Inspired by a 4 year old boy with a smile bigger than life itself.
Typically we hear a gal stops stating her age at a certain age and remains in her 20’s. I could have sworn my mom was 38 for 10 years and 45 for 20. My mama was always so youthful, so I believed it…truly. But illness struck my mama like a sudden hail storm. Nothing was wrong, then all became wrong. I sat by her bedside and watched her overcome with fear. My mama, the warrior! She never had it easy in life. She was widowed at age 30, and chose a life of sheer dedication for her kiddos. Well we became grown up, and mama wanted to live a little, because she has always been active and went with the flow. Fast forward to modern day…her illness doesn’t stop her from fighting cancer, or wanting her eyesight restored. However, the lady I once knew who became independent and extremely strong, living for her children, is now unable to see much of anything, lost her freedom to do for herself the little things she has done on a whim in the past. She can’t drive to pick up milk, she can’t see greeters at her front door step, she stopped getting dolled up, and so much more. Asking someone to pick up her medication is a huge feat for her. My mama, my hero. She won’t give in to the health issues. She seems as if everything is fine.
So it’s not a shock I wanted to lose weight. With both of my parents battling illness at such young ages, I learned my fate. Over the past year, I made a self conscious decision to get it together. I chose to stop thinking of what age I will suddenly fall ill, to start thinking of how great life will be if I just tried. So I began. Changing routine that was dangerous for myself to forming new habits to keep me around. Enough was enough. I studied my poor eating habits, portion controlled, got rid of the bad carbs that could very easily turn to cancer, lowered my blood pressure, strengthened my heart, and got going. Going day to day was my way. I remembered when my cousin Jenny once told me after she lost weight, “make short term goals”. And that’s what I did. I figured, if I lost one pound today, then I’m better off today than I was yesterday. I removed pressure off myself and mentally adapted to make my goal easier to reach. Weight started dropping, inches started melting, and my smile began to show. I was proud of myself for the strides I took and the determination I had. It wasn’t going to be easy, but I made it so. I thought to myself, it has to be better than how I’ve lived, it has to be better. I said no to temptation. I programmed my mind to take in only what’s positive, to say “I’m doing it” as opposed to “I can’t”. Not knowing how I would feel, but I knew it was my time and I was going to get there. Although I’ve lost over 100 pounds in one year, I still have work to do. As my 38th birthday soon approaches, I’ve made yet another goal. It is my ultimate goal, that by May 3, 2017, I may not be chiseled like a sculpture, but I’ll reach my goal weight. I want to get into my 38th year of life, comfortable, serene, and reach my destination. Will it mean my work is done? No, no, no. It is going to be tough, as the last few is hardest to lose. It is going to be grueling, as nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Now that I know I can reach new heights, achieving what’s rightfully mine for the taking, is about to happen. Holding myself accountable is number one. Getting on the floor and doing exercises is what I’m doing, challenging myself further. I shall not give up on me. As I tell my kiddo, “if you don’t do it for you, no one else can” and “try your best to be your best”. My beautiful cousin, Rania, will soon marry her love in June. How fantastic would it be to get all dolled up and wear a gown. I want to enjoy the wedding, dancing comfortably, smiling, and looking like a doll. It is not superficial to say that, and my weight loss goes beyond looking nice. From day one, it has been health motivated. But how fantastic would it be to wear a gown of color, not made of patterns to hide the very big frame I carried for years, to not wear black as black has always been my flattering color. Black isn’t even a color. My cousin will be married on my dad’s 30th memorial. What a day to celebrate new life. As sad as it makes me that I’ve lived 30 years without my dad, deprived of bellowing the very word “dad”, that’s even more reason. His passing took a once child by storm. Dying of a sudden heart attack at age 42 when life just began for him saddens me to this day. So why am I getting healthy if we are all just going to die one day? That was my excuse. Now I know the answer. Because as long as I’m on earth, living is my goal, to the utmost fullest. I was granted life, so I’m here to live it.
From childhood to adulthood, I have been through some serious events. I had no love for self, and walked around protecting my heart, so that I do not endure losing anymore loved ones. I guarded myself in such a way, I ran away from being too close to anyone. I was on serious defense mode, fighting for love, fighting to be loved. My perspective has changed. My way of life has changed. Now, with a calmer and stable self, I take every minute of life with a cherished smile, even through hardship, because I’m a girl of steel, of power, of strength, of love, and of faith. My mentality is clear, my insecurities diminished, and my heart is full. Living with purpose keeps me striving.
So here’s my goal. GOAL WEIGHT BY 30-EIGHT! Can I do it? Will I do it? Yes, yes, yes! Because if I can’t, then who will. I will more than probably carry the beautiful stretch marks from baring my 2 babies, I will probably carry loose skin, but I will surely carry around, the frame I was meant to carry. Nothing gives strength to woman more than finding strength to face head on collisions. If I hadn’t gone through the experiences and if I hadn’t been able to recognize them, and if I hadn’t been able to listen closely, then I sure wouldn’t have had the strength.
People will say what they want. A peer told me the other day, “you looked great fat. You had a smile on your face, and I just love fat people. Now, you’re too small, and any smaller, you’ll be smaller than me. Why do you want to do this for yourself.” I interpreted every word as more motivation. She put me down in such a way. Then I thought, she saw a “fat” picture, of a girl who smiled big, got her hair and nails done, and bought the coolest size 18/20 she could find. She didn’t see my journey, she didn’t see my dad pass before me, she didn’t sit beside my mom when an oncologist came to tell me my mom was in stage IV cancer after walking around with a heart attack for 3 days, and she doesn’t cry visibly every time she’s out with her mom because her mom can’t see her from diabetes. I am not anyone else, but simply just me. I don’t care for negative banter nor will I try to justify my need to indeed succeed. I will not accept that someone I met 4 months ago can judge me by one photo baring a smile. But what I will do is continue to do me, because no one else but me can be me. But what I will say is, thanks to the girl who carried on about how much better I looked as a fat girl, saying she loves fat girls, they are banging, and live the best…thank you. Thank you for allowing me to reach new heights in setting a new goal. And to the ones that support and encourage me, who stop to tell me I’m amazing, and state I’m perfect the way I am, here’s to continuing for me and you!
So why am I doing this? Why? After all I was born this way. No, no, no! That was my mentality for 37 years of life. I began wanting to do this because I wanted to watch my children grow. Then I thought long and hard. I owe it to my mom and dad. Why you ask? My dad and mom gave me life so I can live it. They lived and taught me to have strong faith, to work hard, and love harder. If I don’t do anything about my health, my fate is sealed. If I do, then I’m doing this for myself for my children, for my mom and dad. Because nothing feels grander than knowing you did your best. I’m not trying to change courses nor imply that I’m perfect. I’m simply stating, as long as I live, I want to spend my days living.
My baby boy points to my before and after photo today, and zooms in on my after and happily shouts, “My Mom!” So cheers to the life that we are granted, and to the obstacles we surpass and the growth we experience. So my family and friends, wish me the best, as my final goal in my weight loss journey is to reach my goal weight by 30-eight!!!
My Husband and I grew up together. Not as childhood friends, but as adults. We both had our own lives, living the life we knew how to. As our journey would hit tumultous bumps along our path traveled (still traveling), many would call it quits. We married prior and had beautiful kids of our own. But somehow, we managed to meet at a kiddo’s birthday party, and from that day, we began our relationship. It was not the most conventional. It was bumpy. With tons of passion for one another, we found ourselves fighting…a lot. We would be so engulfed in making sure that one of us left a winner, making up took breaking up, every month or so. Each fight must be bigger than the last, with hang ups, ignoring, crying, and being miserable. But…we always found our way back to one another. When we got back together, each time came with promises and hope, but reality was, nothing changed. We were the same. We decided to split the final time and move on after endless fighting within a short span of time. “It just wasn’t going to work” I thought to myself. We were too different. We tried to live apart, but being in a car accident, I didn’t have him to call. Spending birthdays apart was no fun. Going to doctors appointments alone was lonely and scary. Buying a new car without him was sad. We moved miles apart, and time was ticking but we remained in the same spot…apart.
We were pig headed, but our final break up talk became our path paving our now. He always said, “as long we love each other, that’s all that matters”. One day, a life changing decision was met. And then the bumps in our driven paths would ensue. We were hit with uncontrollable circumstances: life, death, more death, financial struggles, loss of employment, health issues, and chaotic emotions. As a newly married couple, who knew we would be where we are today. Two of the most unstable of people together, quietly and without fight, we decided to keep going, flowing with the one thing we both knew…love. Both of us had no idea we would be where we are today, but we knew love. Afterall, we always found our way in the past. And obstacles came, and together, we stood as one.
Fast forward to present day, slowly but surely, we stopped ignoring, running, fighting. We became a unit, stronger than doubt and fear, stronger than the unfortunate string of events. We became one. If asked in the past about what I think of my now husband, I’d say “Great big heart, but not to be trusted. He’s simply not the marrying kind.” Ask me now, I’d say “My Husband is everything, and without him, life would be most difficult”. As time would progress, we find ourselves relying on each other more and more. We would take care of our ailing mom and partnered up best we knew how. We would lose her, and only the two of us, knew the emotions we felt. We would grasp calm in a not so calming world when I was laid off work. We worked harder and realized quickly that we couldn’t control events but ourselves. We are two of the most hard working individuals I know, endlessly meeting all objectives of our day to day together. Our trust for one another grew and relied on each other to get through the day with work, family, and home. But one thing stood a struggle for me. My blood pressure was out of control, and I needed to do something. Getting healthy meant everything to me and boy did I need to. Feeling stressed from the loss of my job and sulking in it was not a choice. I decided while I am home, I’m going to make the best of it. God’s plan for me was well heard. The weight started dropping, my stress was null and void, my smile was imminent, and my energy came back. Through my choice for my lifestyle change, came a man’s words, “do what makes you happy baby, but I think you’re fine just the way you are”.
A few months later, I began working, but eager as ever to maintain my weight loss and keep going. Although working brings stress and too much time away from my family, and extrenous driving commutes, I keep going. My husband, although I don’t tell him, has become Mr. Mom. He leaves work and shoots straight for the kids. He treats his step son as his own, scurries to make sure baby is picked up, does a couple loads of laundry, brooms all the floors, mops on his bare knees, prepares and cooks dinner, cleans the kitchen as if we just moved in, the bathroom, bath time, cleans the cars, and puts the baby to bed. Every night I arrive home and ask him, “Why didn’t you eat with the kids?” every night he says, “been busy getting them fed and cleaning up”. It doesn’t end there. My Husband is out of the house daily and sometimes on weekends at 3:30 AM and commutes my distance for work, but he misses the DMV’s standstill traffic times, unlike me. My Husband has my back. Although I feel inadequate as a mama during the week especially after being home with them when laid off, and have mama’s guilt “Do my kids know I’m working hard for them or think I’ve disappeared?”, my husband reassures me that they know. Sometimes we fall asleep before we have a chance to say goodnight. Sometimes we wake up in a rush and forget to say goodbye. But from my husband, I always get an “I love you”. And even though he says it daily, and verbalizing his emotions is difficult for him, he shows me his love daily. He has been my rock, working harder daily to ensure we are all okay.
To think of how we’ve grown up together so much brings me peace and tingles to my heart. When it comes down to my weight loss, I feel as though I’ve gained more faith from him. I paraded around the house last night asking him questions. I began, “Do I look better now or when you first met me and the girl you’ve always known?” He said, “You look the same to me”. I asked again and again and his reply was always the same. I asked anxiously, “Can you not tell I’ve lost weight?” He said, “Of course I can tell.” I said, “then you have to be able to tell I’ve lost weight, not in body, but blood pressure, energy, calmness, smile…” He said, “I love you more and more every day.” Then very quickly he says, without thought, without a stumble, “I can’t tell how I liked you more, because I’ve always loved you, then and now, but love you more as each day goes by”. Be still my heart I thought as he silenced me. If I was fishing for a compliment, I received the ultimate. As he walks out of the room to walk outside to smoke a cigarette, he turns and says, “I can tell you’ve lost weight and I’m very proud of you for getting your blood pressure down. And yes I can tell you’ve lost weight, but to me, you’re the same person I loved and love more each day.”
My husband has always been my best friend, my unromantic tough shell, my introverted quiet guy as a creaking new home, my noncommunicative awkward self defender. My Husband now is still my best friend, who talks more fluidly, comes out of his shell, isn’t the toughest in front of me, and although still quiet, he always finds a way to say “I love you” daily, even when life has the best of me. If it wasn’t for his unwavering love for me and support to allow me to do what makes me happy, his trust and faith in me, his quiet tendencies to go with my flow, non judgmental demeanor, quiet support, I’m not sure I would have been as determined as I was to lose my weight. Last night, I caught him gazing at me dancing with our baby boy as if he was in absolute awe. Typically, he would never have had the opportunity to see me dance in front of him, because I was insecure and obese. Last night, he gazed smiling, I danced happily, then my oldest left his video gaming to join us, and my hubby took the dance floor dancing along and video taping me as I danced. It’s days like these I thank God for all He’s given me. If I hadn’t lost weight, I would still be hiding behind the camera wishing I, too was dancing.
It truly helps to be accompanied through life with the one person who loves you for you. I never trusted my guy with good reason and tons of insecurities. Now, I trust us, to give all we can, to everything we set out to do. My greatest visions in life is growing older with my hubby. He also adapted a lifestyle that would change us forever, as did I. And the best part, we did it together. I live with no regrets. If we hadn’t had the troubles of the past, if we decided to give up, then who would we have become now. From the moment I met my blue eyed hubs, I knew, that there was something about him worth the cries and worth the tries. When many would question me, I followed my heart. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill sing it best, “It’s Your Love”. Those lyrics capture my feelings.
Even at times when people question my weight loss and assume I had surgery, my husband gets heated and jumps to my defense. I tend to ignore because I know how I’m losing weight, and sticks and stones right? My hubs gets upset, and it’s because he has seen my dedication, strength, and determination. What my husband doesn’t know, it’s because he sees me fine either now or at 280 pounds, he’s one of the reasons I keep striving. He has never called me a “fat” name and I truly believe he sees me the same. I know this because the way he interacts with me has always been the same. And although he sees my progression, he sees it as me working diligently and not giving in to temptation. He respects me and rests his faith in me. I may have lost weight, but I couldn’t have done it without my better half. He allows me to express myself freely and lays his full trust in me. And even when days are tiring, nothing feels better than coming home, being home, and feeling home. Afterall, home is where my heart is.
Nowadays, after my weight loss, I let anger go, I trust more, exhude confidence, smile more, maintain balance, and let go of momentary annoyances. Because nothing feels better than love and life. I dedicate this piece to my hubby, because with him, I am me, the very best of me. He was right. Love is everything. Better for it, living with it…”It’s Your Love”.
If you hit the pause button just once, you may be able to see it. What is it you ask? It refers to all change, the necessary and the natural. Life in general takes twists and turns. When pausing just for a second, you may be able to see a brand new baby bird taking flight for the first time, or hear your 20 month old toddler say, “I love you mama”, or feel the warmth from the sun after a snowfall. If the clock ticks, then change happens every second. I see two types of change, the kind that just happens and the kind we make happen.
I, for one, admit I have circled endlessly dreaming of change. Self change can be alarming. Taking a stand for yourself, and deciding the path you choose will not be easy. It is envisioning your goal and making it happen is what becomes easy. After all, neglecting ourselves is what most of us do best. If you asked me a year ago to help you make a change for yourself, I would without any hesitation hop right in and help you. But as I go, it was easier to just dream of change. And as I was in desperate need for change, could not commit. It was not fear. It was not laziness. It was simply cumbersome to think of, impossible to implement, and extremely selfish to think of “doing me”. This was my thought process.
How can I change me if so many around me required my attention. It was not until I felt the reaction to my action while gazing in disgust at the image before me, that I truly recognized the need to change. Did I want to be beautiful? No. Did I want to look like the majority of the ladies around me? No. Did I want to fit in any outfit I would like? No. What I did want was something far greater and what I got was something extraordinary.
For me, life constantly changed around me. My dad died of a sudden heart attack at 42 years old. I was an itty bitty girl then. As an adult, my mom suffered a heart attack, was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, and diabetes. Here I was, a couple months away from my 37th birthday and my blood pressure was higher than the highest number on the blood pressure chart I googled. I suffered from migraines, double vision, and dizziness. I screamed and fought everyone before me, because I was afraid. And do you know, not one doctor recommended I lose weight. They were so palliative. They tested me for post ecclampsia, preeclampsia, concussions, etc., and everything came back negative. They finally wrote me a prescription for high blood pressure medication, and did not tell me anything else. They figured, she has extremely hypertensive blood pressure, we will shut up the issue until the next dose. But I was a 35 year old that just had a baby, and although I suffered from this high blood pressure during pregnancy, I was then hospitalized after baby’s delivery for the same ailment. I took the medication, but nothing happened. They raised the dosage, and nothing happened. I lost my mom-in-law, got laid off work, and stressed financially, and my health continued to suffer. I then decided to do something drastic. I decided to stop in my tracks and just study myself. It was not until I received a letter from the doctor’s office stating I needed to come in ASAP for further testing because I had a worrisome condition that reality began to seep in.
After believing the doctors knew my problem but just wanted to be nice, after I gazed at my children with an aching heart with the realization that I may not be around for their grown up lives, after recalling my fate through my parents, after seeing just how young I really was, and after standing before the mirror not recognizing the eyes behind the body of the sad and worried almost 37 year old, I woke up.
Waking up was change in its own. To make change, you must see the need. I saw the necessity and just began to gain control over myself. If you want to see the change, you must be the change right? The more weight melted, the more energetic, active, and balanced I felt. The more weight melted, the faster, the happier, the more active and engaging I became. The more weight melted, the more confident, positive, and secure I felt. Losing weight has been no fad diet for me, nor the want to fit into clothes. Losing weight has brought me nothing but positivity. I had complete faith in myself, and although could not see at the time how far I would come, I was just going to commit and keep going. This type of change was all around. I did not know that losing weight would bring me the sense of feelings, motions, and outlook I see today. Sure I wear skirts in a size 6, and the medium size pajamas my mama bought me for Christmas fall off my waste, and sure I’m styling it up a tad now. However, if you see me, you’ll see my glow, a natural smile, a calmer, non explosive being filled with life and the heart to be the change.
You will see me, the me I have always meant to be. Most importantly, through all my change, comes a peace I longed for, a lifestyle to adhere to, stronger faith and determination, and a smile that shines through even the darkest of times. Standing before your image before the mirror takes strength. Doing something about it is the change. R Kelly sang it best, “If I can see it, then I can do it. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it.” Surrounded by life beneath the open skies is a changed life, because I believe I can fly.
When I got married to my awesome McHubbins 12/24/2014, my mom packed me a bag filled with clothes. Of course these clothes didn’t belong to me, nor could I even nestle the clothes up a leg or over my broad shoulders. They simply wouldn’t fit. So I tossed all the clothes thinking mom just gave them to me by mistake. Afterall, I was a hefty size 20 but 18 in denial. I held on to one dress. It was the little red dress. I hung it up in the closet all by its lonesome in the very back section, I had subconsciously marked as “caution, do not proceed”. It was a size 8.
In the wee hour of 4 AM on Thursday, I ran into the closet with the thought, I’m going to try it on. The dress fabric has no stretch to it. It was either going to fit or it wasn’t. To make matters worse, it had a sheer liner as well, and I never did liners, not because I didn’t want to but because I couldn’t.
I took the dress off the hanger and slid this bad boy over my shoulders with the zipper zipped (I was too anxious to notice it had a zipper) and it just fell over my body. I headed out the door for work.
Selfconscience because I simply didn’t do dresses, I walked into my office. I was greeted with “Who’s that lady in red”, “lady in red”, “you look great today by the way”, “red is your color”, and even glares of “go get it girl” from my peers. Although the once little red dress is no more little, and too big on me, I wore it anyway. And the color red was a never before for me. After all, why would I want to bring extra attention to myself as a big red gummy bear.
Yesterday, my little red dress brought out the happy in me. Approaching my 9 months since I began my journey, 125 pounds plus lost, a quiet inner confidence I longed for, and a smile on my face, I now have a “the not so little red dress”.
Being laid off work for 13 months did a profound change for me. I lost fricking weight, lots and lots of pounds! Am I done yet? Nah, still a painting my canvas. Do we as people ever stop evolving? Not really. I was a bagel and cream cheese lover. I would eat one, then snuck in number two and three. Yep, never got my fix, because I was a creature of habit. So here came Jerry Springer at 8 AM and bagels 1, 2, and 3. Or I wouldn’t eat all day and at night I would stuff this mouth with Dorritos or a large pasta of a meal. Funny how things change when you mentally say to yourself, “Yum, food tastes better without all that bread.”
I began my journey, that would reach hundreds, that would evolve to the words of “Thank you for inspiring me.” Me? Inspire?
Let’s back track to February 14, 2016. I baked a chocolate heart shaped cake for my valentines, and stayed in to celebrate with my family. The McHubbins and I were downing high carb drinks and the kiddos were unwrapping chocolate treats. I woke up on the 15th and just looked at the mirror in our tiny bathroom. I barely fit in the bathroom. But I stood there, wearing all black (subconsciously mourning the figure before me). I didn’t recognize myself. I stared hard at the black spots and blemishes on my dried out unhappy face. I stared at the belly that was part bigger due to recently having my second baby, and the ass for a couch. I had a small sofa I toted around and never knew it. I always thought “I’m a big boned girl”. How was I big boned when I could never feel my bones. Stressed from being laid off work and not being able to help support my family, suffering from hypertensive blood pressure packed with swollen feet, double vision, dizziness, severe migraines, I spent my years evolving into 276.2 pounds of sheer anger. I walked around frightened and screaming so loudly at nothing. The poor McHubbins got it handed to him for just being nothing but himself. Each time I screamed about nothing, I made into something. The biggest something. Because each time, I made certain I was louder and angrier than ever. I would shout and cry so bad, my heart would jump out of my chest and hyperventilate.
But I always walked around seemingly happy. The friendliest, most giving person you would ever meet. Hiding within was a frightened girl at age 36 just waiting for her fate. With no energy to begin the day, lazy was an understatement. The McHubbins would come home to find a messy house, an unprepared meal, and I blamed it all on being a busy mom of a brand new baby. Not realizing again that my weight was an ongoing issue, I would lay on my left side to attempt lowering my blood pressure, temporarily. I began the blood pressure medication prescribed to me, but to no avail. I would be hospitalized because I couldn’t see straight. I was on the path to my own death.
Well, I woke up February 15th only to see an unrecognizable image. I chose life. It was easy to say, but where to start. Well for starters, I removed all pressure off myself and said “if I lose one pound, that’s better than not. So I snapped a selfie, the selfie that would change my life. I began to study myself. An obese girl from the start. A girl who ate once a day, and when she ate, she fed herself what she knew. Afterall, working on me meant I would have to be selfish right? Giving of myself to those I love has always been my method of operation. Never for myself.
I quietly began the journey, preparing meals that would feed my soul. They began tasting yummier, and I was able to sleep better. I would lay beside my husband and he would laugh at the sounds my belly made. It wasn’t growls, but sounds of digesting. Not stalked with fillers like rice and bread, my belly felt content and then so was I. I began to eat throughout the day. Three months later, I lost 34 pounds. At that point, I began walking. Still embarrassed to be seen walking in a neighborhood with 2 occupied homes, because I was afraid my flab would flab and my boobage would jiggle, I did it any way. A month later, my mom bought me a size 14 outfit to wear at a bridal shower. And in June 2016, I went public with my lifestyle I recently adopted as my way of life.
When going public about my weight loss, I received tremendous feedback. The skinny friends reached out praising me, the fit moms, the athletic friends from high school, the long time friends, the guys that would inbox me to provide them with assistance, the friends who had 10 pounds to lose and the friends that needed to lose hundreds. I was a real person that they all knew. I didn’t receive just praises, I received questions and criticism.
While delivering my grandma’s eulogy in March, I was being whispered about “She’s so fat, how disgusting.” My mom would call me and say, “People from church wanted to know if you did gastric”. I got, “What pills are you taking?” “My wife told me you had surgery.” “Wow, you were fat.” “Now, you look too thin.” “Stop altering your photos.” I even lost friends. But I smiled through the hate, and patted myself on the back and said, “Keep your eyes on the prize, yourself.” My goal was not set by pounds, but by reason. I knew my why. I wanted to lose weight for my family, to interact, and live for them.
To live or not to live, that was my question. I must admit, I had no idea where to start, I had no idea my skin would glow, my body would gain shape and form, that pounds would shed, that I would go down a baby slide, that I would jump up and down when my offensive starter older son would make a strong tackle, that I would have tons of endless energy, that I would sit on my husband’s lap and not break his legs, that I would shop for clothes in the trendiest spots, that I would run, that my mom would tear each time she saw me, that my brother would tell me “I’m proud of you, because you’ve never done anything for yourself”, that my sister would say “good job”, that my husband would say “I have a hot wife”, that my oldest would say “you’re skinny mom”, that the baby would smile more because I was running around with him.
My world is better for my weight loss. I’m a canvas, a perfect portrait of whom I’m meant to be. A canvas that is imperfect, painted with love and ever changing for the better. A canvas in motion. A canvas of constant reminders that I can do all things with Christ who strengthens me. A canvas in progress that never completes. A canvas of colors that add a spectrum of what life should be. A canvas of smiles. A canvas of hope. A real canvas that says all things are possible.
I started this for my family, but I had no idea I would benefit in such ways. With normal blood pressure, a permanent smile, a calm person, a motivated girl, and size 6 jeans, I say, “Feed your soul, reach your goal”.
I have a friend, the kindest friend, the most selfless friend, that you ever did see. How does my friend relate to weight loss? Let me explain with a little background story first. It was the year 2000, wearing a business suit and working construction, he and a buddy were heading to continue in their Friday evening happy hour when they spotted leopard pants. Like the traveling pants from the movie, these leopard pants would prove to carry many stories, filled with lifelong friendships and rescue missions. As my sister, childhood friend, and I were walking out of a restaurant, a couple guys in a jeep reversed in a parking lot, and began to chit chat. What got them was my friend Farah’s leopard pants, and what they got me was a lot more than I could have ever seen that day. Since that day, those pants turned into a lifelong friendship, the kind that continues after not speaking for a month, the kind of friendship that visits your mom when falling ill, the kind that our kids have continued, the kind that is always there for you.
Life happened. As it continued to happen, many great milestones were reached. My childhood friend, Farah got married and had a couple kids of her own. My newly met friend and I became so close, we began working together. A quiet introvert, everyone likes him type and me with a fiery extrovert personality clicked. Ten years went by as friends and co-workers, I’ve seen him go through the works. He and I both married and had kids of our own. Then came a layoff for me. Do you know he knew my work and believed in me more than I could ever believe in myself, he landed me a job making more money, and I began two weeks after my layoff. He then decided it was time for a change for him, and landed another position. Calling me one day at work, he sensed I was bored, so what did he do? He brought me in to work with the company he worked for at the time. A short time went by when Adam and Farah reconnected, and how timely was their meeting after both divorcing. Adam was always into Farah when they initially met in 2000, and low and behold, approximately 14 years later, they reconnected at the school their children attended. If that wasn’t meant to be, they connected again at his birthday gathering later that year. And I have never been so happy to see what would transpire and flourish. Farah is the type who strives for self growth, who fights for the rights of her kids and causes she believes in. As kids, she would work multiple jobs, giving herself the necessesities and tools to aspire. And Adam, made connections with all walks of life, always exceeding his own expectations and being the friend, father, and employee figure many would only pray a man would be. Yes, I’m ranting and raving about these two! They are the prime examples of when life hands you lemons, you make the sweetest of lemonade. Let’s get to today, well this gal was laid off yet again on September 23, 2015. Rather than succumbing, depressing, and eating dorritos while watching Jerry Springer, she got up, and dusted off her financial burdens, and placed herself in God’s hands. She set out on a journey to make the necessary changes to live a life filled with nourishment and better health for her young children. Just having a baby and dealing with devastating losses, she had already been through the worst. At a tender age of 8, she lost her dad to a sudden heart attack. Then her grandfather at 25. Then her mother suffered a major heart attack three years ago, followed by a stage IV Cancer diagnosis and diabetes that threatened her body and vision, followed by her mom-in-law’s passing away in her hands in 2015, to her grandmother’s passing in her hands in 2016. Newly married with a brand new baby, a growing family, I decided to link mind, body, and heart. From my weight loss, the words from my friend Adam, “don’t ever sell yourself short” lingered in my quiet mind. Although he thinks he was referring to my career path, I took his words and ran with them.
Imbedded in my head, his words became my motivation. They became the beginning of a better health, a strive for growth and positivity. Those words began my now continuing story. And what do I have to say now? I say, Adam may feel indebted to me for helping him and being there for him, but what I gained was far more than I could have ever helped him with. Thanks to Adam, after many failed attempts at finding a job, he rescues me once again. Whether I begin a new career path or not, just receiving a call saying, “Are you still looking for work?”, is everything to me and my family. Good friends are hard to come by. Good friends that you’ve determined as more family, are even harder to come by. Like that saying, “Blood is thicker than water, but water tastes better” is appropriate here. Adam’s perception of who I am was derived on him watching me work and interact through our friendship. When things seem obscure, I was able to search within and give myself the strength I so desired to set out and lose 100 plus pounds thus far. One of the most valuable friendships of my life are Farah and Adam, met on two separate occasions, and continuing as unique individuals with positive goals and achievements, with support and love.
All thanks to the leopard pants that began our journey, this gal will soon not forget the kindness and true meaning of friendship, that due to the unwavering kindness and support, I can be a better me all around. I am a better me because of those leopard pants, and Farah and Adam together, bring my heart joy, to know that two very good people can reconnect years later, only to become even greater together.
Thank you for joining me on my First Blog post! My story may resonate with some in reference to a quality life due to weight loss, or it may resonate in life in general. I have always taken pleasure in writing, mostly rhyme like poems. My husband just told me last night, “Where do you come up with the words you use or the poetic way?” Writing always came easy for me. With that, I always knew I had the potential to blog, but what was my motivation. Over the past couple years, after a layoff and a couple devastating events in our family, plummeting health concerns, palliative medical opinions, and just feeling like my world could end any minute, I decided to remove negativity from my life and induce positivity. Rather than sulking at all my losses, I chose life. My motivators were easy to think of. Why did I need to lose weight? I am still a kind hearted individual with a heart of gold. Well, I just had a new baby, and I wanted to see my children grow into their beings. It was a must that I do something for me, and losing weight for me for my children was yeabsolutely my motivator. Rather than laying around the couch, low energy and all, munching on my second toasted bagel or downing a family size bag of Dorritos, I decided to get positive and get clear. I decided to choose life. But it was not until my then 159 pound husband said “I am going on a low carb diet” that it even rang a bell in my head. Weighing at 276.2 pounds at 5 feet 9 inches tall at 37 years old that I thought, “But he’s tiny and I’m the one that needs to lose weight”. I asked him softly on a wintery ride to my mom’s house, “What if I joined you?” His response, “Baby, I think you’re fine the way you are, but do what makes you happy.” I began to internalize my thinking process… I have hyperintensive blood pressure, so high I can die right now, severe migraines, dizziness, blurred and double vision, my mom has GIST (Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumor) in stage IV, suffered a major heart attack, diabetes that claimed her eyesight, a father I lost at the age of eight from a sudden heart attack, and diabetes and bad health runs in both sides of my family. Well darn, duh! My thinking became reality, and I set out on my new lifestyle journey February 15, 2016 without thinking of tomorrow, and keeping my vision on today. With all the determination inside me, I embodied courage beyond my knowledge, and my heart, mind, and body married into one. I was going to lose weight and that was that! Well, I began to read on different plans to help me achieve weight loss, seeing as I never attempted to lose weight in the past. But first, I delved deep within and learned about my eating habits, my eating frequencies, my food intake, my activity level, and my foods. My journey has not been easy, but faced on by a strong person who sought out for self gratification and wellness.
In my blogs, I will share my journey with you in hopes that I can help. I am a real person who eats real foods, and lives a normal life. If I can inspire you, then you’ve inspired me. Stay tuned for future blogs as my journey thus far proves anyone can lose weight, and gain a life, even I did not know I can achieve. I may have lost weight, but I gained so much more than I thought was possible. As you set sights on a better, healthier you, I urge you to think of your ‘why’. My why is my children. What is your why?