Transformation of the Day: Tanequa lost 149 pounds. Since the age of 10, she remembers being put on diets and trying to lose weight. Her breakthrough came when she realized that her weight gain was tied to her innocence being stolen as a child. Gastric Sleeve surgery is the tool she used to reclaim her health.
I’ve been overweight for almost all of my life. At the age of 10, I weighed 195 pounds. My mother took me to dieticians, and I was placed on diets, such as the 3-day Diet and the Cabbage Soup Diet.
My aunt would take us walking at a local park every day. I would run and play outside and at the Boys & Girls Club. I played basketball and volleyball in Jr. High School. However, everything I tried to do to help myself lose weight always failed.
As I got older, my weight got worse. As an adult, I tried Herbalife, Weight Watchers, the Cookie Diet, Atkins, etc. I was successful with Herbalife but ultimately lost interest and regained the weight I lost plus more. At 35 years old, I reached my highest weight of 377 pounds at 5’6″.
I was miserable! I couldn’t walk from here to there without dripping in sweat, even in the colder months. I was aggravated, moody and irritated almost all the time. I hated myself. I wondered, “If I was meant to be obese, why am I so unhappy with myself and my appearance? Why am I so unhealthy?” Why, at the young age of 21, did I develop Rheumatoid Arthritis? Why am I prediabetic? Why is my cholesterol high, at my age? I endured so much and had so much self-hate.
I realized that my physical appearance and conditions had a lot to do, not just my weight, but with some emotional scars I had been carrying around since the age of five when my innocence was stolen. My weight loss journey has helped me address all the negative things I’ve been through physically and emotionally to become the woman I am today.
I had Gastric Sleeve surgery on October 31, 2018. I have lost 149 pounds since the day of my surgery. (My current weight is 228 pounds.) The happiness I feel is beyond overwhelming! The only regret I have is not having surgery sooner! I have so much confidence, strength, and love for myself! I feel better now in my 30’s than I ever did in my 20’s or younger!
To anyone who is even considering making a drastic change in their lives to better themselves, I say go for it. Don’t let anyone stop you! When I was going through my journey, I didn’t tell anyone other than my mom and my sister because I didn’t want anyone’s negative opinions and fears projected onto me. It was a decision I would make again in a heartbeat!
Now, I would be lying if I said I eat completely clean now. No. Most days, I eat baked or air-fried meat (chicken, seafood, ground turkey, ground beef, pork chops, and Italian sausage) and veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, cabbage, lettuce, and tomatoes). I’ve learned several low carb recipes that curb some of my cravings, such as a low carb pizza casserole, keto cheesecake, taco salad, etc. I also give myself cheat days on the weekend. This is when I eat something I’ve been craving.
There are two things I absolutely stay away from; soda and rice. It used to be hard because I was addicted to soda for years, and I loved Chinese fried rice!! I had to sacrifice those two things to make a change in my life for the better. I still enjoy Chinese food, but now I only enjoy egg foo young, which is surprisingly low carb, and pepper steak. I only have these foods once every two months when I’m craving Chinese.
I exercise 3-4 times a week, in the comfort of my living room. My workouts include walking, weight lifting, heavy bag punching, and Tabata routines that I found on YouTube. I love myself now, and I love my life.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned on my weight loss journey is that this is not just a journey, at least not a temporary one. It truly is a lifestyle change that I love, welcome, and embrace at all costs. I have no regrets about my decision to change my lifestyle, except that I didn’t do it sooner!
I’m happy to share my journey with anyone who may need help or encouragement! Ain’t no shame in my game! Yes, I had weight loss surgery, and some people think it is the easy way out. However, surgery is a tool to help you, just like the gym. You still have to put in work and dedication to get your desired results.
For anyone going through a weight loss journey, let me tell you that it’s not easy. Anything worth having isn’t easy to get! In the end, it is so worth it, and you got this!