Ladies, how many of you have had the “I need to lose weight” or “I want to get healthy” talk with yourself?

Can I get a virtual hand wave?

My motivation to lose weight has always been for beauty purposes. I mean, according to society, if a woman has a big butt, flat stomach, and a small waist, she has a bright future in front of her. The hype around having a “nice body” is almost inescapable.

I literally tried every diet on the market. They all worked for a short period but I gained all of the weight back.

It wasn’t until I realized I needed to recondition my mind and understand that eating healthy and exercising were about more than looking good in a pair of jeans, that things changed. With a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure, I knew I had to finally do it the right way and stay on track.

Every time I became fed up with my body, I’d buy a gym membership or a new DVD that guaranteed a nice set of abs in two hours. I would purge the fridge and restock with fruits and veggies.

I would be completely ready for Day One (you know we always start diets on Mondays).

Day One, Two, and Three would consist of a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a workout.

Day Four… I’m looking in the mirror confused about why my stomach doesn’t look like Serena Williams’. But whatever, I’d still pat myself on the back because I said no to the cookies that had been calling my name earlier.

BAM! A few days later, life would completely ruin my routine.

Mandatory overtime. Family emergency. Car acting up. My man getting on my last nerve, or just being flat out exhausted.

My healthy breakfast would turn into a quick stop at the drive-thru because I didn’t have time to prepare. I’d grab lunch from the vending machine because of an unexpected work deadline. Back to my old eating habits and convincing myself that I didn’t have time to work out or prepare healthy meals.

I used to be stuck in that cycle, but 40 pounds down and counting, I’m here to tell you ladies – the devil is a liar.

In April 2015, I ended my relationship with my boyfriend. I knew the crying and eating everything in sight was prone to happen, but I also knew I couldn’t afford to put on any more weight. I read a book about a Smoothie Cleanse and decided to try this weight loss thing again.

When I took my Before picture, I literally did not recognize the woman I saw. She was at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other health risks. Most importantly, she looked unhappy.

At that moment, I decided enough was enough.

I completed a 10 day cleanse and felt like a new person. My sugar and carb cravings were gone and I was down 16 pounds. But I knew I couldn’t stay in celebration mode too long. The road had just begun.

The detox cleanse wasn’t another quick way to lose weight but merely a jumpstart. I began to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet. I found fun and new ways to exercise. I started to become cautious of my emotions and their connection to food.

Finding and maintaining my motivation wasn’t easy but it became easier when I let go of the excuses.

How many times have we fussed with our significant other or children about priorities? “If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse.” The same applies to our overall health.

What if you went to your annual doctor’s appointment and received a bad diagnosis. The good news? A certain form of medicine could cure you – clean eating and exercise. What would you do? How quickly would your priorities change?

Unfortunately, many people must take medication in order to live. No matter how busy their life gets, they can’t forget or stop, because it is literally keeping them alive. The same mindset should be applied when it comes to our health.

Exercise and eating healthy is a medicine that we must take.

As women, we wear so many different hats. We’re mothers, wives, friends, sisters, aunties, bosses, employees, etc. But how many of those hats serve the purpose of bettering ourselves?

Everything that we hustle and bustle hard for doesn’t matter if we aren’t physically here.

When you struggle to find your motivation or have a hard time balancing the many demands of life, remember what the Doctor told you.

In order to live your best life, take your medicine. Eat healthy and exercise. I did!

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