As I’m taking the last bite of my homemade banana pudding (it’s my cheat day), it struck me – what if I never took that first step? What if I never made the decision to change my life and unhealthy eating habits? What problems, like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease or a stroke, would I now have as a result of my previous lifestyle? What would I look like? Would I be dead or alive?
As much as I would like to hash out those thoughts in more detail, I can’t! Why? Because in the end, I made a choice. Yes, a CHOICE to change. I chose not to let my weight be a life sentence! I was tired of the fat shaming, bullying, and low self-esteem! Being 450 lbs was no picnic! I felt like I was living in someone else’s body. I didn’t feel like “ME!” Honestly, before the weight loss, I HATED to exercise (some days, I still do).
Plus, I didn’t want to break up with food! Let me rephrase that, “FOOD DIDN’T WANT TO BREAK UP WITH ME!” Food has ALWAYS been, and forever will be, my kryptonite. Whether I’m stressed out, pissed off, or having a bad day…food is there. It’s sad to say, but I think FOOD is my soulmate. For me, eating was emotional. I can’t lie, it still is in some cases…but I’ve learned how to make healthier choices, balance my portions, and know what works for my body.
I can recall, during a late night binge session, devouring two Big Macs, a large fry, a family-size bag of Doritos, a 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew,
and then I followed that all up with three slices of chocolate cake! Trust me, I can put it down! LOL! During this late night binge party, there was a moment in between mid-chew, I realized that I was slowly killing myself. I didn’t care about went into my body. I was happy with all the fattening, sugary, high calorie items that I could eat! Plus, I was unemployed, depressed and miserable. I couldn’t afford a gym membership, gastric bypass, or expensive diet plans. There were days when I felt hopeless and out of control. I wanted to end the cycle and/or ‘get off the ride’, but I was scared. I was scared to step outside of my comfort zone and do what needed to be done. I was scared of what people would think of me! I was scared to start over! I was scared of failing again! I was scared of having a heart attack one day! I was scared to change! I was scared of it all!
However, my wake up call came when I appeared in my first music video, Lula ft. Papa Joe, “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”, which hit #6 on the Billboard Dance Charts. (Billboard pic – #16 and climbing)
“A DJ may have saved my life through the music, but it was then that I decided to take my life back and SAVE mine” I started walking every morning, making the sidewalk my treadmill, and I haven’t stopped. I also changed my eating habits. The first thing I did was clear out the fridge of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that was going to get in my way of losing weight. I traded in my high calorie and sugary items for fruits, vegetables, high protein meats and water. I went from eating over 8,000 calories per day to 1,500 calories. In 18 months, I successfully lost 250 lbs, without the use of a gym, gastric bypass surgery or expensive diets.
In looking back, I’m proud that I took that first step. Now, 250 lbs lighter, doors have been opened to a whole new life! I’m the HAPPIEST and HEALTHIEST I’ve ever been! I’ve been able to experience things that I once dreamed of, and now I’m living it! It really is a dream come true.
The struggle of living the life that I never thought I could live is in the past! I want to be the BEST that I can be! And I want the same thing for you! Take it from me; taking control of your life is one of the hardest things you will EVER do. But remember, there’s only one YOU!
So whether your reasons to get healthy are personal, or if it’s because of family or loved ones… Just know that we all make mistakes or get into ruts, even with our eating habits. Some months we’re good and some months we’re not so good. It’s OK! You’re human. Remember, you’re trying to make a better life, not only for yourself, but for the people around you. So if you feel your pants getting a little tighter, or your shirts getting a little smaller, maybe it’s time for a CHANGE!! Maybe it’s time you step out your comfort zone. Maybe it’s time to trade in your old habits and behaviors, and start new ones. Maybe it’s time for you to start LIVING! Don’t be scared!
As with anything you do in LIFE, Taking the first step is the HARDEST! You owe it to yourself to be your BEST self! And if I can do it, so CAN YOU!
The #ElectricNegro signing off! #feelingELECTRIC ALL MY LOVE!
Video link: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life! https://youtu.be/c-P2U7p2DdA?list=FLafYsse8J4lNzsxl-MBEosA
PAPA JOE AVIANCE: http://www.papajoeaviance.com