Former Fat Girl of the Week is a place for us to come to celebrate and learn from the success and achievements of one another. Former Fat Girls of the Week are regular women like you and me, living normal lives, but are extraordinarily inspirational. This is their time to shine, and I hope you are as inspired by them as I am.
Name: Demesha Wright
Occupation: Senior Relationship Banker
Blog: Potter's Clay
What's your weight/fitness story?
I started in February 2009 at 342.2 lbs and have since lost 134 lbs followed by gaining 14 back. I started with Weight Watchers for 2 months and successfully shed my first 25 lbs before growing wings and learning how to fly on my own. I then joined a weight loss competition and hosted two competitions of my own at my job where we've lost nearly 200 lbs as a group. In July I met a group of amazing women through facebook who have become my support system (I love you Ali, Valerie, Courtney, Anna & Kristin). We have a group called F.I.T. "Finding Inspiration Together" where we seek to encourage others along the way while challenging ourselves in the process.
Right now I'm experiencing my first big "speed bump" on my journey. Since reaching my one year anniversary, seems like I've experienced a lot of struggles. I lost 15 pounds after that date but then gained 14 of them back. I'm currently learning how to embrace my set-backs with the same positive outlook as my successes.
I'm living life and learning along the way, part of what a lifestyle is truthfully about. I found myself ashamed and embarrassed of my gain over the last month but the moment I opened up about my experience, it's brought nothing but encouragement for me and others as well.
The newest thing I'm learning on this journey is that no one is perfect and people find encouragement in our failures because they recognize that they aren't the only ones who have a "bad day," or in my case, "bad month." You only fail if you never fall and never get back up!
What was your turning point and/or "Ah-ha!" moment?
My "Ah-ha!" moment was when I watched my first episode of The Biggest Loser (Season 7) and realized that Kristin Steede, the heaviest on the show up to that date was only 20 lbs heavier than my current weight. This was supposed to be an "extreme" weight loss reality TV show and it was so close to my reality that the only thing extreme was the feeling I received in my gut when it all hit me that those contestants, they were ME.
I had tried for so long to ignore all 340+ lbs of ME and I was really faced with seeing the hard truth of it through other people that day. I was unhealthy. I was unhappy. I was severely obese and still climbing.
How has losing weight/being healthy & fit changed your life?
It's daily teaching me how to love & respect myself and those around me as well. The Bible tells us "love our neighbor as yourself," but if we don't know how to love ourselves, how are we going to know how to love our neighbor in that manner?
The decision to make this lifestyle change has been one of the best things I could have ever done for myself. I now have something I can be proud of "me" for. I am now able to run and play with the kids at church and participate in physical activities without always being the one sitting on the sidelines. I can sleep without abnormal fears of heart attack and premature death. I am able to confidently meet new people without secretly being ashamed of my weight, not that I'm even CLOSE to my goal weight yet, but I know where I was and where I am now and it's enough to make me proud whether or not others even know the story.
It's given me confidence and increased my level of self esteem. I've grown a heart of love & compassion for others struggling with weight issues and strive to encourage and motivate them along the way. I now know to "never say never," there is so much I am capable of doing if I put faith and action together.
How often do you exercise?
4-5x a week
What is your favorite workout?
I have a love/hate relationship with the stairmaster! I feel like I get the best results in the least amount of time. However, my FAVORITE workout would be Zumba.
What 5 food items are "must haves" in your kitchen?
Sandwich Thins, Eggs, Fiber Plus bars, Ground Turkey, Yogurt
What is your favorite motivational/inspirational quote?
"If you aren't failing, you aren't trying hard enough." ~Jillian Michaels
What is your greatest accomplishment?
September 27, 2009 - 100 lbs lost in 8 months
Are you working towards a particular goal we can support you in (upcoming races, events, etc)?
Disney Princess Half Marathon in March 2011
What are the last 5 songs played on your iPod?
Francesca Batistelli: It's Your Life; Lecrae: Joyful Noise; Thousand Foot Krutch: Move; Miley Cyrus: The Climb; Pearlescent Shepherds: Citizens
Anything else you'd like to add?
Losing weight isn't easy, but overcoming the mental/emotional battle is where the majority of the struggle lies. I read once that your mind will give up long before your body ever will. Every day you've got to realize - this is a lifestyle, not a diet.
It's not the end of the world if I have a sweet treat today or missed a workout. Take it one day at a time and remember everyday you start with a clean plate. Don't beat yourself up for what happened yesterday.
Having support and encouragement from those around me has been a huge blessing on my journey, there really is power in numbers BUT we can't ever forget that when it comes to weight loss, at the end of the day YOU are the only one who can make it happen. No one else can do it for you.
I am so thrilled to feature Mesha as my Former Fat Girl of the Week! So much of Mesha's journey rings true within my own journey, particularly finding balance, and overcoming the mental challenges of living a healthier lifestyle. Thank you Mesha for sharing your motivational and encouraging story with us! Please be sure to visit Mesha's blog or add her as a friend on Facebook!