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!!!