Ever since I can remember, I’ve been on the plus side of sizing whether it was in height or weight. As an elementary school kid, I started sprouting curves way before my peers. I was always the tallest girl in the class (yes I had to close the door behind the class and turn off the lights). I became comfortable with being different and larger in size from a small age, and subsequently with having more responsibility. It wasn’t until Junior High that I realized my size could actually effect everything from my love life to my shopping trips to the mall with friends.
This is my earliest memory of attempting a diet. I remember in Junior High decided to cut down on some of my fatty food and I immediately started what was back then the “newest” sensation in fitness – Tae Bo. I dropped nearly 30 pounds, fit into a size 8 and had the absolute best summer ever. Fast forward a few months and the diet was over. I was back to eating junk food after school and the Tae Bo routines had gotten old. I knew them all by heart. So my weight crept back up and my size was back in the double digits.
Anyway, I gave this story as an example of my constant battle with weight loss. A few years ago when I started LoveBrownSugar I vowed to stop focusing on trying to change myself and to truly embrace who I am – curves and all. I wrote post after post about body positivity, I confidently strutted my curves on this blog and I spoke publicly about the importance of loving yourself at any size.
Deep down though, I knew I wasn’t doing all that I could to take proper care of my body. I often felt convicted but not enough to do something long-term about it. In fact I continued to diet off and on getting temporary results and never doing anything definitive about my overall lack of emphasis on health. See, the diets were fairly easy to pull off but working out? That took time and effort and more time. Time I didn’t have. Time I considered negotiable.
Until last October. For years, my father has battled with a disease that plagues many individuals with a family history and a tendency towards obesity.
My father has diabetes.
Last October, his high blood pressure and diabetes elevated his health condition to Kidney disease. He was rushed to the hospital for an emergency procedure and told he would have to start dialysis and continue on it until he could be considered for potential kidney donation.
(Above: My Dad & his princess Cadence aka #babybrownsugar)
At the beginning of this year I did my due diligence and met with his nurses to determine my eligibility for kidney donation. Upon my exam results, I was informed that I could not proceed with being eligible until I lost 30 pounds. Pay attention to the dates now – that was January of this year. I even wrote a post about it here. It’s now July and I sadly haven’t lost a pound. Why? Because I haven’t made it a priority.
I got a huge wake up call after my dad’s nurse gave me a call last month to check on my weight loss status. Not only had I not lost a pound but I had been watching my Father go back and forth to dialysis literally every other morning at the crack of dawn and hadn’t even attempted to get my health in order not just for him but for myself. Obviously if it runs in my family I have a chance at ending up the exact same way if I’m not careful.
After chatting with some of my good friends about it (people who are not only good friends but have had amazing and transformative weight loss journeys of 30 pounds+) I decided that I would throw my crash diets and defeatist attitudes out the window along with my Oreos and my Chips Ahoy. Life always comes down to choices and by choosing to avoid a healthy weight loss journey I was also choosing to not give my father the chance of having a viable organ. Though a 30 pound weight loss won’t guarantee that he’ll have a new kidney from me, it will at least give me the peace of mind in knowing that I tried and will set my entire family up for transformative health success so we can stop the disease and the habits that lead to risk factors for it.
Anyway, I’ll be starting anew this week ditching diets and focusing on overall healthy living for the second half of 2015 as my opportunity to do something meaningful. And I will never ever “diet” again. This is a lifestyle change for me that will require a lot of hard work, discipline, determination and help! I’ve had to request that my family doesn’t leave unhealthy snacks in the common areas. I’ve started a group chat with some of my friends who want to live healthier as well. And I’ve enacted a set of dependable accountability partners who will help steer me in the right direction, give me unfiltered and honest advice and can truly hold me accountable to do what I said I would do. I’m going to be participating in “Fitness Friday” updates – coined by my girl Lexi – and will be updating you guys weekly on my progress.
So here’s where YOU come in. I’ve never done this before but I’d like for you all to be my virtual accountability partners as well. If you see me on the ‘gram, hit me and ask what I’ve eaten that day. Tell me to abort mission of you see me gramming #foodie pics of stuff you know good and well I shouldn’t have. And most of all – please feel free to join me! Health is so important to so many aspects of your life. Though I hate trekking to the gym, I love the high I get when a workout is complete. Though I, too, feel like salad is comparable to eating grass I know that it’s more about what’s good for my heart than my tastebuds.
So what about you? What are your experiences with diets? Any tips for a newcomer to the lifestyle change? Hit me in the comments below!
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