Testimony Tuesday is the time for inspirational stories. During this time, the My Faith and Fitness Blog will feature the good health and fitness stories of others. Readers will also have the opportunity to their share good health, fitness and weight loss journeys so that others may be encouraged. If you are interested in submitting your story, please complete the form on the Contact page. Today, Tinesha J. Williams is sharing her story. Tinesha and I attended Seminary together at Drew University Theological School. Tinesha is also my soror in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Be encouraged by Tinesha’s testimony.
I share my weight loss journey with a heart of thanksgiving. I was always a thick and curvy person, but not always challenged by morbid obesity. However, the latter part of my adult years proved to be difficult from a physical, mental and emotional standpoint. Poor body image that stemmed from being a curvy black teenager in a predominantly white high school prompted me to not only feel bad about not fitting in a size 6, but also caused me to engage in emotional eating and yo-yo dieting as early as the age of 16. If I knew then that I had an athletic physique that was curvy by design, I would have appreciated that I was fearfully and wonderfully made by God. However, I allowed negativity to be the rule of the day.
That rule took control of me for much of my young adult life. Stress, depression, insecurity, disappointments and discontent were factors that forced me to disconnect from healthy life routines, such as eating right and regular exercise. Junk food was my comfort, along with soul food and various take out establishments. I became a foodie, not because I appreciated the culture of eating, but because food was my drug to soothe the emotional pains and personal heartaches. My heaviest weight was 340 pounds and over time my weight piled on due to medications I took for my asthma as well as unhealthy practices in my diet.
After facing a number of health problems (chronic asthma, sleep apenea, high blood pressure) it was suggested I undergo the Lap Band Procedure in March of 2010. I was reluctant, because I felt as if it was cheating. However, my doctor advised it was as effective and helpful as insulin is for a Diabetic. One would think I would see this as a quick fix and the weight would fly off in no time. But, I didn’t allow it to happen that way.
I discovered the connection between my spiritual, mental and emotional health and how it relates to how I treat my body and that became my challenge. There were days I felt confused and wanted to eat, but I took a walk instead. Then, there were days I became disappointed and wanted food, yet realized I needed to come to a better solution for my life. With the help of a therapist, I unpack my issues and not turn to food. It’s hard on some days, but I’ve maintained my weight for 3 years with the intent of reaching my goal weight real soon.
I’ve lost a total of 110 pounds through a healthy diet and exercise. I set goals to burn a certain amount of calories during a workout session (700-1000) and challenge myself to do it. I incorporated weights in my routine for strength training and muscle building. I have not been tightened in over two years, and it’s a personal preference of mine not to. I desire to work on the entire self, no matter how long the process takes me. Fortunately, I have not gained my weight back and I give God the glory. God obviously knows there’s more to me than laying aside the physical weight, but there were other heavy matters I needed to set aside as well.