“UNCHAINED MELODII” A Spotlight on Carla.
Speaking with Carla, who has lost over 100 pounds, was both refreshing and entertaining. Her words and recollection of past experiences resonated with me, and I’m sure her story will have the same impact on you:
Hello! Your transformation is amazing. What prompted you to begin your journey?
I was working for a Career Health Studies School and my co-workers and I decided to do a “Biggest Loser” challenge. We went into the lab to weigh ourselves, and my heart dropped as the scale read 341.8lbs. Hell, I knew I was big, but I accused the scale of being defective, so I tried another. Same numbers taunted me. Although I was loved by many, had an abundance of friends, great personality, bright smile, which I often masked my unhappiness behind, I was ONLY 25 and facing multiple health issues. Pre-diabetic. Sleep Apnea. High blood Pressure. High Cholesterol. Chest pains. Lack of mentrals for 4.5 years, all as a result of obesity. I just knew I had to do something. That’s when I made the decision to get the Gastric Sleeve; an impeccable TOOL to aid in weight loss, but not the SOLUTION to weight loss. Changing bad habits and altering lifestyles is essential.
Many people that have been on this journey for quite some time have experienced periods of doubt, weight gain, and/or lack of motivation. Have you ever experienced this? What helps you refocus?
Yes, I’ve experienced and I’m STILL experiencing this. I’m 2 weeks away from my wedding, and I had a fitting yesterday. Guess what? I can’t zip my dress. Ashamed. Confused. I literally bawled. I’m unsure if I was more hurt about the weight gain or high alteration prices. Lol. I’m always refocused by being aware that we fall short. No one’s journey is perfect. Though we fall, but we have to rise again and again. The struggle never ends, but it’ll get easier with time.
What has been the most rewarding part of your weight loss journey thus far?
Honestly, the most rewarding part is catching the attention of those on Social Media through photos and motivating captions. Inspiring those to take control of their life and health. I believe that “with God, nothing is impossible.”
Acknowledging non-scale victories are vital for lifting your spirits and sustaining you on your way to your goals. Like having more energy, the ability to walk without losing your breath, blood pressure decreasing, self confidence, fitting better into your clothing & getting rid of the abundance of pills. And as crazy as I may sound(lol), I love running into men that I have previously dated, but tossed me to the curb ’cause of my extra fluffiness and voluptuousness OR individuals that told me I CAN’T, but…SHE DID THAT!! My fiancé loved me despite of my obesity. He’s the real MVP. Won’t HE do it?
Have you found that it’s more difficult to lose weight or maintain the weight that you already lost?
Yasssss!! For me, I’d say both is rather difficult. Sometimes, discipline is far fetched. I lost 102lbs. Gained 15lbs back ’cause I became too comfortable. Wasn’t eating enough or eating the wrong choice of foods, consumed Monsters daily for 4 months, overeating healthy foods, and became utterly lackadaisical/lethargic, the doctors say. In order to be effective to those looking up to us, one must be absolutely honest of bad days, which isn’t often done so. Weight loss ain’t easy, but you must NEVERRRRR give up. Pick yourself up and keep going. Put your excuses to the side and remember this…”YOU ARE CAPABLE.” Be STRONGER than your EXCUSES. We CAN do this!
Do you feel that obesity is too embraced and comforted these days?
Through the eyes of the media, I’d say NO. According to the industry, you have to obtain, as well as, maintain a certain weight criteria to be respected or sometimes to even get a chance in Hollywood. Through the eyes of the News, I’d say NO. Obesity is an ongoing topic and I believe it’s rude when cameramen follow obese people around to get video footage and photos. Through the eyes of children, I’d say NO. Fat kids get teased perpetually, has no friends, and no longer wants to attend school because of embarrassment. That doesn’t sound like it’s comforted or embraced, does it? BUT on the other hand, you have those parents with no sense of nutrition that purchases loads of junk food rather than fruits; burger/fries rather than healthy meats & vegetables; OR a big glass of soda or koolaid rather than water. When the self hate within children begins, parents tend to embrace them & comfort them with ‘you’re beautiful and someday, the world will notice’ talks. As children, PARENTS are held accountable, but as adults, WE are. We have to begin educating our children and ourselves. Choose better health. Healthy is the new sexy.
Have you experienced people treating you different since losing weight?
Ohhhhh absolutely Mel. I get the side eyes, women keeping their men at a distance, rolling of eyes, the ‘mmmphs”, stares, exes attempting to reclaim me, but for the most part, I’ve gained loads of respect from those closest to me and through Social Media for speaking death to my excuses and doing something about my issues.
Have you learned/discovered anything new about yourself since losing weight?
Definitely!! Before I began losing weight, I was everyone’s “yes man.” I just wanted to be liked, appreciated and respected. It seems as though I found time for everyone and everything else, except myself. Frazzled. After I began losing weight, I discovered that I don’t need validation from anyone or anything. Like me? Awesome sauce!! Don’t like me? Good riddance. Bye Felicia. I began learning to say “no” to things that stands between me and tackling “top” priorities. I need love and support, not criticism ’cause there is only so much time in a day. I am not their “yes” woman. I will not be bombarded with things that doesn’t interest me. I am not SUPERWOMAN…
Can you offer any words of advice to the woman that wants to lose weight, but doesn’t know where to start?
Yes, but it’s in the form a poem. Mind if I share?
“IMMA FULL-FIGURED WOMAN that grew up w/low self esteem; other girls dressed up & played with Barbie, but I dreamed to be like mommy, scurrying’ back & forth on the court on the hood’s bball team. Had all the male attention, but yet, I felt as though I didn’t exist. I just wanted to be noticed, maybe the main focus, but all I got was slaps on the butt for shootin’ jays, stickin’ to plays, & makin’ the net go… ((swish))…but INTO MY SKIN..into my skin, loneliness moved in. The prissy girls played the clarinet & flute to sit & be cute, but I was beatin’ drums with the strength of Donkey Kong with the heart & enthusiasm from my historical root. Hated dresses ’cause my legs were short & stubby; I was energetic & though it’s genetic, I still remained chubby. Had a crush on my childhood best friend, but he considered me as one of his boys, didn’t want a girl whose armpit smelled worse than his with a stench that suddenly destroys, but INTO MY SKIN…into my skin, self-doubt moved in. Hostess was my homie, we was always chillin’, but that crème fillin’, started catching up. Thighs thickenin’, hips spreading, unwillin’. I was not only that pretty face, I was insecure about the dispersal of my weight. I went from junior to misses, but as I tried to fit my thighs into the misses size, my thigh was too thick. I told the sales lady “…these must be runnin’ small cause these jeans don’t fit”, but by surprise, she said, “sweetie, if you walk back there to “plus size”, that’ll definitely do the trick”, but INTO MY SKIN…into my skin, God moved in. I began to find myself, love myself ’cause I got a purpose & its time to give birth, but for a while, I was a hindrance and lost sight of my worth. I learned to lift my head & never look down, woulda’ never found my beauty by calculatin’ every pound. I was told I have power within my words that everyone has yet to see, I’m anointed, I’m beautiful, but most importantly, I’m a child of a KING. Lost 95 lbs, love handles & waist goin’ down. We’ve all had insecurities that was barriers in our lane, but there comes a day when you gotta’ stand up to those demons and scream “NO MORE PAIN cause..INTO MY SKIN…CHANGE moved in.”
You can follow @__amelodii and her journey on Instagram.