I haven’t written anything in a while. I always felt writing out my life and sharing it to the public should be a free experience for y’all, but only if it feels like a free experience for me as well. Other people didn’t see it that way and one bad apple always spoils the bunch. So, I stopped writing to avoid offending others from reading about my experiences. However, I realized my experiences are just that, MINE. I want people to comment, critique, and agree or disagree with what I do, simply because that’s what makes us all different; I am in love with being different but also I am in love with the understand of what or who is for me, is going to be for me.
I’ll tell you what the internet does: it turns everything occurring into something bigger than what it was or is. That means, we always have a larger than life understanding of something that is probably very small. This works for selling things in corporations and businesses but not for the social structure of our personal society. The internet gave so many people a way to spew hate and negativity all while covering it up with multiple identities. The internet in and of itself, gave people the ability to replicate Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Back in the days loyalty mattered, if you were shady and someone heard you say something, word of mouth was reputable. Now, everyone is so focused on an image that loyalty doesn’t matter and word of mouth has become everyone’s opinion turned fact through the grapevine and google.
With my “growing” career, I’ve noticed these changes. See, before television I had about six friends to count on, 4K followers on instagram, no twitter, and my Facebook was deactivated for majority of every year. Now I have over 100k followers, an active twitter, a Facebook fan page and only about three friends to count on. The “growing popularity” brings people who love you, but with that comes those who will definitely hate you as well.
I showcased being a dietary vegan so other people could understand what it is to choose a vegan diet. I got attacked for cooking my man the food he likes to eat in the process, as if he should starve because of my diet choice. Instead of commending me to live any aspect of a vegan lifestyle, you get bombarded as to reasons you are not authentic which FYI does not make you even want to sit with some vegans let alone eat a meal with them.
I showcased my weight-loss, a very personal accolade for me, not only on social media but, on national television and some managed to link it to surgery. It’s a huge compliment to believe I did the work doctors can do organically, but it’s also disappointing that people can’t see real results. I’ve even had a nasty PDF file sent to those around me regarding my weight loss and how I went to get it done, thanks for that boo.
I showcased my natural hair and was told it was nappy, unruly and ugly by some of the same people who hashtag #blacklivesmatter. Then I realized black lives might only matter to them if they see a person whose skin color is closer to a shade of black, either in a painful light or in a socially accepted beautiful light.
I showcased my relationship which just happened to be an interracial one and not only got chastised for being a “sister” dating a white man, but also cyber harassed from people spewing racial lies to try to ruin not only our personal relationship but our business relationships as well.
You’d think other people would be happy you can keep up with a positive lifestyle, implementing some ideas to others without forcing them into it, but people only see what you don’t do. So my first post in a long time is geared up to let all my ladies (and men) reading this know: Keep Going. Keep trying to be vegan or healthy, keep working on your body, keep dating outside of your race, keep being positive. As many people that hate you for it, there will be a thousand more that will love and support you for it. Don’t focus on those that don’t support your beliefs and ideas, most of them don’t think like you anyway. Never give up on you because, you’re really all life is about.
Let’s talk fitness first:
From March to May of 2013 I shifted into full speed with a workout routine four times a week. My stamina when it came to cardio was so trash! (for lack of a better word). I would run a mile in 12 minutes, walking about half the time and be completely out of breath once I was done. It never really bothered me in the beginning, I didn’t push my cardio that hard the first two weeks to gain more endurance and speed. However, that month my mother was diagnosed with lupus and hypothyroid disease, none of which are curable illnesses. Since most health problems are hereditary, I took a step back and realized my horrible eating habits and activity levels could quickly get me to the state of health my mother was dealing with. Instead of it making me emotional and depressed, I used it as continued motivation for me to get to my goal weight. I shifted my focus from negative to positive with this frame of mind. Don’t get me wrong, I still wanted to prove to my ex-boyfriend that he was the worst person ever and I was thankful for him propelling me to start, but now it was for my mom and my general health.
The best thing I did for myself in the first month was create a schedule and use the myfitnesspal application everyday. I worked out Monday – Thursday faithfully, I told myself there were #nodaysoff.
My typical workout consisted of a one mile run, followed by a 45 minute circuit workout called “the Spartacus workout” (you can google it) and then I finished up with another one mile run.
Everyone thinks you need an amazing gym when you start, or a guru personal trainer and a motivated fitness partner. I always told myself I wanted to do it on my own so hiring a personal trainer was out of sight, out of mind, and out of my budget as well. I was paying for school out of my own pocket (without student loans), while working a full-time job and part-time job to support the costs of NYC living. I was paying my own rent and for all of my living expenses as well. That being said, an expensive gym membership was out of the question. I knew I needed a gym to fit my particular needs so I joined planet fitness (PF) for ten dollars a month.
I was not thrilled about the community environment at PF gym but it had the basics I needed to form a fitness habit: It was open 24 hours and allowed me to go whenever I had the time to (usually 10pm or later), it was about a mile from my apartment so I could run there and back as slight cardio and it fit my budget so I was sold. My fitness partners were two of my girl friends that were also trying to get fit and lose weight. They both helped me stay motivated with long distance runs, along the water or through central park. We would run 3-7 miles slowly while having girl talk and then going to whole foods or juice generation afterward to reward ourselves and refuel.
By the end of three months, I lost about twenty pounds. I went from a 180lb range to a 160lb range. My body was tighter, stronger, and leaner but most of all my mile time went from 12-13minutes down to 8.5 minutes per mile. Three months in and I realized I made fitness apart of my new lifestyle, the results were phenomenal and I was officially committed to building my body! ….
But, fitness is only 30% …. the other 70% was clean eating and dieting, which is always easier said than done.
Let’s talk Food:
Let me start by saying I love food. I could say that one million times but I’ll just say it one more time … I absolutely fucking love food (excuse my French). Our relationship is probably the longest relationship I’ve ever been in, in my life, and no matter what the situation is, food can change my entire mood, brighten my spirits and convince me that life is too short to dwell on irrelevant things or people (like guys) …
Do you see where I’m going with this? If not, let me explain …
If I was angry, I’d go get pizza, hell I’d probably get three slices just to cheer me up. If I was sad I’d eat cupcakes or cake. I vividly remember one time I ate an entire loaf cake In one sitting with not an ounce of remorse … #yolo
See my relationship with food was just that, it was my relationship! I loved food more than anything else. It was what controlled my day, my happiness and my dedication for just about everything. I’d never say it’s a bad idea to love food, because it’s what you need to get you through life however, I will say it’s bad when your mood & various actions revolve around it and, well, mines definitely did.
The week I decided to get my health together was when I spent a day just eating. I went and got a turkey bacon egg and cheese on a bagel for breakfast, I had two donuts, two slices of pizza, a cookie from insomnia (sooooo good) and I believe a turkey burger with French fries and a milk shake to finish my binge. You can add that up because I sure as hell didn’t but, if I was counting calories that’s about 5,000+ calories in one day. The normal intake for a female per day should range from 1500-2000 calories. I tried to say “well it’s okay I’ve been working out” but I knew it wasn’t okay. Most things are acceptable in moderation, the thing is when you get to know yourself well enough, you’ll realize the type of person you are, and I quickly understood I was not a “moderation” type of person. It was either or, yes or no for me when it came to anything. I hated grey areas and I’ve always been impatient. If I want it, I don’t want to wait for it. If I’m uneasy I have to address it right away. The same thing went for my food but in a “foodie” way. I’d go and say, I’m going to just grab a slice of pizza and then boom I’d be on the third one. I’d say I’m going to stop eating and then pass the donut shop and say “I’ll only have one” but the new flavor looked too good to pass up, so I got that along with my signature chocolate cake donut. I was never a “leave 1/3 on the plate” type of a person, I was a “it’s a sin to leave food on the plate” type of person. At the time I didn’t know how to take my food that was left on the plate “to go” … I had to eat it all in one sitting, even if I knew I was too full and forcing my stomach to accommodate my mind.
See, it’s an art to eating and maintaining a healthy body/lifestyle … And I wanted to figure out what art I loved the most. So I started just tapering off. I would pack my meals before hand and portion control until my cheat days on Sunday’s. I did this for the first month and then tapered off more so it was only a cheat meal on Sunday’s instead of the whole day by month two. After doing that for another month, I let go of alcohol socially (I know it technically isn’t food, but it isn’t good for weightloss). This changed my stamina and ability to workout quite a bit, I realized drinking slowed me down in the gym, it was one of the best decisions I made.
By the end of the first three months I had a routine down. I would eat clean 6 days a week by packing my meals before work and school. I included one cheat meal once a week and then picked one special day throughout a month to go out and drink with friends. I googled specifics on food and macronutrients from websites to learn what foods were learner or less calorie dense. Websites like http://www.marksdailyapple.com or http://www.iifym.com helped me to start counting my proteins, fats and carbohydrates (Macros) in order to lean out more than I originally intended.
So by the end of month three my second goal weight was achieved, I went from 185lbs-162lbs. I had a routine, I had a body that I was proud of and I wore a pink bikini for the first time in my life to show it off. I was obsessed with my progress and losing weight at that point, there was not going back. Everyone saw a change and complemented me, I dropped two or three sizes, guys started flocking and hell, my ex boyfriend even called me to “talk” about things and I curved him gracefully.
It was my world now, it was about me and learning how to love myself, what I liked and disliked and where I wanted to be in the years to come. This was the start of my life change challenge and because I did it on my own, I wanted to help others get motivated in a similar time frame so I created my #60daysofsexy challenge …image
I guess I should start by saying What made me change, who motivated me, & how I keep going to remain fit & dedicated to health. Well in an unconventional way:
How: At the age of 14, my mother became a single parent. My father got deported (somehow permanently) and I as the oldest in the household had to step up as the second parent. I never expressed my emotions or movements, I always swept them under the rug and just kept going, I always thought emotions were a waste of energy & definitely a waste of time. We were a Jamaican family and my live in grandmother would cook huge portions for dinner, it was a sin if we wasted food because of the “starving kids in Africa” she would say. So, From 14-18 years old I gained an extra ten pounds every year. By the time my first year of College rolled around and I gained the “freshman 15,” I was about 210lbs. I slowly realized my stress release was eating, over eating, & sometimes even binge eating.
I loved being a big girl though, I didn’t care about being skinny, or what I ate. Every morning I enjoyed a Turkey bacon, egg and cheese on a bagel or An Egg and Cheese on a croissant from Dunkin Donuts with a light & sweet coffee. I probably had two slices of pizza later in the day for lunch and when fourth meal in the cafeteria came around anything fried did the trick. I would go to Wendy’s and get a Baconater meal for myself and I would finish it in less than 20 minutes every time. I couldn’t help but drink four days out of the week while in college, it was a celebration for my friends to be away from home and experiencing life on our own. All these things were fun and felt good, but were ruining my ability to stay active, productive, and happy.
So, I noticed my failure with school, I couldn’t pass class or focus. I noticed how big I was compared to the girls that guys normally went after (We were in college and I was damn near a virgin still). However, most of all, I noticed my jean size and my breast size getting bigger and bigger to the point where I couldn’t fit into Victoria Secret underwear anymore. I don’t know about others but, in my world, shopping at Lane Bryant as a 19 year old back in those days meant you weren’t cool, my grandmother did that! This is when I started going to the gym and eating less, but … by no means was I interested in being healthy.
Who: In three years I got down to 185lbs. I was happy there, it was an “acceptable thick girl weight.” This is when I met my third boyfriend, the personal trainer. See, I never had a conceited bone in my body, I thought people were people and we should be accepting of who everyone wants to be in this world. I quickly understood not everyone is so peaceful. There were constant reminders of how I could improve, things he would say about my eating habits and finally the fat girl joke.
I really and truly wasn’t motivated until I discovered he was cheating with multiple women at once while I slaved away with a full-time school and work schedule. I mean, it sucks that men are a motivating factor for women who are comfortable but I realized that was okay, men always help women in one way or another, whether we like to admit to it or not. Once I left him, I vowed to prove to him that he would regret his actions and words, Hell, I vowed to prove to every man that they would regret not treating women like the swans we can grow to become. I wanted them to understand that people are people, we can physical change and mentally change when we decide to. You can either help me grow or watch me grow but there is guaranteed growth when you are motivated! So I began my fitness and nutrition journey March of 2013 and I never stopped committing to myself since.
I didn’t start with a before picture like most people do, I just started with a planet fitness membership and the myfitnesspal application. I also used Instagram like it was a workout bible. Although it was still new, I found pages that resembled mines. It was never the women who were skinny and got fit that intrigued me, but the people that lost weight and got in shape drastically, how they did it and what kept them going. I followed pages like @fitmencook to learn how to cook the meals I liked healthier and @leti_reconstructed to figure out challenges and workouts that worked for me. I then did something big, I booked a four day trip to Vegas to celebrate my potential drastic weight change I envisioned. I gave myself three months to lose 25lbs and guess what? I did it!
How: After reaching 160lbs by myself (with the help of the world wide web of course), I wanted more, I had an ultimate goal weight of 145lbs and I didn’t want to rush getting there so I started to scale back on things slowly. One year I cut off beef and pork, the next year I cut off chicken, the year after that I became a vegetarian and then finally this year I have began my Vegan journey. People think weight-loss is quick and easy, but that’s not true at all.
I can tell you what is easy, plastic surgery, allowing yourself to be unhealthy, practicing bad lifestyle habits for inevitable internal and external body issues. Weight-loss is hard, it takes persistence, dedication, motivation, organization, and a self-love most people can’t entertain. I know from first hand experience how difficult it is, I cried every month for over eating. Sometimes I would spend a whole Sunday binge eating, over 8,000 calories in one day for no reason at all. Every time I wouldn’t stop until I’d get to a point where I wanted to throw up from the crazy amounts of food I ate that day. Then, I would try to workout extra everyday to make up for it all week long, as if I was beating myself up for being a bad girl. There are so many psychological and physical changes that come along with weight-loss, most don’t even realize how both helpful and hurtful it can be to a person. However, that’s why I am choosing to share my story.
I am going to let you guys into my world and see how I maintain now that I have reached my ultimate goal weight. On occasion I will also share stories of how I struggled with dieting and eating disorders, the adjustment to finally being fit and pretty or wanted by the opposite sex as well. I’m going to give you me the way most never got to see while I was experiencing it because I was ashamed of who I was. I didn’t share it because it was ugly to me and I never wanted people to see how ugly my life was at times, but I realize life isn’t always pretty red clean roses, those thorns are there, you just have to grow past them. That being said, This is a motivational yet informational blog, this is my story, my advice. I hope this helps …