82lbs? Pretty hard to believe right? It was the summer of 2005 when my best friend Nattydread and her military buddy J came to visit me and our best friend BJD in NY. We went out to hang and J snapped a few pics. After her trip she emailed them to us. A picture says a thousand words right? Yep! I was horrified, mortified and every other word that ended in ‘–ied.’ It’s not like I didn’t know I was big…and getting bigger it’s just that I didn’t have any motivation to do anything about it. That picture you see right there did the trick. I’m not prettying it up because I have honest friends who would say child you getting out of control. My mom is a heavy set woman and she dresses very well. You can be a heavy set person and look darn good and it’s how you carry yourself. Not to mention I’m ‘tall’ so that helps spread the weight a bit. *giggling* *Side note* Right this second as I type this I’m wearing a blue velur pants that BJD gave me when I first starting losing the weight and even though they are big on me now I can’t donate them because she gave them to me. I value every single item given to me. It’s so soft and it reminds me of her and she’s so far away right now. :-/ No matter how tight I draw the string it still falls off my waist. *Back on track* So, I dressed well for my size but I felt it. I couldn’t cross my legs for long. I kept going up in bra size and Lane Bryant bras are NOT cheap! I wouldn’t be caught dead in a one piece bathing suit. I was out of breath going up the subway stairs and I was 19 in that picture. I was turning 20 that December. Stats: 282 lbs, 44DDD bra, size 22 pants, 3xl in dresses, wedding ring finger was a 10. No bueno no bueno. I was still getting hit on so it was like, hmmm I’m still fine. As abusive as my boyfriend at the time was he was never shy to take me out. He loved me on his arms. Kudos for that. However, ladies and gents that picture scared the bejesus out of me!
By now you know that I’m from the lovely island of Jamaica. Caribbean food all the way. Then you have fast food. I was on my own so I wasn’t cooking so it was fast food for breakfast, a medium oxtail and rice and peas for lunch and a curry chicken and rice for dinner with full glasses of juice or a bottle of juice. Was never a fan of soda. I drink it only to chase my liquor. Lol. Moving on. After that picture I decided instantly, it’s time to do something! The next morning I was at McDonalds ordering my egg cheese mcgriddle, with cinnabun and two hashbrowns when I glanced down and saw the free workout dvds they were given away. I asked for one. On the bus I took it out and it was a virtual trainer name Mya and it read that just 15 minutes a day of workout is good. I thought, hmmm I can squeeze 15 minutes in. I knew that along with exercising you have to change your eating habits. A die-t just has never sat well with me. How do I change my eating habits without dying? Sorry meant dieting! (no offense to whomever this works for keep doing you). On my lunch break while eating a general tso’s chicken with white rice and a spring roll and juice I started googling eating healthy. Goodness grief there was just so much info and I was getting confused! On my way home I ordered a large oxtail with rice and peas and plantains and sat down to play the dvd. I tend to do that. I’ll watch a workout video before doing it to get an idea. OMG Mya was such a sweetheart for a virtual trainer. Kudos Mcdonalds for doing that. So while watching it and looking at the large plate of food that picture you see right up there flashed before my eyes and I said how about I save half of you for lunch tomorrow. THAT my friends was my second step as to how I began my weight loss journey. The first was getting motivated.
The next morning I got up a tip earlier and started the workout. I believe it was a strength dvd. I didn’t have any weights and there was an option to do without them. After that first session I was sweating like crazy but I felt good. I felt GREAT! Why? Because I actually DID IT! On my way to McDonalds for breakfast I looked at the menu and ordered the same thing as the day before but skipped the second hash brown. You see what I did there folks? Baby steps. I asked for another cd. I believe it was 4 different types of cd. When I got to work I cut the cinnabun in half to save as a snack for later. I had my left over dinner for lunch. Took a deep breath, got my pen and paper and slowly asked myself step by step what I thought may be healthy then I asked my good pal google. Which oil is the best oil to cook with? It gave a list but olive oil popped up. I wrote down three on my notepad. Which rice is better? Brown. Wrote that down. Which bread? Whole wheat. That’s what I did each lunch break. I couldn’t do more than an hour because I would start to get overwhelmed. I ended up collecting three out of the 4 cds and three days out of the week I would alternate the cds. It was strength, abs and cardio. Fourth one was yoga and it just looked weird to me at the time. Each day I googled and each day I would cut back on something. Same mcgriddle sandwich or pancake and eggs but I wouldn’t eat all the pancakes, I would ease up on the syrup, there would be no hash browns instead it would be the apple slices, until my breakfast became oatmeal with blueberries with flaxseeds and cinnamon or cereal with soy milk. For lunch would always be ½ of what was for my dinner or I would order Chinese food with brown rice and split that in half for dinner immediately before consuming (so I wouldn’t over eat). If I was having fast food it would be two pieces of chicken with a small fries no biscuit at Popeyes. Grilled chicken sandwich cut in half with small fries at Burger King. Twenty piece nuggets became 10 at McDonalds. Then at one point learning a thing or two about nutritional facts I saw that juices just weren’t good. Gotta know what to buy. Not to stop drinking them I would pour half of it and then add water. Then I just drank water instead. Then I learned a trick to add lime to give it a kick. Next thing I knew I said let me give this salad thing a try. I couldn’t get down with it. I was STARVING! So I would order 10 pieces of nuggets with the chicken salad. I LOVE McDonalds chicken salad by the way! Then 10 pieces became 5 pieces then none with the salad. I NEVER counted calories BUT I did take note of it. When I saw that that little packet of dressing was 270 calories (I think…it was definitely over 200 calories) I was like HECK NO! I researched salad dressings and saw that balsamic was the best so I started using that over my salad and used half the croutons. For a snack my snicker bar was cut immediately in half so instead of a whole bar before lunch and another after it was a total of one bar for the day. Then my snacks turned into fruits or the Kellogg’s special K bars or a handful of cereal already portion out in a ziplock bag. My dinners became a small size of anything I ordered at the Caribbean restaurant. When I visited my mom instead of her filling up my plate with 3 dumplings, two bananas, and two potatoes with two pieces of meat I would follow her into the kitchen and stop her at two dumplings, one banana, one potato, one piece of chicken, and I would ask her to cut up some tomatoes and cucumbers to add to it. The most important change of all was that I began cooking. This is soooooo important. You know what you put into your meal therefore you know that you made your dish with healthy ingredients. I dusted off my pots and put the stove to good use. I was raised Seventh Day Adventist (not to be confused with 7th Day Adventist..yep there’s a difference) and at lunch they don’t serve meat. They don’t serve meat in the church at all so it was always vegetarian meat and it tasted SO GOOD! And every Friday my mom would spin her hand and cook up some type of vegetarian dish. For example there’s something name fry pat and she was would defrost it by steaming it for a couple seconds (really doesn’t take long) sautéed some peppers, onions, and tomatoes throw that sucker in there and 10 minutes tops you’re done! That’s what I love about vegetarian meats it’s so easy to make. So I incorporated that into my new lifestyle. My favorite twist is tofu. It’s so bland right? One day I was trying to curry it and it was still bland. No matter how much season you use doesn’t it always taste bland? So, I eyed my fridge and saw turkey bacon and decided to cut it up and throw it in there and VIOLA my friends. That salt in that turkey bacon did the trick and that’s how I make my tofu. My boyfriend at the time (the physically abusive one) wasn’t down for it until he finally gave it a shot and next thing you know he would be asking for it. By the time we moved in together I went one year without cooking meat in the house! Sorry, I got ahead of myself.
Folks, do you see what I did? I NEVER stopped eating my Caribbean food. I just cut down on how much of it I ate. NEVER stopped eating fast food either. I kept it real with myself. I feel like popeyes and Imma get it. First I asked myself when last I had it? Last week? No popeyes, 2 weeks ago? No popeyes a month ago? Okay popeyes. Before I knew it, it would be two months or three months before I would be getting anything greasy or oily. Instead I would look carefully at the menu and choose. Moderation was always key. Although I started cooking I only did it twice a week. That was all the food changes. With that I was doing my fitness. Those McDonalds dvds really helped and I felt it. I lost inches first because I was slowly changing how I ate. My size 22 pants became baggy and people at work started noticing the changes. Clothes are expensive especially giving the size I was, so I was pinning up my pants. I got bored with Mya. I decided to try jogging. I love nature so I went early in the morning. Did my stretches and began. Did a lap and was proud of myself. The third day I went to give it another go. There were some boys playing basketball (I mean really? It’s like 5am. Madness!) and I began. I was going at my own pace which was slow. The point was to not stop and they started laughing at me and started calling me fatty. I was determined to finish my lap and I did. I stayed and did my closing stretches all the while FIGHTING not to cry and they just kept staring and laughing and pointing. Walking back home the tears flowed mercilessly down my cheeks. I was so embarrassed. What was I thinking?! I AM FAT! I CAN’T DO THIS! Look at you, you can barely jog around the park. When I got inside the house I cried and cried and cried and cried. My heart was heavy and the tears would not stop and the self-hate was vicious! I went to shower and get dress for work. As I was reaching for the pin a voice said: Ha! Look at you girl, using a pin to pin those pants up. You go ahead with your bad self!! I put on the bra and I was now at the second columns of hooks (my bras had four columns) which meant I was losing inches. Another voice said: oh snap lemme find out you losing inches. Are your boobs going down? I answered myself aloud: Idk are they? Voice: Go to Lane Bryant and have them measure you. Me: okay. I was brushing my hair when I noticed my face looked different. Wasn’t sure what it was but it was different. Voice: your cheeks are smaller. Me: Oh. Fully dressed now and looking at myself to make sure I didn’t button anything wrong and the Voice said: Look at you. Me: What? Voice: don’t you see? You are losing weight. You’re being healthy. It’s pay day, by a scale and see how much you weigh. Me: hmmm. Voice: Don’t hmm me missy! (Voice can be lovingly bossy at times). Me: ok okay. Voice: do NOT let those young boys get you down. Do not let ANYONE bring you down. You are so much stronger than that. I’m proud of you. Stop at Lane Bryant today and check your bra size and buy a scale. Me: If I do it, will you shut up? No response. I took that as a yes. LOL!
After work I stopped at Lane Bryant and had them measure me. I was a 40DDD. That’s four inches down. While there I said let me try some new pants. The size 20 was looking kind of big. Tried the 18 and I was seeing curves hunny! Hips for days. I got a top and the 2x was little big but the 1x was too tight so I had to go with the 2x. I was feeling so good in the dressing room that I called Nattydread with such EXCITEMENT! She was all too happy for me! I felt GOOD ladies and gents. I felt GREAT! All those workouts and eating better were paying off!! Moment of truth came the following morning when it was time to get on the scale. I did my research and it said the best time to weigh yourself is in the morning after you urinate. Not to add any extra weight I was completely naked standing on the scale. I peeped down and it was 262! I lost 20lbs! 20 whole pounds!!!!!!!!!!! I was SQUEALLLLLLLINGGG! I called Nattydread again and we were squealing together! This was before my 20th birthday so we talking sometime between July and November. That may not sound like a lot in that time frame but for me it was. The scale always went up not down for me. Now that I had some new clothes and it was showing off my shape I was getting so many compliments. People wanted to know what die-t I was on and I kept cringing at the word and explained my all natural method. I was so motivated! I went to modells and bought weights. Researched some workout dvds and workout at home. Kept at my eating and learning different things to eat and ENJOY what I’m eating. I encouraged my bf to go to the doctor. He turned out to be diabetic and he started following how I was eating outside of home. He bought himself an elliptical which he used less than five times. I was on that sucker nonstop! My workouts increased to 5x a week, always resting on the weekends. I found different routines to try because I get bored easily. I made it a habit to look at the scale once a month instead of weekly or worse, daily. As the months flew I felt the inches go and saw the numbers drop and receiving so many compliments was great. The greatest feeling of all was how I felt about myself on the inside. Before I knew it, it was January 2007. I was a 38DD (notice now, I’m a cup size smaller), my ring finger was a size 9 (I kept track of my ring finger because my mom gave me a three stoned 14K white gold engagement ring for my 18th birthday and for my 21st bday that bf gave me a promise ring and it was a size 9). I was wearing a size 14 pants from Ashley Stewarts (no longer shopping at Lane Bryant...only for bras. No matter the size, their bras hold my boobies up so well!!) and I was 220lbs. I decided 200 looks like a nice and luscious number and finally I joined the gym. A whole two years later. So it took two years to lose 62 pounds WITHOUT GOING TO THE GYM! Let me repeat. 62 pounds!! 2 years!! NO GYM. Did it ALL by MYSELF! I went to the gym 3x a week, workout 1x at home and jogged. Yep I decided to jog and it happened again. Different neighborhood. From Madison and Bedford to Flatbush Gardens aka Vandeveer Projects on Brooklyn and Foster Avenue. I went to the park on Albany. I had my mp3 on low that Nattydread bought me for just that reason and couple guys were riding their bikes. ‘yes jog! Lose that weight fat ass!’ SO I did what they said to do. I continued jogging to lose the weight. See how I flipped it? I actually smiled. See when they said that, I thought to myself: Ha! If you think this is ‘fat’ then you didn’t want to see me two years ago. That comment just rolled right off me. I didn’t stop going to the park. Then my Indian friend at the time, the social butterfly that she was, mentioned that a boat ride was coming up for 4th of July and some other boat ride before that. Man oh man, I was determined more than EVER to get to 200 lbs. I NEVER gave myself I deadline I just kept doing me. I gave myself a deadline then though. Then I lost my job and I was home. It was BEAST mode. I worked out twice a day. Did abs every other day. I was loving the rapid changes. Come time for those boat rides I was 200 lbs, size 12 pants flat. No wide width, 36DD bra, large in undies, Medium in tops, large depending on the cut. I was now shopping at Forever 21, rainbows and pretty girl. How AWESOME was that? Pretty darn awesome! I was LOVING myself! I was able to look straight down and see Ms. Lady. I was able to climb the subway steps with no problems. I was able to cross my legs for long periods of time. My ex had short arms and I fit snuggly in them. Riding was my favorite sex position but I was ashamed to be on top, now I was on top any chance I got! My arms were slimmer. My ring had to be resized again to a size 8. My boobs looked so nice and perky. You get the idea. I was LOVING MYSELF!
Folks, I share all this with you because I want you to succeed in your efforts. You first have to want to change. Your family and friends can’t do it for you. You have to want to do it otherwise it won’t work. Maybe use them as a motivation to get going. From my experience you have to want it first. For me going cold turkey with anything doesn’t work so I took it one meal at a time and made changes. Google can be overwhelming with info. Again, take it one day at a time. Now since then I’ve gain and lost and gain and lost because I wouldn’t work out between August and December. Then I realize that it has to be a lifestyle change. Not a seasonal one. Thankfully the largest I’ve ever gone back up to was 256. When I mentioned over in my blog I know I can lose this 47lbs I know I can because I lost a lot more. I’m doing the same thing as before: taking it a step at a time. This time my food is COMPLETELY different but that’ll be in another blog. So loves, I’m here to support you and encourage you if needs be. I’ve spoken about this in front of a large audience at school, in a classroom and one on one with people. It can be done. I’m living proof. If you feel this story may motivate someone then have them read this and take a look at my pics above. If the link on my facebook led you here then share it on your page. You never know out of the hundreds of friends you have listed (50 you probably actually know hehe) this story may change their life. It really bothered me showcasing that 282lb pic of myself. I’ve only shown 3 people that outside of close friends. Now it’s all public. *sigh* But I did it for you. That voice said: most of these people don’t know you and seeing is believing. Know that it took a lot having that pic up there.
As you can see I shared a lot of photos of myself over the years. If you are viewing by mobile then you’ll be unable to see the caption so I will tell you here. From left to right: Summer 2005, 282 lbs; June 2006; June 2006; 2007; December 2007 200lbs; April 2008; July 2008, 200lbs; December 2008, Around 230lbs; Right back at 200 lbs BABY!! August 2009; October 2009, 215lbs; 24th bday December 2009, 220lbs; July 2010, 205 lbs; Summer 2012 247 lbs; November 2012, 247lbs; March 2013 247lbs. I can’t seem to find any 2011 pics. Sorry. If I didn’t mention a weight that’s because I’m not exactly sure.
Love you! Stay Blessed.
7 Comments (From previous web server)
5/29/2013 01:38:58 am
This is such an uplifting read! While reading this on my way to work I felt so motivated to do more for myself and want more for my life. All of your blogs leave me feeling the same way. Keep on writing and I hope to continue to read more from u. Thank u for all your words of encouragement.
5/29/2013 11:15:12 am
Thank you very much hun. When I read this, this morning I broke down crying. It warms my heart to know that others are truly gaining from what I'm sharing. It was very very hard to show that picture. I really don't like it. I'm glad it and my words paid off.
5/29/2013 03:54:08 am
I commend your courage and openess. Weight is a sensitive issue for all. It shows that once you put your mind to something, you accomplish it. I see the confidence bloom into flabulosity. Keep striving to be the best and all will fall into place.
5/29/2013 11:16:47 am
Indeed. Thank you very much for your kind words. :-)
5/29/2013 03:59:43 pm
Girl you ani't lying when you said them Lane Bryant bras ani't cheap ...but the fit is boss ...gotta admit that tho ...SOY MILK IS THE BEST!!! ...oh man can't wait to speak to you on the phone ...talk about having a lot in common ...ummm ...can't get into tofu ...sorry ...but veggies burgers are the bomb ...why am I hearing the "Rocky" theme music as I read the section on how your seeing the weight melt away like ice!!! Lovin this Shy!!! ...well girl I have finished reading this entire blog ...I even re-read it ..I'm now in serious tears and my kids have left me alone but not before they told me they love me and I'm beautiful no matter what size I am ...they know I'm not very happy with myself ...they know that I don't love myself ...but I am trying ...I've lost 78 pounds but I still have a lot more to go ...after reading this ...I know for a FACT that your my inner DIVA and most definitely my HERO ...you go girl ...just know that your FIERCE no matter what they say ...I'm taking my baby steps one day at a time ...thank you Shy ...and if I didn't say it loud enough ...THANK YOU SHY!!! BTW ...THIS is my most favorite blog of all ...well so far ...lol:o)
8/7/2013 09:15:57 am
I LOVE YOUR POWER OF BECOMING WHAT YOU WANT TO BECOME
8/7/2013 01:32:22 pm
Thank you Arthur!! :-)