Staying Fit With Keya
By Keyandria Clark
For the past 2 years my friend sends me a screen shot text message that I sent her January 16, 2013. The text is regarding me starting boot camp and how crazy the instructor was. I ended the text by saying “I can’t be the fat one any longer.” *insert sense of humor*. But we all know there is at least some truth behind every joke. It is a fact that I was the largest of my friends. The older I got, the more I started to own it. I was Big and Beautiful! Being overweight or struggling with obesity can lead to harsh physical illnesses, but equally as important, mental and emotional illnesses like low self-esteem and depression. I give God all the glory for not having endured any of this. I did have to endure shortness of breath, swelling fingers (due to sodium), and various infections because body was filled with toxins. I was upset because I couldn’t shop in certain stores, salty because the plus size fashion was so blah lol. No matter the size, self-love was always present and has been and always be the grounds of my self-acceptance.
I’ve always been chubby and was teased the most as a child. The teasing lessened toward middle school and would occasionally appear through direct insults of some kind. Growing up healthy eating was not a concern, let alone a priority. If a vegetable was on the menu it just happened to land there; no intent to provide nutritional nourishment. As I got older I learned more about healthier options but still didn’t make the necessary change. I would eat a semi healthy every now and again. I would work out here and there… never consistent, never determined, and never dedicated. The knowledge got greater and I had to do better.
Looking back, I think I was my largest around 2010 as I was over 300 pounds and up to a size 18/20 2X/3X. January 1, 2013 I decided to do the Daniel Fast solely for spiritual reasons. You know that saying “tell God your plans and watch him laugh”. Well, he was cracking up! Two weeks into the fast I started exercising and the only time I looked back was to reflect on where I came from and why I started. That old lifestyle became more and more foreign to me.
When I started I was somewhere around 285 pounds. I didn’t really have a plan, but what I did have was the will to win. I tried to commit to 3 days a week… some weeks I got there and some weeks it was once or twice. I never stopped. I consistently gave something… whatever energy, strength, and determination I could muster up. I consistently did more and consistently got faster, stronger, better. I jumped rope and ran my stairs at home for about 7 months before joining a gym. It got cold and I hadn’t reached that no excuses stage so I wasn’t finna be out in the cold lol. I like to play in the gym from time to time but I’d take an outside workout over gym any day! Somewhere down the line I got self-motivated. It came from within and started to feel so God sent. I became creative with my workouts, changing up my routines as well as my locations. If you are exercising but eating horribly, you will not see the results you desire.
“To be lean you must eat clean!”
That stomach you want to lose has more to do with what you are eating than how hard you hit the treadmill. My diet had become mostly fruit, veggies and lean meats. Water had to become my best friend and is often the only beverage in the fridge. I transitioned from only calorie counting to also learning about chemicals in food (ie. Gluten, GMO, dies) that’s used to cut cost, modify and or “enhance” foods. I can’t stress enough how important it is to READ YOUR LABELS. If the ingredient can’t be pronounced… 9/10 it’s not supposed to be consumed. For example: butylated hydroxyanisole: it’s used as an additive in food when it’s not oxidizing liquids like fuel. It’s also flammable. When in doubt… GOOGLE is my best friend! To do your part in avoiding cancer, try your absolute best to avoid chemicals!
I used to wonder with all my might how someone can love working out so much… like actually enjoy it with a smile. You get addicted to the results. The challenge becomes a high. I’ve always known my purpose was in the area of service to the people but never in a million years did I think it would be in this capacity. I remember posting a picture on instagram during my fast and the caption read “after this fast my life will never be the same” and that couldn’t be truer today. People come to me for fitness and health awareness…ME!
“I’m the girl who ate Rallys at 3am and whole totinos pizzas with ranch. I ate hot sauce multiple times a week and mile high chili cheese fries!”
To embark on this fitness journey was the best decision of my life. Exercising is my hobby, my therapy and now a permanent part of me. To truly be successful this can’t be a temporary fix… you have to make it a lifestyle. I promise it’s 100 times over worth every bit of the while!
Facebook: Keya Clark