Viva goes to Dubai -Faith Mukiri’s Story

Faith wants to cut down so she can help her 7-year-old son who weighs 52kg lose weight. She is a lover of nature, music, and dancing. Full of energy and raring to go, Faith Mukiri loves the colors purple and royal blue and lives by the Kiswahili maxim, ‘Tenda wema, nenda zako.’  Weighing 4.3kg at birth, Faith has always been big. She is currently 122kg and has decided to undergo bariatric surgery to lose weight.

Growing up in Donholm, Eastlands area on Nairobi, Faith enjoyed the bond she enjoyed with her siblings and parents. “My parents are very supportive and possessive of us,” she says. She reminisces about the good old days, “I’m quite a competitive person and I enjoyed playing with the boys. I guess the fact that I could stand up for myself was the reason no one bullied me about being overweight and thus I did not have self-esteem issues,” she narrates. Faith was always bigger than her peers and tipped the scales at 63kg while in pre-unit school. I had heart issues while I was a baby and the doctor recommended I should start swimming classes in Class One, which I did until Class Five but the weight loss if any was negligible, she says.

“My aunt – my mum’s sister is a good cook and I enjoyed her food but that meant eating and more eating,” says Faith. “I carried bad eating habits from home and by the time I was in primary school, the other kids referred to me as, ‘kanono’ (the fat one). When I joined Campus, I ballooned to 115kg thanks to partying, ‘nyam chom’ (roasted meat), and the stress from reading,” she says. “At only 23, I was now officially, ‘Winnie the Pooh’ to my friends,” she narrates.

She enrolled in the gym and would attend both morning and evening. Her weight dropped to 90kg but later shot up to 109kg. It would continue to oscillate depending on her lifestyle and by the time she got her first child, Faith weighed 121kg. “My pregnancy cravings contributed a lot to my weight gain as I was craving soda, juice, and mangoes,” she explains. “My baby weighed 5kg at birth.” After giving birth, Faith managed to drop to 109kg. When she resumed work, she joined the gym, which was recommended by her colleague, and managed to drop further to 100kg. Her second baby born at 5.1kg was also a big baby as was her third born who weighed 4.4kg.

“I was caught up in a vicious cycle where I would lose and gain weight rapidly and weigh 125kg at my heaviest,” explains Faith. Currently weighing 122kg Faith opted for bariatric surgery to lose weight after seeing an ‘after photo’ of Big Ted who had lost weight through bariatric surgery. She meets up with Ted who directs her to Dr. Theo Wangata. “I was hesitant at first and so was my family while my firstborn son told me that I would die,” she narrates. “This year, however, I made up my mind. I wanted to rebrand. I realized that fighting my weight has been a challenge and it was one thing I hadn’t managed. Besides I am predisposed to diabetes, because of my weight and because of my family history,” narrates Faith. Her family and son had also become supportive of her.

“My cardiologist and gastrologist also assured me it was my best bet,” she says. Faith attests it’s not easy getting clothes in her size. She also admits that sleeping is a nightmare and she cannot play soccer with her kids. “I want to be smaller and swift so I can comfortably play hide-and-seek with my kids who keep complaining as I’m not able to join them,” she says as she is tired most times and has to drag herself out of bed. My cholesterol levels are high and energy levels are low and I cannot stand for long periods of time, she says. “I see myself in my first-born son who weighs 52kg at only 7 and I would like to help him lose weight.e

“I had initially planned on having the bariatric surgery done in India but changed my mind because of the rising cases and different Covid 19 strains reported there,” she says. “I, therefore, settled for Dubai. I’m excited about holidaying in Dubai even as I go for my surgery.”

“Viva Serenity, my wellness partner is amazing and the team lets you process your issues. They are also very concerned about my health and wellness,” she says. “I can’t wait to go to Dubai,” says Faith.

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