Ladies, I want to bring you the weight loss journey of a very inspiring sista named Cledra. She overcame real tragedy and transformed her life. Now she is working to inspire others.
“The work you do to support our community is PHENOMENAL! I recently completed a Half Marathon and if my story can serve your audience I am more than willing to help ! MANY black women especially think that running is NOT possible. I started jogging at 246lbs (as you can see below) BUT you do need the right education about running! OK….. Here’s my before and my “continuously evolving” picture! NOW changes in every moment as you know!
I was a woman who lived my life by a checklist. College, Grad school, corporate job, get married, and have a baby. It wasn’t until the day after Mothers Day 2007 when I went in for my 2nd trimester ultrasound that my entire life changed. I discovered that my baby’s heart had stopped. It was the darkest time of my life and just when I thought it couldn’t get any darker, less than 90 days later my then husband sat me down to tell me he was seeing someone else. Life by design had become life by destruction. Having doubled in size during my pregnancy and the grief of my baby and my “fairy tale” life, I started running.
In the picture on the left I was 246lbs and it was 2 weeks after the memorial service for my baby. Running was my sanctuary. Many days I couldn’t tell the difference between the sweat and the tears but God had spoken to me during my baby’s service and said “lay aside the weight….run on….run on”. My life had been sparred for some reason and at the time I didn’t know why. Obese, filing for divorce, trying to wrap my mind around just how my life ended up this way I joined Jenny Craig because the thought of planning meals, counting, points, or doing anything beyond getting out of bed each day with the weight of grief and pain in my heart was just too much. I got 40 lbs off with Jenny Crag but then would binge repeatedly and self sabotage. This went on for so long I got professional help and realized that at 205lbs (which was the what I weighed when I got pregnant) I would have flashbacks of my baby and I would eat to numb the pain.
I was diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and at that time to get past 205lbs I decided I needed stronger intervention for my obesity and I got lapband surgery. It had just been approved for people who were obese and had one other illness which for me was also high blood pressure. With a lot of therapy, a life coach, and prayer I was able to move past 205lbs and drop another 35lbs. My journey has been long and at times I made it longer by looking for the quick fix. I want women to know that when life deals us cards of disappointment, tragedy, and heartbreak that we can PRESS. We can PRESS when it doesn’t make sense. We can PRESS with a heavy and broken heart. We can PRESS with a “mrs” or without. We can PRESS if God spares our baby or not. PRESS and see what GOD has. Now my life is once again beyond what I ever imagined. I help other women drop ALL weight…not just physical but the weight of bad relationships, the weight of childhood messages, the weight of the “happy face mask”, and so much more. I also just wrote my first book “8 Weights to Drop to WAKE UP to your BEST life”. God has given me beauty for ashes and kept every promise to stay close to the broken hearted and to give double for my trouble. I hope my story inspires a woman who is in the dark right now. A woman who feels loss, hopeless, and perhaps even forsaken. I’ve been there and I KNOW there is HOPE.
I workout ALL the time! I was the classic woman who always worked out but OVERATE and so NEVER saw results! I just completed a half marathon but my typical workout regimen(which btw I worked out 90% of the time at home…no gym membership…at least not one that I used!) is 3 days cardio and 2-3 days the FIRM DVDs (aerobic weight training) and 1 day yoga/hot yoga and sometimes 1 day active rest like a bike ride. Working out is my anti-depressant! In my darkest days my OB doctor told me that 30 min of activity had the same benefits of taking a pill without the side effects and I was SOLD! I wanted healing and so in a way ….exercise is the way I cooperate with my God in restoring my soul each and every day!
My site: www.planBEcoach.com There’s a FREE ebook “Stop the INSANITY of QUITTING on your BEST body and BEST life”
My book: 8 weights to drop to wake up to your best life. All the BEST! -Cledra”
Updated Photo (Nov 2013)