Transformation of the Day: JaQueen lost 54 pounds. She was dealing with hormonal imbalances, fibroids, unresolved trauma, and binge eating. In August 2019, she decided to let go of her excuses and fully commit to a lifestyle change. She embraced a Raw Vegan lifestyle, worked out consistently, and developed the discipline she needed to achieve these results.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
I suffered from unsettled trauma and hormonal imbalances from an IUD. It was starting to impact my physical health, from several fibroids to headaches and mental health decline. I also had a huge binge eating problem, and my metabolism was shot.
I blew up by 80 pounds in less than a year and lost the will to do anything, thinking all things were impossible. The rock bottom hit me. I knew there was happiness on the other side of my pain if I was willing to jump all the way in because jumping is the only way to learn how to fly. I let the fear of staying that way (80lbs overweight and sick) motivate me to jump.
I was no longer willing to accept the things I could change. I couldn’t change my past, but I didn’t see value in living if this misery stuck with me for the future. I told myself, “I am gonna give it one more shot. This is my LAST shot. And I’m going to do all of the hard things every single day for one full year. I will start with a fully raw vegan diet for 90 days to correct my hormones, and I will not make excuses. If it doesn’t work and nothing changes, then it is just impossible, but at least I went out with a fight. I’m not fkn going out like this!”
How did you change your eating habits? What is your workout routine?
I went Raw Vegan back on August 27, 2019. Since then, I have lost 54 pounds of fat and retained my lean mass (muscle). Raw veganism is a whole food, plant-based vegan diet that consists of fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. It also means never heating your food to a temperature above 118 degrees so that the food keeps all its nutrients, is living and electric, and retains it’s highest healing qualities.
I started weight lifting in October 2019 and walked 2-3 miles every other day until my back could carry my weight. In the past, I was not able to stand for more than TEN MINUTES.
From month two, I walked 2-3 miles every day (at 1st every other day). I got jumpers knee (in both knees) 2 months ago, so my cardio is back to only walking 2-3 miles per day (every day). Mon-Sat, I do a 40 min full-body strength workout with resistance bands from my online coach and life partner @tribebynoire.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
I started at 234 pounds. Now, a year later, I’m down to 180 pounds.
What is your height?
5 feet tall, 0 inches
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
To be in the business of fat loss, we must also be in the business of mental health. Much of what we suffer mentally finds its way to our waistline if we have not dealt with what causes us to eat wrong, too much, binge, and not feel like working out.
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds not only help you heal your body, but they are vitamin and nutrient-rich. These foods help balance hormones, which helps release more of the proper chemical balances in your mind, making the body feel that the environment is safe enough to lose the fat it is saving for flight.
Also, motivation doesn’t last. It is like a battery. The only thing that keeps you going is discipline. Commit to making yourself do the hard stuff every day for 90 days – No cheat days.
Discipline creates a lifestyle. Lifestyle translates into core principles and values. When doing certain things become apart of your principles (because you forced yourself to do them every day), you no longer have to “find motivation” because motivation is not as strong as values. You always do the hard things that bring you value and are apart of your core principles. You stop doing the hard things that have not brought you value. You have to stick with it beyond the “habit” time frame and shoot for 90 days. Go after it for 90.
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
Mental health is essential, especially for black women. We’re the only flower that grows unwatered. Being tough and told to be strong, we uplift everyone and everything but are not lifted up in return, and it is exhausting and damaging. We have to love ourselves enough to care for ourselves the same way we would treat our grandparents, plants, pets, money, jobs, kids, grades, businesses, etc.
You cannot pour from an empty cup, so take care of your mental health every day. Exercise, eat healthier, practice gratitude, and imagine yourself in the life you want to live. When you open your eyes, actively start rejecting and removing everything that is not conducive to that life!
Today, I’m still on my journey to fitness, and I recently celebrated one year of sticking to my nutrition and making healing a priority. Once I began to heal my mind, my hormones, my metabolism, removed my hormonal IUD, healed my spirit and my gut health issues, my body felt that it was safe to lose fat.
I want to lose slow and steady. My goal is to change my body composition by increasing my muscle over time and dropping body fat. My bodyweight is none of my business. I also want to help people understand how to properly view themselves, view fitness, and understand that health and wellness are connected.