of you to thank me for being with you, you’re there pushing me away. Don’t worry, I’m already gone.”

That was the end of us.

It’s been six months already and the good news is, I’ve lost a huge chunk of weight. Yes, I’m not at the size I used to be when I met you but trust me, two months from now I would be there. I’ve learned that when we do things for ourselves and not other people, we tend to appreciate the little victories and it inspires us to do more—go the extra mile to achieve more. Little by little, I’ve gained my life back and my confidence is at its peak.

Thank God for the courage to walk away but I continue praying not to meet a man of your kind anywhere near my life. And I’m also thankful for the fact that you came into my life. You’re the reason I know I deserve to be treated better. Because of you, I know what I don’t want in a man, and I’m thankful.

No longer Yours,