Losing weight

27th May 2018

A woman's body is a magical thing. It goes through so much wear and tear, it changes form and shape and then changes back, it bleeds, it creates human beings, it can be big, small, tall, petite and still it is the most desired and coveted thing in the world. Many don't know the battle I've ge through with my body but I'm about to tell you.


I was a very skinny child growing up despite an abnormally large appetite. I never thought much about my body of course because like any kid I wanted to play and eat candy. I didn't really start to notice my body until I hit puberty at 12 and my body started changing. That's when I started to pay attention to other women and their bodies.


Being half Cuban and half Jamaican, I grew up around 2 completely different cultures that prized the same qualities in what they considered to be beautiful. Nice healthy curves and a big round butt. I didn't have either for so long until I started to gain weight. My mom would say, "Baby your culo (ass) is getting big. Don't let the boys touch it!" That made me smile because my Cuban mother was the most beautiful woman in the world to me and I always noticed how my dad couldn't keep his hands off her. I wanted to get that kind of love and attention one day.


However my body was changing fast and I started feeling the pressure of beauty outside of my Latin and Caribbean communities. I started noticing men getting hot for women with small butts and slim bodies (the Latin and Caribbean cultures considered small butts to be flat). I started to become so confused. Not about what others thought was beautiful but what I thought was beautiful. My curves were forming and I suddenly wanted them gone. At 13 I discovered workout infomercials and started copying the excercises they showed. I wanted a flat tummy like the women on tv. In addition to working out I also played sports and so I managed to not gain too much weight.


I was able to maintain an athletic physique until my sophomore year in highschool when my REAL weight gain began. I was still physically active but I ate a lot of junk food. All the cool kids went to McDonald's for lunch and so naturally I tagged along. For 2 years I steadily gained weight and didn't really notice. That is until one day my mom said, "You got chubby! What happened?" I didn't believe her until she showed me the size 6 jeans I wore in my freshman year of highschool and the size 16 jeans I was wearing that very moment as a senior. I was floored! How did that happen and I didn't notice? I became self conscious, depressed... My stomach hung over my belt and I hated the fat rolls everywhere I looked. One day I was watching the biggest loser and I started to cry. These people can lose 100lbs but I couldn't even lose 20? I needed to do something.


After I graduated and started college I didn't have time for myself. I was going to school, helping at home and working at a fast food restaurant. I gained more weight. At 207lbs and a size 18 I was the heaviest I've ever been in my life. I was unhealthy, I would become out of breath walking up ONE flight of stairs, bending over to tie my shoes was a lot of work and made me light headed. I was always hot and sweating and uncomfortable in my own skin. Enough was enough. I didn't care about having a big ass or a slim figure or anything that society considered beautiful. I just wanted to be healthy. 


So by the time I was 21 I made the change. I would go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week.  I made a conscious effort to eat at least 1 salad a day and I stopped stuffing my face until I couldn't breathe. I completely stopped drinking pop and stopped buying chocolate bars. Making those changes allowed me to drop 10lbs in 2 weeks! I was motivated. A brisk walk turned into jogging, then running. Going out for a run started to make me feel more alive because I never used to be able to do it for more than 40 seconds without becoming out of breath. It was an amazing feeling finally being able to jog for 20 minutes without stopping. I lost a total of 25lbs. I was happy with that so I stopped working out. BIG MISTAKE! The weight slowly started creeping up over the course of a year. 


I was determined to get back on track. I joined a gym and discovered there was more to weight loss and fitness than just cardio. Cardio made me lose weight yes, but I also lost weight in all the wrong places. So I did extensive research about health and fitness and changed my routine again. I started eating healthy, lifting weights and doing little cardio. The changes became drastic! My tummy got flatter and more toned. My derriere is big round and shapely and my arms and legs have a little more muscle. The fat loss in my face allowed me to be able to see the dimple in my right cheek which I haven't seen in years! Once I dropped enough weight the goal was to keep it off. 


I realized that fitness was a lifestyle and not a quick fix. I realized that nothing worth having ever came easy and it always comes at a cost. I don't feel like I'm dieting anymore. I eat healthy for the most part and have a cheat day once or twice a week eating whatever I want. This helps my keep a balance in my life and helps me maintain soft curves instead of a hard athletic body. I discovered myself and what I like about myself and have shaped and molded my body to be exactly how I want it without surgery. I can't lie there was no magic pill. It was all hard work, dedication, discipline and constantly seeking motivation. I went from  207lbs and now I'm 145lbs. I went from a size 18 to a size 8. This is one of my biggest accomplishments and I have the stretch marks to prove it!


I look back at the old me and realized that despite how I felt about myself I was still beautiful and I wish I loved myself more. I wish I knew to love my body regardless of how it looks. I wish I knew it was ok to love my body and still build a new and healthy one. I can't go back now. There is only forward. These days, I go to the gym 3 - 5 days a week and I enjoy every second of it. I became passionate about my health beyond how my body looks and that's the most important. I hope other women will also love themselves in any shape or size. Like I said in the beginning, a woman's body is magical. It's beautiful. It's powerful and I'm happy that I am where I am today. 


My final message? LOVE YOURSELF! Love yourself through all of the changes in your life. You will not stay the same forever. Love yourself and everything you have. Set goals and accomplish them. I'm living proof that it's not impossible. So don't be afraid to love the skin you're in and love the person on the inside!