Body transformation stories to inspire you

How I moved from 'mawga', to positively glowing

Monday, March 25, 2019

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FROM timidly walking into a farm store to order chicken pills, and enduring the stares of the other patrons who obviously didn't believe the “chicken farming” story she told the proprietor, to religiously taking Peritol tablets daily, Tono'yah Brown said she had tried it all when it came to gaining weight in her teens and early 20s. A svelte 85 pounds and 5'3” at age 19, she had decided to finally do something to stop the taunts that had followed her from childhood.

“I had always been skinny — perhaps a bit malnutritioned because we were poor and didn't eat the proper food,” she said. “But by my teenage years things had improved financially, but try as I might I couldn't put on any weight.”

She said in the next few years she would try birth control, antihistamines, and binge eating fatty foods and carbs, to no avail.

“I still remained thin. The closest I got to normalcy was 100 pounds at age 25, when I got pregnant with my first child.”

The now 31-year-old woman said that it was after giving birth and getting married that she found the solution to getting out of her thin skin.

“My husband is heavily into exercise and the gym, and though it took me a while to make the connection between going to the gym where people went to lose weight, and gaining weight, he encouraged me. When I started I was 102 pounds soaking wet, and now I am at 131, and I'm comfortable.

Her secret?

“It's all in doing the proper workouts, and the right diet,” she said. “There is also a mind component — you have to relax, be happy, be fulfilled and not worry about the weight. Once you're relaxed, it will pile on.”

Below she explains how she was able to do it.

1. I ate a lot

“I didn't just eat three meals a day, I ate in between meals and I ate what I enjoyed. Even the right salad can add on the pounds, and salads are considered healthy. I was addicted to one particular fast food chain's salads because their vinaigrette is divine. So I'd be eating two of these grilled chicken salads per day, doused with sweet vinaigrette and sprinkled with nuts, with a baked potato. In between I'd have more nuts — I love almonds — and raisins. And then I had protein shakes — Boost vanilla shakes are to die for. In no time I was adding on two, then four, then more pounds.”

2. I exercised

“At the gym I'd do cardio, and muscle-building exercises, build up a sweat and then anticipate the sweet reward of food afterwards. When you've exercised you're ravenous afterwards, and I'd indulge in a wheat burger, cereal with milk and bananas, or a good Jamaican breakfast or dinner. Flush that down with water, and I'd be totally satiated.”

3. I enjoyed life

“My baby made my life have so much more meaning! While I enjoyed being a mother, I was able to forget all the troubles of the world and the stresses at work. Being a mother surely gets you a new perspective, and once I stopped worrying, I started gaining. So I'd take walks around the community with the baby, then we'd go for ice cream or a milkshake. It was in relaxing and enjoying my blessings that I was able to forget my struggles with weight, and the weight I had been longing for all my life came on.”

Brown says today, she keeps at her premium weight by cutting back on carbs and fats, and though she's unable to go to the gym as often as she likes, she keeps her exercise regimen up by jogging, walking and swimming. She has managed to keep a steady weight between 130 to 135 pounds, without any added belly fat, or fat in other undesirable areas.

Have you managed to transform your body through weight gain or weight loss? Want to share your story with us? E-mail clarkep@ jamaicaobserver.com


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