I have had a lot of people ask me how I lost over 40 pounds and kept it off for a little over 3 years now. While this is a note to give a brief overview of my journey, I hope to also inspire as many that want to get on that fitness journey and in addition, remain accountable to myself and my mentor on my current stage in this journey. Happy reading…
This journey to fitness has been adventurous, challenging and I must say fun too…
Sometimes I don’t want to do the work it takes, but the rewards at the end keep me focused and in the game. Sometimes, I just want to sit at home and do absolutely nothing but sleep, however, when I think of the consequential losses therein and that the good things in life aren’t free, I am forced to get to work with those activities that produce the rewards that I want in order to maintain a good health and lifestyle. Indeed this journey has become a way of life for me and I am loving it everyday!
Having a business that has thrived for the past 10 years and soared within the last 5 years, I have discovered that one has to have a strong “WHY” that drives whatever goal one has and that “WHY” or reason, has to be strong enough to keep the person in the game and focused when down times present.
My determination to be successful with being fit is directly proportional to my determination to be successful in my businesses and other endeavors. Come to think of it, success cannot be achieved without discipline, determination, hard work and focus, amongst other key points. Most people, if not everyone wants to loose a pound or two or 10 or 15 even 100 or more, the main question remains: what is the best way to loose weight, get fit and keep fit?
Statistics show that currently, more than 64% of US adults are either overweight or obese, according to results from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). This figure represents a 14% increase in the prevalence rate from NHANES III (1988-94) and a 36% increase from NHANES II (1976 -80). (The Obesity Statistics. US Obesity trends. 2010 -)
This is where I was from 2001 after I had moved to the United States and with all the excitement of a new environment, I ate it alll… you name it! From Checkers fries, to McDonald’s Big Mac to Diary Queen’s Banana Splits…mmmh, I must confess, they tasted so good, I indulged without much consideration and knowledge of the outcome of such eating habit. Speaking of food, ever wonder why the taste of regular grocery store chicken is “different,” “unique” and the texture of it unusual, well, you are not alone, and certainly it’s not your mind playing tricks on you, the hormones in these chicken affect the after taste and texture of it, go figure – more on this to come.
I recall a day when my brother told me in a nice way that I appeared to be adding weight – remembering vividly, he was dropping me off at work at Verizon Wireless when he barely muffled it out, and my response, you guessed it: “must be your eyes bro.” I also recall even having to put this weight loss problem into prayers, I found a prayer point of mine where I wrote and asked God to help me loose 30 pounds, humorous, but believe it. Today, I can look back and say that He answered my quest!
Moving from Nigeria to the US, I was a size 6, and a year or two after I moved here, I remember going shopping and size 8 wont fit, 10 wont fit, 12 was barely closing up, my thought, it must be the store, their sizes are off… well, lets just say that was the dawning of a new day for me as I realized that I had gone up 3 dress size. It was at this point that the gym, free at that and well equipped, within the premises of my company then, Verizon Wireless became relevant to me. I joined the gym with hopes to drop my added pounds, lets just say that it was more frustrating that fulfilling. Loose two pounds, add three pounds right back, well, now I know why all that I did back then did not work. Even though I kept trying to shed pounds, contrarily, I knew I was adding rather than loosing, this whole YoYo stuff was especially frustrating me.
Days following, I was watching Oprah Show and the story was about someone who was over 600 pounds and I thought to myself, well this is serious, how do you let yourself get that out of control!” Right there, it hit me, I had just climbed my scale earlier that bright sunshine morning and was a notch away from 200 pounds and I said, Nina, just like this… one pound at a time!
My thought also wondered to how I ate more calories while growing up in Nigeria and still maintained a slender shape and weight. A typical day’s menu in my house growing up in Nigeria could be, for instance,
Breakfast: Slices of Bread with fried whole eggs and tea or chocolate drink, possible snack,
Lunch: A generously loaded plate of garri (a local grain somewhat like mashed potatoes) with soup
Dinner: A benevolent ration of beans porriage with pap (made of ground corn) and did I mention, fried palm oil stew with onions, pepper and salt to go over the beans…mmh yummy (I smile as I write this menu savoring wonderful memories of my childhood)
My belly sings and I smile with delight as I recall these. Notwithstanding this menu combination, one never was out of shape or obese.
I decided to take immediate responsibility, here’s what I did:
1. Became frank with myself
2. Decided on a strong reason for wanting to get fit (MY WHY)
3. Bought & read the book: The Weight Loss Cure “They” Dont Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau
4. Bought, read & reference the book: Eat Right for Your Blood Type by Peter D’Adamo
5. Went totally Organic with food (the general notion that it is more expensive is totally overrated)
6. Hired a personal trainer for accountability and direction
Through the Phase 1 of my journey, I lost over forty (40) pounds and have kept it off more than 2 years after. I am of the personal opinion that there is not enough education or awareness on the actual constituents of the foods we buy from the regular grocery stores whose ultimate goal is to feed the masses and make profit at the detriment of the health of the consumers. Well, they are not doing anything illegal, but you have got to be an educated consumer and choose the right stores to go to, I personally now shop at Wholefoods Market and have been for the past 2 years or more.
In deciding to follow through with Phase 2 from Trudeau’s book, I am facing my fears so that I can do what I have to do to get to the finish line, the FINAL STRAW! So it’s been 12 days already of Phase 2 and having knocked off 11 pounds, I am all fired up and ready to celebrate my fitness and victory at the end of the phase!
I am at the final straw, here’s my focus:
*to shed my final 25 pounds, at the least
*to totally reset my hypothalamus and thereby increasing my metabolism
*to reshape and re-sculpt my body
*to loose my problem area fat reserves
Having decided to take ownership, I use the word “my” in the above bullet points. I realize that this will not be easy, but I know that it is a mission possible, with a fervent zeal and focus on the rewards, I will attain and exceed my expectation and goal.
While this is a form of accountability for me, I also hope to inspire as many that want to get on the lasting fitness journey to start today, knowing that if Nina could do it, I too can, and YES indeed, You too can!
I celebrate your journey and my race to the finish line in advance.
Stay Tuned… for Part 2
Virtuously Empowered to Empower!
Please leave me your comment regarding this article after you read it.
Originally Written August 2010