I grew up in New Orleans, LA in a huge family. I am actually one of my parents’ seven children. New Orleans is a city where you can find a vast array of great people, great music, and also great food. Believe me; I have eaten my fair share of it.
Growing up, I always considered myself curvy. In fact, when I got married, I weighed about 175 pounds. The funny part is I never considered myself to be "overweight." I guess so many people in my family and community where large, that I just never noticed or cared. After being married for 1 year, I found out I was pregnant, unfortunately I miscarried that baby just before I entered my second trimester. I was understandably depressed, and I used that as an excuse to overeat. In no time I had gained ten pounds.
Before I had a chance to work on losing the weight, I got pregnant again. I was so excited about being pregnant, that I really did not care about what I ate, and I also didn't exercise much at all. While I was pregnant, Hurricane Katrina hit my hometown. Suddenly I was thrust into a new city. Living in a new city, while pregnant with my first child was very stressful to say the least. Before long I had gained nearly 40 pounds. I gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl in February of 2006. Fortunately, I was able to lose much of that immediately after having my beautiful daughter.
For a few years I hovered around 195 pounds. I was heavier than I had ever been. However, I was so overjoyed to have my baby girl, and overwhelmed with the reality of being a new mom, I never got serious about losing the weight. I would start to exercise on my elliptical trainer and start a diet plan, only to give up on it after only a few weeks. The elliptical was so boring that I couldn’t wait to get off. The low-carb diets that I tried left me craving bread. I started to believe that I would always be overweight.
In 2007, I found out I was pregnant again. I was surprised, but very happy. In April of 2008, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. After having my son, I had to face facts: I was obese. I weighed 207 pounds. I had never been so big, and I was truly unhappy with my size. None of my pre-baby clothes fit. I was easily winded, and I was scared that I would develop high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease, all illnesses that affect members of my family.
I belonged to an online birth club at the time, and a girl on there would always talk about Turbo Jam. She would always say how much fun she had doing it. Reluctantly, I bought the workouts, and I also joined an online weight loss site that cost about $15 a month. I set out with the intention to lose 5 pounds a month. I wanted to set a realistic goal so that I wouldn’t become discouraged like I had in the past.
The first time I did Turbo my life changed. I found myself smiling while doing the moves. I found that I could easily fit in a workout while my son napped, and my daughter loved dancing along to the music. Soon, I was hooked. Doing Turbo Jam became my stress relief. If I couldn’t get a workout in during the day, I would have my husband watch the kids so I could get one done in the evening.
In one week, I lost 3 pounds. The second week, I lost another 3 pounds. As the weight fell off, my confidence increased. I decided to go back to school to pursue my Master of Arts in English. I wanted to become the woman I always wanted to be, inside and out. I also returned to the workforce, teaching part-time. Even through being in school, raising two kids, and teaching, my weight loss continued. Once I developed those healthy habits, it surprised me how they just became second nature.
Eventually, I got tired of paying for online weight loss tools, and I joined Sparkpeople. At first I couldn’t believe that Sparkpeople was a free site. It offered me so many tools, articles and expert advice. The Sparkpeople team inspired me so much, that I eventually submitted a blog for the dailySpark, A New Me in Old New Orleans www.dailyspark.com/blog.
.I was so proud when my article was published, and the positive feedback I received was a real confidence boost.
After having lost about 60 pounds, I set out on a new goal. On October 4th of this year, I became certified to teach Turbo Kick! I attended the training held by Michael Martin here in Atlanta. I was felt so accomplished after attending the whole day kicking and punching, to the great music that Chalene put together for round 37, but after it was over I felt a high that I had never felt in my entire life! I truly want to thank Chalene for creating this workout and now I want to bring it to other women, such as myself.
Me at my highest weight