It all started from a post that a good friend of mine from High School posted about a journey she was on. Now I love to hear people’s stories; where they come from, where they are at and especially where they are going! As well I am a visual person and it was the picture that she posted that mostly caught my eye because in the world of Facebook, very seldom do we post full body shots!
Intrigued I clicked the photo and once the picture cleared I was knocked full of inspiration from this beautiful woman (not just her looks but her spirit) because she just chucked all of us with a full forced blast of complete vulnerability.
I felt like for once in as many years of my career as an avid Facebook user I truly saw my friend. Yes, she presents status’ about her life daily (her kids, her meals, her adventures, her job, her sense of humor etc) but while that is fine and fun it is merely just the surface. Reality check; she will always be the dorky girl who wore her hair in a bun with the pretty eyes from High School wandering the halls trying to prove something to someone (I know I was and while it was just to prove something to me I had a goal)not realizing that I’d always have a goal, misguided or not!. (And just as an fyi we were all pretty dorky in our own right so hopefully there are no hard feelings Mel)
But back to the present day 2015 here is grown up Melissa staring back at me and I didn’t recognize her. From this photo she was transformed…and clearly NOT Melissa or at least not my Melissa (not even the one I had come to know via our beloved Facebook).
Her caption struggled because she wasn’t sure of herself and how others would see her. I never viewed Melissa as someone who needed to lose weight or even had a fitness issue to address. From her previous photos (neck up only) I was naive in thinking that the cropped half of her story revealed some chic super model…and SHAME ON ME!
Nonetheless, I was greatly stimulated and intrigued by her words of encouragement to others and herself on her progress thus far! As well she was even cheerleading for me on the sidelines of my own fitness journey. I responded like this:
Angeline Ramirez: Omg you are beautiful! And I am so proud inspired happy and excited that you would post this! Girl it is this that I am talking about. Not being ashamed but acknowledging the need and desire to be fit not “the problem” everyone has a struggle! we become the way we are for reasons and not all of them are great or understood properly but shit happens. Dont be afraid of those flaws because WE especially ME need to see this and be encouraged and lifted up to do what is right and better in our lives. KUDOS to infinity and beyond mama! you have 100 and 10% of my support! I am your silent cheerleader when you are on top of your game and the screaming pshychotic supporter with the mega horn when you are in the corner struggling! God bless your journey *hugs*
Then I approached her to feature her in my blog as someone who had inspired me with her courage at showing her friends on facebook that she was not going to let anything get in the way of her advancement. She was more than happy (and honored) to allow me to go forward with my effort, which empowered me even more to help her do the same for others on a higher level!
So of course after singing her praises, (She has such a beautiful family that I am sure she wants to be around for longer than she thinks she will! And expressed what a great accomplishment and example she was for her little ones!) Clearly impressed that she got the results that she did in just nine weeks,I asked her what it was she was doing:
“I am eating as best as I can. Trying to get in protein. Trying to work out 5 days even if it’s at home but usually it’s 2 or 3.I Eliminated cream and sugar in coffee. Eating out is very rare. Got a Heart rate monitor and learned how to use it lol. I see a trainer once a week. She gives me advice and basic info. It’s more for moral support and to push me when I slack…Someone to answer to. My boys are excited about getting healthier too. They want to do the Beach body insanity lmao”
What amazing dedication and improvement
Still, here lies the heart of Melissa’s story and the message she wants you all to know, understand, and live by. The meat and potatoes of this post are in the struggles as she tells it to me:
“The Weight gain was from having 2 kids and not losing it after. I never was super skinny, always average. Never grew up in a household that made health important. Not exercising because it just wasn’t important. I was always on the go since my kids were born and never made time for me. Ever. Then other people came next and what they needed from me and all of that with a full time job and trying to finish school leaves no time for self. When I really wanted a change was after completing the warrior dash and seeing how I made it and completed it. I saw something in myself. I wanted to be strong. I wanted to run. I wanted to feel good in my skin. I wanted to look good for my husband. My family motivates me yes and the desire to be my best self. The self that God designed me to be. He did not give me this body to abuse it but to use it. So prayer is also what gets me through lol gotta get spiritually right too. That plays a huge role if not the most important part of success in it.”
“You feel like it’s impossible because it doesn’t happen overnight. You want it in 5 minutes. It takes a while to realize that’s not how it works”
“And the number 1 thing people trying to lose weight do is go on the Internet for answers”
Now, if you could see me… I clearly don’t need to lose that much weight but being healthy and just wanting to lose weight for cosmetic purposes (fucking celebrities and media) is a huge issue and it should be openly addressed. The reason I want to lose weight/get fit and eat right is so I can live a longer more fulfilled life.
Save for us starting a revolution on the topic for a healthier more prosperous people, explain this: Where have we come from and where are we going Ladies and Gentlemen. Have we become so farfetched into a society that honestly neglects and ridicules its people for being overweight? Forgive me; OBESE (for lack of better manners by our “perfectly groomed, fit, polished” newscasters)! From scheduled televised loads of “can’t miss it crap” spewing from the airwaves…not one, but three times a day nonetheless.
Well ask me and I’ll tell you that I’m over it! This is exactly why I don’t feed into the hash that is coming from our networks. We are real people facing real problems, tackling challenging situations, juggling the work of four men and facing the ridicule of society, our peers, our children (bullying is so out of control) and even more horrifying; ourselves. I came from a generation where our parents made us go outside and play (ball, hopscotch, ride bikes, skate, climb trees), for HOURS at a time. So much so that you had to bribe us to come in to eat sleep or remind your parents that you were their children. It didn’t consist of our rooms, all you can eat junk fests, video games (occasionally, but not solely), cell phones, lap tops and tablets.
Bridge the gap…better yet STAND in the gap for others of this fatality! Why are we not infiltrating Health around the planet? Doesn’t it cost more to buy organic? Well if the government would make it so we had no choice but to eat healthy would they not still be making their top dollars? Oh…or is it that they are in fact trying to kill us off? Keep us at bay with their newfound diseases and tricks to get us to stay on our sides of the barbed wire?
*tell me what you’re doing to lose weight and what inspires you to keep moving!
*special thanks to Melissa for letting me bring her story to light. keep up the good work!