I get insulted advising people on healthy living –Nutrition expert Emiko Kathy

  • I ventured into nutrition business after undergoing Caesarian Section twice

Princess Kathy Emiko is a woman of many parts. Besides being a fashion enthusiast and owner of a popular boutique, she is also a nutritionist. But the wife of a popular Warri prince, Yemi Emiko, did not become a nutritionist by accident; it was a field she ventured into after she had to undergo Caesarian Section twice because of her weight. She spoke with PAUL UKPABIO about these and other issues concerning her private and public life.

WHAT is it like to be married into the Warri royal family?

Royalty in the Warri Kingdom dates back to about 600 years ago. So, marrying into a Warri royal family gives me an opportunity to witness first hand royal splendour and even partake in it. I consider it a great privilege.

You are a princess by virtue of your marriage. Were you worried about the challenges that come with that at the initial stage?

I was not worried about any challenge when I married my husband. The reason is that I had dated him for a couple of years before we finally got married.

I also was not looking or seeing him from the royal stand point. Rather, I saw him as a friend, a confidant and a lover.

As we became closer and closer over a period of time, marrying him became a mere formality and a mere transition to the status.

Some women desire to get married to a prince so that they may not need to work again, but yours has been different.

You have been in the fashion industry and moved into nutrition, skin health and body fitness business. What has been the motivation?

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You really mean some women would wish they marry a prince so they would never work again? That must be a nice, beautiful fairy tale (laughs).

Well, I thank God who met my desires. I have a prince who can take care of me, no doubt, as God has provided for him. But he allows me to be what I desire to.

He allows me to fly, if I may use that word. He allows me to do things on the basis of my desire to help women get out of obesity and their diet challenges. It is a calling for me.

Initially, I did not know that it was a calling. When you say something is a calling, it means that God has put it in you to reach out to others. I want to help women and I am doing that by the grace of God.

I guide ladies to live healthy lifestyle; to get out of obesity and its challenges. It is a calling for me instead of just sitting and doing nothing after childbirth, regretting my body size and nursing other health challenges like aging prematurely.

You also have a rich Edo cultural background. What are some of the similarities in both cultures?

Well, as you know, Warri Kingdom emanated from Bini Kingdom. So, I would be stating the obvious when I say that there are similarities between both cultures.

Some of the similarities are seen in the symbols used in both sides. Systems of royalty in terms of regalia, the cultures of the people, similarities in chieftaincy title and even the splendor and aura around kings in both kingdoms.

So can you say you are now a complete Waffarian?

Oh, I had been a Waffarian even before I met my husband. That is because I schooled in Warri; at the College of Education. I also came back to do my National Youth Service at Chevron Plc.

What are the things that makes one a Waffarian?

The hallmark of a Waffarian is being detribalised. Of course, it is also about the prowess of speaking the Pidgin English which is very unique to us.

It also means intelligence. As you must have heard, Warri no dey carry last! We are also our brother’s keeper!

We are about unity, putting ourselves in other people’s shoes and considering the happiness of others. That is what makes one a complete Waffarian.

You grew up under a man like Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, a former vice chancellor of Igbinedion University for over a decade. What values did you learn from him?

Yes, I recall that his life was all about education, education and education. It was one of the key values that I took away. He taught me the values of education and also how to put others before self! He was selfless.

He also taught me that whatever I want to do, I should get approval by getting certification; that I must know my onions. That was why when I left school and went into the fitness business, I searched and got certified.

Till date, I still do a lot of courses. Education is the key. The Bible says that people perish for lack of knowledge; not for lack of prayers.

 You had the challenge of obesity. Was it the result of your privileged lifestyle early in lfe?

My obesity issue started with my first pregnancy. Thank God I was able to take care of that. It motivated me to know that it is still possible to regain my old figure: getting pregnant, putting up so much weight, then losing weight and going back to my pre-pregnancy look, just the way my husband met me.

I have always been a very hard-driven person. Even when I was in the university, I was not obese. But when the babies started coming and I saw how I was growing fatter, I was alarmed.

Thank God for that call and the fact that I didn’t ignore the call and with the help of God, I did something about it. I conquered.

It was a challenge for me, and since I was able to conquer it, I believed that I should help other women out there who desire to have a wonderful figure.

A woman’s figure is important. She is supposed to be on top of her health and not just to have a wonderful figure and look after the children.

We have a role to play while God plays His part. It has been a very wonderful journey for me and it has become my passion.

So I decided to go for qualification, which was very important. I got certified. And of course I started reaching out to a lot of people. I know knowledge is endless so I continue to learn, do more research.

How did you resolve your obesity?

It was a journey and it is still a journey. It was tough. A big challenge! I tried a lot of things from different diet pills, different diets, until I got the solution when I had my second baby in Paris.

I attended a post-pregnancy class and that changed everything. You see, it is about food. If you can tackle your food intake, you will be able to resolve obesity issues.

And one thing about eating healthy, it has to be with grace and not by power. The ability to choose between buying ice-cream or chocolate for something else is grace and not power!

Most often, we all know what to do. Some of us can write a book on how to eat healthy — don’t take sweets, sugar, fizzle drinks, shawama, pizza.

It is all easy to say. But the capacity and the enablement to do so is where the grace comes in. I was able to resolve that and I am still in it.

I don’t have a lackadaisical attitude towards eating. I eat with wisdom. I tell my clients too. Now I run an academy and I talk about grace to make the right choice of what to eat.

Can one actually have a perfect body?

Genesis 1 verse 31 says God looked at what He had created and approved because He saw that everything was beautiful and perfect.

And the Bible says in Psalm 139 verse 14 that we are wonderfully and beautifully made. Everybody has a perfect body. God is not a God of mistake.

He has not made anyone imperfectly. But we have to plug into that perfection by taking care of our body physically and spiritually.

What advice do you have for women who are struggling to break the fat or trying to prevent the fat after pregnancy?

What advice do I have for them? It is not rocket science. To be healthy is doable. After the pregnancy and delivery of the baby, just follow the right precepts and be patient.

A lot of women want to go back to their former dress size the next day, but that is not possible. It took you nine good months to carry that baby, increase in size and then deliver.

So it probably will take you another nine months of consistency, of determination, of discipline to get back to shape. But the bottom line is that it is not rocket science. It is possible and you can do it.

Do you miss owning a boutique?

Not at all, now I realize that it was not in my calling. During the period when I was running the boutique, there were so many struggles.

And that is what happens when you are not in your calling. Those who own boutiques must be trying. I don’t know if it has changed, but at that time, I had a lot of people who bought without paying.

So I’m so happy with what I am doing now. I’m so passionate about what I do now that I don’t miss the boutique business in any way.

When I see people doing the wrong stuff about their health, I can’t hold back; I approach them. Some insult me, some embrace me, but I don’t hold back the information. I give free health talk.

Can eating habits be of any help in the Covid-19 pandemic?

Viruses love acidic body. They swim in it! And acidic foods are everywhere. But when your body is alkaline, viruses take a bow and leave.

A lot of people’s bodies are hosting ground for diseases as a result of what they eat and drink. Nutrition has a huge role to play in terms of Covid-19.

Take vegetables, drink lots of water, herbal tea, pepper, ginger, garlic and onions. You know garlic drives away vampires. Covid-19 is a vampire, but it cannot stand garlic. Eat right.

You authored a book titled ‘Jesus wants you fit!’ What has religion got to do with fitness?

(Laughs) Religion has a whole lot to do with it. Right from the beginning when God created man, He gave him a diet. Genesis 1 verses 29, which tells us that God is interested in what we eat, how we eat and even wants us to worship Him in our diet.

After He created man, He made provision for food so we don’t go the wrong path. In Proverbs 23 He tells us how to eat against gluttony.

The bible talks a lot about eating habits because the way you feed your flesh determines the way your spiritual man will grow.

Philippians 3 verse 19 says there is a god of the belly whose end is destruction. So there’s a lot of connection between religion and fitness. If you don’t take care of your body, it is suicidal.

source: https://thenationonlineng.net/i-get-insulted-advising-people-on-healthy-living-nutrition-expert-emiko-kathy/

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