Love you like a fat kid likes cakes, 50 Cent’s lyrics described me perfectly as a child and adult. I have always struggled with weight loss as a kid and was always chunky. I love food, specifically sweets and junk foods and would eat them as meal replacements as if this was nutritious. During my childhood, we didn’t waste food. I can remember vividly spending time at my grandmother’s house and having to sit at the dinner table or on the floor with newspaper not to waste food. We would eat these huge man plates of food because she did not believe in wasting food. I think this mentality sticks with me as an adult because I don’t like to waste food till this day. I eat things in one sitting especially junk foods, I don’t believe in saving food for later. This led me to being obese and I weighed 300lbs that made me look like I was 500lbs for my body frame.
Fast forward to adulthood, I tried several fad diets, which lead to losing weight fast, but I would gain it right back. The year of 2013 was a game changer; I was in my second year of teaching in the Chicago Public School District. However, several things were going on within the school district, which led us to strike for 7 days. While in my mind, I thought this would be great. I could relax at home and enjoy this since I wasn’t getting paid nor would I be teaching. I was wrong! The union rep stated that we would have to be marching, holding signs, and meeting up at the school or marching downtown. In my mind, this was work; I could as well be in the classroom. However, as a result of marching and walking long miles downtown protesting, I lost 7lbs of my starting weight that was at 300lbs. I thought since I had lost the 7lbs, I should keep this up. I started working out in the morning before work to Tae Boe, Richard Simmons, Jillian Michael’s DVDs, also drinking SlimFast shakes as meal replacements and eating salads. Of course this method of eating was not healthy because it wasn’t a balanced meal of fat, carbs, and protein, which I have grown to know and become more knowledgeable in nutrition and fitness.
That seemed to work as I got down to the early 200s. However, I wanted to break out of the 200s. Also, during this time I had fibroids, which made my monthly cycle a pain because it would go about 7 days, I would go through several maxi pads in a day, and just be uncomfortable. The fibroids were so large that it made me look like I was 5 months pregnant and I have never been pregnant. As a result of having the fibroids and having several large ones. I consulted with an OBGYN and she recommended a myomectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the fibroids. I completed in July 2014, I was out of commission for 6 weeks. I basically had a tummy tuck and had lost another other10lbs however I gained it back in a short period of time. I was back to the 200s.
I started a new job in 2015, in a nice area in Chicago and there was this fitness co-ed boutique in the neighborhood. I would walk past it all the time and see the yellow banner advertisement $21 for 21 days. I figured I could try it; so I went for a free class. Just like anyone that has not worked out in a while, it was quite intimidating walking into a gym where the people are fit and working out real good. It was a weight lifting class where members would lift 50lbs and up. I was partnered with someone who was fit and was lifting heavy; I made it through the class and eventually purchased the $21 for 21 days deal. I really enjoyed the classes, they were very challenging and after the 21 days, I lost 10lbs. I was motivated and the women at the gym were very nice and helpful. They looked like everyday women that were working toward their fitness goal at different fit levels and different body types. I decided to become a member even though; I had to earn my membership in the gym. After attending a number of classes and showing dedication, I earned my certificate that certified me as a member. Every member gets a free membership T-shirt. At the gym everyone wears the same shirt so that everyone can be uniform and to not feel intimidated. We all looked the same and were working toward the same goal.
After becoming a member, I was working out, but I reverted back to eating junk foods. On the31st of December I made commitment that I would take 2016 seriously weighing in at 216.4. I had joined an accountability program at the gym: Calendar Cover Contest. I received weekly challenges regarding nutrition and fitness guides that come with weighted points. The winner would receive a prize. Though, I didn’t place in the top 3, but I lost another 20lbs and my frame was looking real good. I went on to do several other accountability programs that assisted in my weight loss. This furthered reduced my size to smallest weight of 156lbs and being able to fit in a size-6 pants.
I learned that losing weight is a lifestyle, I had to make exercise a habit and part of my life in addition, to eating balanced meals: Fats, protein, and carbs. Meal prepping is key to being successful. I learned all these at the gym program that has changed my life, and I try to share it with my friends and families.