I remember the off-and-on struggle to control my weight.
I’d gone the route of meal-replacement shakes and diet pills. Yes, the pounds dropped off, only to pile back because I continued my misguided eating habits.
Two emotional events, however, motivated me to finally commit to a healthy lifestyle: a promise to my dying mother and a hurtful comment by a teacher.
The result has been an 85-pound weight loss and re-energized spirit.
At my heaviest, I carried 230 pounds on my 5-foot-3 frame. Now I’m at 145.
In June 2009, as my mother lay dying of cancer, she managed to voice four words to me: “Save money, lose weight.”
I made a promise on her deathbed to lose weight.
But depression soon set in, followed by a herniated disc, leaving me reluctant some days to even get out of bed. I lost my job because there was no light-duty work for me. I became even more depressed, eating everything. By December of 2009, I had packed on 30 to 40 pounds.
That’s when I decided to honor my promise to my mother and start a new career.
I enrolled at a local community college to obtain a second degree. Classes had only been in session a few days when a teacher called me “Precious.” That was deeply hurtful and embarrassing, especially when my peers started laughing.
(“Precious” is the story of a really overweight black girl, alluding to the character played by Gabourey Sidibe in the 2009 film “Precious.”)
Normally, I would have cried and run out of the room.
“This is it,” I told myself. “I’m going to lose weight.”
That day, I walked on my treadmill for 10 minutes. The next day, I walked more.
I never looked back. It changed my lifestyle. It fired me up.
Now, exercise and healthier eating are part of my daily routine.
I eat smaller portions; eschew processed, artificial and junk food for fresh, wholesome foods; reads food labels; visit the gym after work; lift weights; and last year started running races, including a half-marathon.
Because I’m now in the muscle-building phase of my weight loss, my meals are mostly protein-based.
Breakfast may be a protein shake, eggs or oatmeal with added protein powder. Fruit, maybe an apple, and almonds (I count out 20 and put them in a little baggie) is a mid-morning snack. Lunch is grilled chicken, broccoli and brown rice or grilled fish, asparagus and quinoa. As a mid-afternoon snack I like Greek yogurt. I’ll have a protein shake before and after my gym workout. Dinner is more chicken, fish or ground turkey and vegetables and one more protein shake before bed.
Plus, I drink at least a gallon of water a day.
This regimen takes work, but it’s normal for me now, since I’ve been at it for over three years.
Like everyone else, I have food weaknesses — mine are carbs and sweets.
I allow myself one meal a week to indulge in a decadent treat, so as not to feel “I can’t have this or I can’t have that.”
If you restrict yourself too much, and you’re apt to succumb to cravings, think your day is ruined, fall off the diet wagon and binge eat!
“It’s not a big deal. Calm down, move on and make a better choice,” I say to myself.
I’m now a certified personal trainer, having obtaining my credentials through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
I maintain a blog — www.cherierunsthis.com — where I share my success story and offer motivational tips for others. I want everyone to feel good and be fit and healthy!
35 years old
Married, no kids
Lives in Mebane, NC
Leasing Consultant & NASM Certified Personal Trainer
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