Drop the Load
Using Yo.BOB!  
Your Body's Own Brain

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My Big Drop  

(continued)

In Late March of 2013, I was attending my sister’s baby shower. That day I looked at myself in a picture that I’d just taken and was faced with the reality that I had lost perspective.  Somehow I had strolled into obesity without realizing.  My stomach had become a separate entity; really it was a life of its own.

I looked on as a family friend scrolled thru the pictures we’d taken smiling (obviously not shocked or horrified by my weight or my sluggish disposition).  But I was! I knew I had transitioned out of a size 18 and into a size 20 sometime the year before but it hadn’t until that day or moment alarmed me.  Obviously, the consciousness that had helped me to create this masterpiece of excess and that had sustained my progression towards obesity had shifted.  I knew my consciousness had shifted because I stood looking at myself in the pictures with new eyes.  What exactly had happened to make an alarm go off in my head that would ring out so loudly and take hold of my heart and soul?  I didn’t know exactly but it was about to show itself to me.

I remember in the months leading up to this moment, I had seen a couple of television programs that left me enlightened and planted seeds of interest.  I can’t remember the order in which I uncovered them but I remember the “Aha’s” they brought on.  There were three to be exact.

The first Aha! came as I was watching Dr. Oz being interviewed on a show.  He mentioned that when he saw people with huge stomachs, what he really saw were people who were unable to manage stress.  That touched me!  One, because I had a ginormous stomach and two, because of the humanity he showed to a growing epidemic.  Suddenly, I realized that it wasn’t all about “greed” and “the lack of will power” that are often associated with overweight and obesity. He also stated that we needed to focus on foods the colors of the rainbow. Aha!  (I thought)

The second seed had been planted one morning as I was watching Deepak Chopra and Oprah speaking on her network. I was fairly familiar with Deepak Chopra.  I knew he was a spiritually aware person who studied consciousness. I had heard him speak before and I knew he always brought revelation with him.  As part of the conversation, he happened to mention that it took approximately 66 days to automate an action. I was struck by his use of the word automate.  I thought, “What if I really could automate my actions with 66 days of ritual?” Aha! I took my seeds and stuck them in the back pocket of my mind. Surely this was useful information.

The third T.V. epiphany I had— came as I watched the rapper DMX on Iyanla Vanzant’s show “Fix My Life”.  I remember sitting on my couch feeling so sorry for him; to see his struggle with drugs and to see how he had sacrificed his family and career for his addiction.  I cried for him.  I prayed for him!  And then I cried for myself, because I too had an addiction.  In that moment I moved from sympathetic to empathetic.  I allowed myself to step out from the illusion of “got it togetherness” and fully stepped into my unwaged battle with overeating.  The Aha here was to see how I too was sacrificing a better life for an addiction.

Seeds I tell you! Seeds!  Just look what great things can happen when we exercise our power to choose to watch meaningful television!

So it’s now April 2013.  A few weeks had passed since the baby shower and I was still dancing with the thought of making a real change.  By this time, I had weighed myself and I was again horrified to learn that I was 248lbs. “248lbs? Really?  What happened?” “How do I fix this?” “Where do I begin?”  Just some of the thoughts that taunted me as I now danced with the reality of knowingly being 248lbs.  So, I sat and talked to God. Just two words… “Show me!”.

Yep!  I bet you didn’t know you could get God’s attention with just two words. Completely usher in the Holy Spirit with two words! 
“Show me Lord!” I continued

Before long I had a plan! Remember those seeds of interest? Well, they had already started to break open in my spirit and I found myself yielding to their fruit.  I decided that for 66 days I would focus on mainly eating foods the colors of the rainbow. I would eliminate meat, chicken, turkey, fish, cheese, milk, mayo, packaged juices, soda, and anything else that didn’t come from the earth.  I made only one exception; eggs.  Which I just feel is a gift to humanity.  The assignment was 66 Days of Ground Foods and 66 Days of Ritual; cooking and preparing all my own foods.

Needless to say, I felt the weight of what I was attempting to do; the weight of the giant I was about to go up against.  But I understood the value and I understood what was waiting on the other side.  I knew that all those moments that I had shrunken and hid at the back of the room would be a thing of the past.  I knew it would force me to suit up and get in the game.  No more standing at the window of life with my nose pressed up against the glass.  No more 6 ft. ceilings sitting right above my head but new horizons I would see from mountain tops.  Oh, I fully understood the crossroad where I stood.  I also understood that I could not go at it unprepared.  So I decided I would start my 66 day quest on May 1st, 2013. 

But I didn’t want to deny or lose the momentum of the shift that was taking place so I went ahead and made the eliminations of meats and poultry, butter, milk, cheese, sodas, pasta, and many of the condiments I would normally use.  I courageously severed my relationship with McDonald’s the fast food machine where I would many days eat from twice in one day.  I spent the next two weeks making more eliminations as I researched and remembered what food was at its core.  I became obsessed with learning about all the health benefits of foods the colors of the rainbow and felt a growing will and desire to embark on my 66 day journey.

To my shock when I stepped on the scale the morning of May 1st, I was 235lbs.  “OMG! Are you kidding me?  No way!”  I was down 13lbs.  Just the news I needed to go full speed ahead with my plans.  So off I went!  In the weeks to come I began making lots of soups combining all sorts of veggies.  I ate yams, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, plantains, avocados, oatmeal, nuts, bananas, eggs, lots of fresh salads, and much more.  I completed my 66 days with only one or two slip ups.  Once when I ordered an onion soup and didn’t realize it had cheese in it and another time when I gave way to a snicker bar!

Oh yes, I had human moments along the journey but mostly the time was highlighted by really triumphant moments like when I traveled to Orlando to a 2-day Hair Conference and carried all my premade meals with me and when I showed up at my sister’s door in Tallahassee in June to meet my new nephew with bags of groceries I’d brought with me from Miami—all fresh produce that wouldn’t last until my return.  Oh, I felt triumphant!

At the end of my 66 days, I was 25lbs down from my original 248lbs. I felt lighter, more energized, and oh so powerful.  Learning to yield my mind to my heart’s desires and to operate my personal will in such a way was priceless and alluring.  Now the subject of automation! Would it come?  Would I uncover it?  Could I keep it?  All very pressing questions only time could reveal at the time!

Fast forward to this moment right now November, 2015 and I can say... “Yes, automation came.”  “Yes, I uncovered its wonders!”  And I must decide everyday whether I get to keep it or not based on the choices I make. You see, the truth about automated response is that you have to continue to choose the same response!

On Sept. 30th, 2013 I encountered another window of grace as I was finally able to overcome my embarrassment and walked across the street, no more than 25ft from my apartment to the public park that I had thought about going to since I’d moved there two years prior and decided I would not only walk but run.  My exact decision was, I will run and only walk as needed.  I knew I had to amp things up.  I still was holding on to my 25lb weight loss by maintaining most of the eliminations I had made such as no juices, soda, bread, meat, and chicken but I wasn’t losing.  The time to get active had surely come.  I knew at the beginning (back in April) that I was after total transformation.  I had lost 20-30lbs before at different times and then some mental/emotional wall would get right up in front of me. Not this time!  A shift had truly taken place.  I no longer wanted to sit out.  I wanted in on my life.  Most importantly, I wanted to feel safe in my skin and body.

That same day, I walked into my local Planet Fitness and became a member.  The next day Oct. 1st, I began my 1st 90-Day workout challenge which was born out of my desire to create another new habit or automated response.  And I did it!  Didn’t miss a day!  Didn’t succumb to a single excuse! I ran at the park, I went to the gym, and I had begun group training sessions with a trainer.

When April 15, 2014 came around, exactly 1year after I’d began making my changes, I was 72lbs lighter. I felt amazing! I felt accomplished.  And mostly, I felt unstoppable!  On Oct. 24, 2014, I ran a 10K (6.2 miles) and finished in 1hr 3mins. Not bad for someone with no athletic history.  And then the next month, I followed that victory up weighing in at 156lbs after completing my 2nd successful 90-Day Workout Challenge.  It was unbelievable … 92lbs Lost!! I was so happy in my soul and in my heart!

Here’s what I’ve learned among many other things:
I’ve learned that true weight loss is not about weight; it’s about walls!  Yes, I lost a tremendous amount of weight but I lost an incredible amount of walls.  My next biggest challenge was to change the way I identified and used food and I’m still working every day to drill it in my head that “Food is Fuel” and therefore I should consume it only as needed. 

In closing, I'd just like to encourage you all to live the life of your dreams.  Unleash the Power of the Mind.  Cultivate the seeds you find along life’s journey and prepare yourselves for a harvest that will feed you forevermore. Yes, all things remain POSSIBLE!! 

NaTisha

I moderate a Facebook group called “Drop the Load” where I began sharing my food preparations in January of 2014 and where I encourage those who chooses to "take the challenge".   I’ve done the challenge a total of three times and I've done 12 days of Raw Vegan eating on two separate occasions.
The Journey... est. 2013


Yo.BOB!  (Your Own Brand of Brain)

When it comes to our body, it's important that we realize that it has a brain.  One of the things you will realize when you find people who have had sustainable weight-loss success, is that they did not neglect to tap into their body's very own brain.  I always think its good to share ideas, but at the start of any weight loss journey, I think it is a must that we get quiet, prayerful, and listen to what our bodies are saying.  One of the things I did when I first began to change my diet (and which I forgot to report in my story) is I fasted.  For four consecutive weeks, every Friday evening til Saturday evening, I fasted.  I didn't realize it at the time, but it really empowered me, and enabled me to overcome my out of control appetite.  This didn't come from any book or law.  It came from Spirit and my body's own brain.  I instinctively knew how to retrain my appetite when I called on the God within myself.  This is what I subscribe to, and this is who I accredit with my success.  Now three years later, I'm still wearing my same jeans, and although they sometimes feel snug...  I know I have the power to redirect my body and its brain in the direction I choose to go.  This year as you begin to set your goals for the upcoming New Year, I hope you'll stop and engage your body's brain.  Listen to it!  Trust it!  Understand it!  Most of all, expect it to support you on your way!


Power Over Food!  Why I Fasted on Thanksgiving Day 2017...


What do you think is the value of fasting on a National Day of Eating?  If you know the power of collective consciousness, you will probably find this to be a powerful question.  I would admit, this year there was no shortage of reasons for me to fast.  I really could have picked any number of reasons, and I did throughout the year, but then something said, "I think I'll fast on Thanksgiving" and I did.  I fasted from 12am on Thanksgiving Day until 11:59 pm.  The thought that was left behind at the end was, "Power Over Food".  I also found that when food wasn't the star, "Thanks" became a bigger star.  

In the last four years, I've continued to find it interesting how the Spirit has led me in different ways to keep breaking down walls in my mind surrounding food.  I've said before that with emotional weight loss there's a sense that the weight you lose will never be regained, and this year for me certainly gave proof of that.  In a highly stressful circumstance, and under much pressure, my body and consciousness showed its power over food.  It wasn't by being perfect.  In fact, I ate pretty much any and every thing I wanted in 2017, but still the foundation I built beneath my weight loss proved to be substantial and enduring.  And when I least expected to be discipline, I got a nudge to fast on Thanksgiving Day.  Honestly, I still don't have all the information surrounding the significance of such a monumental fast, but I get the feeling that it will continue to unveil itself, and as it does, I will be sure to inform.  In the meantime, continue to "Give Thanks" for even the small advances you make along the way, and watch as the Spirit helps you to release your emotional weight and build a lasting foundation for your weight loss. 


Beware of "LCF" Foods

So what's the big idea?  What's this "LCF" foods.  What new discovery is going to add another layer of torment to my eating regimen, you might ask?  Well it's not really new information, just a quick acronym for the stuff we already know we need to lay off of; they're lazy, comfort, and fast foods.  The real culprits.  But just in case you do need some examples, I would classify some lazy foods as bagels and boxed cereals.  Lazy foods are usually packed with a lot of unfamiliar ingredients and has a lot of hidden sugars. Comfort foods are pretty well-know; I'd say cake and ice cream stand out most for me.  Funny, we all usually think of those two together as one.  Maybe being aware here, simply means not having both together at once. Then there are fast foods.  And don't we know all about the negative impact of fast food.  So, let's think and plan ahead so we won't have to lean on lazy, comfort, and fast foods.  That's my Beware! and Be Aware! for today.  All the best with your eating and wellness efforts.


Head High

Whatever you do, keep your head high.  There will always be those who thinks you should level your head, but that's only because they want to check your height.  Over the course of this journey, I've really come to learn how much people really do height check, and several times I've been told to think less of myself.  Of course you never hear this in these precise words, but with muteness, attitude, criticism, and the like.  But I have refused.  And I will continue to refuse.  Why?  Because my head up high does not interfere with anyone else's head up high.  Furthermore, I need to see my Lord, and He sits on high.  So, I just keep looking up... no matter what.  And I want to encourage you to make no apologies for your pride, confidence, dignity, hope, vision, light, and joy.  Don't do it!  Go be awesome and remember, that the scale is not a measure of completeness.  So, make your improvements, and let the scale rest a bit.  Feel good, look good, think good, be good, do good, and goodness shall follow you all the days of your life.  Thus says the Lord! 


Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Begin Your Weight Loss Journey

If you're wholeheartedly ready to make a shift in your health and physical well-being, there are many questions you should begin to ask yourself.  Without making certain observations, your big plunge into a life of health reformation may leave you drowning in disappointment and frustration.

Here are some of the questions I had to ask of myself, sit with, and inevitably answer as I looked to make a lasting shift.  Ultimately, there's the busy work of weight loss and then there are mind shifts that lead to inspired action and sustainable weight loss.


Top 5 Countdown


5. What am I willing to do different?

4. Is it sustainable?

3. Am I willing to be isolated in my goals?

(meaning if none of your friends, family members, or co-workers decide to join you or perhaps they start out with you and slowly fall off; are you still willing to move forward with your goals?)

2. What food(s) am I willing to give up indefinitely?

1. How will I handle special events, dining out, and holiday parties?
Why I Went Scale-Free in 2016

It was once a crucial tool for me as I needed a finger pointing and waving in my face to let me know whenever I was walking a fine line or potentially veering off track.  I wouldn't say, I'm divorcing accountability. I would say, I'm making the accountability more honest.  I'm saying to myself, "If you are truly committed to health and physical fitness; live it and be true to it without the chastisement of a scale."... (because as stated that is the context in which I used the scale).  I'm also saying, "If you do what you're suppose to; you'll hit your goals; no scale needed!"  And these are not easy statement to make to myself because for the better part of my weight loss journey, I weighed myself everyday in the morning and in the evening.  But that was what was needed at the time; extreme focus, accountability, and intention.  For this leg of the journey, I would say peace, harmony, commitment, and self-trust is what's needed.  So, I'm going to arrive gently and intently into a smaller pant size; a single digit pant size to be exact!  And I will do it in 2016; without a scale!


Food Is Not For Companionship

I've had an issue with overweight since childhood and honestly I've learned that there were several reasons why I ballooned to 248lbs in 2013.  One of those reasons was clearly that I had made food my companion.  We often hear people talk about being an emotional eater and it almost sounds like it's a single issue.  I'm sure we all recognize that there are different emotions and that perhaps everyone is not experiencing the same emotion but I believe that by classifying ourselves as "emotional eaters" that we are actually impeding the process of locating exactly what emotion(s) we're struggling with and the layers of it.  Even in the process of dealing with my weight issue it never occurred to me until here very recently that I had made food my companion.  In periodically fighting depression over a variety of wounds, I lived a pretty isolated lifestyle.  My friends were mainly work and food and when work got overwhelming, I really leaned in on food.  Food seldom disappointed.  It soothed my pain in the moment, it distracted me when I needed to find a distraction from my unhappiness, and essentially it sat with me and kept my company.  Because I was not health conscious at all, that meant an overload of pure junk.  Now that I've changed my outlook on food and that I am active, it's easy to assume that everything is in proper place but then this realization of food having been a companion.  Honestly, to this day I still eat for absolutely no reason; I mean none.  Therefore, I must look closer at this matter.  And since I'm looking into it; I figured I would share it here as it may pertain to you and your relationship to food too. 


Adding raw foods to one's diet can improve health by keeping nutrients and enzymes intact.


I still remember the first time someone mentioned eating raw to me.  I thought... "Raw What? Raw Meat?"  Well, I was pleased to learn that was not what was expected or meant.  In April of 2014, I  came to learn about all kinds of creative meals and desserts that could be made from raw plant based foods and I became intrigued.  I visited the Greenwave Café in Plantation Florida and really enjoyed my meal with seaweeds and mushrooms.  I became so amazed by the whole idea and process and so that June I attended the Living Foods Academy and became a certified Raw Food Chef.  I knew pretty early on that it wasn't something I wanted to do a hundred percent of the time but it really made me aware of the vitality of uncooked plant based foods and how powerful they could be.  Since then I've tried to include one raw salad a day to my diet whether through a smoothie blend or a plated salad and I've got to say its always refreshing.


The Year of Fashion and Fun

There comes a point after you've made "The Drop" that your attention falls onto fashion and you're ready to celebrate all that you've worked hard for.  That year was 2016.  I played with clothes and clothes played with me.  I coordinated photo shoots, and I became Creative Director.  I made my thrift finds look like treasure, and they made me look like a rockstar.  I wore things I never really had the opportunity to wear, and I even tried and fitted a size eight skirt with a designer label.  I wasn't as small as July 2015, but I was defined and I gave much definition to everything I wore. 


The Way I Now See Food

There was a time not too long ago that food to me was just something that I could ingest and that would satiate my craving for pleasure, curb my hunger, and that wouldn't instantly kill me.  That may sound a little bizarre or even exaggerated but no; that was the jest of it.  I gave no real thought to calories, ingredients, process, or nutrient value.  Mostly everything I ate was white, brown, pale yellow, dead, and drowned in sauce.  This is actually the main issue with the standard American dietright now; the way we identify food.  Changing the way I identified food was a giant leap forward into better health and setting my transformational weight loss into motion.  Now, I'm always thinking nutrition and I'm always looking for a sense of aliveness within my food.  This is what I believe the shift is all about.  It's ultimately in the way we identify foods.  When you think of food; what image comes into mind?  What colors?  What nutrient values do you think of?  If you're looking to change the way you identify food, these questions can be very helpful. 


Grapes: A Substitute for Salad Dressing?

When I decided to change my eating and ultimately began looking at food with a more keen and sensitive eye, I quickly decided to cut most condiments from my diet.  I began to rely on grapes to give my salads a burst of sweetness.  Aside from the olive oil and vinegar I mixed to dress my salads, I would include a handful of grapes to give me the sweet kick I wanted.  On top of that, grapes provide a low glycemic and healthy alternative.  So, add some grapes to your salad and get all the antioxidant benefits too!!  Enjoy a fresh salad today!

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