Tuesday, February 4, 2020 11:02 pm
By Nehru Odeh
Bose Ogunboye, aka, Lepacious Bose, is a popular Nigerian comedienne who battled obesity for a very long time. Not only was she the butt of many other comedians’ jokes, she took to comedy in order to make fun of her obesity. And her alias is not just an irony but had foretold her weight loss long before she started losing weight. Lepa in Yoruba refers to someone who is slim. But even when she was obese, people fondly called her Lepacious Bose. However, she had always been a plus –size lady that people made fun of until she started a weight loss regime that resulted in her losing weight drastically. Speaking on national television recently, she recounted her weight loss journey, which, according to her, wasn’t easy.
“I actually lost more than 70 kilograms. I was weighing 110kg and I was at my lowest at 95kg. And then I relaxed and felt ‘Okay, I have proven to all that I can do it.’ Then I started doing my things my old way again. I woke up one morning and I was 135kg again. And then I had to lose that again. And so now I am at a convenient 108 and I still want to get back to my 95,” she said.
How did she do it? The popular comedienne said losing weight is a holistic process that goes beyond just dieting. According to her the process of losing weight involves the total well-being of the individual, which is physical, mental, emotional and social. While dieting and keeping a food diary is important, the comedienne said anyone on a weight loss journey much change his/her lifestyle.
“So you do a lot of rethinking. Even your friends would change, your lifestyle would change. Everything would change because everything is connected to food. As is typical of Lagos, were I to be invited to a birthday party tomorrow , I would not attend because I already have a weekly food program and I already know that if I go there I would eat this, eat that. So if you suddenly invite me, I would check my timetable. I would probably cheat when I get there. And I already cheated yesterday,” she explained.
Then why do people break their weight loss regime? The comedienne said people always break their process because they make everyday a cheat day. “You can’t make everyday a cheat day. It has to be strategic,” she maintained.
Ogunboye also said a weight loss journey is an emotional one, adding that anyone on a weight loss regime needs someone or something to hold on to. “In weight loss you just need to see somebody, something tangible that you can hold on to because it is not really a journey you can do alone. It is very emotional. One of the things I discovered during my weight loss journey was that I was a cry baby. I cried for everything. I cried over everything. I was always crying. I got very emotional. If anything happened, I cried. I watched a movie, I cried. It’s an emotional journey. It’s a journey that you are going on alone. No matter how people love you they can’t walk that road with you. .And it is also much more than a food journey, it is also an emotion journey,” she averred.
The comedienne also spoke about what made her add so much weight in the first place, how she used comedy to fight off those who made fun of her obesity and how she overcome hypothyroidism.
“My weight gain initially started from comfort eating and depression. I didn’t realize I was comfort eating. I didn’t realize I was depressed. But I knew I wasn’t happy. And comedy for me was a way to let it out. Every time I laughed at it I felt better until sometime in 2013 my period ceased completely. I wasn’t even near menopause. So I had to go see the doctor. They did all kinds of test and nothing was showing. It was then that I discovered I had hypothyroidism, which meant that my thyroid worked slower than anybody else’s; which is the reason why everyone goes on a diet or one week and they lose weight, but mine was different. If members of a church are fasting, for example, and they ask how many people are fasting, and people raise their hands and I raise mine, they look at me with sneer and derision, saying in their minds, ‘Does this woman look like someone who is fasting?’ So my metabolism was slower than anybody else’s. That’s why a friend can start losing weight in January and by February she has lost all the weight and you are still there by March and are still struggling,” she said.
But how did she cope when her fellow comedians made fun of her obesity? Ogunboye said she turned her adversity to good fortune because as her fellow comedians made fun of her while cracking their jokes, she started cracking jokes about her obesity. And that was how she stopped getting upset whenever they made fun of her obesity.
“One of the funny things about my career as a comedian is if anybody talked about my weight gain I got upset. But when I started saying it myself, I took the power off them. And then that was what started the comedy part. So I took it from there,” she maintained.