50 Pounds Down, I did it – You can too

50 Pounds Down, I did it – You can too

Just to tell you a little bit about myself —- I consider myself to be a very confident person – one to walk in a room and own it!!! I’ve always been very energetic and youthful. I’m a dancer and an athlete. I’ve been dancing and cheering since the age of five. During my youth – I was what you would consider a fit chick. I never really had a weight problem until I had my first son and my weight pretty much fluctuated. Ten years ago in 2007 as I was preparing for my wedding day, my goal was to look like a princess in my wedding dress. I wanted to be slim. I lost 65 pounds. I was a size 6 — the smallest that I’ve ever been since young adulthood. I achieved my goal because I’ve always been very goal oriented but this time it was only for superficial reasons. I took diet pills and laxatives. I got the B-12 shot every other week. I worked out twice a day. I used the elliptical machine, the treadmill, and the bike – I trained with weights three times a week but I lost the weight doing things that I didn’t really like.

I kept the weight off after I got married and in October 2010 – I had my second child.  In September 2012 I had my third child. My two babies – 23 months apart were my ultimate focus but I went through a period where I let myself go. I stopped working out. I ate unhealthy. I ate just because. If I was watching —— my favorite——– reality TV – I snacked and I had to have juice or a soda with each snack. Can you say water during that time? Water was not in my vocabulary at this time……My weight plummeted to 237 pounds. Let me repeat this – my weight plummeted to 237 pounds. Get this —– I am only 5’4 and I hit my heaviest weight. Now can you recall me saying that I consider myself to be a very confident person – one that walks in a room and owns it but landing at 237 pounds took a massive hit on my confidence level. I stopped taking pictures. I definitely wasn’t going to post any pictures on social media. I was embarrassed. I felt downtrodden but I used excuses as to why I wasn’t going to get the weight off. Those excuses were, “Oh I don’t have time — the kids take up all of my time.” “I work high level jobs that require late nights.” “My schedule won’t allow me to work out.”

I knew that I had to take control of my life – I kept the baby weight on for six years. I was really down on myself and I knew that the excuse of the baby weight six years later wasn’t going to cut it anymore. I talked about my weight. I often times did it in front of people so that I would beat them to saying something about my weight first. I knew what to do to get the weight off but I was enabling myself with excuses —- high profile jobs and kids. So on January 29, 2017, I made the mental commitment to get this weight off. I started my first 3 mile walk. I then started to incorporate my love and many years of training in dance into my workouts. I turned my smart TV on – put on my favorite music with Beyonce at the top of the list and danced for two hours a day. I also swam and used weights to tone the upper and lower body three times a week. I also changed my eating habits. I cut out all fattening foods and sweets. My diet consists of lean meat and vegetables. I drink plenty of water and do not eat after 7 pm.

This journey – I will admit was not an easy one but I was determined to get the weight off and I was not going to let nothing or any excuse stop me. It took me six months to lose 50 pounds. My first victory was June 1, 2017 – I was 30 pounds down from January 29 when I first started my journey. Seeing results just made me want to aim higher. I documented my weight loss journey. I wanted to inspire others. I wanted them to know that if you put your mind to do something – you can achieve that goal. Folks that watched my journey cheered me on. They even motivated me. I wanted to make a difference and share my story with others. I wanted to make them proud. I wasn’t going to let them down. My motto is — “I danced my way down 50 pounds. If I can – you can too – let me show you how!”  I hated when I saw folks on social media lose all of this weight and then when you ask them the question – you get crickets — nothing……they won’t tell you anything. Well I wanted to be fully transparent. It’s blood, sweat, and tears – for me it was a mental, physical, and spiritual transformation. I changed my life. I got my sexy back. My energy level is at the same level as when I was 17-18 years old dancing front and center on stage. I have accomplished a lot in my life – but for me this has been by far – my biggest accomplishment because it was all me – no diet pills, no surgery, no quick fix, —-all me, a commitment, a transformation, a new me. This is a lifestyle change that I plan to maintain for the rest of my life.

Mental – The Journey Starts with the Mental Toughness

My journey started with making a mental commitment. I knew that it started first with me. Once you make the mental commitment – you will stay focused on your journey. Without the mental toughness you won’t succeed – you will fall off, won’t start or will quit when you don’t initially see results or when life gets in the way. I started this weight loss journey on January 29, 2017 and did not initially see results until April 28, 2017 but I never gave up. I didn’t look at the scale every day and get frustrated because the numbers weren’t going down. I knew that looking at the scale would be a distraction. I just kept going. I was not going to give up. I knew that I would eventually see results and then when I started seeing them – knowing that I was accomplishing my goal was rewarding.

Make your Weight Loss Journey Fun

Do you know why people fall off right in the middle of their weight loss breakthrough? It’s because they dread what they’re doing. If you hate what you’re doing – you’re not going to continue to go through with it. Do the things that you love. I love to dance. Dancing is therapeutic for me. I can dance for hours and its nothing. I danced my weight off for two hours a day. I am trained in ballet, jazz, and African dance. I incorporated that training in my daily workout routines. Through dance – I was able to work on every muscle group. I love to swim. Swimming also works every muscle group. I went to the local Department of Parks and Recreation and did 20 laps during my workout routine. I didn’t feel like I was working out. I was getting fit doing what I enjoy the most.

Don’t Lose Yourself in Motherhood – Reclaim your Sexy

I know…….I know…….it’s easier said than done and yes I will admit – I fell victim to losing myself during motherhood but I am encouraging all mothers —– please do not lose yourself. Self-care is the best care. If you can’t be your best self – you won’t be your best self for others. The most beautiful and powerful thing is a woman that is confident within herself. When you look and feel great —- you act that way too. You must invest in yourself.  That’s the best gift that you can give to yourself. I feel alive. The 50 pounds that I lost took ten years off of me. I embrace my inner and outer sexy. My workouts consist of DANCE…DANCE….and more DANCE and I’m sexy while I’m doing it — head held high —- shoulders erect, walking sassy — as I’m hitting the dance floor.

Watch What You Eat

The bottom line is this….you can work out all you want to but if you are eating junk – your weight loss journey will not be a successful one. During my weight loss journey – I cut out all fast foods, carbohydrates, and eating after 7:00 p.m. I love sweets and oooooooh I love to snack (oatmeal crème pies, lemon pudding cake from Safeway, salt and vinegar chips, Cheetos, —- you pretty much get it) but I had to let go of those things that I love in order to get the results that I wanted. I don’t even feel the urge to eat sweets anymore.  I eat lean meat – fish and chicken with vegetables or a salad with every meal. If I want a snack – I will eat a healthy snack such as raw vegetables (carrots or celery). When I go out – I try to eat before I go so that I am not hungry or tempted to order fast food. If I am going to an event where I know that they will have snacks –I will bring my own. Also allow yourself one cheat day – hey you deserve it right!!! You’ve been doing so good but don’t allow that cheat day to turn into three days or a week. Satisfy your urge and then get back on track.

Document your Weight Loss Journey

My very first boss taught me early on that if you don’t send out a press release — nobody will know what you did. Now because of social media you can engage with your followers instantly. If you don’t document – then it’s like you’ve never done it because no one saw it. So document — use Instagram, Facebook, Snap Chat, and Twitter. I was able to share my story from day one of my weight loss journey and people were cheering me along the way. They watched me transform from a size 16 to a size 8 in six months. For me — that was everything!!! Because of their motivation – it held me accountable and I didn’t want to let them or myself down. I had to complete the journey. Another goal accomplished was the reward – my ultimate victory.

Let your Personal Goals Align with your Professional Goals

I started Calhoun Communications, a communications, PR branding and political consulting boutique shop. I am building a brand and the brand is essentially me. Now folks stress the importance of being smart but the harsh reality is that this world is fixated on appearance. You are initially judged by just that. When people first meet you – they don’t know you. In building my #CalhounComm brand – I wanted people to take me serious as a business woman when I walk into the room. I wanted to look the part. That consisted of becoming fit. The professional brand is the personal brand. A healthy lifestyle. A new me.

Inspire Others During your Weight Loss Journey

You’ve heard the saying that “someone is always watching.” Well the saying is true. When you share your story – you just never know who you are going to impact someone. By sharing your story – you have the power to change someone’s life. Do not take that for granted. I didn’t imagine the responses that I received would from people that were touched by my journey —- people are truly inspired and got the motivation to jumpstart their weight loss game plan too.

  • Amber Dooley
    Posted at 23:18h, 22 October Reply

    You so inspire me. I’m starting my journey and I’m so proud of you for doing this to share and continue to inspire.

    • dcalhoun
      Posted at 09:38h, 23 October Reply

      Thank you so much Amber. See now this is what its all about. When I can motivate others to get started. I love this! Look let me know how I can help. This is a movement.

  • Ivory Sides
    Posted at 23:45h, 22 October Reply

    This was an awesome read Dionne and very motivational! I need to get back on track. I think the hardest thing is getting into a routine. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • dcalhoun
      Posted at 09:37h, 23 October Reply

      Ivory, you can do it. I know that you can. You just have to start somewhere and stick with it. Strike the balance between work and get that rhythm going.

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