Update Dec 2016: We shared Iesha’s story a little over a year ago and she has maintained her success. Check out her update and read about how she lost 130 pounds (below the update).
I wanted to thank the administrators for this site for allowing me to be heard. It is so important to have a voice. Blackweightlosssuccess.com was the first site to publish any of my own words, and for that I am eternally thankful.
It has been two years since I lost weight and so much has happened. In October of 2015, I was awarded the Lifestyle Change Award from the American Heart Association. This award is given to a person in the Pee Dee area, who has made significant changes in their life (like quitting smoking or weight loss). I was also able to complete their one mile American Heart Walk with my children, my husband and my sister. This was a big accomplishment for me. Although I’d lost my weight through walking, I had never walked that far at one time.
In January 2016, I was featured in “She Magazine”. It was my first time in front of the camera for a publication and I felt awesome. There was a tremendous release, like I had made it, and by making it I mean I’d lost the weight. Now, I was able to have my pictures taken without being nervous and speak my truth without stuttering or being anxious. Many times, we psyche ourselves out by not trying or thinking that things are going to be harder than they actually are. I have been asked to do a number of speaking engagements since losing the weight. I was asked to present the Lifestyle Change Award to this year’s winner at the walk. This year, I walked 3 miles with my mommy and two children. I was happy to be able to speak with local WBTW news anchor Patsy Kelly about taking the weight off, being inspired and about this year’s Heart Walk. It was quite an accomplishment.
I have so many goals set for the near future. Life has really changed for me since finding myself in this journey. My family eats like I do and I am making sure that they treat food with respect, instead of abusing it, by educating them about nutrition. I am truly blessed and grateful. I have spent a lot of quality time helping others on their journey as well. That has been my new found joy, because someone helped me and gave me encouragement. Sometimes it takes others to see something in you that you don’t see. I am so thankful for growth in my faith and overall mentality. I am also glad I made the decision to live instead of allowing my emotions to rule my every move and cloud my judgement. I have lived more in these past two years than I have in my 40 years of life prior to that.
Nov 2015 – Weight Loss Transformation of the Day: Iesha lost 130 pounds. She is a survivor of thyroid cancer who has fought the pounds over the years and through 2 pregnancies. She was determined to change her lifestyle and lose weight for the benefit of herself and her loved ones. She said, “It took me 40 plus years to get to 314 pounds and a year and a half to reach 190.” Here is what she shared with us about that journey.
I was always overweight. In my youth, at 20 years old, I weighed 200 pounds and never saw any weight below that in my adult life. I’ve lived in NY most of my life, where there is just so much to do. I stayed active, but the weight would not go away. In 2000, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and later that year I had half of my thyroid gland removed. In 2001, after surgery and after more tests, I found that the other side was malignant also and needed to be removed. Then came the radiation and hair loss, but still no weight loss. I tried dieting at that point, to no avail.
I had my first child in August of 2006. I ate properly during my pregnancy and gained amazingly only 20lbs. My son was born healthy and I weighed 220 pounds.
I moved to South Carolina in 2009 and lost about 20lbs. I was still overweight at this point and when I had my second child, the pounds really piled on then. I had gestational diabetes during pregnancy and was told that this meant I would be more likely to have the disease later in life.
Later on, I started working night shift at the hospital and had gained about 60 lbs, bringing my weight to 314 pounds. I saw a picture of myself that my husband had taken of me for my birthday 1 year ago to the date, and I began to cry because I had let myself gain all this weight. I knew that I could do better and so, I did. That day I made a personal choice to eat better and to exercise. I started by walking daily during my breaks at work. I also did any physical activity we could come up with just to get out the house and stay active. Dodge ball in the neighbor’s yard, baseball in the field across the street, or basketball… no yard is off limits to me and my children. They are my motivation and the reason why I knew that I had to make changes for their lives and my own.
I started looking at the meals that my family was eating. This is where the lifestyle change really occurred. We started eating portion controlled amounts of carbs and planning out our daily activities. This was not easy. I had to have willpower not to eat the nachos when out with girlfriends. I pass on the rice, pass on mac and cheese and make better choices overall daily. I also involved the kids in planning healthier snacks.
My Doctors were so amazed and happy with my results. My height is 5’5″ and now my weight is 184 pounds. I have been able to lose 130 pounds and keep it off.
My advice for anyone that wants to lose weight is to do it for the right reasons. Do it so that you can be around for your loved ones, so that you will have less sick days, and so that your body will not shut down on you. Stay motivated and the weight will stay off. It took me 40 plus years to get to 314 pounds and a year and a half to reach 190. I am so happy and have never felt healthier. I am able to keep up with my children. I am no longer diabetic and a I’m cancer survivor also. Change brings about change and I needed to change.