…Says, I became obese out of depression

…I lost myself when I had a broken relationship

…’Slimming down is a journey I have decided to embark on’

By BENJAMIN NJOKU

Nollywood actress, Ifeoma Okeke-Ozzoude, best known for her ‘large size and tiny voice’ is currently undergoing a major physical transformation and her recent pictures speak volumes of her impressive figure.

The actress, who once claimed that she doesn’t feel the challenges of being a plus-size woman has lost over 10 kilos in the past months and looks a lot different than before.

Excited Ifeoma said she’s on a journey to work on her body, and the journey started last May, when she was introduced to a slimming product.

“I have a secret in the pipeline and that’s what is helping me to go through the process. I started using the product since May, this year and I can see the result because it’s very good, it’s a natural process. I want to watch my weight. It’s just for healthy living,” the actress revealed.

Interestingly, Ifeoma has been unveiled as the brand ambassador for the product. She’s looking forward to getting back her shape. Not only is the actress’s transformation an eye-opener, but it’s also something which can inspire anyone.

“I am 5 feet x 8 inches tall, but my size wouldn’t let people know I am a very tall woman,” Ifeoma said, while also narrating how she became overweight.

“As far as you are over 120 kilos, you are obese. And I am obese, we should tell ourselves the truth. But I am one person who’s very confident in my body. I can carry it, but inside you, you have to tell yourself the truth that ‘madam you need to check your size. So, if I tell you I have dropped 10 kilos between May and now, I am not lying to you.”

“And if you see me you will know the difference. It’s a journey that I have decided to embark on. It’s a gradual process. I don’t want to be a slim gal, but I just want to stay healthy and live right. I still want to retain my big and bold nature,” the actress said.

On what inspired her decision to work on her body, Ifeoma said she was scared following the circumstances that led to the death of one of her plus-size friends last year.

She narrates: “When I heard the news of her death, I immediately rushed to her house, where her neighbours narrated the horrible story of how they were struggling to bring her out of the house, while she was gasping for breath. At that point, something just struck my head that if I am sick now, how would people bring me out of the house.”

“You know there’s this realization point. I have never felt my weight before. It has never bothered me in my life. I can stand from now till tomorrow I won’t feel it. I can do anything, I am that flexible with myself. They said it was a struggle to drag her from upstairs to downstairs. They couldn’t force her inside the car. They had to dump her at the back of a Hilus jeep. I just felt that if she were to be a slim person, she could have had a chance of surviving.

“I have been sick and I know how it feels when you have to gasp for breath. But nothing brought me to that point of self-realization. And it’s only you that can tell yourself the truth. Even after her death, I tried to shake it off, but indirectly people insult obese ones. I just woke up one day and said to myself, it’s time I do something about my size.”

The actress, however, refuted the insinuation that she’s slimming down because of marriage. “I am not slimming down because of marriage. I have come to that point,where I have said, may be marriage is not meant for everybody. That’s where I have got to. It’s not about age, I am not old but I have got to that point where I am not fighting for marriage again. I just want to have my kids and be okay. So, it’s not about marriage for me. Rather, it’s about living healthy, staying alive. That struck me and the thought of it scares me. I fear the unknown and that’s one fear I always have,” Ifeoma echoed.

Speaking further, the actress who has sojourned in the movie industry for more than two decades, said she became overweight out of depression.”

“What people don’t know is that depression is real. We all shy away talking about it. I went through depression and if there is anything called rehab centre , I’m sure I would have found myself there,” the actress added.

Ifeoma, however, blamed her predicament on a bad relationship, which she said she entered into due to the pressure of wanting to get married and having children.

Recalling her horrible story, the actress described herself as a victim of bad relationship. While the relationship lasted for three years and left her heartbroken and depressed, Ifeoma believes that nothing happens for no reason.

“So, when that relationship ended, it was tough for me to pick up the broken pieces of my life and move on. I lost myself. If you have stayed in FESTAC, it’s a small community where everybody knows you . I don’t know if I should cry or run away. I was never used to taking alcohol. But when I had this heartbreak, I became a drunk. I was indoors and for five years, I wasn’t dating anybody.”

“But before I walked out of the relationship, I just woke up one day. I saw one of my pictures and when I looked at the picture, what I saw was like a mad woman. At that point, I made up my mind to walk out of the relationship. “From that day, I hated men for whatever they are. If you say hello to me, I would feel like stabbing you. So, when you see a plus-size woman, you don’t have to abuse or make the person feel ashamed. Something must have happened that made the person to become overweight.

“That was what affected me and I started living with it. If you have known me then, I was the type they refer to as ‘if you got it you flaunt it’ and I moved on. I got to this age again, and I said I want to slim down,” said the Ifeoma, whose foundation, Purple Campaign was birthed out of the experience she had in that sweet-bitter relationship.

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