Weight Loss Success Finding The God in Me
Beginning Weight 208 lbs
Ending Weight 138 lbs
It all started on a sunny afternoon, cumulus clouds, 84 degrees, and the God in Me. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where food is an event, my weight loss journey has been life-altering. The year 2013 has been one of enormous change. Seeking food for comfort and what I used to perceive as a main source of leisure landed me in a precarious health situation. In the spring of 2012 the scale tipped just over 200 pounds, and I knew that I had to do something. If I had kept wading in the cesspool of emotional eating, I would have further shunted myself into a place of physical brokenness and maybe even death. The metabolic diseases and illnesses related to the heart run on both sides of my family. My parents had been on me for years to lose the weight, and I would drop 20 pounds here or there for special occasions, never deciding to truly learn to discipline my mind and persevere to excellence and good health. In fact it would anger me tremendously if anyone mentioned my weight or the weight of other overweight people, although deep down I really wanted to make a change.
A combination of a visit with my doctor and the horror displayed on the pictures from my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration changed me forever. Never in my life had a doctor said to me, “Martha, what are you doing? You’ve told me that you want to have children. God has not sent your husband yet, and you will not be ready when He does. I am telling you that if you do not get this under control you are going to develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, and maybe even preeclampsia if you don’t develop something fatal beforehand. You are too sweet and cute of a person to do this to yourself. Do you understand what I am saying to you? This extra person that you are carrying is a death sentence.” I cried right there in her office, and like a true emotional eater, I actually stopped at Chipotle that evening to have my ‘last’ supper of sorts, made special with extra sour cream, cheese, chips and guacamole. Hung over from the fat and sugar I had ingested the evening before, I woke up disgusted and feeling literally sick.
Like Jill Scott’s Love Rain, it was a [Friday], “sunny afternoon, cumulus clouds, [and] 84 degrees” that I had my unequivocal ‘ah ha’ moment. I drove straight to the store immediately after work and purchased running sneakers, joined a local running group in Atlanta, and re-joined a popular weight loss program for the umpteenth time, thus starting the journey to the rest of my life.
While I did have some success on my own, dropped my initial 30 pounds with these efforts, and ran-walked my first 5K ever, I started to plateau and found myself slipping back into old habits out of frustration. Or perhaps I had not met the person who would ultimately teach me what it meant to be disciplined in my mind, one who’s gentle yet exacting nature would usher me to a place of not only the best physical fitness I have been in, but the best emotional and mental fitness of my life.
My fitness coach, confidant, and good friend, Marlon Baker, changed my life forever. Admittedly, I think cried at least once a week for a month! (laugh) The perpetual muscle soreness from the rigorous workouts and the initial sugar and sodium cravings from the clean eating really made me ponder why in the world I would intentionally agree to such a masochistic existence! However, Marlon’s daily check-ins, positive reinforcement, and unwillingness to cosign any defeatist attitude slowly helped me to not only create but see, see with my second-sight, the better me. While going from 208 pounds to 138 pounds has had its wonderful perks in the dressing rooms at my favorite stores, and it has most certainly landed me more positive attention, what has been the biggest blessing and gift is further recognizing the God in me. Being healthy and physically fit means that I walk taller in Light. It means that I honor my body as my temple, and that my story could be a conduit by which someone else may decide to live, and not merely exist.