First off, this is not an easy post for me to write. Losing weight is not a win for everyone and while, I am so proud of myself, I have also been hurt by the process. Not really hurt, per se but more hurt by what I went through for at least a decade as I struggled to lose the weight. Weight loss is a big topic in our culture and one can become swept up in doing it for all the wrong reasons. I’m just here to share my experience and what I learned that is valuable to me and hopefully to you as well.
This story doesn’t start with me saying I was always a chunky child. I was not. I was always on the slender side. I didn’t start really struggling with my weight until I got well into my 30s. Somewhere around 36 years old I gained 60 pounds and I fought to lose it or love it. I gotta say, neither worked. Before we moved to Colorado after Hurricane Katrina, I was a solid size 12, worked out religiously at a local Jazzercise studio on the outskirts of New Orleans (Covington, LA), and was becoming a Jazzercise Instructor.
Cabo, 2006 (You can see I began picking up weight)
Life changed drastically when we moved. Never really got into the Jazzercise thing here in Denver, started worked full-time (I was a stay-at-home mom in LA) and began to gain weight. Before I gained the 60 pounds, the heaviest I had ever been was barely over 200. What I found myself during all of my 40s was at 245. I have NEVER shared my weight online. Never. I am really surprised I am sharing it now. Most of my friends have never heard me say it either. Like i said before, this post is HARD for me to write. I’m an influencer and yes, we share A LOT, but I tend to keep a lot of things private and my weight was one of them.
If you have been following me for a while you know I used to never share pics of myself below my shoulders. Never. Not sure why since you can see my weight all in my face! I always gain weight in my face but to me, I felt more secure that way. It’s hard being a blogger and taking pics when you don’t want to. Harder than you think.
The end of my 30s and all through my 40s I was what the medical community calls, morbidly obese. Such an ugly term. I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol (in my defense, I had high cholesterol in my 20s when I was skinny). I wanted to lose the weight or love my size and I couldn’t’ do either. I am not going to even lie. I didn’t like my size or the way I looked. My health was not horrible, but not good and I was becoming borderline Diabetic by the time my late 40s rolled around. The doc told me to lose weight and exercise in the summer of 2019.
How My Weight Loss Started
In early August 2019, a friend of mine and I decided to lose for good. I was going to turn 50 the following year and I wanted to be at least 50 pounds lighter for my health and my happiness. Here’s what we did to start my weight loss journey:
- We began to share our eating, meal prepping and our feelings daily
- I was writing down everything I ate in Myfitnesspal
- I lowered my calories and carbs
- meal prepping
- portioned EVERYTHING to make sure meals were the right size.
- Intermittent Fasting
I didn’t start the exercise part yet because I wanted to get my eating under control first. IT WAS HARD! No other way to describe it! I was addicted to sugar and carbs and fighting those cravings for something sweet and carby was enough to make me kill someone. LOL
I had gone down to 30% or roughly around 140 grams of carbs a day. Restrictive for me and I have to say I could not even fathom lowering my carbs before then. It was never even a thought. I always just lowered my calories when trying to lose weight before then, but it never really worked. The weight loss was slow and I was getting antsy. I made an appointment with my doc that October and she told me to go even lower with my carbs (70 grams a day) and put me on a med to help lower my A1C since I was still borderline diabetic. I felt that crazy lady was being too restrictive so I opted for 100 carbs a day and THAT was even hard but I did it. I also starting reading up about Intermittent Fasting and added that also to my weight loss mix. With all those additions, the weight finally began falling off.
I was also exercising regularly. I started back with Jazzercise and was loving it but my knees weren’t. I had to give it up according to the doc and began Aqua Zumba. I was going twice a week and walking. I was on a roll with my eating and my exercising. I was eating around 1450 calories a day with 100 grams of carbs. I eliminated bread and sweets and steered clear of fries, fast food and desserts. Losing weight motivated me to keep going. I had a small setback during the holidays 2019, but got back on track in February 2020.
As you already know, COVID-19 hit and everything changed. My weight loss began to slow down and these last 20 pounds I want to lose have escaped me. I was on a roll to lose them well before my birthday but being inside, no Aqua Zumba, boredom and stress has left me maintaining this weight more than losing. Still a win though. 60 pounds lighter, my A1C has gone down so I am no longer borderline Diabetic, I lowered the dosage on my High Blood Pressure meds, and I’m back into a size 12. Super happy.
I started sharing full length pics of myself for the first time as an influencer. While anyone can and should show themselves at any size, I wasn’t ready to do it nor felt comfortable enough. To each her own and I”m happy to see women flaunt their bodies at every size. I can only say — for Sabrina, the higher weight did not work for me.
I”m happier and healthier and still working on making myself an even healthier black woman who just turned 50. I feel good about what I have done this past year. I am also welcoming a new normal with COVID-19 and how I will incorporate my eating and exercising into a vastly different life. So, I will steadily work on myself and hope my journey will inspire you to complete whatever goals you have planned to make your life better and healthier.
Now, my focus is on losing these last 20 pounds, toning and learning how to eat better with proper portions. I am still putting everything I eat in Myfitnesspal and on day 400. I plan on doing that for a few more years and if that sounds crazy, I am friends with a woman who is on day 1080 and another on day 800! Seeing them continuing to document their food keeps me going and allows me to monitor my intake. It really doesn’t take that much time to do it and I encourage everyone to give it a try if trying to lose or maintain weight.
Have specific questions? Hit me up on social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also friend me on myfitnesspal and fitbit. I’m seriouslynatural on both. Also, this was just part 1. In Part 2, I will share a lot more on what I did and how I did it. Basically, explain in detail each of the points above. You all know me. I give ALL THE DEETS!
Stay healthy Lovelies,