The other night, on twitter, I was asked about different pieces of my story. I guess that means… more about my struggle? How I came to a point where I was comfortable with my efforts and my ability to continue on to where I want to be?
Okay.. here goes.
Once upon a time, I lived in Denton, TX. A student at UNorth Texas, I had a close friend who I’ve mentioned on this site before, named Alyse. She’d hit the campus gym (which was absolutely stunning and seriously state of the art.. floating track and all that) at nights, and started inviting me. Me, at 300+lbs and with a 8month old beauty on my hands, I figured it couldn’t hurt, right? I mean, if nothing else, I could get a good walk with minimal exposure to outdoor elements with my daughter. If only I could commit to it.
Needless to say, I didn’t. I fizzled out quickly and, although I wish she did, Alyse didn’t push me on this. She did stick by me, though.
Fast forward about another 8 months, and I’ve moved back home to prepare to start my own business. In the time of being at home, I’d put on a good 30 lbs. I wouldn’t admit it, but it felt like someone was pumping air into my spare tire. Being home was stressful… my mother – as much as I love and value her role in my life – is a stressor. Living under someone else’s roof… is a stressor. Single parenthood… is a stressor. Starting your own business… definite stressor. I’d turn to food, simply because it shuts up, gives me what I need, and makes me feel good. Was the high temporary? Of course… but that was all the more reason to eat some more.
It wasn’t my house, so I kinda sorta couldn’t really cook in it. I would dip to the grocery store and buy little quick microwaveables – things that’d allow me to heat, eat, and retreat back out of my mom’s sight. It was her house, I didn’t want her to feel burdened in her own home. Needless to say, the weight just came piling on.
By about May, I had finally received my articles of incorporation, and was feeling accomplished. Feeling like I could really just get up and take off… and my mother mentioned the brand new fitness center that opened up around the corner. I rolled my eyes… beyond normal eye-rolling, even. But I was so high off of getting incorporated that I said, “Screw it. Let’s go.”
The gym, an Anytime Fitness, was gorgeous. Mirrors everywhere (mind you, I didn’t look in ANY), beautiful shiny machines, and TVs! Hallelujah! TVs! The owner gave me a personal tour. Told me what some machines did, showed me the importance of certain exercises, and really drove a hard sale on getting me to join. Now, I work in marketing – I know when I’m being pitched to and when someone’s genuine. He was clearly a combination of both – he had to be in his mid to late 50s and was on some Jack LaLanne fitness type mess, but at the same time he needed memberships. So I accepted, and let myself sink into his sales pitch. I NEEDED to be compelled to do this.
Once his pitch became unbearable, I excused myself to the bathroom. Inside, it was this beautiful rusty color. Nice lil’ shower curtains. Clean bathroom complete with sprays and magazines.
And a scale.
I jumped on that scale. I won’t tell you exactly what it said, but once it soared past 300, I ’bout had a HEART ATTACK. I just sobbed my little heart out. After remembering that I had to eventually leave the bathroom, I collected myself and stepped outside… only to start sobbing again.
The owner (who was also a trainer) consoled me, assured me that I COULD – in fact – do this thing, and offered me the standard two training sessions that came free with my membership. Help me become knowledgeable about the equipment, how different machines help different parts of the body, and help me figure out the best course of action for my own body. I took him up on his offer.
To speed up the story a bit, about six months went by with my membership, and I had lost about 28 lbs. In theory, about a pound a week. To clarify, I was going to the gym 28 days a month (yes, that Erika K. over there is me!), and was regularly number 1 for most gym visits in a month. I spent at least an hour in there every night that I went. I didn’t know that there were reasons for such minimal results on a regular basis. Honestly, I didn’t care. I knew there was something much more important for me to address, and getting over myself and getting used to investing in myself regularly was more important than seeing the scale move. Learning to accept that I had to ruin my hair, on occasion, and sweat a little was more important than seeing the scale move. For now, that is.
After those six months, I packed up and moved my daughter and I to Miami. No gym membership here, although there is a little gym in the apartment complex. I never visited that bad boy, though.
After three months in Miami, I gained about 14lbs. Talk about a shocker! I was beyond confused! What part of the game was THAT? I knew I needed to start back up, but I didn’t understand how I could gain so much weight so quickly. I didn’t understand how I was shortchanging myself.
Two months more passed by, and after changing my eating habits a bit, the weight gain slowed down. I had three relatively traumatic events occur back to back, and I even remember the night the straw broke the camel’s back. I was baking a tin of muffins (you read that right – some box muffins, no less) and when the word came around, I walked in the kitchen, yanked the muffins – half done – out of the oven. I just… stared at them. I just so happened to be so nauseated, that I couldn’t eat. I stuck the half done muffins in the fridge. I thought I might have an appetite, and eat them later.
In fact, I only had a desire to eat raw vegetables, because they were light, less greasy, and wouldn’t turn my stomach. I won’t tell you how much weight I lost within the time frame that I did only eat raw veggies, but it was enough to make me realize that my eating habits were a problem. I just didn’t know how to address that problem.
A Sorority sister of mine with relatively healthy eating habits visited the grocery store with us one day. She knew about the changes in my weight, knew that I wanted to keep up the momentum, and knew that I was serious about changing my life. So.. we literally fought in the grocery store. If I reached for something I had no business buying, she slapped my hand. I think, at one point, I actually started throwin’ stuff at her.
“You don’t have to eat like this, Erika,” were her words. Hell, I didn’t know there were other options. Later that day, I remember saying to her “Gosh, I’m starving. Let’s go to Checkers right quick.” She told me, “No. You’ve got food at home.” That was actually the last time I ever even asked for fast food. I got her point.
Time passed, and I was losing weight without even working out. My mentality then became, “If I worked out, I could probably lose even faster!” And with that statement, I started walking. Grabbed my iPod, and hit the trail with my daughter. From there, natural progression has taken me from the walking, to the elliptical at the gym, to running outside. I spent a lot of time learning about calisthenics and with the right resources, I learned the benefits of working out at home.
To date of writing this post, I’ve lost 134lbs. If you want to include the 10lbs I actually wound up gaining back, it’s been 144lbs. I don’t like to give myself that satisfaction, though. To break it down, from the moment that I started changing my eating habits, I’ve lost about 80lbs. It’s October 31st today, right? I changed my eating habits in April. 80lbs in six months changing my eating habits vs. 28lbs in 6 months working out? Maybe now you see why I’m such a proponent for better eating habits.
In short (even though this is FAR from short, sorry), everyone has their “come to fitness” moment. Some even choose to never come to it. But if you can read my struggle and identify what the catalysts for change were for me, then maybe you’ll be better prepared when yours arrive. Maybe you’ll use them as starting points. Maybe you will use mine to start yourself up. If you use them at all, by all means, share in the comments!
Erika, your story is TRULY inspirational!!! Honestly, you have touched my heart!! While I don’t have a kid, I am trying to get my poor little business off the ground and I know ALLLLLLLL about living under your mother’s roof… I’m there now. S-T-R-E-S-S-O-R!!! Your next post will DEFINITELY have to be about how you changed your eating habits. I do see little victories here and there, but I do know that I need to modify my eating habits. It’s EXTREMELY hard, as I can’t load up the fridge with “healthy” stuff, as my mom won’t go for it. Even if I cook something “light” or “healthy” and try to make it flavorful, she looks at it like it’s toxic. It doesn’t bother me that much because I am trying to make MYSELF better… but I do have to be considerate. I just can’t wait to roll out! (Jesus be gainful employment so I can move!) Do you have any suggestions while I’m living in the meantime?
All I can say is WOW!!!
I had no idea that you were over 300 pounds – I always assumed that you were slimmer and had just worked on your fitness goals.
Knowing that you’ve gone through exactly what I’m doing now, and that you’ve seen great results makes me that much more motivated! Thank you so much for sharing your story!
I am soo proud of you!!
Awww, thanks Mama Graat! Love ya 🙂
Jubilance, nah.. I know my swagger confuses folks every now and again, LOL, but I had a long way to go. I still do, in ways… and I definitely feel better (and some might say, I look better, as well), but I’m aware of how far I’ve come while still focused on where I need to be. I hope the post helped you even just a lil’ to see someone else’s battle. 🙂
Tracy, awww come on sis! You can DO THIS! I’m writing down your requests and I’ll add it to the schedule, but I DEFINITELY understand – having other folks to accommodate in that fridge is dangerous, especially when they eat the same way you do… the same way you’re trying to leave behind! It SUCKS! I’ve got a mom like yours… until, well, you know.. it’s hard! I will DEFINITELY keep your notes in mind. Best of luck to you! 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story, it is VERY motivational! I nominated you for the Sunshine Award because your blog encourages me! https://wholeness4all.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/i-was-nominated-for-the-sunshine-award/
All I can saw is WOW!!!!!! I am sooo proud of you sis!!! You have come a mighty mighty long way!!!! Words Can’t even express how proud of you I am. What you are doing is amazing! You are breaking down so many barriers and are being an inspiration to people everywhere who thought they couldn’t do it! Heck you are even motivating me! I just wanted to say that I love you so much and keep up the good work and before you know it we will be shopping in the BEBE stores fighting over who is going to get the last black size 6 pencil skirt lol!!! LOVE YA LOTS SIS!!!
Wow very inspirational. I have recently embarked upon getting my own health back in order and reading your story really touched me.
Congrats on your weightloss.
thanks for sharing your recap…
I found your Fan page on Facebook, after a friend of mine became a fan… Well, needless to say, I can relate to your story! I’m getting married in just under 6 months and have been telling myself everyday for the last few weeks that I would start a healthy eating/exercise plan. However, instead of losing weight, I’ve been gaining weight! This site and your story have definitely inspired me! Even though it’s the Thanksgiving holidays, I’ve decided to start the ‘PROJECT ME’ plan TODAY! Thanks for the encouragement! Keep doing what you’re doing!
I see by the date of the article that you probably have about 2 -3 months to go before the wedding. Don’t stress yourself out over this! Stress causes inflammation which triggers other unhealthy things. Stress also causes a person to eat. Take a deep breath, eat a little less, walk a little more. Be positive. Someone loves you enough to want to marry you! That person already knows how much you weight and still loves you! So relax and enjoy this journey. You don’t want to look back on this time with the only memories you have being that you were stressed. Once you are married, you and your new spouse can exercise and eat healthy together. Having support will help you tremendously. You can do this, JRich. God bless you.
Dudette, that’s a great story. Congrats on your consistency and success!
Hey Erika Erika Erika 🙂
I was in tears after I read this article. It is amazing how much you have overcome to get to where you are today! I am so proud of you and don’t forget I will be coming to see you soon! Love ya!
AWESOME story. definitely an inspiration that i needed. thank you.
What an amazing story. Truly motivates me to get off my lazy butt!!
I am so encouraged by your journey!!! Thanks for sharing that and good luck on the rest of your weight loss journey!
Thank You So Much! I am going to do this! And THANKS for not charging for this information! Also You Look Great! Keep posting
Wow! Seriously, that just changed my life. I’m already in the midst of the process but it’s on… 🙂 I’ll be back in 6th months. Send me as many positive vibes as possible!
Hi your story is making realizing how I need to change my life like starting tomorrow. What are the ttpes of vegatable did you eats? How many times a day did you eat?
thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou…I’ve been trying to summon the courage to motivate myself to get back to the gym and eat healthier. Despite all the obvious reasons to do so, I’ve not made it to the gym. Reading your story was the gentle push I needed. Thanks
Happily speechless to all of you. This is my first time on this site and I have to say that I’m VERY inspired to read about you guys and I can’t wait to get in that gym to say. Goodluck and Congratulations to ALL of you.
I completely identify with you. I have a personal story of weight and diet struggles and I ultimately lost the weight in my early thirties, which was after three kids and a divorce. It is truly a lifestyle and attitude change. I applaud your blog and your direct no-nonsense way of handling the truth.
Thank you so much for sharing
Thanks for the inspiration! There is power in your story.
Thank you for sharing.
I am glad to finally find someone that I can relate to in my efforts to make a permanent change. I have reached the breaking point several times only to lose momentum. I also have a coworker that is taking diet pills and has lost so much weight, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what that does to one’s momentum. Thanks and keep up the good work!
Your story has me in tears. I see so much of my struggle in your story. You are truly inspirational and you have motivated me in such a profound way. Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart!
Good Afternoon Erica!
Thank you, thank you thank you! At this point in my life I am 5’6″ and weigh about 272lbs. Started the Fat Smash Diet lost 20lbs but I swear to you I have since gained it all back. I love myself and truly believe I am a beautiful person inside and out. but of course there are those areas that u would like to imporve and thats where I am right now. Its like I want to lose weight but don’t want to put for the work or the effort. In your story you said that you had to make time for you and that is what I am having problems with. Being a mother, wife, church choir member, etc. there is little time for me. I’m scared Erica I truly am of the change in my routine. Some people are not understanding when u take time out for yourself so the thought of that along with the fact that I feel beautiful already frightens me into not changing. But the realization has set in from reading your story that in order for me to be the best “ME” I can possibly be, I have to take care of myself, inside and out.
So thank you for sharing your journey and I wish you love and blessings on the rest of your journey.
Hi Erika, I’m Erika! 🙂
I’m currently over 300lbs. I lost 53lbs back in 2006 and I just came to the realization last night that I have officially gained all of that back…plus some. *sigh* At any rate, I’m not even sure how I came upon your FB fanpage, but I joined there and came to your site. Your story is so inspiring and I can’t wait to read more. Please keep posting!!!!
I just joined your facebook fan site. I saw that someone else had and I was intrigued by the site name. I am very inspired! I am trying to lose 30lbs and change my eating habits for life. Its hard to do. Thank you for your story!
I am inspired! As, I have begun a journey to live healthier. I am 53 and overweight.I recently, April 1st joined a Woman’s Walk Challenge. And before then I had already determined to eat whole live foods. I must say that is has definitely made me feel much better. When I read your Blog, and saw your results I feel more confident that my eventuality will be like yours ‘Smaller and Taller! Keep up the great Work!
Aww I am so glad I found this blog! I’m in the midst of my own “come to fitness” moment after a lifetime of being overweight. I believe that when the way is clear the Universe gives us everything we need to accomplish our goals and finding this blog (someone posted your clean eating challenge on facebook) is absolutely a gift. Thank you so much for sharing your story!
You have really inspired me. I am 5’5″ and 245 pounds right now and I have done diet pills,and a number of other things to lose weight but I can’t seem to stay with them. I have a treadmill in my home. I even have a personal trainer who is willing to train me for FREE! I realize that I am just plain lazy. I’m going to get myself together and incorporate a daily workout into my daily routine. You are truly an inspiration!!
thanks for sharing your story – and your pictures – so inspirational!
I’m at work right now, reading your story and trying not to cry. I’ve been going through such a difficult time dealing with my weight gain and your story has toucj\hed me. Looking at you i know it can be done. YOU did it! I’mm so self concious about my weight and am dreading my first day at the YMCA. My doctor suggested that i start water aroebics/ waterr jogging to get moving. I’m so nervous..but i know i can do it…you’ve inspired me…thank you and God bless…
Thanks for the inspiration. I’ve been reading your blog for about a week and following you on FB. I have about 50 pounds to lose and you’re gonna help me. LOL!
I joined a gym last year but wasn’t really motivated so it didn’t help me. I’m an almost 8 year breast cancer survivor and the mother of 4 young adults so I know all about stress and the effects on the body. This is good stuff. I re-start Zumba tomorrow night and I had half a banana and 2 slices of low-cal wheat bread with organic peanut butter for breakfast.
I’m going to do better. Starting today. Here’s to a healthier Lisa! Cheers!
I love your story and Congrats on your weightloss. You look GREAT!!!!! I am back to working out full time and I want to be able to share my story. I have a year goal set as well. Our story is fairly similiar…..
I just found your site today (via Afrobella) and can’t stop reading, I just left earlier from work to read along. Thanks a million for your blog!!!!! You are inspiring me and you look incredible good!
Soryy if there are some incorrect grammar, I am writing from Germany (yes, black women over here, too 🙂 ) and english is not my first language. …off I went to read some more….
…ps I want to loose about 44 pounds (equals 20 kilogramm), so I need any advice I can get 😉
Erika- I found your site yesterday while voting and you are truly inspirational!
Monika- I have 50lbs to lose so we can be team mates in this if you want!
I came across your website as well from some voting blog and was quite surprised to know there are black blogs out there. But I was really intriged by yours because I have been on this journey for a couple of years and it’s my eating habits, I have done the gyms and camps and at the end of the day its my food options that I choose that I mess up on. Thank you especially with your ethnic background and I want to be able to keep some of my curvyness. Keep it up and I will be visiting everyday to read all what you have out there. Thanks and I’m starting my journey with the right foods.
I am so inspired by your journey! Have you managed to lose more weight at this point, or are you maintaining? Thanks for all of the great info and keep, keeping on!
u look fabulous!! you are the first REAL INSPIRING WEIGHT LOSS STORY..THAT IS TRULY REAL..I THINK THIS IS GONNA HELP ALOT OF US OUT!
SOROR! You look FABULOUS!
I had my “come to fitness” moment. I am a surgery resident and in the process of my residency training I have gained 40+ lbs!! and maybe 80+ since undergrad. I am learning various surgical procedures including Bariatric surgery. I have also seen all of the complications that go with those procedures. It freaks me out to see patients whose BMIs were LESS than mine get lap bands etc. I went to my own doctor and found out that though my BMI is WAY TOO HIGH my cholesterol, BP and blood sugar are still ok, for now. I have joined weight watchers and am going to the gym and have lost my first 5lbs. I hope to be such a role model for my patients one day. Keep up the good work!
Such an awesome story…Congratulations on your success!! I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. My family/friends would say they would never know what size I’d be the next time they saw me because I would go up and down so much. Eating habits are definitely the source of my problem. Thank you for sharing your story.
Everyone has said what I wanted to say, but you are just fabulous in so many ways. I truly admire and am inspired by you!!
Hello, Erika. I too am inspired by your story. I am right now 300 pounds. I was 320. I walked, taeboed, and swum. I can’t stand to exercise but I had to get over myself. I’ve been told that once it becomes a part of your routine it’ll be easier to deal with. My goal is to lose 100 pounds. If I lose more then that’s alright.
This is very inspiring. I thank you so much for posting this, I’ve been struggling with weight for what seems like all my life. I’m just starting to learn it has a lot to do with what you eat. It can’t be diet or exercise it has to be a nice balance of both. Good luck to you, and thanks again for beign my inspiration for getting back on track!
Thanks for sharing your story…I lost close to 40 pounds on my own..now I am in a boot camp struggling to lose the last 30…I promise never to abuse my body again after I regain my strength and health.
Thank you soooo much for sharing! I see so much of myself in your story but unfortunately when my traumatic event happened I couldn’t stop eating. I had lost 30lbs but I’ve gained that back and then some. I will never be able to look at a Lorna Doon the same way again smdh. I couldn’t get myself out of that rut. Hearing you story lets me know that I’m not a completely hopeless case 🙂 God willing I’ll be able to walk in your footsteps. Reading your blog has helped me a lot. I have 130lbs to loose. This week I’m going to join the gym across the street from my job. God bless you sister, you’re making a difference in so many lives.
Your story is so inspiring. I have been physically active for a very long time. I love to exercise but the scale never moved. I’ve never been obese but I am by no means a small girl. I always figured there was something wrong with me because I work out so hard. But after A LOT of reassessing I have come to the same conclusion as you, that it is really about nutrition and portion sizes. As much as I hate to admit it, I love big portions of food. Since I have become more conscious about my portion sizes I have dropped about 20lbs and counting.
Your story is similar to mine in this way. I understand where you are coming from and where you are going. You look amazing and serve as such an inspiration to so many people. 🙂
I would like to congradulate you on conquering your weight-loss goals. Your story sounds a lot like the rest of ours however, I have yet to arrive at my happy ending. I, too have been on diet pills and other popular diets and its all been one big roller coaster ride!!!! I am ready to take control of my eating habits and make better choices. Can you please give an example of what you might eat on a particular day?
I am so glad that I found this website!!!!
I, unfortunately, don’t have a desire to post MY food intake on a particular day because 1) I have no desire to answer questions about my food choices and 2) I don’t want women to think that what I eat is the “golden ticket,” meaning that they need to eat what I eat in order to achieve the results I’ve achieved, and that isn’t so. All of our bodies are different with different needs and while I can help you find out what yours needs, I certainly don’t want anyone to think all of our needs are the same.
There’s a ton of information on the site about what to eat (there’s even info on HOW to eat), and if you have any questions, feel free to browse the site… and if the answers you seek cannot be found, don’t hesitate to e-mail me. 🙂
Thanks so much for this tip Erika. I so do NOT believe that there are certain foods that you have to eat while getting healthy. However, I do believe that you must eat to burn and increase your metabolism. Your tips are ingenious! Continue to motivate us girl, cuz I haven’t found any other site that does it quite like yours. Love you much!
Your story is a testimony indeed. I am at the point in my life where I weigh almost 300 lbs. After trying to exercise every morning by walking 3 plus miles a day. I failed to see any results. Maybe its just meant for me to stay this size. But I then thought that I only gained this weight within the last 6 plus years so, not only can I lose it, but I need to keep trying. I am getting ready to start changing my eating habits. I want to see if I remove all processed foods and just stick to eating veggies, fruit, nuts, and beans if my body will start to shed some of this weight that I’m holding onto. I’m going to give myself 6 week increments and remain positive. I have to start somewhere. Wish me luck!
What’s your email will love to receive some tips from you
It’s on the contact page!
This was really touching and knocked on my heart!!!!!
I am beyond happy for you and I am very inspired by your story. I am a 19 year old college student and I am struggling with weight loss. I do believe that if I change my eating habits, I might get somewhere with it, but I need help with changing my eating habits and eating healthier. What should I do?
WOW!!! I love the short of your story. It makes so much sense that it’s almost crazy. But I struggle with my weight for the very reason you speak of. Thanks for putting that out there so that I can remember there is no way around healthy eating.
Thank you so much for creating this page. It really helps to have a real person, with similar issues, succeed. I’m on my way. Down 18 lbs in almost 4 months. Using your tips & suggestions, I’ll be down more. Thank you again.
wow this is that awesomeness. Great read too! Congrats on your amazing accomplishment.
I am deeply touched by your story. God bless you and all your future events in life. I too, am trying to work on losing weight. I truly feel the types and amount of food i eat is just all wrong… which brings me to my question. In your process of losing weight what foods did you continue to eat and which foods did u not eat anymore. Please be specific down to seasonings and dressings. Thank you so much for sharing your story and any other tips you have. It is appreciated and encouraging!
This is just what I needed to hear!! I am 4’11 I weigh 157lbs, according to what some people say, I’m obese. I have been trying to lose weight for the past 2 years. I gained most of it while in college, and after that continued to put on. My weight goal is to be 125-130. Although “they” say that is overweight, I think as a BLACK WOMAN, its a healthy weight. There is no way in this world I would even want to be 99lbs, that is sickening to me! But according to them that is in my weight range. I need to change my eating habits, I have tried so many things, I really dont know what to do…
Erika, like you, I too would start out, stop, start out again and bam. Stressors, well if you look at MY mid section you’ll get it thoroughly! I found your website ironically through kickingfat.com and from Beautifulbrwnbabydol’s blog as well. Funny thing is I didn’t get truly serious until I saw a pic of myself that I took while out with a friend (who lost a huge ton of weight).After seeing that pic, I broke down when I’d got home and have started back again. My problem is simply continuation! I’ve recently joined the Special K challenge, I just need more tips and your blog spot seemingly has it all, thanks for the inspiration Erika!
Ok, I’m late as all get out, but I just realized that you went to UNT and lived in Denton… I graduated from and now work at UNT and have recently renewed my commitment to becoming healthier. I used to keep up with your blog, but fell off and recently rededicated myself. When I saw that, it was such an ironic coincidence! What a neat little detail… you have come a long way and you did (and continue to do well)! Very inspiring! Denton is proud! (:
You are amazing and you have given me hope. I am current 272, maybe more and I have made a promise to myself to lose weight, not only for vanity reasons but because I want to live longer. I have a nine year old with so much energy and I want to run around and play with her while she stills wants to play with me. I do have a question: what exercises are good for people like myself who have a metal rod in one leg and chronic joint pain?
I am new to the site. I found your info on another site and was so inspired I had to read the full story. I swore I would never allow myself to get up to 250. I went to the doctor and was at 249. That was 2 months ago. I am now down to 237. I was so angry and hurt at myself for disrespecting my body like to that point. I just sat in the doctor’s office and cried. You are such an inspiration. My goal is to shed 100 lbs at least because I am obese for my height of 5 feet. Yes you are right it is hard to share a fridge with people who do not eat the best and don’t have weight problems and to top it off in my case, make fun of people who do. It is very hard! But you have shown me it can be done. Tonight I remove the clothes from the treadmill and start walkin!!!!
After reading your story in Essence magazine, I had to check out your site! Thanks for sharing yourself via your weight lost journey with many sisters, like me, who need inspiration. I agree with you about changing eating habits, as I have struggled with issues of obesity for the majority of my life. It was not until the end of 2010 at age 32 that I finally realized the nutritional benefits from eating good foods versus junk foods. I am reading The Body God Designed by Gregory Jantz and this book has been helpful for me to truly learn about food choices. I have lost 9lbs since January 2011, by making small changes and exercising-at home. Please continue to post your journey and I will share the site with other friends and family.
This blog is just frustrating for me because I have done most of the things you talk about and weight loss still doesnt come easily. I still dread the scale and I feel great but I still have this apron stomach thing goin on. My stomach is definitely smaller and its still shrinking but it just seems like it will never go away…I am not asking for you to solve my problem and I dont mean to be negative but your success and results are not mine and frankly, I dont just want to be happy for you – I want to be happy for me.
I’m not sure what, if anything, you want me to do with your comment.
The reality is that you just said to me “It’s working, but it’s not working fast enough.” So you’re frustrated by my site because you’re not where YOU want to be? What makes you think it is easy for me? What makes you think it comes quickly? What makes you think these things go away overnight?
Be happy that you’re experiencing ANY success at all. Be happy that you’re working on yourself and making changes. With all due respect, please don’t come here and blame your frustrations on my site.. that’s a bad habit and I simply have to reject it on its face, I’m sorry to say.
Yes!! You posted in one of your other blogs about loving yourself and being accepting of yourself. That also includes accepting your own weight loss journey for what it is – your own.
I have hypothyroidism so weight loss for me is not easy. It isn’t for anyone, but when my medicine was out of whack, I was doing everything I should and nothing was changing. Even with my medicine in order, I average only 1/2 lb. a week weight loss.
I can either be angry at that and sabotage myself, or realize that every day brings me closer to a healthier weight. And even if I never get to that goal weight, I am able to do more. I can jog 3 miles a day now. In November, I couldn’t jog 30 seconds without becoming winded!! I can hold a full plank for 2 minutes. Several months ago, hah… I would have been thankful for 20 seconds!
My highest weight was in college at 265 lbs. I got down to 180, had 4 kids and it was back up to 220 as of 2 years ago. I am now down to 160 and am stronger and healthier than I have EVER BEEN.
Please keep reminding everyone that being negative to yourself will never help. Loving even a 300 lb self, 220 lb self, loving yourself when you can only walk a 25 min. mile and not lift a thing, and realizing that you are capable of making little changes that work for YOU is all that matters.
I love your blog and thanks so much for it!!
Eating habits are the key and let me tell you for a long time I was thinking was eating healthy and thought there was medically wrong as to why I wasn’t losing weight.
Had the physical, doc said I was perfect except for the weight and the high blood pressure. Ok I thought I have to exercise more. I don’t have a care and walk everywhere every day. I got a trainer and signed my daughter and I up.
In that month I was seeing a trainer 3 times a week, I barely lost anything. I was real strong and great endurance but the weight wasn’t dropping. I my daughter, 17 at the time was melting away.
It wasn’t till a year later when my boyfriend was getting heart surgery when I finally learned what the problem was. Yes I had some healthy foods in my diet but I wasn’t totally healthy in my diet and I wasn’t eating enough.
I met my boyfriend’s dietitian and not only did she tell us wheat to eat but how to eat and how much. After totally rehalling the foods that I bought and ate. I was losing 4 lb a week literally and that is without exercise.
No process foods, and eating fresh veggies and fruits made a really big difference I was shocked. My friends still can’t how eating more healthy food makes you lose weight and truth be told neither do I but I don’t care. I am thankful I don’t have to starve myself to lose. The hardest part for me is to remember to eat.
I am fine with the slow weight loss because I fear the excess skin if I lose too quickly. How ever I am ready for the gym and up the weight loss to 6 to 8lbs a week. 🙂
Thanks for your blog, you have helped me, my daughter and my friend a great deal!!!!
Thanks Erika! I’ve always been a lover of exercise…unfortunately, I haven’t always been diligent with exercise…and because my eating habits were never very disciplined for long, weight gain came quickly when life hit and I couldn’t exercise often. After I had my daughter last year, I had a heart scare that forced me to eat a low-sodium diet…the weight fell off quickly and I was still mending from a C-section and learning to be a mama…so I know exercise was not responsible for the loss. Once I went back to work, the heart returned to normal, and life hit again, I visited McDonald’s more frequently and I’ve gained the weight back. I am now convinced from your posts that I need to be more diligent about eating healthy…and when I add the exercise, I’ll have a bonus. Thanks for your encouraging words, sister!
This just goes to show that even when you’re determined to make a change in your life, the power of supportive people to inspire and teach you, to tell you that you can do it, when even *you* haven’t made that leap of faith… is a powerful force indeed. Thank you for sharing this. x
You go girl! I seem to have been struggling all my adult life with weight but the military kept me in check. Now that I am a civilian I am finding it very hard to lose the pounds. I love veggies and eating healthy but I finding it very hard to get to the gym on a normal basis. Is there at suggestions you can give me to motivate me more? I really want to lose this extra weight and keep it off.
THANK YOU FOR THIS THIS SUNDAY MORNING, JUNE 5TH 2011. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED.
Hey Erika just heard you today on the Micheal Baisden show and was wondering is there a certain time that you didn’t eat after?
I am glad you said that…cause I just don’t believe a certain time at night has anything to do with your weight gain/loss.
“80lbs in six months changing my eating habits vs. 28lbs in 6 months working out”
This line sold me. I bought your meal plan.
is it weird that I’m actually scared?
After reading this posting tonight at 8pm, I logged into a site (not named here) where I usually watch all my shows. I have always logged there to watch others live, lose weight and become their best selves. I have also tried to start a weight loss regiment and stopped. At 8.15 pm after reading your intro page, I went to the same site, and logged into the health section, and lo and behold, lots of dance videos and yoga videos beckoned (I used to teach dance). Fresh from that 1 Hour workout, I feel so motivated and energized for the tasks ahead of me. I want to make sure that all your readers know that this is inspirational.Cannot wait till tomorrow, when I will cook my meals, have well spaced healthy snacks and workout again. Cheers to your good health, your encouragement and to life.
Wow! I am really going through a struggle of my own right now.
Huh..stressors…I will say I understand living with your mom, and grabbing a microwave meal.
Unfortunately, most of my weight gain has come from medicines. I feel like a yo-yo. I gain. I lose. I hide.
I had to recently change my diet due to stress. It was causing me medical problems. So, my fridge is stocked with lean protein, fresh fruits, and veggies. Now, here comes the hard part …get moving!
Thank you for sharing. I relate with your pictures, and story. Now, you just need to share how to get my tummy where I can actually see my belly button again!
Peace, blessings, and light! 🙂
Absolutely love your site. Found it by “accident” yet it was what I needed to come across. Your success is definitely something I can relate to when in 2002 I lost 30 pounds in two and a half months by simply changing my eating habits. I got pregnant less than two months later and never re-engaged in eating healthy, gaining back the 30 and then some.
Your blog is a wonderful motivator to do what I know works and I absolutely love reading your posts on things that impact black women specifically.
Keep on shining and helping us with your light,
What do you do with food withdrawal symptoms, i.e. sugar, caffeine,
simple starches. I even get insomnia.
You are such an inspiration! Not only did you make the effort to work, but you actually back tracked and successfully gathered yourself again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost weight, only to gain it back over the course of a semester or two, and do nothing about it but whine and b*tch.
You worked your butt off and did that thing, girl! Hell when I grow up, I wanna be just like you, Lol! Hopefully this time I’ll stick with this weight loss thing and see results that I’ve never seen on my frame.
I cannot thank you enough for this wake up call. I’m 5’8, 250ish, and 21yrs. I can’t believe I let this happen to myself. I literally used food to rebel. I moved out of my parents house and indulged, for the first time I can recall, with food. I realized I CAN EAT ANYTHING I WANT! AS MUCH AS I WANT! I AM AN ADULT!
…..three years later I’m at a loss for what I have done to myself.
Ima get myself right, though. Thanks again lady!
Thank you so much for your website, I kind of came upon it by accident, but it was truly a blessing in disguise. I am a single mother of a college aged son, and I am currently trying to get back into the land of the living. I am going back to school in January and am trying to learn how to take care of me. I am about 210 when I was skinny all of my life. Depression from divorce and single parenthood really has sent me on a downward spiral with my weight and self esteem. Reading this blog has given me hope that I too, can lose weight and feel good. Thank you again and god bless.
I love you! Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been trying to lose weight since I was 8 years old (and NO, I did not actually need to go on a diet…but that was how old I was when I was given my first diet book…smh)! After decades of self-hate and steady weight gain I’m embarking on a smart sensible course of action. I’m determined to make it work this time. Thanks for the inspiration!
I feel like everything is just happening at the right time. I am 310lbs today. I made a commitment to change my eating habits and to walk at least every morning. I wont lie, I was thinking about stopping because my ankle has been killing me, however I really am inspired by your story. On Monday I plan on joining Weight Watchers and maybe Curves. Due to the ankle I will walk until it gets better. I go walking at 6am..so no one will see me…This weight loss issue is such an emotional roller coaster. I have a 4year old daughter and I have recently moved in with family while I am working on my marriage, it kills me to hear my family members call her “fat” or comments like “look at her stomach”. I will visit your blog daily !Thank you soo much and please dont ever STOP..I look at your pictures and think” She was over 300lbs like me?” WOW…YOU are AMAZING!
What I love most about your story was the fact that you included that your journey to weight-loss was far from perfect. You have had all the same struggles as the rest of us and yet you still have managed to overcome those obstacles. I’m more inspired by individuals who give advice based on their own past experiences. Exercise has never been a problem for me but my diet is. I know once I put forth the time and effort into changing it, I will be able to accomplish my goals. One day I want to be able to sit back and write about my own weight-loss victory. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Great story, sis! A true inspiration.
I’ve found your blog very informative, sometimes entertaining, and definitely enlightening at times, but I am so glad that I finally read your story. Omg! To see and here the start to finish(present) has touched me personally. I am encouraged though I know a first step is needed and consistency is key. I was doing ok, and despite the health issues I have I’ve fallen off track more times than I can count and I’ve avoided going to the doctor b/c I didn’t want to hear what they were going to tell me(again). I feel like a failure, I’ve been the “fat mom” for too long hell my kids are teenagers now and I’m still young enough to live my life. I have a serious sugar addiction that I need to balance out as well as the starches. Please pray for me seeing your progress through your photos has been more than inspiring. I want to thank you for being so candid , and real which is what I love so much about your blog. I plan to give an update in the near future, thanks for all that you are doing!
Congratulations !!! Erika keep up the good work. The pictures are motivation for me not to give up and to be ok with the way that I am losing weight is the right way because I am getting healthy by eating right.
Your story is so inspirational for me! I’ve struggled with losing weight my whole life and its just now starting to click for me! Week 1 and I’m down 6lbs…thanks for the motivational reading! I’ll be sure to share this with my friends!
I too have had many ups and downs, and starts and stops. Seeing how successful you have been is very inspirational. I can really relate to you.
i NEEDED to read that this morning!
Hi Erika, you are such an inspiration! I just stumbled upon your blog and I am bookmarking it! I’m a single mom too and have problems with emotional eating. I’m trying to lose 50+ pounds and you are proof that it can be done. Also, much Greek love! I am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
This was just what I needed to see and read today! Something brought me here and I’m so glad I followed my instinct. You have an amazing story and told in an amazing way. I can relate to your story in soooo many ways. I appreciate you for sharing! I’m am bookmarking this site for sure! 🙂
With a few minor tweaks, I could just my name on the top of that story:)
I have also had ups and downs, and found that healthy eating is a key part of my success. It has not been a matter of one thing being more important than another, though, so much as all different aspects of a healthier lifestyle working synergistically to promote healthy weight loss.
Thank you for sharing this story and inspiring me to stick to the program!
Erika, thank you for sharing your story. I happened to come across your site in an essence magazine. I quickly wrote it down and googled the site later that night. I must say its the best website i have been on in a long time that i can relate too.
I reached my breaking point again after vacationing in my sister isle for the Easter long weekend and taking the plane back home. I was seated in first class of the jet where you know obviously the seats are bigger and have more room. To my dismay the seat belt couldn’t buckle. Thats when it hit home and I was like its time to get my act together. The following day i started a cleanse for 21days, eating as clean as possible and eliminating red meat and dairy especially and the sugary pastries that im so fond of.
During my time I’ve been on your site daily reading all of your blogs and many similiar experiences i myself have been through. Im on day 8 of the cleanse and going thru some withdrawal symptoms but im holding firm and cooking my meals and bringing them to work and having my portioned healthy snacks at my side to munch on.
Thank you so much for sharing your journey and continuing to post valuable info that can help us all through such a challenging task of changing one’s lifestyle and becoming healthier.
So many think that exercising is the only way to lose weight, and that what you eat could be the major factor in working against you. I’m glad that you learned that eventually, even though you needed to get your hand slapped first lol. This is a motivating story!!!
This was just what I needed to read now. Last Friday I had a weigh-in at the gym, and after two months of working out I had gained 5 lbs! 4 lbs of fat! I went home so depressed, but then I realized it was all food. So I combined WW with 1500 calories, and it’s made me switch almost immediately to veggies and fruits so I didn’t starve to death on the high-calorie foods I used to eat. I’ve lost 2 lbs this week. I’m glad to know I’m on the right track!
You are truely an inspiration. Thank you for your story.
Wow, simply amazing. I need to read this every morning this will give me just the extra push I need to continue on this life changing journey. I always knew the food was my demon in getting healthy and losing weight. With this blog you just made it real for me and that I am not alone. Down 37lbs and lots more to go…
Your story is what I need to read today. I’ve picked up my exercise significantly, but have been lazy with my diet. I’ve returned from running, grab a muffin and say, hey, I’ve earned it this morning. Really a step back.
PS: I saw you at BlogHer and think you’re fantastic. Maybe next time I’ll have the gumption to introduce myself.
Totally must say hi next time. 🙂
Wow, your story is so inspiring. After reading it, I am encouraged to continue on a similar journey I am on. From 2/22/2012 until 8/24/2012, I have lost 38 pounds. I am so excited and look forward to shedding a lot more pounds. Thank you for this wonderful informative site. Peace and blessings.
Thank you for sharing yourself, your stories, your life…Not only does it take an awareness, but a braveness on your part to share your vulnerabilities, lessons’ learned and successes.
I’ve been a lurker on your blog for several months and I have to say I love your perspective on life. It’s awesome to see the support that you give people, the openness you approach life and the positive attitude that permeates your blog.
Wow…So I am 29, Over 300 lbs. I really don’t know what happened. I don’t have children, I was out on my own when I was over 250lbs, But I am at home with my mom now. I am not an emotional eater at all. The only thing food does for me is make me full and taste good on the way down. If I have an emotional problem, I go do 100 on the highway, play a violent video game or go outside and pull weeds. I just like food and I like the freedom of eating anything I want. I don’t have body image issues, because I am not unhappy with my size, and it isn’t because I can attract men, its just the way I am. But I am worried about Being a diabetic like my mom, about needing a cardiac device implanted, about having stage 3 kidney failure, about taking 20 medications 3 times a day just to operate in the black. I am worried about not enjoying my 40’s and 50’s. I know some people in my family who were obese for their entire lives, and lived a long healthy and happy time, dying only of natural causes. But, I don’t think I want to take that chance with myself. I do know, that I don’t want to lie down at night in fear, because I don’t know if I will have a heart attack. I do know that I want to run again like I used to. I have never been a small girl, I have been 200lbs for most of my life, and I would be happy to have that back. I would be happy to have some of my old strength back. I honestly thought that at over 300lbs, I am too far gone, and the only way for me to get back is through surgical intervention. I see that is not true. Thank you, for opening your heart and sharing your story. If It isn’t too late for me, I better get started before it is.
You keep me motivated, My goal is lose 23 pounds. The goal is to eat healthier and stop when i feel full.
It is never too late to start getting healthy. Just do it and don’t think about it.
Your story is incredibly inspiring to me. I’ve been through eating disorders and compulsive over eating and back again. Three years ago I became a vegetarian which forced me to eat healthier (though that doesn’t always happen when people give up meat) and I’ve lost about 40 pounds. The past few months have been incredibly stressful and I’ve noticed that about 10 or 15 of those pounds have crept back on to my middle… I think most of it is from my son weaning off breastmilk and I’m still eating like I did while nursing, but not burning the 500 extra calories a day.
You’ve inspired me to get back on my road to healthier eating habits and for that I thank you!
This was just the kick in the ass I needed to stop making excuses, get it together for myself (and my health), and beat this weight demon once and for all.
I happened upon this blog doing a random search about Gabby Sidibe…I started perusing the content, really liked what this site is about, and am going to follow it faithfully.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and creating this haven for us.
MUCH appreciated 😀
I’m currently on my weight loss journey, this past year I was diagnosed with hypertension and eventually told that I did have some kidney damage. I was crushed, I didn’t want to spend my 30’s on dialysis, I want to live! I became depressed and really didn’t know what to do. It’s sooo hard to change your eating habits when your working 12 hour nights, but I had to do it. I thank God for strength and I pray to continue on this journey to a fruitful and healthy life, I realized is worth living. It’s not about money, friends, and constant stressors, it’s about being true to you and the God you serve. Thank you for your words of encouragement, and may Hod continue to bless you on your journey!!!
The basics of your story could be mine. …down to shutting yourself in your room to stay out of the way. I went down few dress sizes after suffering a loss and moving back home and being an unemployed, single mom. I started walking in the park every day after I dropped my son off at school in the morning. When my weight loss began to show, I was actually in denial, despite my clothes swimming on me. Weight loss had never been my goal, not being on next sason of “Snapped” was. Once I accepted my new size, I realized I was able to shop in “regular” stores for the first time (ERMERGERD). Needless to say, I then began to take weight loss seriously and that is when I first came across your blog. I just begining to experiment with eating right and then my s/o suffered a few losses back to back. His stress reliever is eating so in the past year I’ve but back on a few pounds. My new clothes still fit, but noth comfortably. My motivation now is not going back to be limited in where I could shop. It’s to cold where I am to walk no, but Ive started doing lunges and squats at home and utilizing the yoga for begininer’s, etc On Demand. I’ve always been intimidated by yoga before, but after a few days of trying, I’m getting the hang of it. I’m going to start going to my college’s gym and seeing what equitment i feel comfortable with and maybe incorporate swimmimg. Money is an issue so I’m still working on my diet, but I’m dedicated to justing DOing something, so I’m off to a good start. Thank you so much for this blog! You really break everything down and make this whole process a whole lot easier to maneuver. Congrats in your journey and what you’ve done with this blog!
Wow… Damn Erika this is impressive!
The world needs more success stories like this 😉
Wow! I just found your site! And, I must say amazing! You do it all work out, work, parent, cook, blog!! I’m shocked. I empathize with your story, I’ve had to move back home twice with a baby. I am a now a 30 y/o working mother to a kindergartner and I’ve been trying to lose 40 lbs for the past 2 years! 40 pounds! I am so tired of this weight, but then life gets in the way. Do you have any suggestions for me? How are you finding the time to do all this?!?!? I am baffled, you are truly a supermom!
Thank you for your story! You are a motivation. Off to the gym I gooooooooooooo…….
I just found this site and your story, and I have to say I am so happy I did. I have been feeling very frustrated with my weight lately but I have not anything to change it. Your story really inspired me, I’m going to start making some changes right away.
I feel the same way. I’m working out more n being conscious of what I eat. Be encouraged!!!
I’m a white girl, but I love your blog, and you look amazing! You really inspire me. Thank you so much!
what an awesome story. i myself am a mom to three kids and im 26… i weigh 265 pounds last i checked. i used to work outva couple years ago and stopped when my third was on the way. now i am back and 9 days straight into it and while i love it i know food and types i eat are a big factor.. you have inspired me to want to give it a try….
Man miss lady you really inspired me to do the stuff you have done to lose weight. I was thinking of your first solution. Something told me turn down the phone call from the man at the gym who keeps calling. Your way will help me save more money anyway. Thanks!
Erica, how crazy is it that right now I got to Unt in Denton, tx and am in a similar situation right now! I just had a baby and I sit here 100 pounds overweight! You don’t know how much I needed this girl! Thank you!
This is timely. I have read this before, and I have been here (literally) before. I know my eating habits are the problem. I’ve lost weight by completely eliminating bread, potatoes, and rice in the past. But I stopped because that way of eating was not sustainable for me. I have to find something, because I just can’t be 275 again. I’m teetering on 250 now, and I can’t go back there. I’m not 25 anymore, and my body cannot take it. At one point I was 230…thought I was getting close to being under 200 again. But I did a total 360 in the last year.
I have got to make this work. My diet is going to kill me if I don’t.
Thank you, Erika.
I look up to a dedicated black woman!! I am over 300 pounds as of this moment and I started working out a week ago before reading this! This gives me conformation that I can do this! Thanks for being a motivator!!
Thanks for sharing Erica , this does help , when you feel like you have failed and there is just simply no hope at all. To see a story like yours gives me hope that I can do it too once I make up my mind like you did. No self control is just as strong as a drug addiction. As much as I want to get this weight off of me I simply have no self control and that’s the bravest thing you did, put yourself in control of your eating and exercising. Reading this lets me know it can be done. Thank You .
…..All I can do is say thank you. Before I read this I went downstairs to talk to my mother who has type 1 Diabetes about how I’m tired of being fat and I want to change that. Now my mother isn’t a cuddly person( at least towards me ) and I’ve accused her of not motivating me. I went up to my room and cried and cried and asked God why me. Why’d you make me fat? No one in my family started off fat. As they aged, the fat piled on especially after kids. But me, I’ve been big my entire 18 years of life (and I’m BEYOND big at this point. WAY over 300 smh) and I have no kids. I’m still a virgin for God’s sake! I told God :I’m gonna die man. Before I can even get a chance to live.” My exact words. I don’t know what prompted me to write “if my Mother doesn’t support me, I’ll support myself” in my google tool bar, but I did and this right here was the very first thing to pop up. And I just thank God for you right now. I realize that in order to change me, I need to change my mindset and be mindful of what goes into my body. I am not happy with myself right now and from your story I know one day I will be. So thank you Erika. Thank you for your story. And thank for being apart of my upcoming Journey. #BGG2WLArmyNewRecruit <3
Thank you so much for your story. You have truly enspired me to start investing in myself. Today is thursday 12/1/2016. Tomorrow I will be taking a trip to the grocery store and starting Monday I will be starting a workout regimen. I also have dreams to becoming a personal trainer so I can help enspire women and also obese children. May Allah continue to bless you on your journey.
I’m very inspired by your story. I’m a 53 yo that has never dieted or really exercised. However, my stressor is that I have MS and I recently got a divorce after 31 years married. I’m starting completely over. I’m unable to work because of the MS but I do have a small sewing business that I have to restructure since the divorce. I’ve had knee surgery last December and my weight needs to decrease to help my knee feel better as well as just feeling and looking better for my new normal. I’ve been doing a more plant based diet over the past year with little to no meat added but my issue with food is that I’ve never fed my body sufficiently. Maybe eating once a day and water was hardly ever consumed. However I need and want to change all of this. Also the apartment that I moved into along with my daughter and her three daughters has a little gym which I will be utilizing. I’ve always had to look out for or take care of everyone else so I’m about to become “self loving”, not selfish and do what’s best for me. Thank you for sharing some of your journey as it gives me encouragement to start on mine. Be blessed!
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