Guest Blog: LivingLamondaLoca: Journey to find a Healthier Me
Growing up, I’ve always found myself falling into two categories: the plus sized girl and the smart girl. I never had a problem being known as “The Smart Girl”. I’m a huge Analytical nerd at heart. I’ll think about something in 50 million different ways , which is one of the reasons I’ve built a career in STEM. I wouldn’t exactly say I’ve had a problem being the plus sized girl either. I just knew from my family history that I would need to stay on top of my health. However, KNOWING you need to do something and ACTUALLY doing it are two completely different things.
Year after year, I would try a new Fad Diet and fail. My weight was the one thing that I couldn’t be successful at losing. Secretly, it would chip away a piece of my confidence and I didn’t know it would eventually take a toll on me. The one thing that has remained constant is my love for Fashion. My mom has always taught me that you can wear whatever your heart desires despite your size. It’s not always about what you wear; it’s about HOW you rock it.
So there I was at my heaviest weight and still trying to find MY style and MY happy, as I like to call it. I just wanted to find MY style and feel confident, like truly feel it in my heart. I’d like to say I jumped straight into fitness and went all Iyanla Fix My Life on myself. In true LamondaLoca style, I had somewhat of an emotional breakdown in the dressing room of a plus size store (no need to say the name, but we all know there’s only a select few) . I couldn’t fit any of my old sizes and ALL OF THE CLOTHES MADE ME LOOK TWICE MY AGE. It was as if all of the frustrations I had finally boiled over and made me really look at myself. It also didn’t help my mom took a picture of me that I ABSOLUTELY hated. It was proof that I was overweight and smiling hiding all of my true emotions; something had to give.
But now, you’ll hear me preaching this constantly; it only takes one decision and one action to change your life. I made a choice to truly push myself and take my fitness serious in March of 2019. I chose to focus on each daily decision to workout, to eat right, to get enough sleep, and to just focus. It finally clicked in my head that I would spend so much time thinking about how far I had to go to get to my goal, instead of thinking of each little decision it would take to get to my weight loss goal. Here are 5 lessons I’ve come to apply throughout this journey:
Working Out Does not have to be a Fear:
I DESPIIIIIIIIIIISED working out, I still don’t quite love it. It’s still a love/hate relationship, but I don’t fear it and that was always my biggest issue. I would see muscle man by the mirrors lifting weights and I would just stay on the treadmill trying to pretend like I wasn’t just dying from a walk. It used to suck watching other people make a hard workout for me look easy, but my trainer helped out a lot with that. She gave me my own plan and didn’t try to put me on the same pace as her other clients. My workout focused on my weaknesses and eventually I did get to a better pace. I could feel myself getting stronger physically and mentally. I tell her all of the time that I can’t thank her enough for forcing me to face that fear.
Focus more on the Small Victories AND the Big Victories:
I’ve noticed throughout my journey that the small victories will motivate you to keep pushing through. Just making the decision to eat a healthy snack (my fave is an apple & a scoop of peanut butter), instead of potato chips was small victory for me. Why? Because it’s one of many steps I need to take to get to my goal. Another small victory can even be waking up in the morning just to make sure I get a workout that day. You’ll see that taking joy in the small wins will distract you while you’re making your way to the BIG victory. Like I said before, I would focus so much on how FAR I had to go that it would discourage me and I wouldn’t keep trying.
Make one Decision at a time:
This kind of piggyback’s off Lesson #2, but it’s different. Each decision you make will change your life in some way. My breakdown in the store led me to decide to finally sign up with my friend as a trainer. I decided M-F that I would get up in the morning to at least give 110%. She would always yell, “If you die, then you die” to make me laugh in the middle of flipping tires. That small laugh would make me decide to keep pushing through to the end of the workout. I started making decisions for my health and personal life without the opinions of others. If you focus on one decision at a time, you won’t get so overwhelmed with the process. Your decisions may not be like mine, but I felt like I had to try any and everything until it clicked in my head that I was not going to quit.
It’s ok to fall off the wagon, as long as you get my back on:
YOU WILL NOT ALWAYS HAVE A PERFECT DAY OF EATING AND WORKING OUT. I REPEAT. YOU WILL NOT ALWAYS FEEL LIKE WORKING OUT THAT DAY. I ALSO REPEAT AGAIN. IT’S OK TO FALL OFF THE WAGON, JUST AS LONG YOU GET BACK ON. I can’t stress this lesson enough. I know you’ve probably seen people say this in health/fitness magazine all of the time, but it’s so true. It took awhile for me to truly get it, but everyone figures this out in their own time. I didn’t always stick to the meal plan and I didn’t always go back to the gym every single day. I promised myself that I wouldn’t give up no matter how many times I fell off. I’ve already seen what life is like if I fall off and don’t start back again. I NEEDED to show myself what it was like to get back on and believe in myself, which leads me to my final lesson.
Be your own biggest cheerleader:
One morning, at 4 AM I deliberately dreaded going to the gym that day. I literally hyped myself up out loud until I got out of bed and took my a** to the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I have the most amazing support system, but it gets to the point that you’re going to have to remember to cheer yourself on. If people in the gym heard how loud I would yell “GO GIRL, YOU CAN DO THIS! FINISH THIS SET! DON’T YOU QUIT D*** IT!” in my head, they’d probably kick me out. This journey is physical, but it’s definitely mental. My mental cheerleader was always there; I just didn’t know how to use it outside of academics. It boils down to believing in yourself on the easy days and the hard days.
I’m still figuring this journey out, but those are 5 lessons that I’ve learned and even applied in parts of my life. At the beginning of 2019, I was 345 lbs, confident, but out of shape and miserable. Today in 2020, I’m now 287 lbs and still celebrating every single victory I’ve won since I started. Each decision I’ve made, each day I wasn’t afraid of my workouts, and each cheer I’ve said mentally has led me to this point. I’ve fallen off the wagon, but I’ve learned that I owe it to myself to concur this fitness journey. Like I said, I’m still learning, but I’m willing to help/motivate anyone to start something in your life that you’ve always wanted to do. Rather it’s a fitness journey or just starting up a new business, DO IT! Life is too short and if you even fail, which I don’t believe you will, be proud that you took that leap of faith. Follow me on instagram if you’d like to follow me on this journey.