In recent years, Doreen Nasasira has battled with her weight. She has gained and lost it in equal measure. Nasasira, the voice behind the K-Zone, a show that runs on KFM from 8pm to midnight, began feeling less confident about her looks in 2016. At the time, she was dealing with different challenges, including a failed relationship.
“The heartbreak became a blessing in disguise because it gave me the push to start watching what I ate,” she says, adding that losing the weight would in a way help restore her confidence.
In order to achieve her desired goal, she made the gym her second home. She lifted weights, engaged in Zumba (a fitness programme that involves cardio and Latin-inspired dance), squats, cardiovascular exercises including walking and running using a treadmill, among other forms of exercise.
Overtime, Nasasira lost 22 kilogrammes (From 78kgs to 56kgs) and began feeling confident and content with her physique. However, this weight loss raised eyebrows, especially among those who knew her well. Many expressed their concern about her weight loss and advised her to gain back the weight.
She adhered to the pressure and sought the services of a nutritionist who gave recommendations on particular foods to eat from then onwards. He suggested she takes millet porridge and oats. Along the way, and with reduced gym visits, Nasasira went back to weighing more than 70 kilogrammes.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 worsened the situation. The period prompted a lockdown and limited movement as a way of curbing the spread of the disease. Nasasira, who could not even access a gym at the time continued piling on the kilos.
“I stocked up on processed foods, including spaghetti and canned foods instead of fresh ones. And because I thought the worst was going to happen, I ate my food without a care in the world,” she says.
At the time, she was getting a few endorsements here and there, including modelling gigs for different products. Such engagements would require her involvement in photo-shoots as a way of branding a particular product.
At times, she would face challenges fitting into some outfits while at others, photographers would make fun of her weight. Eventually, she also realised that she had indeed let herself go.
Since these pictures were intended for marketing products, they were shared on-line which also attracted all sorts of mixed reactions from social-media users.
“One time, someone said I was obese and should only represent fat people,” she says, adding that such comments would cause her to break down and cry.
Nasasira recalls a random male pedestrian who sexually harassed her while she sat on a boda boda that had stopped due to traffic jam. He tried to touch her hips and when that failed, he made some offensive remarks saying, “This one is warm….if only I could have her.”
He was not the only one who uttered such comments. There were other men who made similar unpleasant remarks whenever they saw her. Then, there were those uncomfortable stares from the same men looking at her hips, where Nasasira says, the weight was mostly concentrated.
And as if the comments and stares were not enough, there was a category of people who said her body was changing because of ‘old age.’
Having had enough of such criticism, Nasasira thought it wise to re-consider her weight-loss plan after hitting the 78 kilogramme mark.
So, when the economy was partially re-opened in 2021, she consulted a nutritionist for help. Not only did he give Nasasira a strict diet plan to adhere to from August 2021 to February 2022, he also offered advice that if she stuck to the plan and put her mind to it, the desired results would be reached.
Nasasira was encouraged to mostly include local breeds of chicken and fish in her diet. These had to be accompanied with vegetables, especially leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce. She was urged to often include cucumber and pumpkin as well.
When she opted for beans or peas, Nasasira was told to accompany these with either matooke or sweet potatoes.
She was discouraged from eating fast foodstuffs, wheat and dairy products, processed juices and raw salt, which medical experts say can cause other health complications such as kidney problems.
She was also advised to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated, get enough sleep, not eating past 7pm and on occasions she got cravings, to opt for healthy treats such as vegetable or fruits such as apples, bananas or watermelon.
Nasasira was also encouraged to walk more rather than engage in intense exercise. The trainer reasoned this was so as not to strain her body.
Nasasira has adhered to the diet until today. She, however, admits that the journey has not been easy as temptations always come up. Going out less and being picky with what she eats at restaurants helps her deal with these temptations.
She currently weighs 66kgs and Nasasira hopes to maintain it at this.