Friday, June 12, 2015

Inspiration: Almetria lost 177 pounds and bucked the family trend toward diabetes

From an article in Huffington Post, she describes her life before:

"I struggled with weight my entire life and tried every diet known to man. The scales would go up and down, until finally they kept going up...."

"Self-hatred and depression plagued me, and I often wondered how I could do this to myself. I was my worse critic and my worst enemy. It was at that moment in my life that I realized I was an emotional eater. Happy, sad, angry or indifferent -– no matter how I felt, I turned to food as my comfort. I knew I wanted to make a change."

Her decision point:

"In 2009, I got devastating news. The D word: Diabetes. My grandmother, her sister, as well as her mother, had had it, too. I knew it was hereditary, but I thought I was invincible... [thought] I could dodge the bullet -- but I didn’t. 

"I started my weight-loss and fitness journey in 2010. I weighed 342 pounds and wore a size 32. ..."

She shares that it was very tough at first, especially because she was alone. But not really alone:

"Oftentimes, health is the first thing to fall on the back burner and I was tired of putting me further and further down my list of things to do. This weight-loss journey was one of the loneliest periods in my life. I cried often and couldn’t find any accountability partners to take this walk with me. I was in it to win it alone, with the grace of God. I remembered listening to Bishop Walker of Mt. Zion out of Nashville on many of my daily walks. His sermons really helped get me through most days, when I felt like giving up.

"I stepped up my prayer life and pulled away from people who were negative and emotionally draining. I surrounded myself with positive affirmations, because every day isn't going to be a good day, but each day is another opportunity to get it right. Life has its derailments, but it's up to us to get back on track and trust the engineer."

Practical things that helped:

"I decided to do research on my own on how to eat and live a healthier life.... I learned how to balance my meals and used portion control. I meal prepped and planned. My palate had changed -- I was eating things I said I never would and now I enjoy preparing new dishes and creating my own recipes. Walking 2 to 3 miles a day turned into going to Zumba... and eventually, running. 

She didn't just address the physical side of things, though:

"I figured out what my trigger points were when I wanted to emotionally eat, and used exercise and other positive activities to fill the void or combat the emotion. I become more sociable and learned how to handle stress better. "

Her life now:

"I am fit and finally free to do all the things that I knew life had to offer me. I've lost the physical and emotional weight that has been like an albatross around my neck for years. I'm helping others learn how to become fit.... I'm not merely existing anymore. I am living my life like it's golden and I am worth it."

(Psst... You can too!)