By: Debbie Stokes
Hey guys, this is Debbie! Weight loss is such a personal topic for me because of how weight gain and not taking a daily aspirin impacted my life. In December 2017, I suffered a series of mini strokes due to a blot clot in my brain, which is called Transient Ischemic Attack or (TIA). It was a really scary time for me. My symptoms were a severe headache and blurred vision in my right eye. The headache was so painful that when the doctors asked me the degree of pain from 1-10, mine was a 20. It felt like my head was ready to burst open. The reasons were from being overweight, and because I hadn’t taken my daily aspirin for months after having surgery. In addition, since I didn’t have insurance, I was unable to afford my blood pressure medicine. Therefore, I couldn’t take that as well, but that’s another story. Thank God, my condition didn’t worsen, and I was able to make it through.
Although, my stroke wasn’t debilitating, it opened my eyes to the possibility that I wasn’t immune from having one. Nobody is for that matter, even healthy people who eat right, exercise, and those who don’t smoke aren’t exempt. The important thing to remember is that a stroke can strike at anytime, and without warning. Keeping that in mind, there are also other illnesses related to being overweight that I’m worried about, and you should be, too.
With that being said, consider these questions:
- Aren’t you sick and tired of being sick and tired?
- Aren’t you ready to change for good?
- Aren’t you ready to choose weight loss and getting healthy?
- Aren’t you ready to roll up your sleeves and get in the fight for your life?
You should seriously consider the answers to these questions if you care about your health and living. So, what do you choose, good health or a life of ailments, medications, and pain and suffering? With all things considered, the aforementioned are the reasons why your choice should matter.
When I think about the choices I’ve made in the past, I was the person that felt all my life, I could eat what I wanted and it wouldn’t matter. Well, guess what I’ve realized now, it does matter. As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, do better.” It is for that reason, I am committed to selecting better food choices, and making the necessary lifestyle changes I need to live healthier, and hopefully, longer. Don’t get me wrong, it gets hard and challenging; and yes, I even fall back sometimes, but the important thing is that I get back on the wagon and keep moving forward. What I know for sure is that God has given me a second chance, and I choose to live. What about you?
While going through my weight loss challenges, I came upon Kim’s story, and I wanted to share it with you. She inspired me to push harder, and I hope she will inspire you, too.
Kimberly “Kim” Henson
3WV: Tell us a little about yourself.
- My name is Kimberly Anessia Henson, I’m 51 years old, been married for 17 years, and have a 13 year old son. I’m a Christian and lead usher at my church. I love working out. I’m a giver, and love to help others. I’m a party planner who loves to plan and set up events. I love to shop and get great bargains. I love going on cruises, and hanging out with family and friends.
3WV: Why did you want to lose weight?
- I wanted to lose weight to feel better, look better and get my health numbers in order. I was also tired of being overweight, and not liking the way I looked.
3WV: What was the hardest part about losing? How important is your mindset when trying to lose? Were there times you wanted to give up?
- The hardest part about losing weight is finding a plan that works for you. Then being consistent. Your mindset has to be right. You have to really want it bad, and it has to be for you, and not anyone else. Without a good mindset, you will be defeated. You must think positive, trust the process, and believe that you can achieve your goals. Yes, sometimes you want to quit, but you have to remember the why? Why do you want to lose weight and get healthy? You have to give up some things to gain other things. Sometimes, results are not instant, so just stay focused, and stay on course.
3WV: What diets and plans have you tried?
- I have tried Weight Watchers a few times, 6 week boot camp style workout challenges with a restricted meal plan, Atkins, Slim Fast, Low Fat, Low calorie, smoothies/shakes; you name it, I have probably tried it, including starving myself.
3WV: What did you do differently to lose weight this time that didn’t work in your prior attempts?
- I first had to change my mindset. I decided I had to do this for a lifetime, and not for an event or quick fix. I made up my mind that I was sick and tired of being fat. I was getting old and my medical numbers were getting worst. I was pre-diabetic, had high blood pressure, my BMI was high, and I was consider obese. I found a plan that was very easy to follow, didn’t have a lot of prep work, was easy for my busy schedule, and the rest is history.
3WV: What did you learn about yourself in the process? What did you learn about weight loss?
- I became more confident and happier. My sex life improved, and I was no longer ashamed of my body and being naked. I know longer have to worry how something is going to fit or will I look too fat in it. I love getting dressed every day because I know I’m going to look good and feel good about myself. No more waist trainers, girdles or spanks. It is definitely a confident builder. You feel prettier, sexier, and have more energy. I feel like I can do anything. I’m always on the go and very active. I’m always ready to take a picture because I feel beautiful.
3WV: If you would like to tell us, how much did you lose? And how long did it take?
- I lost 48 lbs. It took me about 6 to 7 months. I had a few setbacks. My diet wasn’t always perfect in the beginning of my journey. I can say now that I’m a Health Coach for the program, I have been more focused and committed to eat clean and make better food choices. I’m more accountable because I believe you have to practice what you preach, even if no one is looking.
3WV: Were there any people that tried to deter you or said negative things? How did you handle it?
- Yes, you will always have those negative people that try and get in your ear and get you off track. Saying, “you are fine, you don’t need to lose weight.” Now people say, “I’m too skinny, how much more weight are you going to lose, you don’t need to lose any more weight.” But I know want my goal weight and BMI should be. I know where I need to be and what makes me happy. Remember, this is my journey and I’m in control of what goes in my body. Everyone has to decide on their own about getting healthy. No one wants to be fat and overweight. I haven’t met one person overweight that has said they like being overweight or obese.
3WV: What advice would you give to someone that was struggling with the yo-yo effect of losing weight? (Meaning going from plan to plan to plan)
- I would say, try a plan that you can pretty much stay on for a lifetime. Change your mindset, and be realistic. Weight loss is not a quick fix, that’s why so many people fail at it, and gain the weight right back. You have to ask yourself is this something I can do always. Once you learn good eating habits, you have to stick to them and be consistent. No one plan is right for everyone. You have to be disciplined, and ask yourself how important is this to me?
3WV: How important is exercise to weight loss?
- I don’t believe exercise is very important to weight loss because you can successfully lose weight without every exercising. I believe, it is 90% nutrition and 10% exercise. You can never out exercise a poor diet. We all have to eat & drink to survive, but you don’t have to exercise to survive. I love to exercise because it keeps me active. If I had to walk up several flights of stairs or run to save my life, I know I could do it with ease. I believe exercise has its benefits, but you can not eat what you want and think you can just exercise and the weight will come off. I exercise daily because I like to challenge myself, build muscle, and for endurance.
3WV: What is your advice for sustaining long term loss?
- Just being consistent and knowing that you have to work on it daily. You just can’t do it when it’s convenient, you have to deny yourself some things. You have to change the way you look at food. I now look at food as a fueling and nourishment for my body. I no longer think of food the same way. When I go to an event or out to dinner, I’m always thinking of what to have, and make the best choices. I now skip the breads and desserts etc… I also drink plenty of water, so I will be well hydrated plus it helps you eat less.
3WV: What’s the name of your weight loss program?
- I’m a part of a great program called OPTAVIA, The Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan. It’s so easy to follow, you just eat 5 of their fuelings (meals) and one of your own, which is called your Lean and Green meal each day. You eat every 2 to 3 hours. You are eating 6 times a day total. You also have to drink your water. Once you join the program, you receive a 31 day food supply. You are just responsible for your one Lean and Green meal. Everything is delivered to your home. It is super easy to follow, and you can definitely do it on the go. Not a lot of meal prep, no counting calories, no more figuring out what to eat or how much to eat, and you don’t have to exercise to get results. It gives you loads of energy. It is affordable, and cost about what most people spend per day buying food from a fast food restaurant. It has completely transformed my mind, body, and soul! I believe, I’m taking good care of the temple God gave me. This program has changed my life, and now I’m healthier and happier. I’m excited to be wearing my 1st bikini in decades.
3WV: If someone wanted your guidance or help, how could they reach you?
- They could contact me via phone, text or email.
Kimberly A. Henson
Optavia: My Health Coach ID # 948036633