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.