Transformation of the Day: Camille lost 79 pounds. This strong mom was very transparent in sharing the ups and downs of her journey. Watching her mom face having 3 toes amputated was her breaking point. She was not going to let a family history of weight related illnesses and years of emotional eating take her down. She embraced the 80/20 rule, healthy eating and lots of exercise with the help of great coaches. Check out what she shared with us.
Beginning Weight: 279 pounds
Current Weight: 200 pounds
How long did your transformation take?: 3 years
From First Lady to Putting Myself First: So, it started nearly over 40 years ago. I struggled with my weight as a child in grade school. Later, after the birth of my youngest son in 2002, I enrolled in a boot camp. I lost 30 pounds in 6 weeks and tore 2 ligaments in my knee. Because of that, I found the 30 pounds I lost, plus 20 more. Next came a heart wrenching public divorce as a pastor’s wife and 3 adult children launching into the deep of college while identifying their own paths in life. All of this left me medicating my pain with food.
I knew it was bad when I had all the nearby restaurants phone numbers stored in my phone on speed dial, including my entrées of choice. I attended a grief recovery class and that forced me to look myself in a full glass mirror. I had to address my childhood abuse and the hurt I experienced while looking for validation in all the wrong places, personally and professionally. As the healing began, God began to restore me and fill me up with his love.
On March 22, 2012, my mom had 3 toes amputated. I stayed with her until the surgery was complete and she was settled in her room. I cried the entire drive home and all night long. I wrestled with the fact that if I didn’t do something I would be next. The following morning, I vowed that would not be me. I stepped on the scale and saw 279 pounds staring back at me. Immediately, I began to think about my family’s long history of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. I realized if I didn’t do something I would either be just like my mother or, as Auntie Hattie put it, a girl with a beautiful face who’s killing herself with food.
My cousin Sheri had been hounding me about trying a new workout class with her. I was nervous and resistant because of the previous experience with the boot camp. However, on March 23, 2012 I met Nichole Fisher who helped to change my course and give me a new lease on life, one day at a time. She is a hardcore trainer who decided to leave the dogma of the fitness industry and is changing the lives of many people, one person at a time, in her basement.
Immediately, we connected. She is no-nonsense, just like me, and would not accept me quitting on myself or me giving her excuses. She did not once put me down for being overweight and lacking energy while my discipline was developing. The ladies at the Figure Eight Boot Camp were phenomenal. They were all there for different reasons and had different goals, yet we had great camaraderie. What I loved most about Nichole was her raw transparency concerning her own struggles with weight and how the folks in the fitness community take advantage of the obese.
During the first week, I detoxed with fruits and vegetables. No meat, pasta, or sweets. We worked out and I could barely make it through the first 5 minutes of walking in place. After my first week, I lost 9 pounds and that’s when I got serious. I committed to working out 3-4 days a week, journaling my meals, drinking water, and exercising regularly. Chicken, and fish were added in later and I ate 3 meals a day with two snacks.
After 90 days, I could not believe I had already lost nearly 32 pounds. After 2 years, I lost 60 pounds and was gearing up to lose the next 40 pounds. As life would have it, things changed. My trainer’s dad died, she took a new position that limited her time and I relocated to another state. After a year in a rural community where I didn’t know anybody and facing the challenges of getting acclimated to a new job, housing, etc, I was no longer on my routine. I attempted to stay motivated walking a couple days a week but it just was not enough.
I stumbled upon a couple that forever changed the trajectory of my life, both personally and professionally. I met Julius and Jeanette Jones and could not believe the drive and energy they possessed at every encounter. They introduced me to Herbalife Nutrition and that’s when things changed completely. I stepped on their scale and could not believe that after all my conscious eating and attempts at keeping the weight off I gained back 28 pounds. Isn’t it funny how we always call nearly 30 pounds “picked up a little weight.”?
So, I began again working out, this time learning that all those years of the weight struggle were attributed to emotional eating and the lack of understanding the 80/20 rule of health. 80% is nutrition. Like my eldest son LeBron (not James) told me a few years ago, I must control what goes in my mouth. The other 20% is fitness, so you must exercise to change your body. I could not believe how the weight began to melt off one pound at a time. In fact, I began chronicling my progress and I’m creating a memoir called “One Pound at a Time.”
To date, I’ve lost those 28 pounds. More importantly, I’ve lost 3 more dress sizes. I’m shocked when I look at my strength and fortitude; the yo- you dieting is finally over. I’m in the best shape of my life me and my adult children look like my siblings. I’m working out 4-5 days a week doing cardio and weight training for 3-4 days. My goal is to lose another 30 pounds. Now I’m inspiring and encouraging people around the world. I’m letting them know that they have what it takes to gain control over this flesh and train their bodies like an athletes. You don’t have to be perfect, but you must perfectly pursue a better life.
My advice: Gain control over what you put in your mouth and then find a coach. There are some results that will only come from a coach. You must be consistent and you must be your own body’s advocate. I never imagined calling myself an athlete, but the bible declares it so in 1 Corinthians 9:27: I will discipline/train my body like an athlete I make it do what it does.