Home My Journey A Year Of Progress In Photos

A Year Of Progress In Photos

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Since BGG2WL turned a year the other day, I know people are like “A year, er… congratulations?” But I’m serious! A year is a big deal!

If the question is “what can I accomplish in a year with knowing nothing at first?” then my answer is “a hell of a lot if you are patient, open-minded, and willing to put in some work. A year is research, learning how to cook, learning how to cook well, learning how to enjoy life outside of food… learning how to enjoy life with food sprinkled on top. Which do you enjoy more – the ice cream or the sprinkles? The sprinkles are not the same without the ice cream, but the ice cream is that much better with the right kind of sprinkles. A year allowed me to learn what kind of sprinkles I like. Sounds like a little, but it is a huge deal.

And just to prove that a lot can take place in a year’s time… here are 12 photos to show just what kind of difference a year makes!

From May, 2009 to April, 2010:

No jokes on my ensemble... you wiiiiill respect my fresh!

You’re looking at approximately 89 inches total lost, with about 110lbs lost. Sure, I could’ve “dieted” and lost the weight faster, but I didn’t want to starve myself or unreasonably deprive myself, either. I didn’t want to lose weight in a fashion that would cause me to gain it back. I wanted to incorporate healthy living, healthy and reasonable indulgences, as well as room for mistakes in my life. I wanted to learn a new life… in a way that would prevent me from reverting back to my old one. Basically, I wanted a permanent lifestyle change, and I was willing to make a few mistakes in order to learn how to build it from scratch.

There’s so very little information out there – in comparison to the amount of information pushing supplements, pills, products, programs and who knows what other kind of crap – about how to live and be and remain healthy. I used the support of my friend – the only fitness-savvy friend I had – and every book and magazine I could find to learn how to do this.

I went through periods where I believed that “organic means okay,” “as long as I cook it at home, even if it’s a quadruple layer chocolate cake, its okay to eat however much of it whenever I want,” and even had an “Oh, I’m losing… this means I can go back to the crap food” period. I appreciate all three of those “how to screw up royally” moments, because they taught me lessons that I can carry with me for a lifetime.

In the end, I look at it like this – I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring me in fitness (pole fitness and figure competitions, for the win!) and in terms of the site, as well.

Now, as far as what I look like now? Eh…. you’ll see someday. Here’s a little hint, though:

And yes, that IS electrical tape... what I look like putting holes in my wall? LOL!

Let’s just say that I’ve graduated from the progress dress… to the progress bikini. πŸ™‚

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Evelyn July 20, 2010 - 10:33 AM

Amazing! Such an inspiration. One question, though, does this qualify as “weight loss porn”? LOL

Erika July 20, 2010 - 10:40 AM

LOL! That’s a darn good question! LOLOL

I know what my answer would be… but I’m not gon’ share. πŸ™‚

For those who may not know about the “weight loss porn” topic, here’s a link and a quote:

Let’s not even talk about the β€œweight loss porn” that we keep seeing as of late. That’s right.. I said it – weight loss porn. It’s almost as if seeing people struggle with weight is being fetishized. Pornographic in nature, even. Huge. Ruby (thanks, Felicia!). The Biggest Loser. Losing It. One Big Happy Family. Celebrity Fit Club. Whatever Crap Kirstie Alley Is Doing To Get Her Face On The TV Screen Again. For some reason, Americans love watching the overweight agonize over not being β€œone of the beautiful people,” and salivate at the thought of watching them sweat the pounds off to get there.

And THANKS! πŸ™‚

Annie Patrick November 17, 2014 - 11:00 PM

Thank you so much for your story. It truly gives me the motivation to get my self together.

Tyler May 10, 2013 - 10:19 AM

That is inspiring! I need to lose about 110-125 pounds… Just out of curiosity how tall are you? I stand at 5’10” and I’ve noticed it takes about 10-12 pounds for me to drop a pant size…

Charlotte July 20, 2010 - 10:39 AM

You go on ‘head, gal!! I’m trying to get like you when I grow up!! GOOD JOB!!!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 10:49 AM

LMAO! Thank you, mama! πŸ™‚

Kirsten July 20, 2010 - 10:44 AM

It’s weightloss porn to me!

I am so needing to read these words. I like that for you it wasn’t about weightloss, it was about health. For some reason, weightloss isn’t the goal for me either. I COULD do weight watchers, or some other diet program and lose weight, but what would I have *gained*?

Admittedly, I almost signed up for weight watchers when I saw how good JHud was looking, but I just couldn’t. Been there, done that, again, and again.

I am looking for a lifestyle change. Knowing that for you, that is how you accomplished your transformation, let’s me know the real deal!

Please, know,you are an inspiration!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 12:37 PM

I hear you! I won’t even start on WW. LOLOL

If there is anything I can do to help you develop that lifestyle change, do let me know. πŸ™‚

AUSSIE April 17, 2012 - 3:42 PM


Tilly July 20, 2010 - 11:02 AM

Congrats on your progress you look great! Im on the same journey and so far its been a great one!!!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 12:31 PM

Thank you, and I wish you strength on your own journey!

Kenya July 20, 2010 - 11:03 AM

Congratulations lady! You’ve came a long way, healthily and that anyone can respect. I’m trying to get on your level! We live in a society where everything is about the “now” and everyone wants fast results. It is nice to see what a year of patience, endurance, and hard work will do. So worth it!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 12:33 PM

You’re absolutely right… but then again, this is the same society where more than two thirds of us are overweight. I’m done listening to society. LOLOL

Thank you! πŸ™‚

victoria July 20, 2010 - 11:09 AM

wo you look so good im trying to catch up with you. im trying to get into clean eating any books on it and do you know of a good jucier and recipes.

Erika July 20, 2010 - 12:43 PM

Feel free to check out the recipe section of this site, as well as myrecipes.com and allrecipes.com for good resources, as well. I just got a nice cheap blender (I’m cheap, I admit this openly) and it works wonderfully for me!

Hold tight, because a clean eating challenge is right around the corner! πŸ™‚

Moni July 20, 2010 - 11:22 AM

OK, first, get some 3M hooks that don’t leave marks when you pull the tape for the bikini! LMAO!

Second, you are my muse! There is hope after all!

Third, I just posted a photo that I want to take next year on my bday! I have inspiration from that photo and your blog! Thanks!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 12:43 PM

Hey… you leave my tape alone. LOLOL

And no, thank YOU! πŸ™‚

TKOEd July 20, 2010 - 11:23 AM

Well done. Inspirational.

Erika July 20, 2010 - 12:46 PM

Thank you, friend. #putdownthebluecheese

Chelle Bell July 20, 2010 - 11:49 AM

Thank You! I needed to get motivated again and you definitely succeeded in that. That bikini is dangerous! I love it! That will definitely run up someone’s pressure! lololol Have you tried Zumba? or thought about it? Just curious, it looks like a fun but effective way to work out.

Erika July 20, 2010 - 12:47 PM

Thank you!

As far as zumba goes, I’m a fan of just about any activity we can use to keep moving. As long as we’re not sitting and staring at walls (or screens), we can get it in. πŸ™‚

Rita July 20, 2010 - 12:14 PM

Yay for you Erika!

I agree with you, a year makes a huge difference.

This reminds me, I gotta start taking progress pictures!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 12:47 PM

Yes you do! It is a polite reminder of where you came from, and motivates you to remember where you’re trying to go. πŸ™‚

Benee July 20, 2010 - 12:23 PM

Congrats!!! You have done fabulously.

Erika July 20, 2010 - 12:47 PM

Thank you! πŸ™‚

ambie July 20, 2010 - 12:23 PM

Great job Sistergreek!
I hit u up on twitter as well. I’m doing the same.. lifestyle changes.. no quick fixes!!!

Started in August and only 28 down but have about 15 to go!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 12:50 PM

ONLY 28? Girl, boo! That’s progress! That’s whassap! I LOVE hearin’ this. πŸ™‚


Reecie July 20, 2010 - 12:28 PM

great pics sis! looking good! πŸ™‚

Erika July 20, 2010 - 1:07 PM

Thank you, Reecie! πŸ™‚

ChellBellz July 20, 2010 - 12:55 PM

Congratulations. I wish i could remember your twitter name by heart. Oprah had the best episode on Diabetes, and Obesity yesterday. It really targeted African Americans and stuff. I think you would have loved it, and it would have been a great article report to the readers. It was a big eye opener.

Erika July 20, 2010 - 1:19 PM

My name? @inetespionage πŸ™‚

I did see it – I have an entire Diabetes week coming up, and clips from that episode will be a part of it. Thank you for the tip! πŸ™‚

Ms. Nina July 20, 2010 - 1:13 PM

You look amazing!!! And you’re helping me learn a lot that I’m passing along to my over weight father and grandmother, and my overweight self…(can’t leave out myself) I’ve started gradually into clean eating, no fast food, no soda, no processed foods, more fiber, and I can tell a difference already. I had been working out but still eating junk and noticing I was loosing weight, but you helped me realize it didn’t make sense to work out, and then pig out on junk. My question is… stretchmarks… what are you doing about them or did you have any? Because I have the most inelastic skin, and I get a new stretchmark just thinking about eating, and even while I’m shrinking I feel like the shrinking is make the stretchmark more noticeable.

Erika July 20, 2010 - 1:27 PM

Think you can sit tight until tomorrow for me to answer your question? πŸ™‚

Thank you! I’m so happy to hear that I’m helping! If you or your family has ANY questions, by all means PLEASE let me know!

Lolita July 20, 2010 - 1:24 PM

Thank you for sharing your journey, you’ve done a phenomenal job! The progress pics are a great idea..I’m doing them as well..it really tells the true story of where you’ve come from. I’m about halfway to my ultimate goal of 120 lbs..56 down so far..from a TIGHT 24 to a 14/16, so far. Your testimony is further confirmation for me to keep pushing forward! CONGRATS on your accomplishments thus far and advance congrats for those on the horizon!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 1:47 PM

Hey, that’s about where I started! Congratulations on getting so close to that halfway mark! You got this!

BAnjeeB July 20, 2010 - 1:38 PM

As always I love reading your posts. You look great and I appreciate the fact that you make it known that if we want results we have to work. There’s nothing wrong with sweat! I know I need more discipline in eating habits. That is how I sabotage my workout efforts.

Yeah ok, I’ll be on that next clean eating challenge. πŸ™‚

Erika July 20, 2010 - 1:57 PM

Hey…. thank you so much!

And please know.. I expect full participation, mama! No more sabotage! πŸ™‚

Connie July 20, 2010 - 1:47 PM

Thanks so much for sharing your progress with us. I’m trying and was 15lbs down before I hit a roadblock with an illness. But, through different episodes of illness, this is the first time that I have taken the initiative to get back to my walking and eating routine (somewhat…it’s hard when you have to depend on others to cook for you). So, I’m sure that I need to take progression pics as well to keep the motivation going. Even after being sick and knowing that I have gained a few pounds back, someone at work just told me today (after not seeing me for a few weeks), “Hey, skinny!” I just laughed and said, “Yeah, I’m trying!” Well, that’s all i can do is TRY and not beat myself up about the pitfalls. Thanks again!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 7:55 PM

Thank YOU!

Definitely take pictures. You absolutely should! Take a little time to marvel at yourself!

Ty July 20, 2010 - 1:52 PM

You’re sexy looking. Sorry if I sound like a lesbian.

Erika July 20, 2010 - 7:39 PM

LMAO Thank you! (And no, I’m OK with giving/receiving compliments from other women, LOL!)

stephanie September 9, 2012 - 2:55 PM

erica how often did you take the pictures? the free recipes have u used them to lose weight as well? or just the ones that you charge for?

Erika Nicole Kendall September 9, 2012 - 4:02 PM

Once a month, and yes. Both.

Mary July 20, 2010 - 1:59 PM

You look AMAZING! I hope you write a blockbuster book someday so all can learn from your success:)

Erika July 20, 2010 - 7:55 PM

Ha! Well…. πŸ™‚

Nicole July 20, 2010 - 2:40 PM

You look amazing! Congrats on a huge accomplishment, not a diet but a lifestyle. I read your blog daily since I saw it on TV, and you have given alot of tips that I have already started using (making my own jam, using fruit in my water, etc). I have even passed on my beloved Crystal Lite (fruit punch flavor). I want to be healthy, inside and out. Thanks for the inspiration!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 7:56 PM

Ha! Well, thank you so very much for that kind of support! I appreciate it! And CHEERS to leaving behind the artificial sweeteners!

EmilyLovida July 20, 2010 - 3:31 PM

Wow. Just…wow. Wonderfully inspiring. This has become one of my most-favoritest-blogs, so thank you for sharing your story and progress. Now if I could just get my OWN ass on that elliptical every morning…… πŸ™‚

Erika July 20, 2010 - 8:02 PM

That’s easily one of the best compliments a girl can get! Thanks. πŸ™‚

Stop thinking about it.. just go! πŸ™‚

Michelle July 20, 2010 - 5:00 PM

During your weight loss journy did ya set goals to how much time it was going to take you loss this weight by the way you look amazing hope that i can do the same in my journey

Erika July 20, 2010 - 8:16 PM

I didn’t really set goals for weight loss. I set goals for my ability and my health… for instance, wanting to dance, be a competent yoga practitioner (called a yogi), now wanting to be a pole fitness enthusiast (not quite a pole dancer, LOL)… those are goals that I train for, with weight loss as a secondary result. I didn’t (and still don’t) care about the numbers on the scale… I care about being able to bend my leg over my thigh and squat down to my feet, LOL!

Thank you so much! I’m sure you can do it!

Kim July 20, 2010 - 6:27 PM

You look fantastic! Looking at your pictures is an inspiration. I so wish I had your focus and determination….I’m trying!

Erika July 20, 2010 - 8:30 PM

Don’t think about it.. just do it! πŸ™‚

Eunice July 20, 2010 - 7:52 PM

Aww Erica! You look so awesome, girl. And I am soo not hating on those yellow sweats! Haha

Can’t wait to see you rockin’ that bikini! πŸ™‚

Erika July 20, 2010 - 8:14 PM

Hey.. and they’re terry cloth, too! There’s nothin’ sexier than terry cloth! LOLOL

Thanks, Eunice! I’m tryin’ to get on YOUR level!

ChellBellz July 20, 2010 - 8:39 PM

Oh Goodie! It was a definate wake up call for me and my mother who were watching it. She is pre-diabetic, and my aunt is diabetic. My grandfather is as well, but is actually really healthy. My grandmother passed away from cancer, but had diabetes as well. So I feel the need to do everything I can to prevent this.

Erika July 20, 2010 - 9:26 PM

Yep.. just hold tight. πŸ™‚

crystal July 20, 2010 - 8:57 PM

Omg. You are amazing. You did something a lot of us only dream of. You are truly inspiring. You should write a book about your journey pictures included.

Erika July 20, 2010 - 9:27 PM

LOL Pictures included, huh? We’ll see. πŸ™‚

robinson July 20, 2010 - 9:01 PM

I would like to know how you was able to lose your belly?

Erika July 20, 2010 - 9:27 PM

Y’all think I’m playin’ about that processed food and excess sugar? LOL

Crystal July 20, 2010 - 9:26 PM

You look fabulous. This is so awesome. I subscribe to your site to get that daily external motivation. This definitely is encouraging.

Erika July 20, 2010 - 9:47 PM

Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

Angela July 20, 2010 - 10:10 PM

I am so glad I have found your blog. You have inspired me so very much tonight. I love the energy of joy and confidence that radiates from your words. Congrats on your acheivement. I am just beginning and avoid the camera like it’s H1N1..but seeing this I might just take a pic a month and see.

b July 20, 2010 - 11:49 PM

U look awesome and u did this in one year….I so motivated to get started…I’m taking pictures and all!

LaTaunya July 21, 2010 - 7:35 AM

Just a note to say YOU GO GIRL!! I came across this from a Twitter post. I’m also on my own fitness journey. I’ve never had any issues with weight until my mom passed away suddenly 3 years ago…that plus the other stress in my life caused me to gain 30 pounds. I went from a size 8 to a size 12 (pushing 14). I’ve started practicing Bikram yoga, have completely changed my eating, and am just in a much better place. Now that I’ve read your post, I’m even more motivated! Keep up the good work and congratulations!

Erika July 21, 2010 - 10:14 AM

Thank you, LaTaunya! πŸ™‚

Lydia July 21, 2010 - 8:54 AM

Great story, thank you for sharing! What a motivation!

Erika July 21, 2010 - 10:14 AM

Thanks! πŸ™‚

Kim Creque July 21, 2010 - 10:14 AM

I applaud you and yo have inspired me to do it the right way. I need to lose about 60 lbs and it had been frustrating, but after reading your testimony, it has re-energized me.

Erika July 21, 2010 - 10:16 AM

Thank you! Get on it! πŸ™‚

Leslie July 21, 2010 - 10:30 AM

Hi Erika

I found your blog when Sherri Shepard posted the link on twitter. You are truly amazing and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

Ross July 21, 2010 - 11:13 AM

So proud of you mama!! You look amazing! And you are set on the path for a long healthy life as my best friend! πŸ™‚ Much Love E!!

toyalise July 21, 2010 - 1:19 PM

CONGRATS ERIKA!!!! i’m so proud of you, you’re a huge inspiration to myself and thousands of women out there. your focus drives me, i come to this site right before i go to the gym lol

as far as my “progress dress….”
*sigh* my wedding dress. i have a LOOOONG way to go, and the wedding’s next august. i’m not even going to LOOK at a dress until next year. i’ll flip thru magazines all day, but i don’t want to go into a boutique to try on plus size dresses. i’ll wait lol.

keep it up, i want bikini pics next time!

Liyah July 22, 2010 - 9:44 AM

CONGRATULATIONS on your progress! You are truly an inspiration for those of us who are going through the same type of process. Much continued success. And I’m not going to crack on the workout gear because I’ve been there, done that and will continue to do so as long as it’s comfortable. I’m there to workout and sweat, not be cute. LOL.

akilah July 22, 2010 - 9:54 AM

Congrats and thanks for being an inspiration! I’ve been trying to lose my 13 yr 40lb baby weight and it has not moved until I started really eating\working out the right way no shortcuts.

You are just one of my cyber motivational spirits and I can’t thank you enough for sharing. This post right here let’s me know that when the trainer is damn near killing me, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, preferably a white bikini πŸ™‚

Honest July 23, 2010 - 7:08 PM

Congratulations on your weight loss journey! I’ve been going through one myself for the last year and have lost almost 30 pounds. I did it with the help of WW and understanding that I need to make a lifestyle change. I’m now starting the maintenance portion of my journey. Found your blog through a friend and look forward to reading your journey.

Mari July 24, 2010 - 6:40 AM

Woman you are amazing! I went through a similar transformation so I know for a fact how hard you worked! You totally rocked it!!!!!!!!

Congrats =)

Courtney July 24, 2010 - 8:33 AM

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I have been following you for a few months now and I am so inspired. You look great!

I started just 2 weeks ago and I am down 8lbs. I am with you on “slow and steady”. Keep it up girlie and keep us posted. You just don’t know how inspiring and motivational your blog is!

God bless.

Norkita July 27, 2010 - 9:42 AM

Congrats on the weight loss!! I have lost about 20 or so pounds by fasting, praying and continuing to eat right, but I still need to tone up and keep off what I lost. I have a hectic schedule with work, church activites and home, and sometimes I’m real tired and I don’t have the motivation to exercise. What would you suggest to help me get motivated and start and continue a workout routine?

Erika July 27, 2010 - 10:05 AM
Reddy August 5, 2010 - 2:02 PM

I just wanted to let you know you are my shero!!lol! I am 225 pounds and wearing a size 18. I decided just this past weekend that I deserve more from this life than what I’m giving myself now. I went to the grocery store and stocked up on healthy foods and I also joined my local YMCA. Today makes it 4 days of my lifestyle change(no diets for me)and your blog has given me the motivation for the weeks and months to come. Sorry to be so long winded but seeing your progress makes me tear up because that’s where I want to be soon and because of you I know I can do it. Thank You So Much. You probably have people that inspire you, but YOU inspire me. Now off to the gym I go!!lol!

Tishana August 9, 2010 - 8:05 AM

I am truly inspired! The 5 Reasons You Won’t Lose Weight article was right on point! Have you been spying on my life??? LOL. Seriously, I am motivated to do something different. I can’t expect different results if I do the same thing…that’s insanity!!! I appreciate this site, and most importantly your genuine nature in helping us all achieve a healthy lifestyle! Be blessed, as you have been a blessing!

Tameakah August 10, 2010 - 5:30 PM

Inspiring. I want to loss about 10-20lbs, but I had no motivation

TaCreacia August 23, 2010 - 8:23 AM

You are a wonderful inspiration. Keep up the job

Jacqui August 27, 2010 - 12:25 PM

In a word: AMAZING! Thank you for your example.

jamila August 29, 2010 - 6:07 PM

Congrats on the amazing progress! Keep working hard and motivating other!!

Sherifa September 3, 2010 - 10:22 AM

We should celebrate. Want to go out to eat…lol…j/k. Congratulations!

April September 3, 2010 - 11:27 AM

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is truly inspirational and I appreciate all of the hard work you have put into this site and educating us.

Starr September 5, 2010 - 3:20 PM

WOW, great progress. I am so glad I found this website and grateful to you for posting this helpful information.

I am 35 years old and have been struggling with my weight for the past couple of years. I come from a family who loves to eat and unfortunately I picked up the habit and pounds carrying it throughout my life.

Your site and photo testimonials have EXTREMELY MOTIVATED me to stop saying I’m going to do something, but to actually get off my tail and DO SOMETHING. I will be signing up next week at the gym Ive been contemplating about for the past few months, and stocking my fridge with much healthier things than I have been. Thanks!

Tj September 5, 2010 - 7:37 PM

Yey!! Congratulations Erika!! I can’t wait to see you in the progress bikini and all your hard work paid off. By the way you are so right, your skin is very toned, you would probably never be able to guess that you ever weighed above 300lbs..

I’m getting dimples in my bum from not toning, since I’ve just been doing cardio but that’s all going to change!!

Marie September 6, 2010 - 1:59 PM

I don’t even know you, but yet you still are an inspiration to me. It might be easier to starve yourself or have surgery or take diet pills, but I believe this is the right way. I just figured out that I am worth something. I am not only a mother, wife or co-worker. I am not happy with myself so there is nothing wrong with me investing in myself. Thank you so much for being you and having the courage to get in front of the camera and let us all in your life and accomplishments.

Chispa September 10, 2010 - 11:14 PM

Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I am truly inspired to get my act together and lead a healthier life.

sharlaelizabeth September 14, 2010 - 9:36 PM

I saw your brag post on #fitblog. What an amazing transformation! I love that you set your fitness goals & just let the weight come off as an added bonus. I think the biggest change to me is that you look sassy and confident in that last pictures, and definitely uncomfortable in the first ones. Congrats!!!

adrienne smith September 21, 2010 - 5:10 PM

i am not sure if you ever answered the ladies question about the stretchmarks I would like to know how would I cook the meals for an 8 yr old too so is getting a little chunky(which i was at her age and earlier)

April B. October 2, 2010 - 4:47 PM

A year is a big deal! You are so inspiring! Keep it going Erika! SMILE

Glinda McMullen October 24, 2010 - 8:37 AM

you are a inspiration………………………you go girl

shonda October 24, 2010 - 8:55 AM

Gurl you did your thang!!!!!! CONGRATS….. I hope I can stay motivated like you did…………..

Starr October 24, 2010 - 9:51 AM

Erika, you are my inspiration. Exercising four times a week bootcamp style, following a meal plan provided by my personal trainer, and reading your blog helped me to lose 43 pounds since May. Seven pounds from losing 50! I bought that buttons over thing to make my favorite jeans fit better in the waiste. Eventually I’ll have to take them in or give them up. I also bought those clips (the kind your mom hooked your mittens to the sleeve of your coat) to pull in my tops I wear under jackets. I missed the window to wear some of my clothes, but that’s alright. I’ll give them away if I can’t alter them. BTW, I’m on the downhill side of 50 (way down, LOL). Love ya, Starr

China Blue October 25, 2010 - 7:50 AM

That’s incredible. You look amazing, and you should be proud of everything you’ve achieved, and everyone you’ve inspired.

I’m still on the journey myself (running, PowerPlates and Pilates are my workouts of choice right now, and I’m feeling/seeing results) and I’ve been working on letting go of the diet mentality in favour of choosing eating clean for health and fitness as a priority, and putting the pursuit of the white-hot physique second. It’s surprising (and amazing) how switching priorities can make all the difference!

Your blog has been on my must-read list for some time now, and it’s been a real inspiration.

This just goes to show: if you want real and lasting change and results you have to pay in sweat, you have to ask yourself the hard questions about your motivations and desires, and through that you have to change your lifestyle! But you don’t have to suffer.

Right, going to partake in a spot of photography πŸ˜‰

Atheena Jai October 26, 2010 - 5:03 PM

I am so proud of you sis. I am almost tearing up as I look at your progress pictures. I remember from 2006 to now. Meeting you, and immediately knowing you had a strong personality and were an undeniably strong person. To later talking to you about our individual business ventures and goals. To talking about weight loss and strategies. To now seeing you look absolutely amazing! If there is ever any doubt that determination can make any result possible, you are a true testament of that. Just want you to know that I’m happy that you never gave up and you are, every day, inspiring other women near & far to do the same!

Traci R. November 7, 2010 - 8:25 PM

This is EXACTLY the way I wanna do this! I don’t want to deprive myself I want to build foundational principles that become so ingrained that I always keep with them no matter what the circumstances. YAY I’m so inspired!

Greta November 14, 2010 - 6:07 PM

Absolutely AMAZING. Love your blog! Did I say that yet? : )

TheMochaPeach November 26, 2010 - 11:51 AM

You have totally inspired me. I had almost given up hope…*sigh* to the point of wanting to just get plastic surgery (a tummy tuck and butt augmentation). I cry because I try and try and nothing has helped…and now w/ school and work I just come home tired and exhausted….It’s not like my eating has changed. Oh well..but thanks for posting this. I follow you on FB as well…ad I am just trying to get the kick in the butt that I need.

Maisha November 26, 2010 - 12:12 PM

Your site has truly been an inspiration. You rock! Your journey should be shared. How long do we have to wait for the book?! LOL
We need more “real” people sharing their weight loss journeys. Thank you for what you do.

shlonda November 26, 2010 - 1:07 PM

You look amazing!!!!

Thia November 28, 2010 - 2:51 PM

God is truly merciful..He sent me to your site and it is sooo encouraging and a blessing. Congrats on your endeavors and many more to come. Thank you for sharing and may God continue to bless you and yours! One day at a time…and I’m ready to begin. Thanx! Smooches!

LISA November 29, 2010 - 4:52 PM


E O November 30, 2010 - 6:18 AM


Someone sent me your blog as an inspiration, and to be honest I didn’t know what to expect.
All I have to say is, wow!!! You can’t understand the sort of inspiration that you have just become to me. I did all of the mess-ups that you’ve just quoted, and so to see another clearly intelligent person having a similar situation, but being able to get around it, has just become the kick up the keister that I needed! Congratulations!!


Milka January 6, 2011 - 3:34 AM

You look Great! You are such an inspiration to me. I too want to get fit and live a healthier life!

Winifred January 13, 2011 - 8:11 PM

Wow! I came across an article in Essence that led me to your site. It’s amazing looking at the progress you have made and it’s such an encouragement for me. I taken back my life and seeing this is such a motivation that I am on the right track. Thank you, thank you……

the Super Sistah January 17, 2011 - 2:32 PM

I’m tired of myself. I advocate success but have had trouble getting my big behind off the couch. I want to win at everything and that includes winning over the twinkie, the red velvet cake and the strawberry daiquiri on Saturday nights. I’m participating in weight loss challenge at the work in order to jump start my new program. I’m always seeking inspiration and this blog seems like a good fit. Here’s is to success. Best of luck to us all.

the Super Sistah
Be Super. Watch yourself Soar!

Angel January 18, 2011 - 10:20 AM

Im so glad I seen your blog on yahoo first then I decided to come check it out. You are a great inspiration to me right know. I have tried diets in the past that didnt work one that did . But then I gained the weight back. I relaize I dont want to diet I want to change the way I eat and cook for my family. This january I decided to give up beef and pork. Next month it will be junk food. I plan to take it one day at a time to reach my goal of lossing a 100 lbs and keeping it off. People ask me why Im giveing things up that will help me in the long run. Since I love to eat certain foods to much it will be easier to give them up and gain control over bad habits. I feel like if I do it that way it will work coming from me and not some book I have read. Thank you again and good luck on your continue journey.

Brande February 21, 2011 - 8:44 PM

I spent my entire President’s Day here! Thank you so much for starting this site and chronicling your weight loss experience. Like everyone else has said, your journey is truly inspirational, but I also want to thank you for the great information because it is also very educational–those are two things people need to have the success that you have had.

Ecila March 3, 2011 - 1:07 PM

You are truly an inspiration… I will spread the word about you. I have a group on a natural social network that is promoting weight loss, being healthy, and being natural and this site will be a topic amongst future discussion. Thank you for actually taking out the time to learn and educate… you will see future comments from me….


Danielle March 5, 2011 - 1:28 PM

So I am super late on this but CONGRATS!!!! You are an inspiration!

Ashley March 11, 2011 - 5:51 PM

Wow! You look absolutely amazing! Your journey is so inspiring, and I look forward to reading more about it!

Chasisity March 11, 2011 - 7:53 PM

What an amazing story! I began my journey just three months ago and have been consistently losing about 2lbs a week. At this rate it will take me about a year and a half more to reach my goal. I keep telling myself that it’s taken me 15 years to put it on so I can take a year to take it off. Your story helps to boost my patience level.

Crystal March 22, 2011 - 3:54 PM

Good job Soror.

Dayna April 12, 2011 - 11:15 AM

Ok so I have you on every one of my social sites and a favorite on my laptop!! I cant get enough of this website!!! Thank you for the inspiration to get healthy and fit the right way. I really felt like getting healthy (workouts) was punishment to my body until I felt what it was like after the soreness went away!!!! Thank you very much for this site!!!!

Cy April 17, 2011 - 11:12 AM

This is exactly what I needed to see…I had a rough month trying to fire up my metabolism. I’m not giving up!! I realized that I made my metabolism this way, so I must work to get it back burning. No easy way out for me–fad diets, surgeries…I’m in this fight to win. It’s my struggle and I’m learning to embrace the journey. You are an inspiration and I want you to know that your website is one of my tools that I’m using. Thanks so much!!!

MsRoniJ May 22, 2011 - 1:25 PM

To say you look amazing and your accomplish is making me jealous is an understatement! Question: I ran across the Master Cleanse. What are your thoughts on that in regards to jump starting my weight loss?

Annetta DangerousCurves Annetta July 12, 2011 - 2:54 PM

Thank you for sharing with us. I had gastric bypass surgery about 5 1/2 years ago. I was 374 on the day of my surgery. Went down to 220 (which looks amazing on me since I am 5’9). I have since gained about 50 pounds.

From reading your blog and checking out your year of weight loss in photos, I am encouraged all over again to get back to the “loosing side” of my weight loss journey.

Thank you for sharing, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Here’s to wishing you a day of love, peace and continued encouraging progress.

ShaJuan July 18, 2011 - 3:51 PM

I’m so glad that I found your website; Congratulations!!! on the weight loss, better health & Engagement!!! I am EnCouraged & Inspired- b/c I know if someone else has done it the “old fashioned” way then I can too. I wish that I could talk to you b/c I have SO MANY QUESTIONS…I’ve started eating cleaner & I’ve started walking but I know that I need to step up my exercise quota. Funny thing is, I keep having this thought in the back of my mind that says: “what if it doesn’t work for me?” I’m older now (42)& it seems Ridiculously Hard to lose weight; I don’t think my metabolism even exists anymore. I’m 5ft and I need to lose 130lbs; Didn’t realize that I’d gotten so big- geesh I have fat in places that I didn’t know fat could go. My biggest concern/dilemma is losing this 6-8in of flab hanging from my arms & Xtra fat around my knees. I would love to be able to see my knee caps again; Can I really burn the fat off & what type of exercises do I need to do?

Rasheedah July 19, 2011 - 11:16 AM

that is simply FAB!!! congrats to you…that is the same path I am on. Obtaining a healthy lifestyle..learning how to eat, workout, and be conscious of what you eat!! I dont want to lose all the weight, to gain it back!
You are a inspiration!!!
Keep up the good work

Saaudiah Muhammad July 24, 2011 - 8:34 PM

Congratulations sister! I have been blessed to lose 90 pounds and I am a totally different person! I am blessed to have made it to this point. I am at the point where I need to tone more but I am very pleased with my results so far. Thank you for sharing a part of yourself on this journey called life….May Allah (God) bless you!

graceful December 6, 2011 - 10:44 AM

Your story was such an inspiration. I’m 24 and i have struggled with my weight and body images since i can remember, and like you i didn’t want to look towards any quick fixes but wanted to lose weight naturally. But its sooooooooo hard…lol…..but I’m jus tired of being the pretty fat girl and ready for a lifestyle change.

Antoinette December 7, 2011 - 12:39 AM

You are truly a Rock Star! Amazing transformation. Your willpower is STRONG. It had to be to get the results you achieved. I can only imagine how proud of yourself you must be. And you should be. I know I would be. WOW! I take my hat off to you girl. WOW! Congrats!

Nortelle December 8, 2011 - 1:56 PM

True inspiration indeed!! Awesome story…congratulations & THANK YOU!

Felicia December 8, 2011 - 2:17 PM

You look great.. so wonderful what 1 yr of progress can bring πŸ™‚ Keep inspiring us!!!

Ross December 8, 2011 - 3:20 PM

Wow E! You look amazing! You are an inspiration to so many out there struggling and I couldn’t be more proud of you! Wow!

Rebecca December 8, 2011 - 3:42 PM

The incredible shrinking woman!!! AMAZING!!! Great job, girl!!

Smiles ;) December 8, 2011 - 4:53 PM

Women you my new BFF. I need to lose 50 and I’m praying you will be the one who wil help me get there :)…

Jacquie January 31, 2012 - 1:21 AM

Your site is an absolute inspiration. I’ve gone through a few different programs through the past 8 years or so (since highschool), and have lost and gained the same 30-40 pounds three times. This year in pictures showed me what is possible, and that I can do this. Thank you.

Vee February 2, 2012 - 1:21 PM

Wow you rock Erika!! You are such an inspiration:)

Did you have a lot of plateaus?

bplatonova February 2, 2012 - 10:53 PM

It is so hard to lose weight, I feel. Like my body doesn’t want to let go of the fat…Ladies, what to do?

Krys March 19, 2012 - 11:26 AM

Wow.. that is really inspirational. You have made awesome progress.

Keandra March 19, 2012 - 11:31 AM

You look great! One question, that I’m sure you’ve covered before, how do you commit to living a healthy, clean eating lifestyle when it becomes so inconvenient? I’m sure you would say it is just an excuse to say that I’m a working mom & student that has a hard-time finding time to cook, esp the right things. With that being said, I know I’m looking for recommendations on what worked for you.

Erika Nicole Kendall March 19, 2012 - 5:26 PM

What’s inconvenient about it? Considering the myriad of things we make time for each day, what’s inconvenient about eating better?

Keandra March 21, 2012 - 9:05 PM

For me it is & I’m not trying to defend my belief or debate it. I was simply asking you what helped you transition to the healthier lifestyle. Considering how you were raised and your previous weight, I don’t believe you cut unhealthy habits cold turkey. So I was looking for someone advice on how to get to where you are, not for someone to tell me I should make time for it. Obviously, I’m already attempting to do so by reading your blogs & asking the question.

Erika Nicole Kendall March 21, 2012 - 10:16 PM

You’re taking my question as a challenge and not as inquiring about what parts are inconvenient.

“Inconvenience” can be any number of things – do you live in a household where you’re not the sole arbiter of what goes in the fridge? Do you have difficulty making time to cook? Is it that you don’t know any dishes that you can cook in under a half hour? Do you have picky eaters and fear cooking things they’re unfamiliar with? I’m not challenging you – though, I question why you ask me about inconvenience if not for me to show you how it eventually becomes inconvenient because you DO, in fact, have to make time for it once you figure out the right way to go about it – I’m trying to understand. It helps me guide you better. Everything isn’t a challenge or a debate.

I’ve already blogged about the fact that I didn’t “cut anything cold turkey.” The attitude I’m reading from your response is far more defensive than necessary.

Abi March 19, 2012 - 2:48 PM

Lovin your blog all the way in london town – so personally reflective and honest, sooooo funny as well – You look amazing *Get it girl!*

Tamika March 19, 2012 - 4:32 PM

WOW! Pics def say a lot! You look great and its much easier to relate to someone writing on healthly living when you know they have been there done that! I am new to your site and wondering if you could point me in the direction of where to start?! What is the most important first step to take in making such a huge life style change?

Erika Nicole Kendall March 19, 2012 - 5:32 PM

Start here.

Shea March 25, 2012 - 7:03 PM

You are such an inspiration and you look awesome! I have been reading your blog since last year and have found some great tools. I have been up and down w/my weight loss goals and still trying to pinpoint what it is exactly that makes me keep self-sabotaging. I have to say my huge problem area is my stomach. It was always pretty flat but when I had my son the skin never really snapped back. and with the weight gain even when I loose the stomach is still pooching out. I see even in your earlier pics this wasn’t a problem area for you. My stomach would never be flat again without surgery. my ? is do you have articles about problem areas or exercises to do to maybe get really toned.

Hope April 9, 2012 - 10:53 AM

So inspiring!!

Quinnette April 9, 2012 - 11:05 AM

You look AMAZING!!! And what an inspiration! I love the philosophy because it is real. For many people it is about deprivation and that is not for me. Question: How did you deal with people gawking at you while at the gym? I know it is stupid, but when I lived in NYC, I did not mind because you have to have a certain level of fitness just to walk around the city. Now I live in LA and have been driving everywhere for the last 5 years, so I am starting over from a place I have never been. And it’s not like I don’t know what to do and I have never been one to really care what people think, but I feel very vulnerable for some reason. Thanks and congratulations.

Madison Bleu April 9, 2012 - 11:11 AM

CONGRATS!!! You look great girl!! Love the blog and thankful for the inspiration and motivation!! Peace & blessings!

Dione April 9, 2012 - 11:29 AM

First and foremost “You Go Girl”, I look at this site so often I feel like your one of my homies…LOL I a m so proud of you and so proud of the methods you used to reach your goals! This is a perfect example of a lifetime change!!

I however have a question! I need to get on track I have about 25-40 pounds I want to lose and I feel like I dont know where to start. What changes do I make with my diet? Where do I start in the gym, do I start with just cardio, do I incorporate weights right away? And the thing for me is how do I do all of this in a realistic way that dosent overwhelm me? Im a mom of 2 but I am determined to find the time and discipline to follow this through. Please advise πŸ™‚

Erika Nicole Kendall April 9, 2012 - 6:03 PM

Start here. Then go here. Then here. Lastly, here.

Yolanda W. April 17, 2012 - 12:47 PM

I just started coming to this site like a coople of months ago and you are such an inspiration to me. I’m a bigger girl who has had weight issues all her life and to see that weight loss can happen without being on the biggest loser is inspiring. I moved to an island back in august and have been trying to lose wieght and make a lot of lifestyle changes. So far down 30 lbs but I know I got a ways to go. Anywho thanks for the website and you look amazing. πŸ˜‰

Gretch April 17, 2012 - 12:47 PM

congratulations. you look amazing.

Staceface April 17, 2012 - 8:04 PM

I just want to say thank you. You inspired me to have a better lifestyle. Its contagious, my fiance, my sister my best friend, my best friends mom and her little brothers and sisters, and even my one year old nephew are eating clean. Thank you thank thank you thank you. I’m down 75 lbs. My best friend is down 45lbs and and my twin sis is down about 90lbs. Its great we all have a new lease on life. I have gone from a 24w to a size 14. I tried them on today yay me and they fit, tear. I haven’t been this small since I was 11. tear moment.

Tammy May 12, 2012 - 10:17 PM

I am just finding your site and I really like it alot!! I am struggling to have discipline with eating and getting my motivation back to exercise. I did P90X and graduated and lost quite a bit of weight and then of course I went into that mentality that I could eat what I wanted to and then I got injured and gained all the weight back and then some. Now I am just fighting the depression from gaining all the weight back and feeling like a failure!! I want to do what I can do for the rest of my life and be healthy! Thanks for having a site like this!

Cristy June 7, 2012 - 4:26 AM

You are seriously amazing!

Kristen June 7, 2012 - 10:54 AM

Amazing progress. You’ll be in that bikini!

Tamyra June 7, 2012 - 12:20 PM

AMAZING!!!….I love your results and your progress. You are my latest motivation.

Pam June 7, 2012 - 12:26 PM

I just saw the photos on your fb page, and those are amazing. You provide inspiration! Thank-you.

Obi June 7, 2012 - 12:29 PM

This is truly inspirational. Keep up it good work, and you’ll be in that bikini before next year!

Nicole June 7, 2012 - 4:37 PM

You are truly and inspiration and you look great! Thanks for being so transparent. You are truly a blessing and helping me πŸ™‚

shaunda June 7, 2012 - 4:48 PM

Wow! What pure determination you have. I must say the transformation loooks good. Keep up the good work, hopey I can be remotivated for myself.

Jame June 7, 2012 - 6:49 PM


Neikata June 8, 2012 - 10:41 AM

I know these post has been a long time ago; however, girl, you look great! Congrats to you, not so much on the weight loss; but, on the lifestyle change!

Devon June 9, 2012 - 9:56 AM

This is truly inspirational! I am still on this journey. I have lost 105lbs in the past year down from 364. I made the mistake of only doing cardio though…..hanging skin ugh. Any suggestions??

Kendra June 25, 2012 - 1:13 PM

Thank you for the post. I so needed this post today. I almost made cupcakes instead of doing my daily workout.

Laurie June 25, 2012 - 1:14 PM

Congratulations on your accomplishments! You are truly an inspiration because you did it the right way and were transparent in telling us that you are human and made mistakes but you got back up! Wishing and praying for GODs continued blessings on your journey!

PS. LOVE the site! Keep up the great work.

Robin June 25, 2012 - 1:22 PM

Job. Well. Done. – what I want to know is, how did you get rid of your stomach. I lost 50lbs and my stomach was still sitting there. can you tell us what you did?

Debbie June 25, 2012 - 5:43 PM

You lookkk great! I need some tips! I know you’ve heard this several times, but pleasee, how to tone without becoming too musclar? I work out on a daily basis and I am at my perfect weight, however, I can’t seem to get rid of my belly fat! What’s the best solution? Is it a mixture of cardio and ab workout? Lastly, what’s the maximum time to do cardio?

Erika Nicole Kendall June 29, 2012 - 1:31 PM
Jessica July 5, 2012 - 1:33 PM

Awesome job! I had to laugh out loud when I saw the picture of the swimsuit taped to the wall because just this morning, I was trying to figure out how to hang up a pair of shorts that I am using for inspiration and motivation…tape was the first thing to come to mind!

Nitt July 5, 2012 - 5:44 PM

DO IT!!!! Good work!!!!

Chells September 6, 2012 - 12:30 PM

Hi Erika,
I’ve been lurking for awhile and wanting to get a post in here so many times but was waiting for the right moment (double dutchin’ it). Anyway, several parts of today’s post sound like an echo of what I told my family, friends and co-workers earlier this year about my weight loss journey. I’m no longer looking for a quick fix but through trial, error AND successes I am determined to learn the balance of eating and activity habits that best suit me so that I can develop a healthy LIFEstyle.

Your research and the tips and testimonies from you and your readers have been so enlightening for me especially the healthy shopping on a budget, which I thought was impossible because to me healthy eating meant pricy, frozen, diet dinners, Thank God I’ve been delivered! I’m still trying to get myself motivated to workout regularly but that’s another post for another day.

Keep up the excellent work!

LaQuisha Moore September 6, 2012 - 10:42 PM

Soror : Thank you for sharing your journey…. You look absolutely fabulous….I truly appreciate the inspiration. God Bless.

zaluptious September 9, 2012 - 1:34 PM

Congrats… I hope I b like that next yr. I’m 36 and be struggling for 18yrs. I get discourage but now I want to keep my courage to do this. U really look great

Audrey October 15, 2012 - 2:12 PM

Thanks, I needed to see that perfection is not what is needed

MsMorningDew January 5, 2013 - 3:10 PM

Thank you so much for this! I try to tell people the reasons why I am taking my time in this thing….learning how to live healthy instead of doing something “quick”…thank you for confirmation!

Evon January 5, 2013 - 3:45 PM

Erica much congratulations to you! Your posts are both informative & inspirational; please continue sharing your journey with us. I just found a pic from 2 summers ago at a size 14 petite (probably larger since the pants were an XL petite), & now, thanks to serious eating changes, an 11 mile trek once or twice every week regardless of heat or cold, & knowledge of what I need to do in the gym (thanks to an awesomely psycho trainer), I’m in a size 10, headed towards an 8. I have worked out moderately for years up until last year; I worked out at the gym 3 times a week, & even took spin classes when my schedule allowed. But it took the realization that I had to put in REAL work, beginning last summer when I made the time to take on a serious cardio regiment done outdoors. I also gave up sweetened drinks& I shun processed foods, opting for anything I can find in the fresh produce section. Like you, I love the new changes, & I recently added sprinting to that 11mile trek. So again, thank you so much for nurturing us, chastising us, informing us, & loving both us & yourself enough to share your story.

Tatia January 5, 2013 - 3:53 PM

Happy Anniversary!!! Good job. I truly enjoy watching your journey – it has encouraged me to start my journey. Thank you.

Adrianne April 1, 2013 - 10:41 AM

Congratulations on your one year anniversary. It’s quite a big deal. I’m 50+ year old and I’m about to start on this journey. I have 50 pounds to lose. Arghhh. I’m off to take a selfie and am on my way. Wish me luck and thank you for being a great, well informed virtual friend!

Rochelle May 10, 2013 - 10:56 AM

Exactly what worked for you when the inches and weight started coming off and stayed off?

Erika Nicole Kendall May 10, 2013 - 11:45 PM
Teri May 13, 2013 - 10:17 AM

Thank you for your transparency in sharing your journey with the world. I believe one of the steps I’ve missed is the pictures along the way, so that even if I don’t FEEL thinner I can see my progress. Luvya, Erika!

Beejae June 17, 2013 - 1:28 PM

I have just embarked on what is probably my 30th weight loss journey, and every time I say to myself and even to others “I got it this time.” I lose weight and revert back. My question to you is, how do I find what you’ve found, how do I tap into what will work for me; I mean a permanent FIX! I am so proud of you, and reading your material (Blog) is what has given me a whole new motivation and I find myself between so many lines you write and those who respond to your site. I will not give up, but would love to know that this new journey is not futile and void. Any advise, help will be gladly appreciated.

Julia March 19, 2014 - 6:15 PM

Wow! So amazing! A lot people do not understand that weight loss does not happen overnight. Time, perseverance, and knowledge are the key! Huge inspiration! Brought a tear to my eye! Keep it up girl πŸ™‚

Rochelle May 19, 2014 - 9:04 AM

This really is inspiring. Like you im not only tryibg to lose weight but im trying to be a healthier me and learn to keep it that way. Hope I can be like you when I grow up!

Oliver June 24, 2014 - 12:52 AM

Just stumbled over your website in the middle of my own weight loss journey.

WOW you are amazing! and inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing as it really helps seeing what others have gained by their hard work.

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