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You have such a pretty face……

There is always a “but” at the end of that sentence. My name is Lakeisha and I am sick of being the pretty face at the start of that sentence.

Now living in Houston, I have never met a piece of fried chicken I did not like. As well as I love to cook and bake, so these things were contributing to my weight gain. I am a mother of five, wife of 11 years and girl who is on a mission.  That mission is to get myself to a healthy weight and BMI before I am 40.  Come hell or high water, or even if I have to call in the flying monkeys, this weight is coming off!!

I started my journey at 322 pounds and that is a number I guarded better than my birthday on my driver’s license.  When I weighed in at delivery with my youngest child, I even managed to keep the true number hidden from my husband who was in the room at the time!

I was a dancer in school and that kept me active, and also kept my weight under control, so weight was never an issue for me.

After the birth of my first child I gained 50 pounds, but I was young and figured I could get rid of it quickly.

Life did that funny thing it does and TIME rolled by quickly.

Before I knew it, I was married, working and expecting my youngest before I really thought about my weight again—which by the way—kept going up in numbers. 

After delivery, I began the Atkins diet and I was very successful at it. I lost 70 pounds! But guess what? When you return to normal eating habits, the weight comes back and with FULL FORCE.

So I gained the 70 pounds back, plus a few more and picked up high blood pressure along the way.

A picture is worth a thousand words……

What got my attention was the picture of me at my good friend’s birthday gathering this year. I thought I looked really good when I left home.

I felt pretty going to the party and had a decent time.  I even danced. But when I saw the pics on Facebook, I did not recognize myself!

The shirt I thought looked nice was tight on my arms and I looked too short.

As I looked at pic after pic with my beautiful friends, the last thing I felt looking at them was
“beautiful.”

I felt fat, sad and disappointed. It was that moment I decided to turn my life around.

Getting busy……

I started my transformation in January. I bought a digital scale and a gym membership.

Yes, I know the proverbial start of a new diet, life, etc. on January 1st! How many times had I been down this road? But it was different this time.  

I was pretty good at taking step classes and decided to start there. Well it was ok, but it bored me.

I also started walking 20 minutes every day. I figured if I can walk at least a little bit I could get myself conditioned for more strenuous exercise.  But that, too, got boring.

No matter how much Drake and Rick Ross I listened to while walking, I was bored.

I had seen the infomercials about Zumba. I watched on and thought, “Okay I can do that.”

I also found out that my gym offered the class and decided to try it out.

Well, I was hooked.  I loved to dance, so this was a natural fit for me! Twenty minutes into the class I was pouring sweat.

There was no way I was going to be able to finish an hour I thought, but I did finish and went home that day pretty pleased with myself.

The next day I was stiff as a board. Places hurt that I did not even know could hurt!!  But I went back again and again.  

Zumba allowed me to drop it low and work it out!

The music was so easy to get caught up in, and I knew if the old lady in the front of the class could do it, I could too! I exercise now four to five times a week and even feel guilty on the days that I don’t. Who would have guessed it?

Along with this came learning how to eat, but the right way this time. I had to learn to eat healthier, learn portion control and when to say when.  It was time to cut out the sugar, soda, fried and fattening foods.

You are probably saying, Okay what was left?? That is what I thought too. 

I began to drink water.

If I was thirsty, it was water I drank.  I went cold turkey on the soda and juice.  For a girl that loves Dr. Pepper and Simply Lemonade, this was like pulling teeth!  I got used to the water and actually have come to have a taste for it. My body craves it now. 

I also went cold turkey on things like candy and other sweets, which are like my kryptonite. 

I replaced them with fruit and yogurt. Bye-bye “comfort” food. Hello grilled, steamed and baked. I know this all sounds boring but my love of food did not die because I wanted to get healthy.  Good food, fresh food is good for you body.

I began to eat more fish, chicken and lean meats. These, along with fresh veggies, helped keep me content.

I learned to season with less salt and more herbs to still make a dish that make you want to slap your momma! 

It is not to say that there are not times that I will indulge in the old foods, I just have learned to have them in moderation. Learning to listen to my body when it says it is full is a key, as well. We all grew up being told to “finish everything on our plate,” but not anymore. When I feel myself getting full, I know it is time to push away.

There is nothing wrong with leaving something on the plate.

A lot of my dinner meals turn into lunch for the next day. I also count calories with the help of an app called My Fitness Pal. It is easy to track what I eat and my calories. It also helps me keep track of sodium, carbs and other factors in my diet. Best of all it is free and available on Android and Blackberry phones.

So many of us need to lose the weight and we think we will start another time. What is wrong with today?

Baby steps towards a new, healthy you is one of the best gifts you can give yourselves.

I am embracing and loving the changes in my body. I understand I will never be a size 2, and I am okay with that. I love every curve and dip in this body of mine and, as the weight continues to come off, I will continue to love it.

I am here to tell you that if I can do it, anyone can! The first step is making and keeping the commitment to you. And that, my friends, is the most important person in this journey.

♥LW♥

We at Lip Service: News with Attitude congratulate Lakeisha on all her success and can’t wait to see the end result!  We just want to say, “work it sistah!”

Follow LaKeisha on her journey as she updates us weekly, gives us exercise tips and some of those great recipes. 

You go girl!

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