By Bonza Trainer Jewel Shoaga
Most people who didn’t know me 6 years ago have no idea I use to weigh over 300lbs. When I tell them, the conversation usually goes like this:
They say, “How much did you lose?” I say over 140 pounds. Then their jaws drop and I say, “Yes, I lost 140 lbs.”
They ask me how. My short answer is eating clean and exercise.
Nine times out of ten the next comment is, “Oh I am glad you did it the healthy way.”
Yes, everyone has seen those crazy fad diets come and go. Eating only cabbage soup and cleansing on a vinegar and chili drink. Or maybe one goes the way of popping those “diet” pills in hope of having that bikini or six-pack bod that is pasted to that pill bottle. Let us not forget about the shake weights, belly bands, ab rollers and “lifted” walking shoes. All of these things will work for maybe 1 or 10lbs (reaching) of weight loss and a toned body. The hardest part of these trends is you can’t keep it up for the rest of your life. Plain and simple, I skipped these fad diets and equipment. I actively STOPPED, looked into the mirror, and saw what I had become. Next, I made a U-turn to find a road of wellness.
How do you lose that much weight and keep it off? My simply complicated answer is this: a life change! Finding and balancing the mind, body, spirit connection. Finding that balance is different for everyone. There is no formula that will work for the masses. I wish I could bottle it up and sell it!
Now wait, don’t feel totally discouraged. There are some basic guidelines to implement into your life. Start with honesty, humility, building real self-value, asking for support and doing it!
First, you need to be honest with yourself. The “no excuses” zone. As the actor Tyrese, says “excuses only sound good to those that make them.” Go ahead check it out on YouTube. Can you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “YES, I really messed this up; yes, I am overweight; yes, I really don’t know how to eat healthy?” Breathe! This is a major step. The main reason is you must admit defeat. Yet, there is great value right there. Wait, what value? Where do you find value? You are the valuable one! Yes, you must humble yourself to the truth that you have not been successful in this part of your life, but you are still worthy of it. Okay, now look in the mirror and say I am worth it (I know, it is corny). Just do it when no one is looking.
Alright, so far two steps have been realized. You have been honest and humbled. Next, is believing that you are worth it. I have found that many people really struggle with believing that you are valuable. If you are of priceless value why not treat your body well? Think of the master sculptor. He starts with an ugly block of clay. Yet, in his mind he has already envisioned his masterpiece that will be sold for millions one day. Over time in his workshop he is carving and molding his masterpiece. You may feel you look like an ugly block of clay, but you have all the ingredients to create the new beautiful you. You have to know that what you do daily on your journey leads you one step closer to that masterpiece. Don’t let the onlookers of negativity only see you as that ugly block of clay. No, walk around your world, proud and beautiful even as you continue to fine-tune the masterpiece of you.
I believe this step of realizing your self-value is ongoing, as you take steps toward your life change. You must ask for help from people. You will need support. Talk with your doctor and dietician for a good food plan. Find a personal trainer to show you how to move your body to burn those calories and keep you accountable. Ask friends and family for their support. Make new friends at the gym and online who are on the same journey as you.
Most of all START! Eat clean and exercise. Use your support system of professionals to keep you on track and tweak your eating and exercise plan. Use your friends and family to keep you honest with yourself. Let them love you through challenges, battles and triumphs up ahead. Most of all don’t quit. You are worth WAY too much. Do you want and need a life change? Are you desperate for change? Then CHANGE! I did. And I’m rooting for you.