Update 2/12/14: We checked in on Tanisha today and learned that she is now down an additional 40 pounds from our original post in Aug 2013! That’s a total of 120 pounds.
Today’s featured weight loss journey: Tanisha lost 80 pounds with no gimmicks (just eating right and exercise) after trying other methods, fads and respected ones that just didn’t work. Now, she counsels others on how to live healthy. Here is what she shared with us:
My name is Tanisha Williams, and for the last few months I’ve followed your website, and think it is so inspiring for black women to support one another in these difficult times. I wanted to share my story in hopes of healthy others.
I have always been overweight, no obese. From childhood, I was the chubby little kid, and through my adulthood, I have tried to overcome this challenge. I was the cookie and chip kid. If you want to get me out your face, buy me a bag of BonTon chips, but I also loved fruits and vegetables. Despite my weight, I was always labeled “healthy on paper” meaning my blood work reflected I had no serious health issues, but the weight was still there. In the past, I tried everything. I took diet pills several times, ate only salad, got a personal trainer, had food delivered to my house, drunk shakes, and considered surgery two times, but was denied because I had no medical issues. So, where did that leave me? Overweight and frustrated.
In recent years I just found ways to make my weight work for me. I love being plus size, but I had to come to terms with reality: I had to lose the weight. My wake up moment took place on October 15, 2012. I had no intentions on changing my life, but I decided to get on the scale to see how much I weighed. I was not prepared for what I read on the scale – OL. This meant that my weight was over the limit that this scale could read. I almost went into a depression, but quickly got my act together – that night. I cleaned my house – threw everything out. I was angry, but the only person I could be angry at was myself. I allowed myself to lose control of my life, and here I was over 350 pounds. I had no plan and did not know what I was going to do to lose the weight, but I knew I had to lose it. That night I went to the supermarket and purchased only healthy items. I started taking my food and snacks wherever I went to avoid temptation, and started exercising at home using YouTube videos I found. I changed my entire mindset about life, food, and exercising. I knew I had no choice but to look forward to being healthy. After a while, I no longer dwelled on the pounds lost, but I focused on the fact I knew that I was healthier.
By January 2013, I had lost the first 50 pounds. That was a huge accomplishment because I never expected I could do it on my own – no gimmicks. I learned how to shop under budget, how to exercise without having to go to the gym or working out for hours, and I realized being healthy can be fun. I found myself in an awkward situation – people started coming to me for support. I had people asking me for healthy living tips and guidance. At my job, they asked me to start a healthy living group, and with that I was able to help others to lose weight and think of living a healthy lifestyle regardless of their weight. This motivated me to move further, and I started my own small healthy living program for people seeking to gain control of their lives, and to live healthier. We discuss healthy on various aspects, and it is working for many of them. I am happy and getting healthy. To date, I am down 70 pounds, and hope to lose another 50 pounds, but again my objective is no longer just losing the weight, but how can I continue to live this healthy lifestyle forever.
I hope this story can inspire someone else to get motivated towards changing their lives. Yes, I can finally say I have accomplished the hardest challenge I have ever faced, and I am a PhD candidate, and fighting this battle has definitely been harder than some of my courses. However, this is something I needed to do, and it had nothing to do with being skinny. This journey was about wanting to have a life without diabetes or high blood pressure. I want to feel good inside and outside – at all times. This is being accomplished everyday now.