I’ve got too much junk in my trunk and it’s not healthy. For many African American women, adhering to the stereotype about our shape reenforces the bad habits that keep us unhealthy and overweight. These include, “I’m more curvy than white girls,” “I have bigger bones, so I’ve got more meat on those bones,” and my personal favorite, “Men love curves.” These excuses might be true but something has got to give because we are losing so many African American women to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, ailments that can be eliminated or reduced with healthier weight and living. As of April 3, 2011, I am no longer a stereotype. I enlisted in the Medifast program** to shed pounds, get comfortable in my own skin, get healthy and wear fabulous clothes.
I’ve always been athletic but curvy. I have a big butt, wide hips, small waist and semi average breasts. These are realities that I had to accept in high school. These attributes are a part of who I am and will never change BUT I can change the amount of fat on my 5’4 frame. I led an active lifestyle playing soccer, teaching fitness classes and dancing since middle school. Even after college, I enrolled in an intramural soccer program to keep fit. My lifestyle changed the day I broke my fibula and tore all the ligaments in my ankle while playing soccer. I underwent surgery and became sedentary for over 8 months. I lost all confidence in my body’s ability to exert energy, play sports and do weight bearing exercises. While I sat idle, watching the world pass me by, I packed on the pounds, slowly of course, until this year when I saw my face in photos and realized that I was really letting myself go. My friends would always tell me I looked great, that I was “curvy and thick,” and that it was normal to look the way I do now. “Normal for who,” I always wondered.
It’s been two weeks, going three today, since the beginning of my Medifast Program and I have lost 15 pounds. At the start of the program, I doubted my will power and dedication to something that seemed so strict and stringent. After the first three days, I beelined for Olive Garden with friends and stuffed my face with soup, salad and breadsticks. I felt so guilty after dinner that I thoughtfully evaluated why I had the need to eat such an unhealthy meal. My Medifast Nutrition advisor called the next day for our weekly update calls, gave me a nice pep talk and told me to get back on the horse and keep riding, which I did. All it took were those initial FIVE (in caps because it is a big deal to me) pounds to make me see the light. I realized then that if I took it one day at a time, eating the Medifast meals, the weight would come off. It’s been a full two weeks now and I am FIFTEEN pounds lighter and I feel great.
What is Medifast?
It is a clinically proven, physician developed program meal replacement weightloss program recommended by more than 20,000 doctors since 1980. Medifast products are formulated with a high Fullness Index so you don’t feel hungry. You lose weight quickly — up to 2 to 5 lbs lbs a week — while learning how to eat healthier. Medifast Meals are formulated with low-fat protein and fiber, and fortified with vitamins and nutrients, so you lose pounds and inches without losing out on essential nutrition. The low-glycemic index formula of Medifast Meals makes them perfect for everyone, even people with type 2 diabetes.
Over the next few months, I am going to share my personal journey with my readers on how I’m doing, tips and tricks on shedding the pounds, ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine and how to stick to the program. I am also challenging all my African American readers who might be overweight to get Fashionably Fit with me.
** Medifast is providing me with food and access to all their weight loss materials, free of charge, in exchange for blogging about my experience. All opinions are my own. Individual results may vary.