When most people are the butt of a joke, they get angry. I got motivated. I had no idea I was 400lbs. Thoughts of dying raced through my mind. I realized at the time, there are a thousand ways a 35 year old, obese man could die. The only question was what WOULD I do to change it?”
Did I say obese? …Yep, OBESE! Both of us.
That was my tipping point. Tipping points, by definition, are when small things make a big difference. We go through life asking God questions but many times, we find ourselves not willing to accept His answers. Even after losing my mother to colon cancer, I still refused to acknowledge the answers that were right in front of my face!
Maleka and I continued going about our everyday lives unwilling to see the bigger picture. That bigger picture was us. (It WAS a really BIG picture!) The bigger picture included our boys, our family, our quality of life, and our future. What kind of future would we have if we continued our bad eating habits, being inactive, and simply, continued not being focused on changing anything about our health and our lives? Well, we will tell you…
Our weight loss journey began in 2006…
My husband and I are from New Orleans. If you know New Orleans, then you know the essence of New Orleans…FOOD! We absolutely LOVE TO EAT!! At no time prior to or after Hurricane Katrina did we realize our eating habits and weight were out of control. We did not have any diagnosed health issues, we never saw ourselves as being unhealthy or being obese. It’s funny how we walk around unaware of our true selves. It wasn’t until after a life changing experience in 2006, that we decided to change our life.
After coming down with a sore throat, Eric went the doctor’s office. Of course with any typical doctor’s visit, they need to take the basic vitals. At the point in which they needed to take my husbands weight, the medical scale could not read it. The nurses made sly remarks about the scale; they couldn’t figure out why the scale was not working…so they gathered other nurses and to my husband’s surprise, he became the butt of their jokes. He heard them laughing at him. The truth is, my husband’s weight exceeded what the medical scale could measure. At that moment, he weighed 400 lbs!
When he came home, I could see how terribly angry he was. I asked him to tell me what happened. He proceeded to tell me about his experience. He was angry. He was not angry with the nurses, but he was angry with himself for allowing his weight to get out of control.
I, myself, weighed in at 276 lbs! I recall the day I asked Eric what was HE going to do about it. In the beginning, I resisted the idea of change. I knew change was needed but I was afraid. I was afraid of the unknown; afraid of change because I did not know what that change was going to look like. The first thing I thought about was all the things we could no longer have.
Eric sat me down and told me “If you don’t take time out for you, then who will? You take time out for me, the kids, your clients, family, & everybody else…you are the only person who can make time for you.” He told me he wanted us to take this journey together. He wanted us to be healthy and be around for our boys. He wanted us to live healthier.
That was my “A-HA” moment! That day, we got a few things we would need to begin working out at home. I found a few exercise DVD’s and we mapped out a walking route. We started reading so many books on health, nutrition, and exercise. We faithfully tuned in to Dr. Oz on the Oprah Show and watched Celebrity Fit Club. We learned and reinforced so many things! We found healthier ways to fix our favorite foods, we committed to working out 5-6 days a week. Usually, we would do 30 minutes of cardio before bringing the boys to school and we would walk 2.5 miles. Eventually, we began running those 2.5 miles, incorporating strength training, pilates, & outside activity with our boys. Yard work became a new perspective on fitness…a great way to exercise without the traditional concept of working out.
As a couple, we cherished our workout time together. It truly strengthened our relationship. It had been such a rough time because Eric had recently lost his mother to colon cancer. We lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, and while our families returned to their homes, we remained relocated for 2 years.
As of July 2007, just shy of one year, Eric lost over 150lbs and I lost half my size, losing 138lbs! Fast forward to today, 7 years later, and we have not only maintained our new lifestyle but we are teaching, motivating, and empowering others to make BetterChoices and change their own lives.
In 2011, we were thrilled to be 2 of 100 guests appearing on Oprah’s Weight Loss Finale Show! It was an amazing experience and everyone who participated was truly a reflection of what is possible when you make up your mind to change your life! We had no idea how that moment would change the course of our lives into something so much bigger than ourselves.
After the show, we were bombarded with questions. We spent a lot of time providing answers, offering tips, support, and motivation. The more we offered, the more we spoke, the more we told our story, the more people would email and want to connect with us.
BetterChoices was created. We officially launched BetterChoices with a very specific mission: to teach, motivate, and inspire individuals, couples and families to change their lives, one betterchoice at a time. What we learned was our 300 lbs weight loss was not a reflection of a diet or quick fix. It was a result of making betterchoices which empowered us to create a healthier LIFEstyle.
BetterChoices is about change. Change is easy. It’s the choice to change that makes us uncomfortable. Our goal is to help you understand the “how” & “why” the “what” you already know makes sense. Malcom Gladwell sums it up best, “The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.” We have positioned ourselves to help you improve and expand the latter. Our website, www.betterchoices.co is an online resource offering healthy lifestyle tips, food facts, motivation, videos, recipes, various health & fitness blogs, and so much more.
In August 2013, we have published our first cookbook! Let’s Cook! The BetterChoices Healthy Lifestyle Cookbook is a healthy lifestyle guide created to teach individuals and families on how enjoy the foods you love and learn how to prepare them healthy. We provide a how-to guide to jump-start the process of creating a new, healthier lifestyle.
These small tipping points, simple things we’ve learned over the years, which empowered us to change our lives, lose over 300lbs, & enjoy the foods we love for over 8 years & counting!!!
As we look back, it amazes us that Eric wore a size 60/4XL & at my heaviest, I wore size 22/24W…It has been an amazing journey!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, for us, our picture is worth AT LEAST 300lbs!!!!”
…Welcome to BetterChoices! Enjoy the journey!
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