My "Weight Loss Journey" and How PCOS The Spirit and A.D.D. Play a Major Role
I get asked a TON about how I “lost so much weight”. I’m always a little cross eyed when I see that question. I haven’t lost much. With artists and photo’s, we’re kinda “a photograph” until our next photograph. Well my latest photo’s seem to showcase a version of me that is… well… “small”.
But, I’m not small. 175 lbs and 5’7” isn’t slim. I’m not thick either. I don’t identify with any of those terms. I’m… well by doctors standards, “overweight”. None of this stresses me at all, but because I see it day in and day out, I thought perhaps it’d be a good idea to talk a bit about it if it might uplift somebody.
I don’t spend too much of my day obsessing over my size. I know what my doctors tell me a healthy weight is for me, my body type, my bone structure and my lineage. It’s important that we see physiologists, kinesiologists and nutritionists who can look at the STRUCTURE of our body and see what weight is best for us based on our very own bones and not a load of charts. I think often, we’re discouraged by these average American weight goals because we haven’t gone to have our own bodies seen and evaluated with care. With the black population making up just 13% of America, it’s easy to understand why we aren’t fully represented on “average” charts we see each day. We all need individual attention.
Between December of 2018 and July of 2019, I’ve lost approximately 25 pounds. You didn’t see much of me before that time. I had taken a LONG break from social media and I’ve just recently started my website, social media and inner circle fresh. At the time (and over the last 2 years) my body weight fluctuated a lot as I learned how to finagle the metabolic challenge of having PCOS. Under the advice of a great and well meaning doctor, I’d began eating meat again a few years ago. The goal was to lower my sugar intake and come down from my weight to loosen the hold of PCOS. My body acts like I’m eating ROCKS when I eat meat! I can feel it going down, digesting over however many HOURS or DAYS. The process of digesting meat is… not my favorite. Between the hormones in the meat and the saturated fats, my body went up and down in size like you wouldn’t believe. My cheeks would bloat one week, then my arms would bloat. I’d have to hear people tell me I lost and gained weight on a weekly basis. Sometime’s I’d talk to them about what was really going on, but usually, I just smiled and waited for the conversation to end.
I got to a point where I began to miss the old me. The girl who used to eat based on instincts. I’d create recipes and enjoy certain plant based foods solely based on how they made me feel. I had an amazing doctor “Dr. Kokayi” who taught me how to eat foods I’m attracted to or that my senses gravitate towards. I’d gone to an amazing kinesiologist/color therapist and we found what color foods my body desired. I was literally taught how to follow my “gut”. Going to the grocery store became an amazing experience just in the produce section… Much like how excited my aunts get when they find the perfect piece of fat back for their collard greens I was excited about ripe strawberries and rainbow Swiss chard, raw almond butter and mulberries.
I wanted foods that made me feel energetic, alert and without brain-fog (something I suffered from since childhood). I learned what my metabolism did best with by trial and error. I’d introduce a group of foods and take away others and see how I felt and if I became bloated. Bloating was a major indicator of how my body really felt. Inflammation and bloating became how my body and I communicated. “Here you go body. Here are some oranges.” followed by my body’s response, “Hooray!!! Let’s go for a hike.”, or “Here you go body, here’s a piece of sourdough bread.” followed by my body’s response, “Where am I? Where’s my phone? What day is today?”. Brain fog verses clarity, clear belly verses gas and bloating, slow weight loss verses INCREDIBLY RAPID weight gain (Up to 2 lbs / week), all controlled by listening and paying close attention to my body. What I used to have to take medicine for is now a non factor with the introduction of a layered chia seed pudding in the morning, watery fruits in the early afternoons, watery veggies and healthy fats in the evening. Brain fog and A.D.D. don’t bug me like they used to.
I took an allergen test to see if I had any food allergies and then dived back into a plant-based diet where as of now, I think I belong. I don’t feel any need to commit or prove anything to anyone. I’m sharing because I’m asked daily and I’m hoping that someone can see themselves in my experience and feel encouraged.
It’s important to find a doctor you like and trust and who respects your life and lifestyle. A nutritionist who will be honest with you and a holistic specialist you can talk to from time to time to receive advice and new information.
I combine the knowledge of such specialists with my own instincts and convictions. As I get older, I’ve began to feel a major responsibility towards what I consume and how I can make that possible wherever I go. I’ve come to stop apologizing for what I rather eat and make my requests known with out feeling snobby or “extra”. I make runs to the grocery store often once I arrive in a new city and I also scope out the local juice bars, smoothie bars and plant based grub options. How I eat has become a part of my lifestyle and as of lately, I’ve decided to really get back into it with my whole heart. The way I eat effects my weight but more importantly it effects my mind, spirit, physical strength and energy. What do I eat most of the time? Fruits and vegetables... I don’t eat gluten. I’m allergic to wheat. In the summer time I cook a lot less. So you may see me cut up some watermelon and squeeze lime over it and call it breakfast.I watch my sugar intake. I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS in the past but lowering my sugar and animal fat caused the diagnosis to disappear. I do a Vinyasa yoga about 3x a week and I lift heavy weights about 4x a week. I concentrate on back & glutes / triceps / biceps / legs... I always do abs. But I’m not skinny. Not by my doctors calculations and not my mine.The word “skinny” is used as a compliment, I think. Thick. Small. Disappearing. But I think it’s important that we’re careful how many titles, names, labels we give each other. The woman’s body is a sensitive, nurturing place. It’s a temple. We have to be careful how we label it and how we celebrate it. We have to take the pressure off of celebrities and ourselves with so much praise for looks and weight “accomplishments”.Just so you know. I eat with the thought of “feeling” light. My body houses The Spirit. My intention when I eat is to create a space where the Holy Spirit can flow with ease. Because I am focused on my spiritual life, there is much purpose attached to how and what I eat. I want to feel fluid, calm, strong and with energy. I’m eating each day to fulfill those goals. I lift weights because I think it’s important to be strong. I carry a suitcase a lot, groceries, laundry, and so much else. I desire to feel capable in that space. I do yoga because it quiets my mind and reminds me of what I’m really listening for and where my direction really comes from. A.D.D., PCOS, and so much else can be made small or eliminated with how we feed our bodies. We’re feeding our minds, our organs, our soul. Somedays I eat food based just on colors (often red). It brightens my day. Makes me feel cheery. I don’t apologize for that quirkiness I’ve adopted. I’ve seen it heal my body. I know it’s called following your heart but it’s difficult to explain. I guess it’s like when you bake someone a birthday cake. You add all the ingredients in, you smile as you smell it cooking. You add the icing and sprinkles on with joy and you serve it smiling, expecting a smile back. That’s how I prepare every meal I put in my body. With the same love, joy and good intention. They call it “Soul Food” for a reason.As far as weight loss. Most of the “weight loss” is toxic people. I’m less stressed when I release myself of toxic people. I tend to loose 5-10 lbs when I let toxic people go. I do that at the top of each year and sometimes more. Stress disturbs my physical body, so I eliminate it as often as possible. Toxic people include folks who complain most of the time, use toxic language, don’t see my value, and people who refuse to see their own value. (Key word: refuse.) Mostly toxic people are folks who have made a decision to ridicule everything I believe. So, thank you for your love as it pertains to my body. But I’m still a beautiful, evolving, creative, self protective, introspective woman who’s made a choice to love herself on display. With that, I think it’s imperative that I lead with honesty and honestly, I’m not small.Oh... and about meat...
Now, listen. I don’t know why on Earth I am so sensitive about eating animals. No one in my family is that way and it’s not a part of my religion. But it’s something I think about when food is set before me. That’s a personal conviction, it’s not something I preach or even share often, it’s just “who I am”. I eat a plethora of foods. I travel often and it’s true, traveling can have an impact on how you eat ESPECIALLY when so many people want to feed you to show gratitude for your arrival. (That’s probably the number one way people say to me “thank you for coming”… and it’s very sweet.)I don’t stay away from meat for religious reasons. I just rather not have to chew anything that walked or swam. Following that instinct made my PCOS un-detectable. I choose not to call myself any “type” of eater because I see the amount of attention being a part of any meatless community brings and I don’t choose my food for attention. I stay away from consuming animals because my body seems to break down plants much easier and the food seems to become energy in my body much faster. Mentally and emotionally plant based eating keeps me MUCH clearer. My sleep is deeper. I’m sharper and my A.D.D. is a LOT less present.I’ve done a lot of research on this all. Visited doctors and nutritionists. My parents are Behavioral Specialists so they understand a lot about neurological titles and foods impact on the mind. I don’t talk about it much because it’s not up for debate. I know what feels good to me. I think the last 3-4 years of my life has prompted me to become a bit more public about my eating, exercise and body. I’m starting to see that much healing is available when I share how I treat myself. So, if you’ve got questions about my eating style and exercise regimen, you can ask them below. It’s my intention to address the ones that resonate with me in hopes to share some of the love I give myself, with each of you.But again... no one is skinny here. It’s about the mind and the spirit. It’s about healing and good health. That’s what food is for. That’s what exercise is for. It’s to supplement and assist the mind in executing the hearts goals.