Home My Journey So.. Where Am I Now?

So.. Where Am I Now?

by Erika Nicole Kendall

All this writing about calories and challenges… that was almost three weeks straight of posting every day. And nothing about me, huh?

Taken: February 26th, 2009

I like writing about the things I’ve learned and struggled with along my way. The things that I’ve used this site to reinforce for myself, the things I’ve used this site to remind myself of along the way and the things I’ve used this site to rant about. This site has served as my backbone in a way, because I’ve certainly had to remind myself of a few things in my own moment of weakness.

But without writing about myself… I suppose I’d be doing the very thing that I’ve always claimed is so harmful, and that’s pushing myself to the back burner instead of keeping myself and my own betterment in the forefront. So.. let’s talk about me, where I’ve been and where I’m going.

My tummy trying to tighten back up!

Mentally, I had began to settle a little too much into the idea that I was happy with where I’d gone with my figure. I’d gotten so close to my goals, perhaps I’d felt like I was going to just slide right on through. It didn’t help that so many people were so surprised with all the weight I’d lost, that I kept getting the compliments. It starts to seep in, so to speak. I was dangerously close to believing my own hype. If you know that you have so far to go, give yourself credit for your journey thus far but you shouldn’t be impressed with yourself until you get there.

Then.. I decided that maybe… juuuuuuuust maybe… I’d want to compete in a figure competition. For no other reason than to be “The Formerly 330lb Girl Who Now Can Compete In A Figure Competition.” It was the awakening and goal shift that I’d needed.

So… I’ve spent the past few months shifting my energy toward muscle building. I need my skin to conform to an actual figure once it finally does what it’s supposed to do. I’ve spent time trying to step my game up in the cardio level, because my last major challenge is defeating this fear I’ve had of getting my heart rate too high. An awful experience with a prescription medication left me with a fearful response to my heart rate creeping a little too high. Learning how my heart behaves and training it to endure a little more will help me be a better marathon runner. I’m embracing that challenge head on.

My goals have shifted, and though I am happy with what I have now and am thankful, I look forward to the challenges that my new goals present. What’s more, is that I am thankful that I have this site and posts like this to remind me to always take steps to reclaim my humility – to never get so high off your own hype that you forget how hard you worked and how much harder you will have to work to get there. To act with my goals ever present in my mind, and formulate each step so that it always brings me closer to where I’m going. Not just walking to watch myself… though I do look good walking. (#justsayin’)

We all have different goals, no doubt, but I think that’s an important point: to not get so high off of our own hype, or so comfortable that we fail to realize how hard we need to work to achieve our goals. So no matter how crazysexycool we may think we are now, we have realistic goals worth our realistic effort. What are your goals? Just a little belly pouch? More toned thighs? Let’s hear ’em!

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ChellBellz May 10, 2010 - 9:45 AM

looking good miss.

Erika May 10, 2010 - 10:07 AM

Thank you! 🙂

Benee May 10, 2010 - 9:56 AM

First of all. WOW!! FABO!!!

You’ve done SO well for yourself, it is no wonder you’ve started to believe your own hype. You should!! Major props and kudos to you for doing as well as you have and being an inspiration to others.

My goals include:
Being able to run 5 miles straight without stopping. Right now, I can barely run half a mile, but I’m working on it.

Being a size 14/16 on the bottom. I’m a 24 right now (18 up top). I was a 32.

Becoming totally meatless. I’ve done it before, for a year, but I ended up being all abuot starches. I want to be meatless and veggiemore 🙂

Erika May 10, 2010 - 10:10 AM

First and foremost, NICE WORK on that 24! 8 sizes down is quite the feat. Stay focused and you’ll get it!

I’m with you on that mile. That’s my struggle for real. There are lots of programs that can help you out with that – I’ll post some soon because there are far too many to count, and I’d like to provide more of a range of info for ya.

That’s how I did it too when I first went vegetarian… I think that was my downfall. If you don’t do it right, you mess yourself ALL up. No bueno!

Thanks for commenting. 🙂

Dr. Renee May 10, 2010 - 10:18 AM

You are such an inspiration!!! Please keep up the GREAT WORK!!

Erika May 10, 2010 - 8:24 PM

Aww, why thank ya doc! 🙂

Laura May 10, 2010 - 11:11 AM

When I grow up, I wanna look just like you, lol! But seriously, WOW, I am so inspired!!! My biggest issue is consistency with food and exercise. I’m a stay-at-home mother of 4 with virtually no time to myself. I am STRUGGLING to get off these 30-35lbs that I’ve been wanting to get off since the last one was born (9/3/09). I’m like Benee, every time I go meatless, the carb intake goes up…hopefully though, something will “click”, and I’ll begin losing.

Erika May 10, 2010 - 11:59 AM

Laura, I can understand the limitations! I don’t have four, but my one plus school and being self-employed had me struggling, too. Maybe I should do a post or two on how to get closer to meatless? Maybe that’ll help.

How often do you take the little ones on walks? I take mine and the puppy to the playground, and I just slowly pace the playground or run in place (it might look weird, but preserving the sexy is vital, LOL) keeping an eye on the kids. The goal is to stay active and help relieve stress. Because of the little ones, you might need the stress element more than most, LOL!

Thanks for commenting. 🙂

Jessica May 10, 2010 - 11:34 AM

My goal is to STAY CONSISTENT!!! I tend to work out in spurts….usually because a vacation is on the horizon, which results in this cyclical start/stop thing I have going. Since the end of March I’ve made a resolve to exercise consistently at least 4x a week and to have Saturday’s as my “free eat” days. I’d love to loose a few inches here and there and to tone up, but I’ve learned that setting a specific weight for myself just allows me to slack off once I’ve met that goal, so I don’t have a goal weight. I love this site and the advice and tips offered by you and other users! 🙂

Erika May 10, 2010 - 12:03 PM


The key to consistency – to me – is paying attention to what happens to you when you fall off, and deciding that those consequences are far too much to bear. When I skip cardio, I see it on the scale IMMEDIATELY. When I slack on my workouts, the guilt I feel is tremendous. It’s to the point where I have an angel on my shoulder with a darn BLOWHORN in my ear. Once you get to that point, you won’t slip up anymore.

And dang it, I am SO AGAINST “FREE DAYS!” Stop doin’ it to yourself! LOL!

Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad the site helps… even if you do insist on doing that “free day” stuff! 🙂

irene August 11, 2011 - 8:09 PM

i am a 26 year old female 4’11 in height and weigh 285 pounds. i already know i am very overweight. i am a manager at mcdonald’s. and please dont judge me. lol! and i receive all my meals free while i am working. ii have been trying to eat better but what can i do when i get so tempted by the smell of fries and everything else. any info or input is greatly appreciated. thanks so much for this sight you are wonderful:)

irene August 11, 2011 - 8:15 PM

i meant site. lol!

digamba September 20, 2011 - 6:53 AM

Irene, I just read your comment now and I agree the job situation must be so hard! I would suggest a couple of things: #1 Plan what you’re going to eat for the day and bring it with you. Bring PLENTY of high-protein food and vegetables, not starch. I do this at my office because there is some kind of cookie, pie, cake etc. on the counter every morning. I bring more than I think I’ll need so I don’t get caught with insufficient nutrition. #2 When you’re thinking of eating the free food at work, ask yourself how it helps your body get stronger and healthier. Do you need it, just because it’s free and it smells good? If you worked in a cigarette factory, would you smoke all day because the cigs are free? Of course not, you’re a healthy person! 🙂

A triathlete friend gave me another tip: decide right now that you’re an athlete and live your life that way. When it’s time to eat, eat the athlete’s food you brought, not the spectator’s food you have to make to make your living. And think of all the time you spend on your feet – free exercise time that office dwellers don’t get! Get a pedometer and just see how many steps you take during that busy day. Go go go!

Evelyn May 10, 2010 - 11:43 AM

This is so encouraging for me Erika, you have NO idea…

I have sets of goals, based on my current health situation. I’m 30 years old and have lost 10 pounds (down from 310+) through exercise and improved food choices.

My initial goals are:

1. Take myself out of harm’s way healthwise, strengthen my heart (recovering from cardiomyopathy- an enlarged heart) and improve my breathing and ability to sleep well(I’ve been suffering with sleep apnea for some time now).

2. Reach under 200 pounds.

3. Lose enough inches on my waist so that I can be within a healthy waist circumference (less than 35 inches).

3. Work to get off all medications.

My next goals will be:

1. Continue to slim down, work with doctor to determine a healthy/attractive weight for me and work toward that.

2. Build muscle, bulk up as much as possible in my lower half, slim down in upper half.

3. Become a pescatarian, then a vegetarian.

4. Maintain, maintain, maintain, maintain.

5. Grow my hair natural.

6. Learn to salsa dance 🙂

Erika May 10, 2010 - 12:07 PM


How did that 10lbs feel? You feel accomplished, don’t you? I hope it inspires you to keep going! You’ve got really detailed goals here, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get there. A lot of these are so connected that reaching one is going to knock out all of ’em… so I hope you stay focused, too!

I’ll even put up some salsa dancing videos on the site! That’ll help you out with at least one of ’em! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Crystal December 22, 2010 - 3:06 PM

Evelyn, not sure if you’ll check back and read old archived comments but if you do I can help with you going natural. Check out my channel on the YT ‘Vickyvue’ on YouTube. Hints and tips and some of my products I’ve used (not to say you’ll use them) in my journey.

victoria May 10, 2010 - 11:48 AM

hello i just joined you on face book a month ago. because i was looking for inspiration to really get started with my weightloss journey. im 270 and im trying to lose weight for health reasons before they start the post and the pictures have been really wonderful keep up to good work i love the post you did on loose skin. but i will like to know about water intake should i do more than 64 ounces because of my weight thank you and god bless

victoria May 10, 2010 - 12:08 PM

hi i found you on face book and you have been so wonderful. and this recent picture post of you now has been fantastic.
im 260 pound and trying to lose weight before health issuses.
i will like to know whats better weight training or cardio ?
and should i drink more than 64 ounces since im heavier

Erika May 10, 2010 - 12:19 PM

Thank you, Victoria!

As for water, 64oz is a good starting point, but you should definitely drink as much as you possibly can, well beyond 64oz. I shoot for a gallon (128oz) a day, personally. Some days I miss my mark, many days I hit it dead on. Maybe that 64oz can be your starting point? 🙂

Elita @ Blacktating May 10, 2010 - 1:09 PM

This is so fantastic! You look amazing. I am a new reader to the blog. If I may ask, how much did you lose and how long did it take you to get to your current weight? I have 50 pounds of baby to lose. I’ve already lost 18 pounds but have hit a plateau. What did you do to amp up your weight loss when you hit a plateau? I have been both vegeterian and vegan in the past, but I am not willing to give up meat just yet. But I definitely do a lot of meatless meals and some totally meatless days. This is an inspiration, you have no idea!

And for Laura…it is very hard to get those work outs in, especially when you have kids. I work out at home. I wake up a little early and do Jillian Michaels DVDs before I leave for work and when I get home, I either hop on my elliptical or do a work out on the Wii or another DVD. I find switching it up every day keeps me from getting bored. My husband and I take turns putting the baby to bed, so as soon as he heads upstairs, I get in my work out clothes. Another thing that helps me is committing to working out every day. I never plan to not work out, I tell myself I have to do it every day, even if it’s only 15 minutes.

Erika May 10, 2010 - 1:28 PM


Altogether, it’s been about 145lbs lost. Whenever I hit a plateau, I simply rewired my eating habits, flipped my workouts around and changed what I was doing for cardio. The body’s job is to make our regular daily tasks easier for us… so it’s quite successful at adapting. We just have to keep fighting that adaptation. 🙂

And excellent advice for Laura! I’m a huge proponent of fitness DVDs!

Thanks for commenting! 🙂

Cupcake1993 May 10, 2010 - 12:49 PM

I taken My first major step. I went to te Dr and had a full check up. Glad to say nothing is wrong. Except naturally the doctor wants me to lose weight

Erika May 10, 2010 - 8:23 PM

Good! Now, the next step is your plan of action – where are you going to start first?

cjbrownsc May 10, 2010 - 2:23 PM

OMG! You look great!!

I know I’ve said it before – but you are so my idol!!

I am proud to say that since I started reading your blog and trying to do better with my portion sizes and getting in at least 3 days of exercise, I have lost 11 pounds. My goal is to stay consistent with the exercise, add some strength training in there (can’t seem to figure that one out for some reason), move towards clean eating, stop feeling like I need to “treat” myself with food, and start making ME a priority!
Thanks for creating this blog and inspiring so many people!

Erika May 10, 2010 - 2:28 PM

Yessssssssss! Progress! I love hearing this!! Congratulations!

We’ll work on that strength training tidbit. 🙂

Laura May 10, 2010 - 4:46 PM

You know, once the weather had finally broken around here I thought it would be a great idea to take the kids walking. Unfortunately, if I do it while the oldest 2 are gone, #3 walks as fast as a turtle and then complains that he’s ready to go home. I’ve tried in the evening once the oldest 2 are home, but between homework, dinner, showers, hair (it takes an hour to do my oldest daughter’s hair), that started getting complicated too…I’ve definitely been trying to get up before my husband leaves for work, but that ain’t going so swell either, lol (don’t I just sound pitiful? LOL).

Laura May 10, 2010 - 4:51 PM

@Elita, congratulations on the weight loss!!! Those baby pounds seem to be the hardest to lose. Thanks so much for the advice. I’ve got Jillian, Tae Bo, P90X (which works great if you’ve got an hour a day to workout), Latin Dance and so on. I may take another go at working out after the kids go to bed, but it’s a struggle, to say the least.

clarity jones May 10, 2010 - 8:32 PM

ok…i just tweeted you, but, must say so here as well…you are the bomb.com, soror! i am so proud and awed by your accomplishments. i am inspired. now i mustttttt move to action. i’ll be back!

Rita May 10, 2010 - 9:46 PM

Hi Erika,

I’m a new reader to your site and have been enjoying your posts.
I just have one question, can you do a post on how to move towards becoming “meatless” aka a vegetarian. I started before by doing the Daniel fast with my church but have been having a hard time getting back to it.
Also, is there anyway you can include recipes for those of us with little to no cooking skill? I love the recipes you have posted but I find myself intimidated by most of them. I’m a single 25 year old young woman who doesnt know her way around the kitchen except from the kitchen to the table. I ask because I really want to take control of the foods I eat and not eat out as much however I’m not quite sure where to start. Right now its been PB&Js and alot of frozen veggies. LOL.

Much obliged,

Erika May 11, 2010 - 7:42 AM

I did write this a while back, but I can definitely go a little more in-depth if it’ll help. 🙂

And don’t worry – you and I are about the same age, and I didn’t know my way around a kitchen AT ALL at first. I’ll be diving a little deeper into the cooking thing over the upcoming months, so don’t sweat it. You’ll be covered. 🙂

Brie May 10, 2010 - 10:50 PM

Your post was right on time in my life. Thank you for consistently sharing your vision of optimal health and your weight loss story.

My goals are:

Have Toned Legs and Thighs

Run 3 miles a day…regularly

Have Michelle Obama-esque arms!

No Love Handles

Erika May 11, 2010 - 7:43 AM

LOL! You already saw I’m on a quest to get my Obama arms. It is not a game, LOL! Thank you for commenting! 🙂

Stephanie May 10, 2010 - 11:02 PM

You are so inspirational!

Erika May 11, 2010 - 7:42 AM

Aw, thank you Stephanie! Thanks for commenting. 🙂

Michelle Henderson May 11, 2010 - 7:54 AM

I have been following your blog now for about 3 weeks and brought some friends along. I want to just say that you are a true inspiration and after reading your story it gave me the boost I needed to get back on track. I am following your recipes and post them for others to see on Facebook(Michelle Latisse). I am currently using the P90X program again(attempted earlier this year and stopped) and plan to stick with it through the summer. I finally figured it out that if you are not in shape, you have to keep at it until you get there. That’s the whole point right?! lol

I am currently an 18/20 up top and a 20 at the bottom and my goal is just to be healthy and fit whatever that size may be. I have been at this for about 3 years starting at a 24/26. I look forward to more recipe’s!!!!!! Glad I found you!

Erika May 11, 2010 - 9:17 AM


Thank you so much for the support! I’m glad that the site can help you!

Kudos on your progress thus far, and here’s to seeing more! 🙂

Elita @ Blacktating May 11, 2010 - 9:52 AM

145 pounds?!?!?! I am over here struggling to lose 50! You are amazing. How long did it take you to lose all of the weight? My goal is to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by the end of December.

Erika May 11, 2010 - 10:14 AM

For me, it’s been an ongoing journey in different phases, but altogether it took about 16mos to lose the bulk of it. I’ve been bouncing back and forth lately because of the weightlifting but since my goals have shifted, my workout results will probably shift, too.

50lbs in 7mos? You know you can do that, right? 🙂

mike May 11, 2010 - 12:46 PM

wow solid work…i was looking for black fitness model and guess what site showed up…keep up the good work

Erika May 11, 2010 - 12:49 PM

Okay, now that’s hot. Fitness model? There’s a thought… LOL!

Tonda May 11, 2010 - 1:48 PM

You look amazing!

My current goals includes losing 10 more pounds and keeping them off.

Losing my belly and getting the nice flat stomach of my dreams.

Getting my body toned so I can look good naked.

I’ve been on a weight loss journey since December 09 and it’s going super slow, but I try to keep the “fit” me in my head to help keep me on track.

Erika May 11, 2010 - 2:02 PM

Thank you, Tonda!

I promise you – stay focused on seeing the “fit you” and she will appear sooner than you think. 😉

SingLikeSassy May 18, 2010 - 7:38 PM

I’ve been following you for a couple of months but just really started paying attention to what you’ve been showing us here. I am a 16/18 working my way down to looking good nekkid. I want to run a 5K, I want to lose 50 pounds by December 31 (I’ve already lost 8.5 pounds since I started really absorbing what you’ve written here), I want to have a flat tummy and I want to go into any store and buy something in my size.

Erika May 19, 2010 - 10:16 AM

I’m so glad you decided to speak up! If you can stay focused, you’ll accomplish your goal in no time! Promise. 🙂

Nicole May 28, 2010 - 7:59 AM

all I can say is WOW!!! I want to do it too!!! U look so good. I am excited for you!!!

Evelyn June 1, 2010 - 12:31 PM

Twenty pounds lost as of this morning… just wanted to give an update. Thank you so much for all the information and inspiration.

Staying on the path,

Erika June 1, 2010 - 2:27 PM

I love it! Keep it going!

tryin June 27, 2010 - 6:30 PM

Lady, you so inspire me! Keep it up. You look very healthy as well.

Amy July 15, 2010 - 5:29 AM

You are truly amazing. You inspire me and I am in awe of your perseverance and the success that has come with it. Thank you for sharing this!

Michelle September 3, 2010 - 8:43 PM

I came across your site by accident last night. I stayed up for hours reading it. I started my weight loss journey 10/09 at 246lbs. I lost very few pounds in those first few months. It was not until I figured out what to eat that the weight started to come off. Plus I was doing strength training. I didn’t want to hear that I was replacing the fat with muscle so the the scale was not my friend. I have since lost 35lbs. I went to Macy’s a few weeks ago and was shocked that I could fit into a size 11 juniors. I am 43 and can not ever remember wearing anything in the jurnior department. I can’t stress enough the importance of strength training along with cardio. My body looks so different. I love the gym and working out. Go figure. I love the way it makes me feel.

I really liked reading about clean eating. I wish I read it before I bought that $8 bag of Splenda. The funny thing is I hesitated when I bought it. I stood there thinking I should just eat raw sugar. I am taking that bag back to the store tomorrow. Thanks for this blog. It is soooo inspiring. I have 40 more pounds to lose. I know I can do it.

Natch September 10, 2010 - 10:39 AM

Tonight my goal is to weigh myself and that will be my starting point.
1. 30 minutes of movement a day.
2. Eat, 5-6 times a day
3. Drink water.
4. Thank my friend for telling me about this site.

Alexis September 25, 2010 - 7:24 PM

My goal is to:
fit into dress i bought 2 years ago and never got to wear (I CAN DO IT!!!)
fit into my size 11/12 jeans
have a flat tight belly
drink 64oz of water
GET RID OF what looks like busted veins on my inner thighs and waist (might just be dark stretch marks)
NOT have loose thigh skin

Chrisile September 30, 2010 - 6:12 PM


I accidentally read your post. But goodness, its really inspirational. I’m 23 yrs old and very obese. Anyway I’m from Philippines, I really struggled to lose some weight, discrimination here is high, that I always wanted to be alone and hide in our house. currently I am 185 lbs, and just 5’5 1/2, very opposite to a petite and slim Filipina. Right now, I need someone who can inspire and motivate me. I don’t want to hear anyone telling me as I walk that the “floor cracks”, careful “have pity on the chair”, or even look at me like I’m a thug criminal, or even at public vehicles, please wait for another cab, you cannot fit anymore.
Its really hard on me, I am self employed and with my computer all day long. Ive been trying to lose weight for 3 months now, but sad to say, there’s no result. My problem is December is fast approaching and we have class reunion, and I’m really shy. I am planning not to attend at all.
BTW, thanks for this post. I will do A PROJECT ME…

Mia October 20, 2010 - 7:18 PM

You are such an inspiration!!! I have 50 pounds to loose. I have lost 16 so far. I was 210 and am now 195. I don’t know my measurements because I have never thought about measuring until now. I know what pants sizes I am in and where I want to be though. LOL I want something between an 8-10. I am now at a 14 solid (not too tight, not too loose, just right). I just stumbled onto your sight from Facebook and I have since been on every day reading your posts and copying recipes. You keep it up, not that you need me to tell you that, but you are definitely setting a standard for the women that visit your site. Thank you.

Tiffany December 15, 2010 - 11:59 AM

I have lost 6lbs in the last 2 1/2 weeks by being more aware of what I am eating and eating less of it. I am currently 5’5″ 214lbs in a size 16. I want to be 146-150 lbs size 8-10. I plan on making gradual changes so that I can have lasting results and a lifestyle change and not just a temporary thing to get the weight off.

ShugsAllDay January 20, 2011 - 3:41 PM

Wow…. this post, and website in its entirety, have been such an inspiration to me. Erika, you truly have no idea. I’m 25 years old, and have always struggled with my weight. It’s always been something nagging at me at the back of my mind, but I wasn’t ready to accept my current predicament, or really do anything about it. Recently, I’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, such to the point that I’m on medication. When I was forced to go to the hospital early one morning due to tingling all over my body that I initially thought was a stroke, I realized that it was finally time for me to get my behind in gear and truly take care of this issue once and for all.

And now, I’m committed to changing and to an active, healthy lifestyle.

This website has provided me with so much information regarding healthy eating habits, and the importance of exercise. I am so excited to see my progress over the next several months. I currently weight 272, and my goal is to lose at least 100. It’s only been a few days since starting this journey, and I’ve already lost 2 lbs! I’m so surprised, excited, and happy! WOW!

Wish me luck! And good luck to all of you beautiful women striving to hit your goals, as well!

Debbiestelle January 20, 2011 - 4:46 PM


I don’t kow you nor your religious beliefs and I am NOT trying to pawn mine off on you.

I just wanted to take a minute and say that I pray that God continue to give you strength, guidance and continued humility on your journey. Really the journey NEVER ends just goes to a different phase or different journey.

I pray that you are surrounded by people who love you, have your back, your best interest at heart and who will learn/know when to speak, when to be silent and that you will learn how to deal with ‘well meaning’ folk who may not be helping your journey.

I pray you continue to set goals (and reach them), experience new highs and get through (with grace and confidence) the lows. I pray most of all that you keep growing and NEVER stop learning!

Congratulations on such a great job …. so far! 🙂 Congratulations on the goals you have newly set and I pray that in 2 years… In 5 years… In 10 years… What you’ve learned and who you are continues to add valuable experiences to your life, that of your child and all whom you are around!

Many blessings! Thank you for being so open!

Charles February 3, 2011 - 2:24 AM

My sister turned me on to this site and its great your doing great and real
ly inspire her through your health tips and dedication, OUTSTANDING JOB

Mashonah February 27, 2011 - 1:13 AM

I have been reading your blog for a while now and you are definitely inspiring. I weigh 300 lbs. I recentley lost 10 pounds on weight watchers, but I quit. Im not sure what i am gonna do but weight watchers was working. I mean it works but i felt that i was still missing something and i was really unhappy. So i quit and I began to eat out again and im slowly putting the weight back on. My main goal is to be able to run, but im not sure that I can at 300 lbs. I do work out 2-3 times a week vigorously, I do step and tae bo and body combat. But im still stuck at 300 lbs. Do you think i should re- start the weight watchers program again?

Ebony March 1, 2011 - 12:48 AM

I just want to tell you that your site has given me so much inspiration. I was referred to the site by our mutual friend, Rachel F. Since her referral about 2 weeks ago, I have lost almost 10 pounds, given up a soda addiction, come a LONG way in dealing with a sugar addiction, and have tried to commit myself to clean eating. I am still working on getting up to regular exercising but your site always gives me a big motivation boost when I want a cookie or a sunkist.

My goals are:

1) get to the point where I am ok with one or two cookies and don’t need a whole row to feel satisfied
2) get a flat belly…. I’ve never had one
3) EVENTUALLY run a 5k (this one is gonna take awhile…. lol)
4) be able to wear shorts without getting huge blisters on my thighs… (TMI probably)

Danielle May 12, 2011 - 4:52 PM

This was an excellent post per usual. When I first started my weight loss/get fit journey it was more about the number on the scale.

Now my goals are less about numbers (however in reaching them I think the numbers will change!!)

1. Run a 10 min mile. (So I can run 3 miles in half an hour!!!yaaaayyyyy! I can jog 2 miles in an hour 🙁 )
2. Learn to swim. Like actually swim, not doggie paddle about and then hop on to my husbands back when I get tired lol.
3. Jog up the 9 flights of stairs at my job and not want to pass out after the 5th floor.
Sidenote: in me just TRYING to do this, my legs are looking toned and defined. Like my scale may not be moving, but it’s super cool to see my body changing. Kinda freaky even!
4. Yoga- I want to go through the class without falling 🙂 and then someday even master some of the harder poses

Tiffanie May 13, 2011 - 1:01 PM

Amazing job, Erika!!! You are truly inspirational and I know you will do great in the competition and in the marathon. Kudos to you!

My goals include:

1) Going from a size 12 to a 7

2) Losing 30 more pounds (note: I’ve lost 50 pounds slowly since 2008)

3) Winning the 2 Biggest Loser Competitions I’m competing in currently…I’m sorta struggling in the one at work (the other starts Monday at a local free fit club) b/c I’m doing a program that includes weights/toning exercises just as much as cardiovascular exercises and I’m losing inches versus pounds. I have pinpointed some areas for improvement, namely my weekend eating habits :). Any tips you all have, please share. I know that losing an inch off my waist this week is good, but I do have quite a bit more weight to lose and want to lose pounds as well (but only pounds of fat…not my muscles b/c I want to be toned 🙂 ).

4) Get a flat belly and a well toned booty 🙂 (maybe part of this is vanity but these attributes are also very healthy…it’s dangerous to have excess weight on your tummy).

Ladies, let’s all continue our journeys and keep up the great work. Thanks again, Erika for this awesome site that helps with motivation as well as wonderful information.

purplefro June 20, 2011 - 11:13 PM

let’s see…

get rid of this belly..and reduce a few inches off my arms..im a 16..but would really like to be a 12-14. I have no desires to be smaller than a 12 really. I’m a tall sista (5’10) with a natural…so i kinda like “standing out”…but I’d rather my tummy not.

i hired a trainer a few months back for weight training and i’ve been doing consistent cardio for a few weeks now…im scared to step on a scale and be disapointed (i was 217 this time last year because i worked out and ate less junk/processed/sugary/salty/fatty foods…then went up to 238 by christmas of 2010 because i was taking classes after work for school so there was no gym time for months…not to mention eating fast food..AND eating it late)

so after a few months of seeing my way through

..a pair of jeans that used to be tight are a bit loose..tops are starting to loosen..but my belly ..aargghhh. It litterally talkes me about three to four months consistent work to even see and feel results. Its rough but..im going to push through.

Tasha June 26, 2011 - 7:16 AM

You look amazing. I don’t know you but sooo proud of you. I am working on my goals as wel…congratulations and keep striving!!

Stefanie August 3, 2011 - 4:09 PM

You go head then girl!!!! I don’t know how long ago you posted this update, but you have done exceptionally well, and you are educating yourself along the way. I can tell you are a smart lady who is learning the emotional ups and downs that comes with losing a considerable amount of weight, achieving goals, and loving what you’ve done w/o becoming ‘too good’ (for lack of a better word). Anyway, I’m glad you did an update about YOU.

Olivia August 10, 2011 - 10:26 PM

This was really an on-time read. My goal was to get down from an 11 to a 9 and I did it but when I got there, it just was not what I remembered 9 to be. I love the fact that I was so consistent, ate better and exercised but now that I am here, I feel unmotivated to move any further because I’ve already reached the goal (and let’s face it, I’m a senior, I’m really busy) I’ve had in my mind since I started college 3 years ago and went from a trim 9 to a 15. I guess my new goal is a 7. I’m really trying to get motivated toward that new goal so I can get my get-up-and-go back.

Khadine August 11, 2011 - 10:44 AM

Hi. I love love love loooooooovvvveeeee your blog!!!! I read it everyday.
I stumbled across it while browsing the internet and I am so glad I did. I have 57lbs to lose and I have been such a slacker where fitness and nutrition are concerned but I am taking baby steps to achieve my goals as I started bike riding 20 minutes per day this week. I am giving myself about 1 year to get to my goal or as close as possible. Thanks for being such an inspiration and you look fabulous!

Stefanie August 11, 2011 - 11:06 AM

Hi Erika,
I don’t know how old this original post is, but I’m so grateful to have found your site. I believe I have said this before, but there is so much information here, that if I’m not busy at work (which lately, I haven’t been), I can be on here almost all day looking for something new! What I like is that you are speaking on all aspects of your journey PLUS giving researched advice on different aspects of weight loss and healthy living in general. What a blessing you are to many!

Oh, and you posted (I don’t know how long ago) something about the black culture and how we are considered “different” if we don’t carry ourselves like our black peers (you didn’t used those words but…) and I notice day by day how different I feel sometimes because I choose to do things differently. But see, that’s ok because I’m living the best life God has given me and I’m doing my best. I am quite aware of my ‘blackness’. I love it! But I don’t have to be a statistic if I can help it. So again, thank you and I will post again soon. Thank you for your time.

P.S. I am on a weight loss journey – for many reasons – my highest weight was 262 pounds (I’m 5’3″). Now, I am approx 228 pounds and my first MAJOR milestone goal to hit is 199 pounds…Girl, I haven’t seen 199 since…well, I don’t remember (I’m 28 years old). But I’m getting there and I will keep you posted.


Nafeesa August 11, 2011 - 8:54 PM

First let me say you are AWESOME!!!!!

My first goal is to be healthy, I know I need to lose more weight but I am honestly not sure how much is enough. I have already gone from 230 to 195, so its a start. I would like to stop eating red meat and pork. Eat my 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies, drink 64 oz. of water and develop a healthy manageable weight training program. I gather that if I do those things the weight part should continue to work out . . . . I hope!

Tiera September 11, 2011 - 7:13 PM

You don’t look good. You look DAMN good! Keep it up lady!

Tremilla October 24, 2011 - 1:58 PM

First of all you. Look. Good!!! You doing it let’s me know I can do it too. I have so many goals that I know I can accomplish I just need to get up and get going. I need consistency, I want to lose 5olbs (I’ve lost 15lbs), I want a flat and toned abdomen, run a 5k, and I want to rock a two piece bikini on South Beach (it sucks living in Miami, and not being able to wear a bikini).

Keydra February 22, 2012 - 11:09 PM

I can’t begin to say how mad inspiring you are.
I currently weigh 250 lbs at 5′ 2″. Over the past 2 months I have lost about 12 lbs to get there. To reach my goal I have 90 to 100 lbs to go.
I want to cultivate healthier eating habits and make them so much a part of my life that they become natural. I want to be able to get off of hypertension meds for good. I’m currently a size 20, I would like to be a 9-10. I want to be toned. I want to be able to run again. I would like to be fit enough to play with an adult soccer league. I want to wear a two piece.

Jame June 7, 2012 - 3:00 PM

I love your blog, and your success inspires me to keep on trucking to reach my goals. Here is my list.

At the beginning of the year I decided I was going to be fitter than ever for my 35th b-day. I have a little less than a year to go. So far this year I am down 42 pounds, (about 2 sizes) and I am shooting for around 85 total. Size 8-10 or so. (I started at 18-20, currently 14-16 for the first time in about 10 years.)

I am not really sure what my goal weight should be, right now it is on the high end, based on guesstimates of my weight and size before, and where I think I might be at a different weight.

So here is my list, short and long term
1. Fit in an 8-10ish size wise
2. Do 10 full pushups (I am at 4 now), later complete the 100 pushup plan with full pushups
3. Row 10000m (I have maxed out at 7500 now)
4. Walk a 12 minute mile (at 15 now)
5. Run a 5k this year (I hate running, I can’t believe I am saying this, but it will help me have well rounded fitness. I haven’t even attempted to run in ages, so I am positive I cant run a mile, I was never able to)
6. Deadlift my body weight (right now I am dead lifting about 80 for 3 sets of 12, and I can leg press 220 — more than my current weight)
7. Lose another 40 or so pounds
8. Get down to about 22-25% body fat
9. Hit my goal before next year (I’ll be at goal when my belly is gone, my legs have definition and my deltoids are visible)
10. Enter the 2013 Curvy Kate Star in a Bra contest (this is meant to be a body confidence test for me. I don’t care about the outcome, I just want to be able to say I entered a full bust lingerie contest!)

Neikata June 21, 2012 - 12:38 PM

I love your site. I have gained a great deal of information, I love your posts on processed food. My goals are:

1. Become a vegetarian ( I am a pescetarian, have been for 7 months)

2. Take processed food out of my diet, completely

3. Run a half marathon

4. Tone my body

5. Get a flat stomach

Laurie June 26, 2012 - 11:04 AM

My long range goal is get down to the size I was when I met my husband 13 years ago, which was 155 (untoned).

I was 185 when I started last week, down 4.5 pounds as of today just from eating small healthy meals every few hours.

Next goal is to add exercise but at this point I’m still focused on fine tuning what I am eating and how much.

I’m finding this website really inspirational and I’m daring to think how great it would be to be toned and athletic and I keep that in the back of my mind as goal when I get closer to my goal weight.

For now I’m trying to keep my attention on the here and now.

Cynthia July 5, 2012 - 2:57 PM

Like many others, I am thankful to you for investing in us.
I’m 5’11 and weigh 243 lbs (argh! I HATE saying that).

My goals include making excercise a priority (why shouldn’t I, I work for Corp America 8 hrs a day not cow ting prep time and commute, I give my time, energy and resources to friends, family and freind-nemies countless hrs each day and have neglected to care for my temple. My self image is tied to my body image so…

My goals include:

Becoming selfish about etching out a space in my life to workout.

Being healthy & fit.

Being able to FINALLY tuck my blouse inside my

FLAUNTING my swaggggg :0)

Otherwise enjoying the benefits my body pays me as a result of how I care for it.


Cynthia July 5, 2012 - 2:59 PM

My apologies for the errors, must proof read in the future…

Shsron July 6, 2012 - 2:07 PM

You really look good. Thanks for your story ,I need someone to inspire me. To lose it for good.

Denisha Seals September 6, 2012 - 12:37 PM

Girl, Girl, GIRL!!!!! I am so over excited for you. I am at a point that I am just sick of myself after 17 years of marriage & 2 kids so today I started a program of NO solid food just smoothies of fruit 7 LOTS of vegetables, yogurt, distilled water, NO CAFFEINE, laxative teas, etc. I ride a stationary bike. walk & I guess I gotta tke a beginning photo but you are a TOTAL INSPIRATION!!!!! I am going to catch up & take my time. A year from september I will be fine again!

msdebbs October 1, 2012 - 1:27 AM

Wow you look great! I’m hoping and praying I can be as consistent as you are. How do you keep your mojo though? And the emotional ups and downs that come with weight loss can be sooooo draining. I really don’t want to be negative but how are you able to get pass those moments? On a more positive note I really appreciate your realness and you’re truly an inspiration to me and my journey.

MsRiki February 22, 2013 - 7:24 AM

My goal is to complete this 30 Day program of Hip Hop Abs. I don’t want to lose anymore weight. I’m comfortable where I am. However, I want to tone my midsection, thighs, and back. Keep up the good work and keep bring the encouragement!

Amy May 16, 2013 - 10:49 AM

My goals right now are to get through the Couch to 5K program outside (I can already run about 25 minutes on a treadmill but that doesn’t translate to outdoor running) and am currently in Week 4. I want to keep going with this and work my way from there.

I also have a belly I am trying to get to go down. I’ve got the cardio in, I’m continuously cleaning up my diet, drinking my 13-16 cups of water a day, no sodas, no artificial sweeteners, etc. but I’ve gotta add the weight training in there. I’m still nervous about bulking up because I build muscle easily even though I know I won’t bulk up with added supplements. I need to take advantage of the ease I have in building muscle while I still can!

And I’ve lost between 40 and 50 pounds since 2005, but have been stuck between 225 and 235 for two years now. It’s time to break this plateau and stop believing that where I’m at is where I’ll always be.

Amy May 16, 2013 - 10:50 AM

**WithOUT added supplements I meant to say.

RV July 8, 2013 - 9:24 AM

My goals are:

-For me to continue being happy with my body at every stage of this weight loss journey
-For me to lose 40 more pounds while toning
-For me to NEVER revert back to my old habits
-To run another half marathon and to do a either a 5k or 10k every other month (this will help me stay consistent with my running)
-For me to have a healthy relationship with food and not beat myself up for the occasionally ice cream!

Garnett August 8, 2013 - 12:04 PM

Congrats on your goals. My goal is to get rid of my pooch and to tighten and tone my legs. I’m not really concerned about how much I weigh. I am more concerned about how I feel and look. I have been following your meal plans for the last two weeks. The food is great. My problem is being too tired to workout or snacking. My appetite is a monster.

Jennifer August 8, 2013 - 1:00 PM

WOW, I have been reading this blog now for the past year or so, and nothing has touched me more than this post. to know that you look DAMN GOOD, and are healthier than you’ve ever been and STILL have fitness/health goals is incredibly inspiring.

I’m 23 and when I graduated college 2 years ago, I made the commitment to lose weight. I weighed close to 200 pounds, but at the time thought I only had ~20 pounds to lose. I lost the first 10 with Herbalife, and switched to healthy eating and consistent cardio to lose the next 10. When I got down to 20 no problem, I said to myself “I’m on a roll, why stop now?”. So I committed to losing another 20 which took me an additional 4 months. Two years later, I’ve been able to maintain my 40 pound weightloss by using MyFitnessPal and upkeeping my cardio regimen.

While I’m so proud of myself… I’m at this point where I feel somewhat complacent. I weigh 153 right now at at 5′ 5”, I’m at a reasonable weight for my height. But my thighs are still jiggly, I have slight tummy pooch, I could eat cleaner, and my entire body could use more toning. This is why your post struck a cord with me. Yes, compliments are great, but I need a new goal to keep myself motivated and constantly striving to be the healthiest me.

So all that to say what my new goals are:
– Fit into ANY size 6 (right now, I’m ‘sometimes’ a 6, ‘sometimes’ an 8 depending on brand)
– incorporate strength training and lifting 2x/week
– run my first 5k (already signed up #countdown less than a month to go!)
– learn to say no consistently to all sweets except ice cream (because I LOVE me some ice cream, but can live without the rest)

Thanks again for posting and maintaining this blog. 🙂 Keep it up, ms. lady!

Alicia August 8, 2013 - 2:42 PM

May you please give me the link to your blog and your username on Facebook? Thanks alot for your time =)

Destiny August 12, 2013 - 1:39 PM

you look great! I had that same fear of having my heart rate go to high until one day I just ran without looking for 30 mins; when I looked I was almost hitting 200…keep up the great work 🙂

Niasha November 29, 2013 - 7:51 AM

On February 3rd, 2013, I decided it was time to make a change – starting at size 24……. a complete lifestyle change, eat healthier, portion control, drink more water and of course exercise daily. Almost 10 months later I am down to size 14/16….. had my share of struggles and still do but I still fight everyday.

My thing now, is yes I still have more weight to loose but I have a serious problem with excess skin on my arms…. gets me so discouraged at times… especially seeing every where else transform. I mean I have huge legs but it is toning nice with the tremendous amount of walking/running and strength training I do….. but nothing so far seems to help my arms. I barely see any difference after all these month……

So my goal is to try not to be discouraged and keep focus on strength training geared towards toning my arms……………..

Sheila Taylor December 12, 2013 - 2:10 PM

Hi Ericka!
It’s nice to meet you! I am so happy to see women helping other women! It is so important for us to all be supportive and not try to “sell” something. Thank you for taking time to share your story and all the awesome things you have learned, and now shared, with us so that we don’t make the same mistakes. Cheers to your continued success & I look forward to your Eating Clean articles! Hold your head up high Ericka & smile knowing that you are a positive force in helping women across the world!

Carrie March 11, 2014 - 8:18 AM

Posts show up when you need them. This post has been here for years, but it found me this morning. I hit a big milestone in Jan, after 10 months I was closer to 200 pounds than 300 pounds. My pants were just way too big, so I bought two new pair for the winter to get me through. People at work noticed for the first time. LOL it took them 70lbs on a 5’4″ frame for people that see me each day to notice. But they did, and I started to strut.. strut I feel good! Winter hit here in Michigan (okay across the entire US) and the short days, the exercise I hat started, the lack of sun, the fact that I felt good, I had reached a milestone.. damn they are all excuses, I hit a wall, I hit it, and then lay down in front of it and welcome backed carbs and sugar with a vengeance. Is this because I don’t deserve to be happy, to feel healthy, to wake up and dance in the morning? I got to get over that. I didn’t totally lose it, went up only .5 of fat in the last month, but 4 lb of non-fat pounds. Time to get sober, to break out of this cycle and begin to move forward again. Thanks again Erika for being here and providing this awesome service for folks you have not yet met. You are a true bodhisattvas, thank you!

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