365 Days in the Bay: 7 Mos.= Making the Shift

I just finished Shaun Week ; He’s by far my favorite Beachbody trainer. HipHopAbs may have something to do with it. I’ve battled weight for as long as I can remember, and my mom was always standing in the sidelines trying to figure out how she could help–WITHOUT making me feel like there was something wrong with me. A tricky task for sure.

My mom, bless her heart, had me in EVERYTHING! I did tumbling, jazz dance, tee ball, soccer, girl scouts– anything she could think of to keep me active. Myyyy preference was to either be reading a book somewhere in silence or watching Barney. I was easily entertained and the smallest of things made (and still make!) me happy.

Around middle school is when I really noticed my weight– couldn’t categorize it as baby weight anymore, and my friends bodies all look so different than mine. I was short and round and they were all getting taller and leaner. I remember trying out for cheering in the 6th grade and having to get my uniform custom made because my tummy was just so round. The best part of it is no one ever made fun of me, Not ever. Not to my face anyway! I never heard a fat joke, or got tripped in the hallway– any of those stereotypical overweight middle school-er experiences. Maybe it was because my dad was our middle school guidance counselor—or maybe it was because people were apologetically kind for 12-14 year olds.

Either way, at that point (while at a seamstress getting a new uniform made) I realized that there might be a problem. That maybe there was something ‘wrong’ with me and I wanted to ‘fix’ it.

Shortly after I got a Zumba DVD set for Christmas (thanks, Mom!) This was in 2000 ya’ll– before anyone knew anything about Beto (can I get the accent symbols please!?!) and salsa to shed pounds. I was roughly 13 years old and I danced in my living room every single day. Without hesitation, I had all the dance moves memorized and found myself making up my own moves along the way (who’s surprised!! 🙂). Soon to follow was my introduction to Shaun T via HipHopAbs !

Mom started packing my lunch with applesauce cups instead of Scooby snacks, pretzels instead of Doritos, and carrot sticks and apples instead of 4 cookies. This is around the time I fell in love with apple slicers and started having apple slices dipped in a single serving of caramel as my sweet treat for the day. I walked into high school a sneaky 60lbs lighter with barely any effort.

High School to college I maintained. I was always thicker than everyone else, but not quite as round. College brought on new obstacles of mixed drinks and 2am pizza which QUICKLY caught up to me. (Thanks Catfish Biff’s, O-H!) I found myself feeling out of shape (no more soccer and cheering practice to keep me active). I joined boot camps, or group fitness classes– I found that Zumba had really taken off, so I started popping in classes on campus or wherever I could find them. Shook the weight again. #zing

Fast forward to 2015. I looked in the mirror one day and decided I just wanted to be fit. I wanted to see what it felt like to be someone who was actually IN-SHAPE! I’d been working out a Lifetime Fitness for a year, started developing relationships, and met a trainer who challenged me to take my “get-by” fitness to the next level. And that I did. With Brian at my side, I lost 60lbs all over again– but this time I lost it on a 25 year old body. All the curves were falling into the right spots. I was shopping on sales racks, and slipped this thick booty into some size 8 pants. Can I just say that in ALL of my life (up to that point) I had never seen a single digit clothing item slip onto my body like butter. I was hooked. Addicted even. I was working out twice a day, eating tilapia and broccoli like it was going out of style.

Such is life, I ended up tearing my meniscus, and shortly after my grandmother died.

I just stopped. Everything just stopped. No gym. No tilapia. No snap-chatting my journey. I just disappeared. My depression was already slowly resurfacing (before my grandmother passed) and her dying just tipped me off the edge. I had all these feelings about losing her coupled with the reality of recognizing that these days we think we having coming, are just. not. promised.

2 years later (nearly 3) and I have that middle school feeling  all over again. It’s like I haven’t really been paying attention to my weight. I’ve just been trying to survive…and eating through it. I’ve just been working really hard to wake up everyday- go to work- and make it back home without a break down. Her death just unleashed all this junk I’d been suppressing– everything came out and ever since I’ve been managing it.

Rewind to my last post where I talked through Beginning Again. I’m in a space where I now see that attempting to bury challenges that are still alive and well, will only mean that they’ll resurface at some non-optimal time. May as well manage them as they come. This weight. Can’t be buried anymore. It can’t be ‘fixed’. This weight is the physical representation of everything I carry and attempted to silence. I can’t silence it anymore. Time to do the work of recognizing how I have arrived here– carrying all this baggage and begin, again, to let things go.

So back to why I started writing this post- lol! I just finished Shaun Week– the premise being it’s a one week program and can help generate some momentum/belief in your ability to complete something. To get to the finish line and to keep moving to the next goal.

Shaun Week shed light on a few things:

  • Food matters WAYYYY more than we want it to
    • I completed all the workouts and ate freely, just made myself the promise that I would track everything on MyFitnessPal no matter what. I noticed I eat a TON of carbs and sweets (hello dessert after every meal—); the snacks are what are eating up all my calories for the day. Who knew?!
  • Working out as soon as my eyes open works best for me
    • Day 6 (yesterday) I waited until the afternoon and I almost forgot (mainly because I was laying in bed watching yet another Netflix movie lol)
  • Water is a challenge
    • Have you every tried to drink 1/2 your body weight in water?! Good God Almighty. Anyone who knows me knows that I ALREADY have to go to the bathroom 10,000 times a day…add drinking all that damn water!!! #DEPENDSPLEASE
  • Keeping fruits around help with the snacking
    • I’m a bored/stress/I don’t know what to do with myself eater. Having fruits around helped with that. 1. I didn’t want to eat an apple lol 2. So I didn’t snack unnecessarily. I’ve decided not to tell myself I can’t have something. Instead I just don’t keep it in my house. If I want ice cream, I have to literally get in the car and go buy it– can’t walk to the freezer in my pjs and go HAM just because.
  • Including others in the process (when I ‘m ready to include them!) works for me
    • I decided to wait until after Day 5 before I said anything to anyone– mainly because I didn’t want anyone giving me their thoughts if I didn’t finish. That worked for me!

My first. goal was to finish something. By God, I just wanted to start and finish something well– and I did! I did the 7-day program and shed 7inches this week… #hm!

Tomorrow I’m joining my dear friend Taylar Proctor on another Beachbody journey–emphasis? Making the Shift.

For the next three weeks I have committed to completing The Shift Shop with Beachbody trainer Chris Downing. I will by all means, be doing the modified version of all the exercises in addition to modifying the meal plan. I tend to be an extremist so I have to be careful when I take the leap into program and remind myself– I have to do what works best for me! However, I will try and then modify as necessary 🙂



1. Drink 1/2 my body weight in water 5 out of 7 days per week ( I may very well be wearing Depends this week…me and my bladder and all this water?! Lord Jesus be a fence!)
2. Purchase and Prep meals on Sundays (that’s today! already scheduled to get cooking with a friend at 2p!)

3. 10 min of Personal Development (audio books during commute and starting my day with my daily word devotions, or blogging– hey ya’ll!)

Most important goal?! FINISHING! No matter what–sticking to the process, being kind to myself on the tough days, and keeping track of progress.

To help with accountability I’ve taken before pictures, measurements, etc.; at the end of the program I’ll post my results here (eek!)

Beginning again starts with making a shift. These next three weeks are going to be dedicated to exactly that. Taking small steps toward making a shift, facing challenges as they come up (instead of burying them), and moving forward–or as Shaun T would say— Digging Deeper. 🙂

May the odds be ever in my favor!







4 thoughts on “365 Days in the Bay: 7 Mos.= Making the Shift

  1. Cierra,
    I needed this. Please keep posting because it feels as though you are in my head reading my thoughts. Even after all these years, you are inspiring me and thank you for being such a positive, real, and amazing person!

  2. I relate to this so much. I’m trying to get back on the fitness train as well, sigh. I solved nutrition with keto and intermittent fasting (finally accepted that my body and insulin resistance just don’t handle carbs well)…now to make it to the gym :-D. Rooting for you!

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