Kinda like the song says, “I found love in a hopeless place!” When I joined Fit Like Me Divas (FLMD) on January 17, 2012, I was in a hopeless place. Exhausted by the demands of being a stay-at-home Mom for nearly 9 years to two lively, comical, energetic, beautiful boys, still reeling in grief from the sudden 2008 death of my Mom’s beloved 54-year-old baby brother, Uncle Beetle, from a 5 week bout with lung cancer, I hit rock bottom. Depressed, anxious, and isolated I had my neighbor put beer, imported at that, on her porch in a flower pot at night for me from time to time and I was emotionally eating my cares away numbing my pain with food and protecting myself with extra pounds. My self-esteem plummeted and the irony of it all was: the bigger I got, the more invisible I felt! Then I learned I had hypertension and low blood sugar. Like any faithful “Good Times” fan would do, I threw a chair at the wall, yelled Damn, Damn, Damn to the top of my lungs and began to pray. Well, I don’t know about hurling chairs, but prayer works!! During this time my 5’5” frame balloon to 192 lbs and I crept up to size 16. It was the best and worst of times.
My doctors had all suggested I enlist the help of a personal trainer. It wasn’t , however, until a trusted friend shared with me that I made a move. He lovingly reminded me that he and his wife and Alton and I are supposed to grow old together and he was concerned that I wasn’t in the best of health. He suggested I enlist the help of a personal trainer. Confirmation! While visiting friends in Suffolk, VA on January 5, 2012, I learned about Fit Like me Divas and its owner and personal trainer, Nevina “Nevie” Gray in Lanham, Maryland. After viewing her website www.fitlikemedivas.com I couldn’t wait to get home and try it out. I hadn’t worked out since the last time my high school marching band performed at our last football game my senior of high school and my last dance recital that same year! I was relying on genetics to hold my cute size 8 shape in place! But genetics had other plans. I quickly joined the FLMD program. I was measured, weighed, and challenged to change my eating habits to 5-6 clean meals daily, the exact way of eating my doctor’s had ordered. No fried foods, sugar, or salt. I also had to ditch sugary drinks, concentrated fruit juices, and the occasional glass of wine or my favorite imported beer, for nearly half my body weight in lbs for that number in ounces of water and green tea. For example at 192 lbs I was drinking nearly 80 ounces of water daily and vigorously working out so my doctors’ felt at ease with me consuming that amount.
Let me say, this was and continues to be no cake walk, but it is a labor of love. Armed with the scripture Ephesians 6:10-18, The Armor of God, I was equipped to go. Specifically Ephesians 6:15 where I learned to put on the shoes of peace and that I could access my God given peace in any situation. I was therefore free of anxiety, depression, rejection, fear, etc, everything that held me captive that I tried in vain to numb with food. This revelation was freeing!! Then many of the women of FLMD echo these principles and will not stand for anything less from me and each other. I began and continue the powerful 5 day a week High Intensity Interval Training workouts with Nevie nightly from 7pm-8pm in a group setting. Still no cake walk, but I just can’t leave home without it! It is uplifting, we laugh and cry together. It was refreshing to walk into a group of women and not feel judged, insecure, or nervous. We have built relationships in all honesty, accountability, and shared goals and experiences. Make no mistake about it, you are not fat because of what you are eating, you are fat because of what is eating you. Find out what is eating you and begin the journey of healing and falling in love with yourself. We have fallen in love with ourselves and each other, cheering one another on, picking each other up, dusting each other off and carrying on! It is gratifying.
As of today, I weigh 155 lbs. I have lost lots of inches as well. I’m not at my goal weight but my goal weight is only part of the journey. I must admit, I do get a kick out of my size medium, 6 and 8 jeans and clothes! I maintain my clean eating, when I trip up and fall over a craving, I don’t dwell on it. I look in the mirror and see where God, Nevie, and my hard work have brought me from; then I get right back on the horse! I continue to workout with Nevie 5 days a week, sometimes twice a day. I continue to meditate on my favorite scripture daily. My doctors were in shock when I returned in January for my annual! My General Practitioner didn’t recognize me in the hallway, my Cardiologist was amazed, and my Ob/Gyn jumped for joy! We did learn that my hypertension is genetic and I will need to take a very low dose of medication to maintain it.
I think the biggest misconception about this journey is that it is a race to the finish line of your goal weight for some event or just to reach that weight and “I’ll be fine!”. This journey is about quality of life, the quality of the life that you create and then put back out into the world. Are you at your best physically, mentally, and emotionally so that you can manifest your purpose on Earth? This journey is not just about looking good on the outside. It’s about growing, caring, sharing your gifts, setting and reaching goals, helping someone, inspiring another, and ever evolving into a healthier you. Motivate someone else, my husband began working out with Nevie as well and lost 40 lbs! My outlook on life has changed. I truly love, respect, and enjoy myself. I no longer feel isolated, I feel connected,confident, sexy and accomplished! I desire this for every woman who reads this article. You can obtain it, if I can you can too! Follow me on www.fitlikemedivas.com blog and Fit Like Me Divas Facebook page. Hug yourselves, love yourselves, and get into the best shape of your life.
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