Coaching, Inspiration, Writing Therapy

Weight Loss and Wellness Coaching: Finding your inner strength to lose weight

Hi Friends,

Obesity continues to provide the CDC with alarming statistics for the death rates of Americans. I’ve encountered many people who believe the big fat fatties of the world would lose weight if they just try to lose the weight. Those people should recognize, however, that most often obesity and living for a prolonged time being overweight is actually a symptom, NOT a cause.

Perhaps it was the death of a close family member or friend that causes you to eat more, or the consuming doom of depression that keeps you from the gym or even a past guilt, pain, anger, circumstance, grief, etc. predilects your self-destructive nature. You’ve probably tried to lose weight, but it hasn’t happened consistently and every time you “fail” (whether perceived or legitimate), you choose to withdraw and the guilt of being overweight is washed over you all over again.

Once we understand that obesity and the state of being overweight is a symptom and NOT a cause, we understand that we must root out what is the cause and subsequently remove the cause from the equation, using a vast array of tools, including but not limited too much praying and buckets o’ tears.

Personal story time:

For me, the cause for my 15-18 years of being overweight was a feeling of being un-whole. And those holes were so empty. Somerimes, to be safe, I would hide there in the roots of my depression. To hide the holes from myself, when I needed to appear okaybon the surface, created a lust and zeal for food. I began to fill those holes with food, which for me was every bit comforting.

But I did this strange thing. All the eating, coupled with a complete lethargy and vice for sloth, the pounds just kept coming. And major life setbacj or victory could be sure to correlate positively with my size. So I hid under clothes, and behind my Jansport backpack, and behind the jokes, because I still felt too exposed. I was lying directly to everyone about who I was, and no one could see me for who I really was. I resented people for believing that lie and I’m sorry for that. God told me I needed to remember to love his people. So thank you to the world, who saved me. My mom, my grandpa, my Dad, my grandmother, a host of aunts, uncles, cousins by the dozens, grands, great grands, and all that who got down on their knees to pray for me. set s whole new meaning to comfort food.

My Breakthrough:
My breakthrough came when I realized I had log ago believed a lie someine told me. The truth is in the light. But in those shadows, those lies run rampant. And what with my insecurities, I often picked up the lies. Some I discarded almost immediately because I was able to easily discern them. But in a weak moment, I picked up a lie or two that stayed with me. For years, I lived under the misguided belief that one’s beauty is defined by what you see. But why would God give us four other senses and innumerable other gifts and talents if we only needed sight to see the beauty of others?

Once I changed my thinking (or shifted my paradigm for the Stephen Covey fans) I beame overwhelmed by the truth. Heaking is defined as the revelation of truth. And surely, my soul was healed. Surely (church hum). The truth was this: beauty is NOT defined by what’s on the outside (DUH)! But true beauty is measured by the love in one’s character and the beauty of their downright soul. With this epiphany, I came to the conclusion that I WAS, in fact, an extremely beautiful person and worthy and whole and AWESOME.

From there, all I needed to do was push my physical body to start reflecting the beauty within me. I deserved it, after all. I am now a self-proclaimed gym rat and healthy eating is now a part of my lifestyle! How exciting for me! And right now, I don’t care who knows it. You shouldn’t either!

Real Talk

Come on — how many times have you met a person (maybe family member, friend, boo thang) who, by society’s standards, would be considered hideous. But when they open their mouths or you make a connection with them, quite suddenly they become the most beautiful person you know.

Once the inner strength begins to shine (and you stop with the moping and the anxiety) your body has no choice but to step its game up and bring your sexy back.

Action Items:

  • Go get sweaty. Live an active lifestyle — doesn’t really matter what you’re doing (gym, rock climbing, walking around the neighborhood). As long as your heart rate is up, you are on your way to wellness
  • Repeat positive  affirmations to yourself while you’re getting your sweat on. I mean not one single negative thought about yourself. Push yourself here.*
  • Forgive yourself when you make a negative remark about yourself. Promise me that you will not crush yourself under the weight of your own guilt!
  • Once your body feels like it’s inner spirit has it’s back, I guarantee you’ll start sweating harder, your heart will beat faster and you’ll get closer and closer to having an outer body that reflects your inner light, strength and beauty.
  • Don’t cheat.
  • Work hard.
  • Stay the course.
  • Be strong.

Tweet, Facebook or comment and let me know how it goes!


Freeverse, God is real., Inspiration

The 11 Things You Need to Know (At Any Age)

This will eventually be a coffee table book. The following will describe the world at it’s most raw level. Every moment of your life should lead up to you learning the following 12 things. If you haven’t figured them out, you will:

  1. You are awesome. Nobody gives an eff about a keloid scar. People out here are trying to pay the rent. The fact you can pay the rent, speaks VOLUMES over some stupid scare.
  2. There IS a Higher Power above you. Whatever your believe, whatever name you speak: Jehaovah, Jah, Love, Gatekeeper, Creator, Allah, etc. As long as YOU know that something is guiding you, protecting your life and providing for you, you’re lightyears ahead of the rest. Now that being said, there is no man in the sky waiting to judge you upon your death. Read here for more.
  3. The universe is a living breathing thing. Everything you put into it will manifest itself before you. This includes:
    • negative thoughts
    • positive thoughts
    • guilts
    • regrets
    • joys
    • a future house
    • a lovely family

    In other words, your mouth and the words that come from it, are quite powerful. As soon as you release them into the atmosphere, the universe is required to make it come to pass. It has NO choice!

  4. Love is something you need. Without it, you age prematurely, you get bitchy, you get too macho and you’re just not a good person to be a round. You’re like Karen or Felicia. You just suck. With love, you too can get that lovely, gross feeling of pure intimacy and the connection with another person.
  5. You’ve already learned or your already innately have everything that you need to be successful in life. Think of all of your many talents. The Higher Power previously mentioned would NOT give you those gifts and not also provide you with the tools to be able to use your talents for Him (or Her) and (Their) divine purpose. Isn’t that comforting? Everything you need, you already have! It’s a truth that you’ve just forgotten. Now that you’re reading this, be sure that you remember that truth.
  6. Someday is today. Don’t miss the opportunity. Even if it means late nights, early mornings, no sleep on the weekends; you should know…
  7. Sacrifice is the ambrosia to the success gods. You have GOT to give a little to get a little. And anyone who thinks that they can cut corners in life and still be successful, positive, loving role models, then you should know that there are…
  8. Zero shortcuts in this thing called life. As soon as you try to cheat someone, even if you are successful once you’ve cheated, your small win has caused a shift in the universe. And because the shift occurred, the universe must realign itself. As soon as you’ve wronged someone, someone else is righted, and so on and so forth.
  9. Your f*** up is someone else’s win. Get over it. You’re gonna get the W and someone else is going home with no drawers on. It is what it is– the more you get caught up in the hype or the more anxiety it causes you, that’s only going to cause you to doubt yourself. And why do that?
  10. Ain’t ish fun about guilt, hurt, shame or sorrow. If you don’t want to put yourself down, you don’t have to. You’re better than that. You are a child of the most High, so you are STRONGER than that. If your life’s goal is happiness, DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE UNHAPPY!. As soon as a negative thought comes your way, repeat the following to yourself as many times as it takes for you to believe it: Hey! Go away! Guilt has no place here. I have no room for you here. My heart’s too full of love and joy to have any time for you. I don’t need. you. You don’t need guilt. Without you, guilt would not exist, so why hang on to it?
    How much more effort does it take to believe lesson number 1 (see above)? You ARE awesome. Now, it’s up to you to believe you are awesome. I believe that somewhere right now someone’s noggin is changing in the right direction. As soon as they see the light, they now have a simple decision (note that I said “simple” and NOT “easy”) to make: 1) do I continue to be miserable OR 2) do I decide to be happy? As soon as you recognize that it’s a simple choice, and you’ve realized that you’ve come to the same crossroad often, that’s when you’ll realize you NEED to make choice number 2. Why would you want to be miserable? And I hear what you’re saying —
  11. People don’t want to be sad or anxious or lonely or depressed or whatever the ailment. But you just freaking are sometimes. And I know, I get it — I was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2007. I know first-hand what a stronghold your illness or setback or disability can have on your mind. Whatever you are suffering from. But I believe I’ve found the cure: once you have a negative thought, immediately swat it away. And the next time you have a negative thought, on instinct, your brain will swat it away yet again. Visualize this in your mind’s eye. Once you do, you’ll recognize that…
  12. You must learn to visualize your desire. Channel it, write it down, record yourself saying it, dream about it and as soon as the universe captures your needs, your dream, hopes and aspirations, the universe will fulfill it. It has NO CHOICE! Again, it’s a living, breathing thing — all requests that you bring forth to the world, to the universe? They will most certainly come to pass.

Here’s your action item:

Go forth and visualize the things that you want. Maybe it’s a dream board –I’m working on my second one right now. Whatever it is you desire, put it out in the universe and I guarantee the universe will shift itself to accommodate it. It has to. It has an inferiority complex just like we do and must adjust to the will and desires of those around it. But it’s cool — the universe is cool.

Facebook, Tweet, or comment to let me know what the universe brings to you!

My Dark Place

Celebrating 24 years of life.

With every birthday, with the exception of Jehovah’s Witnesses, comes the celebration of your life. My birthday this past Thursday (June 20th!) was no different. I went to bed Wednesday night and woke up Thursday morning with equivalent excitement. From the moment I opened my eyes, I had an uncontainable air of downright glee. My boyfriend said that he had 3 surprises for me from the hours of 9 – 12, I had an appointment at the hair salon for noon and I was planning a road trip for my family reunion. Everything was going oh so right! Until…I made the decision to be unhappy.

Things started going wrong when:

  • My bf got called in to work, and we couldn’t celebrate all weekend together the way we’d envisioned we could.
  • I didn’t get to see my mom.
  • I calculated just how dead freaking broke I am with $12K in credit card debt and counting. Why was I going on vacation again?
  • I was feeling like a failure when I realized my Kickstarter campaign wasn’t going to achieve the goal.

The thing about depression is, even the most trivial of thoughts for some (what I like to call the “neutral minds”) are augmented to the 20th level for depressed people. Quite literally, one bad thought can escalate to 10 in a matter of miniscule moments. And then there you are in your dark place and feeling lost. Wondering how the hell a perfectly capable person like yourself could completely lose it to a series of unfortunate and evil thoughts?

But it happened. On this weekend, of all weekends! Then, in my celebration angst, I decided to engage in the spirits! Not the smartest move. Alcohol, in any amount, can only exacerbate the problem. I was growing more and more melancholy. When my bf finally arrived after 2 days of drinking and binge eating, I was a weeping willow of sadness and despair. During every minute of the first 10 hours we were reunited, I was constantly hovering between a face full of tears or those inconsolable post-tear wimpers.

I was fucked up.

It only got worse once my bf joined my family and myself. At this point I was in a really painful position. I wanted all the quality boo time in the world, but also wanted to spend time with my family. After only a few hours of trying to make everyone happy, my already ticked off brain went ape shit and I had one of my worst melt downs. Ever. It was not cute. I was snappy and just wanted to sleep and withdraw from the prying eyes of people that don’t understand depression. Instead, I compromised with everyone and kept drinking. And overeating. Not my finest moments.

Is this what every birthday is going to be like? In an effort to feel more like a grown up and more mature, I have a meltdown? I think I need to stop seeing my life as a race. With the threat of each additional year of life, I feel like I’m behind and like I need to catch up. This past weekend was sad for me because I realized that I was trying to please everyone else, but  while doing so, I let go of each intention to please myself.

To my family it probably seemed that either my bf was physically abusing me or that I was bat-shit-crazy. I assure you, neither is true. I’m just at that struggle point where we all find ourselves eventually:

If the goal is happiness, why am I not happy? If happiness is a choice, why do I allow myself to choose everything but happiness? And if I eventually do find the strength and courage to make the choice to be happy, will I truly be happy? Is it really that simple??

For about 30 minutes on Saturday, I had a really deep chat with my grandfather and boyfriend on the subject. Both men, very wise beyond their years — yes, my 72 year young g-pa was probably one of the wise men in a different life– were both very encouraging. But my depressed mind couldn’t see that. And even after our conversation, I just wanted to keep living in my despair.

Fast forward to tonight — 3ish days after my birthday, and wtf did I really do for myself in celebration of my 24th? Absolutely nothing.

And that’s just fucking sad.

My Dark Place

My clincial depression story.

In March of 2007, at 17, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I was prescribed an anti-depressant and I swallowed my pride and 10 mg per day of Lexapro for 5 months.

The month of April 2007 was miserable for me. I found myself laying in my bed for weeks on end, refusing to go to school, refusing to see sunlight and refusing to bathe for the most part. It was a wretched time in my life. I was burned out from the classes at my intensely competitive, overly challenging high school academy where I’d just completed a 4000 word essay over the course of 2 months (I was a procrastinator to the nth degree). As I laid there, the clock ticking away, I could see images of my high school classmates going on to graduate without me, because they hadn’t taken a month off of school to lay in the bed. I also saw the college I’d been accepted to, Clark Atlanta University, taking away my acceptance, because I couldn’t pull my shit together. I saw my ex from an abusive relationship I’d just ended still manipulating me with his words and his actions. All of these things were animated in my mind’s eye, no amount of sleep was ever enough, my appetite was insatiable and every negative thought or doubt about myself was so exponentially magnetized that I could think of nothing but my own despair.

I didn’t want to die, thankfully. My mother’s sister committed suicide at 17 and there was no way I could repeat that. My family is still reeling from it and I’m 100% sure that it was a large contributor to putting my maternal grandmother in an early grave. I didn’t want to die, but I did want to end the suffering. I laid there for 3 weeks straight because my depressed self just figured, if I lay here, I won’t have to deal, I won’t have to get better, I can find comfort in my misery and people who don’t understand me will leave me the hell alone. I stopped taking my medication as consistently as I should have. It didn’t feel like it was working, and I’m an instant gratification person. If I don’t see turnaround promptly, I’m promptly over it, and try to find another way.

After many days like this, my mother slapped the shit out of me. And not in the metaphorical sense. No, one morning, she quite literally smacked me in the mouth. That was the first time she’d ever done that, and I could tell instantly that we both regretted it: me for pushing her to her breaking point and her for doing something her mother did, but she swore she’d never do. Following the slap heard round the world, I locked myself in our bathroom for several hours, ignoring the pleas of my grandfather trying to coax me out and crying the most pitiful stream of tears.

That was the climax, though. God wouldn’t let things get uglier than that. I went back to school. Oh no, I had no intentions of going to class! My mother and I made a visit to my principal, Helen Cox. If you’ve ever known Helen, you’ll know that she is a saint among mere mortals. She sat me down and told me that I could recover. That I was better than this and that she would do everything in her power to get me on the right track and graduate that year. After private conversations with all of my teachers, I started going back to class. I lied to my friends, saying I was sick (it was true), and then I kept moving. I refused to stop moving and look down for fear that I would fall back in the hopeless abyss of abandonment and snotty tissues. The next month, I got a full scholarship to CAU. That August, when I started school, I threw away my meds. I was feeling better. And I didn’t relapse.

If Helen Cox hadn’t talked me off the ledge and if my mom hadn’t smacked me, I might not be the person you know (or are reading about) today. I wouldn’t have a degree in Business, or have been an intern at the White House during the Obama Administration, or studied in Paris on a free scholarship. Who knows what the hell would’ve happened to me.

The shitty part is that my depression comes back every other year, like clockwork. January rolls around, I’m sad because I ate so much over the holidays, and I gained so much weight. Then I withdraw and don’t get a lot of sunlight. Then I get the winter blues. Then I don’t treat it the way I should, because I’m always scared that I’ll become addicted to the pills. Then, finally, after many tearful phone calls to my mother and lots of manic moments at the mall and shouting matches with my boyfriend and overeating and withdrawal and too much sleep, my mother finally convinces me to go back on medication. Same thing happens every time.

This has been my life. This is the hand I was dealt. My great grandfather was schizophrenic, my great aunt bipolar, my grandmother and my mother considerably depressed, my aunt manic depressive. All of that weighs on me constantly. Biologically, I was created with faulty neurons and synapses and moods. Plus I’m a Gemini. I mean, seriously God? Like seriously.

But I’m grateful for what He’s brought me through. No one but God, that’s all I can say. I hope that my story is helpful to someone else, because my story isn’t over. Each day is a struggle and two halves, but a worthwhile struggle because I can see the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel. It’s bleak and small, but hopeful.