Tag Archive | Weight Loss

Fall 2019 Playlist: Free Write

So I decided this summer, to create a playlist for the season.  Put some songs together that reminded me of specific people, places or things.  It all started at The Read Live in DC.  They were playing so MANY good songs before the show started, I had to find them and at them to my Spotify Rotation.

That Playlist is the perfect way for me to get all up IN my feelings, cuz this past summer was life changingly awesome and horrible, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  It’s always good to repeat an excellent Idea, so I made a Fall 2019 one as well.  I present, some thoughts about life thanx to Spotify.

Issa Photoshoot

Aye, I’m CUTE.

I don’t know if you knew.  You should know . . . I’m getting cuter by the day.  Shouts to My Personal Trainer.  I’ve lost about 30 more pounds this summer . . . I’m wearing clothes I never thought I would.  I set goals that would have been outrageous 6 months ago, and now, completing them by the end of the year seems very possible.

Unfortunately, with the Glow Up comes the stragglers.  Folks that wouldn’t give me the time of day 50 or 100 pounds ago.  Now it’s, “Heeeeeeeeeey MJ, you are doing so good.  I’m proud of you. You should call me.”

Why? I’m the same MJ . . . just smaller. If you wasn’t tryna drink out the 2 Liter, you can’t get the 20oz, ya dig?!?!  Also, I can’t call you. . . . My Personal Trainer doesn’t allow me to train with other people 😉

Can’t Be Broken

So many times in the last year, I’ve felt like . . .It can’t get any worse.  Nothing else could come into my life what is harder to understand than this thing I’m trying to heal from right now.

Then . . . Here comes Harder.  Some kind of way, I keep fighting my way out.  I keep clawing my way out of the low places I’ve found myself in.  That’s the lesson – You can Always Get Out.

Even though it feels like there is no hope.  You will get out of it. I know it seems impossible.  I know the weight feels like it’s trying to break your chest ON PURPOSE.  But you getting out of it, will let you know just how Strong you are.

You Don’t Know

Jill Scott made this album before I grew up.  When it first came out, I wasn’t really feeling it.  I listened, then went back to the albums I already loved. The vibe of the album didn’t appeal to where I was in my life.

A year ago, I listened to it again, and realized why Jill Scott had changed in the last few year.  She grew the fuck up.  She realized the type of love she was looking for required Preparation . . . Sacrifice . . . . SelfLessNess. Things I’m STILL trying to learn about.

I can’t believe how hard it is to try to build a LIFE with someone. To have to get out of your own head . . .let go of your own shit . . . make them let go of theirs . . . and try not to fuck it up by assuming the worst about EVERYTHING.

It Ain’t Yours to Throw Away

Look, Nashville had some GOOD ass Music.

I’ve had some days y’all. I’ve had some days where it seemed like being around wasn’t helpful to anyone else.  One of those days, I put my phone on shuffle, and this song came on 1st.

What if you’re just a vessel,
And God gave you something special,
It ain’t yours to throw away
It ain’t yours to throw away
Every time you open up your mouth,
Diamonds come rolling out
It ain’t yours to throw away
How can you hear those words . . . and not feel like God was sending you a gentle reminder?  It ain’t over yet.  Its the life I gave you . . . so only I can take it from you.  Check on your Strong Friends.


Being a teacher is HARD.  It’s not hard cuz you have to teach kids how to read.  It’s hard because you have to Heal Children, AND teach them how to read.  Every day, some child is looking at me, hoping I can help them with whatever ails them.
Then, we all have a moment.  A Silly Moment in Class. The 1st time one of my students had Pop Rocks . . . Extreme Wonder on his face.  The Wonder in small kids, learning new things.  Finally making sense of a word, or a math problem.  The Pride on their face.
That’s why I’m still a teacher.  Giving something like that to a child.  Being blessed enough to be able to do that.  When things get bad . . . I can always remember, that I can bring wonder into a child’s eye.
That Blessing . . . Is not Mine to Throw Away. 

While No One was Looking . . .


Kindergarten MJ

Everything made sense in my life at this age. Every day was the same, and so were the people around. Occasionally, my mom would attempt to introduce me to new environments, with varied results. What I remember about my life at this time, was all positive. I don’t think I understood any negative things in the world. I just wanted my rabbit (security blanket) and my Mommy. This was a Happy Ass Lil’ Girl. Everyone used to tell me how smart and pretty i was. I was always the teacher’s pet. I was friends with everyone I encountered, because I presented well. I was a very articulate, polite, well put together, petite little girl. I didn’t understand that any of the “isms” even existed.


Middle School MJ

My grandfather introduced me to Pork the summer before 6th grade.  I know that sounds random, but most girls in my family can tell you when they started gaining weight.  I spent that summer with my father in Pittsburgh, and it was spent at my grandfather’s house. He had a freezer full of food in the basement, and every night he would cook some kind of greasy ass meat.  Joyce didn’t cook like that, we had baked chicken every night.  My grandfather would let me eat any and everything while I was there.  I gained so much weight that summer my cousins in Detroit didn’t even recognize me.  I wasn’t ashamed of my weight, I just saw that people looked at me differently.


College MJ (I looked like an Auntie)

By the time I got to college, I was used to being fat. I was used to being the fattest person in the room, and used to chairs being uncomfortable.  I still lived my life. Just slower than most people.  I went to parties and danced my ass off.  I made friends of all sizes, but my main ones were smaller than me. I started hating going to the mall with them tho.  Because we didn’t shop in the same stores.  When I was with them, the staff in those stores looked at me like I was beneath them.  Because I was fat. So I stopped shopping for clothes.  Everything came from Lane Bryant anyway.  I had brief moments of “Feeling Myself” but it was mostly because all my friends were gay men Junior/Senior year and they made me stop wearing turtlenecks even in the summer. I started wearing colors other than blue and green. I started buying sexy bras and showing off my chest.  It wasn’t all the time, I grew into my body.  I stopped thinking it was this thing, and realized I could control how I felt about it.


Post College MJ

I lost my virginity at 26 years old.  This matters.  Boys in college weren’t checking for the Big Girls, they just weren’t.  It was already weird I was a virgin in college, the conversations were just so damn awkward after college.  A Grown Ass Man, 11 years older than me, was the first person I slept with.  It was the 1st time I had felt pretty in a long time.  Desired or wanted. It was a one time experience, but it gave me hope.

I was just gone have to find more men who knew I was fly regardless of my size.  That was the goal.  I started trying to be cute on purpose.  I wasn’t trying to lose weight, just look better in the clothes I had on. Then I went to a conference in 2009, and meet the most beautiful BIg Girls.  They were well dressed, wore makeup, and looked GOOD. There was no shame in their game, they knew they looked good and were HAPPY being Big. What if I didn’t let my weight make me sad? What if I stopped thinking I could only be loved by men who liked BIg Girls?  What if, I just lived my life?


2012 MJ

This is me at my heaviest and Happiest (until now).  I was in all types of love.  I worked from home, and lived a homemaker’s existence.  That man would never love me back tho, because I couldn’t keep up with him. I couldn’t dance at the same speed he could, I couldn’t join him for a quick run in the morning.  I could barely walk our dog. When we broke up, I wasn’t surprised.  A large part of me felt like I wasn’t good enough for him anyway.  Because I was Fat.  So I came up with a plan.

It felt like my weight kept me from being happy for the last time!  I worked out every day for 8 months after we broke up.  It was the first time I’d ever made an effort to lose weight.  I lost it to prove him wrong.  To show him I was attractive, and cute, and worthy of his love. Thank God I finally realized he was just an asshole. I think I was a Size 20 at my smallest back then.  I lost the weight, but I didn’t learn anything from it.  So I gained it all back, and more.


2017 MJ

In July of 2017, my mom was diagnosed with cancer for the 2nd time. I was 2000 miles away, and unable to travel freely because of my job/finances. I stopped eating.  It wasn’t a conscious choice, it’s just how my depression choose to manifest itself.  Before I knew it, I’d lost about 20lbs.  People were telling me how good I looked, and asking me my secret.  When I answered, “Depression,” they didn’t quite know how to take it.  Before I took 2 months off work to come back home and see about my mom, my therapist said to me, “What if you actually made the effort to keep losing weight?” It was a simple question, but the answer changed my life.

I had stopped making an effort to do anything.  Because my weight was a burden.  I stopped going to public events, because I didn’t want to have an issue with the seats/bleachers.  My body was my depression manifested.  I got to Michigan, joined a gym, and worked out for 2 hours every day. I lost an additional 30 lbs in the 1st month.  I made an effort, and I didn’t let myself make excuses.  I held myself accountable, and let others do it as well.

I figured out so much shit, released so many traumas that were attached to my size/weight/body along the way.  3 weeks ago, I bought a pair of pants at were a 14/16.  My original goal was to be a size 18 jean, so I can buy jeans at Walmart. [Because cheap}

While no one was looking, I lost a whole person. 

While no one was looking, I figured myself out.  I found out who I loved, and why I loved them.  I see this new girl in the mirror, and she’s so damn cute. I was so used to looking one way . . . I didn’t even notice when I stopped looking that way.  It’s only when I put on clothes that used to fit I realize how much I’ve changed.

I’m this . . . sexy girl, with a Phat Ass, and everything is real.  Imma BAAAAAAAAAAAAAD BITCH, and proud of it.  I can walk up stairs without running out of breath. I can park at the end of the parking lot and not be sweating by the time I get to the door of Target. I don’t have to ask for a seat belt extender on a plane. People don’t move over if I sit next to them.

Society sucks.  The fact that fat people aren’t accepted as “normal” is bullshit.  People who never used to pay attention to me, talk to me all the time. I’ve lost friends because of this weight loss. I’ve also gained relationships I wouldn’t trade for anything.  My size has been part of me my whole life. It’s not anymore.


While No One Was Looking, I became the best version of myself.

You’re Welcome.



Dear Depression……Thanks

I need to take a few minutes to talk about one of the benefits of MY depression. I talk all the time, about how Depression has seemingly taken over my adulthood. It makes things HARDER to accomplish. In order to be fair, I must now share the good sides of Depression. So without further ado, I present…..Thanks Depression!

I’ve lost 30lbs since July of last year. I went from 363.2 to today’s current weight of 334.8lbs. I can write those weights with pride, as it’s the smallest I’ve ever been (since I started actually weighing myself). The only time in my life I lost weight like this, was when I was working at the Tucson JCC. I was working out 5 days a week (for at least 40 mins), and eating kosher.

Which is why I have to say, Thank You Depression!

Because I just stopped eating food. That’s how I’m losing this weight. I have no appetite, at all. I forget to eat during the day, and I barely eat at home. When I do eat, the portions are so small it’s like being on a diet. 9 times out of 10, I always end up feeding the rest to my dog.

I’ve been dealing with my mom’s health issues and living 2309 miles away, so food intake has been the least of my worries.

People come up to me, and ask my diet plan. Usually, I lie. Cuz it’s kind of weird to be like, “Worry about your mom on an hourly basis! The pounds will just melt away!” I feel like, that wouldn’t go over that well.

FitBit reminded me today, I’m just 9lbs away from the initial goal I set for myself 3 years ago. I got a lil bit happy, knowing that goal is on the horizon. Then, I got sad again. Because I know I’ll make that goal. And it’s not because I’m doing it on purpose. It’s because I’m so stressed out about other things in life, I won’t be focused enough to try to stay at this weight. Depression is still there, I haven’t figured out how to get rid of it…..yet.

I sometimes miss when food was my happy place. I miss being able to eat my feelings. Because when you can just eat them, you don’t have to process them. You don’t have to sit with them, rolling around in your head all fucking day.

When you can eat your feelings, you also end up weighing 378lbs at 30. So clearly that wasn’t a healthy coping mechanism. But as I looking at the numbers getting smaller and smaller on the scale, my new fear is that once I’m back in Michigan, the weight just comes back.

So I’m planning already, how to keep this going. Joining Lifetime Fitness again, and cooking healthy food. Actually going for walks on the trail behind my mom’s house. Maybe I can get to my ultimate weight Goal, size 18 on the bottom, and a 14/16 on Top. The numbers never mattered to me, the way my clothes fit did. And 2 weeks ago, I bought a pair of size 24 jeans….and they are already too big now.

Thank You Depression, for being a catalyst to a lifestyle change I needed. I wasn’t gonna do it myself, so I appreciate the help 😁.

I’m Just Sayin’….

Just some shit I want to get off my chest. If it offends you, remember a hit dog hollers…

Issue #1: Weight Loss —-> Hateration (in this dancerie)


If you know me at all you know how much of a struggle losing this weight has been. This shit ain’t easy at all. But you would swear that with every pound I drop, and inch I lose I’m personally telling people to go fcuk themselves. I’ve heard everything from ‘You think you’re cute now huh?’ to ‘Ever since you lost weight You are cocky…’

Are you fcuking serious? Have you met me?!?! I mean like the real me. Hell, have you read a blog I’ve written. I’ve always thought I was cute. Not sexy or gorgeous but hell yeah I’m cute. And I think I’m so awesome I tell strangers. Its never been what I thought of myself. Always what others assumed about me based on my size, race, sex, physical appearance etc.

Let me just tell you, in case you still don’t get it. Bitch I’m Amazing. Cellulite, Sweat, Blood, and tears. I’m so got damn amazing its hard to not tattoo that shit on my wrist. Fcuk You if you think differently.


Issue #2: I like you but…

Again, I’ve been saying for years that most of the men that approach me don’t do it out of fat girl pity. I don’t even get approached by chubby chasers. Its everyday dudes that see something about me they like. Sadly, it frequently seems to be men who are already in relationships. In the past, this didn’t bother me… Simply because I believe if you don’t take care of what’s yours, he will find someone who does.

But after my brief experiment with Love, I’m noticing that they aren’t even unhappy men. They aren’t planning on leaving their home, they just want me too.  What in the hell?!?! Did I accidently put, ‘Used to be a Side Chick’ on my shirt. I don’t remember that, but I guess. At some point it goes from flattering to insulting. Like for real, its something that happens so frequently these days I’m starting to try to figure out what I’m doing to attract these people.

It could be Karma or as one friend suggests, a Godly test to see if I am indeed ready for a stable relationship. Either way, its getting on my got damn nerves. Because Operation Get MJW Wifed Up by 2014 is so real. Being single is not what’s hot in the streets right now. At all! A chick got bills all up in though here.

So for real, fcuk you if you already have someone and want me to take your sloppy seconds. If you aren’t ready to enter into a partnership with me that includes keys to vehicles and names on bank accounts you can get to stepping. I’m 30 years old and I don’t have time for all that bullshit.

Issue #3: Poverty vs. Laziness

I got into an argument with my father about a month ago. He tried to tell me that the reason I never have money is because I don’t know how to budget my money. My response, I don’t have money to budget.  Its not hyperbole to say I’m so underpaid I am almost physically ill when I get a paycheck. But at least I have a job.
I work 40 hours a week, and that’s not enough to pay all my bills. But the Hustle is strong within me, and my mother taught me to take care of myself. So I make due. I babysit on the weeknds and usually twice or more during the week. I make my own lunch most days and I cook dinner instead of eating out.  That leaves no money for extras but at 30 I don’t need that much.

But some people seem to think I’m lazy. How? You never see me cuz every time you call I’m busy. I have lost 6 sizes since March. I NEVER stop moving, and not by choice. So again, fcuk you if you’re mad at ME, cuz I hustle when I have to. I have a feeling someone will read this and assume I just cursed my father. I didn’t.

I have more to say. Maybe when I get another 36mins on this exercise bike.


Underneath Your Clothes…

In conjunction with No Shame Day (part of Mental Health Awareness Month) ,  I’m going to share my secret shame.

I’m not comfortable in my own skin.

Since the day someone told me I was ugly, I’ve wanted to make sure know one knew how ugly I was. I wasn’t always this way. Until I was 7, I thought I was a white girl.  Not I acted like one,  but I actually thought I was white. I imagined that I looked just like all my friends. I went to private schools in my youth,  and spent my summers in Tucson,  AZ. So my peers were mostly blond haired and blue eyed.

One day,  while at my mother’s hair dressers house, her kids were picking on me as usual. Her youngest daughter said to me, “How does it feel to be that ugly and dark? You must not ever look in the mirror cuz if you did it would break.”

For the first time in my life,  I looked in a mirror and hated what I saw. Sadly,  that wasn’t the last time.

Fast forward to the year 2012. I fell in love with my best friend,  who said we would never be together because of my weight. He was a petite Mexican,  and he said I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him. I didn’t understand what he meant.. ..until I saw him dance. Then everything made sense. I couldn’t keep up with him at 378lbs. So I decided to lose weight.

I struggled for a long time before I began the weight loss process. Because part of me knew I was worth being with at that moment. Part of me felt like he should accept me as I was, and help me get to where I wanted to be.  Many people in my life didn’t agree with my choice to lose weight ‘for a man.’ But it was a choice I made because his acceptance,  his acknowledgment of me was that important to me.

I have self diagnosed for years. With the help of Nora Roberts books, and WebMD, I’ve suffered from hundreds of ailments.   But I honestly  think I have Body Dismorphic Disorder. This means that what others see and what I see are two different things.

I’ve lost 50lbs so far, and 5 sizes. I don’t see the difference. Guys compliment me all the time,  and it confuses me. The question I ask is always, Why? Why are you seeing me now?  I’ve always been here. I’m not a new person.  So why is it that all of a sudden I’m visible to the world? 

I’ve always felt invisible in my life.

Except when I am around kids. Because even though they see my size they always look past it in like the first 5mins. Kids love you blindly. Based solely on how you treat them. They don’t care about your hair or your clothes or anything.

I think I spent so long hiding behind my weight, not having that shield anymore has really thrown me for a loop.  I’m  uncomfortable in public settings if someone approaches me.  Doesn’t matter if I have put on my cutest dress, and I know I’m cute, if a male approaches me, I’m automatically weirded out.

So today, at the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month,  I’m going to acknowledge that losing weight hasn’t helped my self-esteem at all. I think its actually worse now. But I know its something I have to work on. So I’m going to. 

I wrote this while I was sitting on the recumbent bike. So that’s something, right?  I have 6 more months until I will feel like I’ve met my own goal. My weight has never been an issue,  the number anyway. Its always if my clothes look good. So if I get to a size 12, I’ll be great,  no matter what I weigh.

But I started this journey so that one person in my life would see me,  and I think at the end of it everyone will. I just have to get used to that. But I’m Not Ashamed of what started this journey in my life.  I kept going. After the first 10lbs,  after he and I didn’t work out, after the change I saw in other people. And I am still here!

I’m learning to take every situation apart, and adapt to this new thing, instead of react. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by beautiful people who brighten my days, and make even the most difficult situations survivable. We share our shame with each other. One confession at a time. And try to live everyday with NO SHAME.

Seeds of Doubt

Okay, so this isn’t going to be witty and inspiring. I’m having a tough time right now and I need to get all this out.

One of the major problems with being honest on Social Media sites and blogging about the good times, is that I feel judged when I post about my imperfections.

For about 4 months, I have been actively trying to lose weight. I haven’t gone on a diet, I’ve changed my lifestyle. I currently weigh 341 pounds. My goal is to be 250lbs….225, if I can. I want to complete this goal for a myriad of reasons, my own personal health being the main reason. But last week was a hard week for me.

When I stepped on the scale I had gained like 7 lbs. I have been working out at least 3 times aa week.  So how is it even possible that I have gained weight. A dress I bought 3 weeks ago in a smaller size was tight. I just felt so defeated.

It seemed like everything I was doing was for no reason.  If I can’t reach this goal in a timely manner, I could lose something that has come to mean everything to me. But I just have gotten so complacent when it comes to being the size I am. I hated myself for such a long time, because of how other people perceived me. I felt I had to accept me at whatever size I had become, becuase it was never going to change.

Them one day, I had a reason to change. My initial motivation isn’t important. That I had motivation is enough.

I know I’m not fat an lazy. I know I don’t eat McDonald’s for every meal. I know that I can’t run or jog, but I also don’t spend every moment on a couch. And yet, I have worked so hard to make changes and I’m not seeing any results. Last week, I was ready to quit. Just to give up, and be miserable. But I would have judged myself for quitting this soon. Its just hard to see what my life could be and want it right now.

I had never paid attention to all the things I had given up on, because I had gotten to this weight. Going out to clubs, amusement parks, swimming in public, etc. Its not because I’m ashamed of myself (at least I dont think) but because other people look at me in disgust/shame/pity. I’m not a project. I’m just me.

But this me that I have become, I don’t want to be her anymore. I want to look in the mirror and be proud of the work that I have done. I want to want to dress up, because I have pretty clothes that fit a new body. I want to wear tights with little short dresses that show off my amazing calves.

I just wish I could get there sooner than later. My internal goal, an 18 month transformation, is about 3 months in. And the results have been minimal. I have to work harder, do more, sacrifice some things that I dont want to sacrifice in order to meet this goal.

And yet, when I go to bed I still wonder….Is it all worth it? Will I meet my goal on time? Will I ever be able to dance how I want to, and run up a hill without fear of a heart attack. The bigger question, is the person that was okay with me at 378lbs still going to exist at 225-250lbs? And if so, is this always going to be a struggle for me. A lifelong internal struggle that I have to deal with?

This morning, my Aquafit instructor asked me if I had seen results since I had started coming to her class…and my answer was no. I know they are coming. If the pain in my muscles is any indication, Its coming very soon. Its just hard to do this, and not take the easy way out. I don’t have a work out buddy. I’m doing this alone, by choice. Because I can’t depend on someone else to help me, especially since I got this way on my own.

The emotional ramifications of my size – the comfort eating, the years battling depression,  the low self esteem – have all been acknowledged and dealt with in some ways. But its still hard to not see the results I want.

Those Seeds of Doubt….they seem to be firmly planted. But I swear I will figure out a way to get rid of them.