How I took charge of my health, lost 30 pounds and became better at my work


People always come up to me and say, "You need to slow down, stop doing this, stop doing that." Even I am amazed sometimes to look at my calendar. Some days I have three speaking engagements or five or six meetings in one day. I'll be like, "How am I going to get through this week?" But I know that God gave me this purpose so he's not going to put too much more on me than I can bear.

But for many years I have been diagnosed with a heart condition. And I wasn't taking care of myself. I was taking in everybody's problems and not eating right. Sometimes I would go all day without eating. Then I'd go home at night and eat the wrong foods and just lie down. I was finding myself stressed out, taking everything that was dumped in my lap, and finding myself in the hospital three or four times a year.

Last year I looked at myself, looked at my weight and said, "You know, enough is enough." I was tired of me. I knew I had to get healthy for my community, for my children. I've got grandchildren now. And I needed to get healthy for myself. I want to feel good. So I started working out and eating better.

I quit smoking cigarettes in 2013 and that was a big thing. I stopped cold turkey. I haven't drunk pop in over three years. And now I've given up fried foods. I'll have something like turkey instead. Like yesterday, I was at home, I had a baked potato and some broccoli. I use a butter with olive oil. If I want a snack I'll cut up an apple.

Before, I  graduated from cardio rehab, the exercise program, a couple of times. I never really wanted to be there. I would go and play around a lot and do a lot of kid stuff in there. So last year I went to my doctor and asked if I could come back and get serious. Of course he said yes.

Rehab is three days a week. I knew I had to be in a program, because that's the only way I'm going to be able to resolve the problem, to make it a mandatory thing. So I've been working out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings -- even times when I'm tired from being called to  a homicide scene at night. I still go in that morning at 7:30 and work out at least for an hour.

And I can see the scale going down. I was able to tuck in my shirt. I used to put on a bracelet and it would be really tight. Now it just kind of falls down. As the scale went down some more I started feeling healthy. I'm not tired. I've got more energy. And I found out that when I'm stressed out, just from everyday things or the work I do, if I can work out, I'll get unstressed.

I work out on the treadmill. For me, it's the sweat. I put on my head phones and plug in some Gospel music and I'm in my own zone. I do like 35 or 40 minutes. I do some weights and some arm exercises. People want to know how much weight I've lost. Thirty pounds. I haven't been at this weight since, like, I was in my 20's.

Now I know that working out and eating healthy is the best thing to do. Being healthy makes your thought process better. It makes you love yourself a little better.

So now I want to incorporate that with KC Mothers in Charge. I'd like to offer some kind of workout program for our mothers and families. I hope we can get someone to donate their time and resources. My thing is giving back. When you lose a child, your heart is broken. I've learned that working out and being healthy is a way to healing.