Southern Belle

“Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It’s more than where you’re born – it’s an idea, a state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It’s more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, high school football, beer, country music, and acoustic guitars. It’s being hospitable, being devoted to front porches, magnolias, the good Lord, and each other. We don’t become Southern – we’re born that way.”

I grew up the third youngest of four children in your typical southern household, with traditional “southern” foods being served on a daily basis. The only physical activity I did through elementary and secondary school was participating in gym class. In high school I played basketball. My eating habits where all over the place, sweets, heavy starch, some vegetables and little protein. I didn’t really notice my weight until I hit middle school, when I started to receive remarks about my size here and there. In high school I got attention from some boys, but I was considered a “big” girl. I can’t say I had self-esteem issues, as I guess I was oblivious to my size at that time.

Later on, I started to develop some lower back issues and I hated to go shopping because I could not find clothes to fit in regular stores. I had to shop at the plus size stores. In May of 2009, I really started to take notice of how big I had become and the fact that my husband was obese as well. He had tried to diet (unsuccessfully) however since I did the majority of the cooking, I didn’t always make the healthiest of choices. We both talked about our physical conditions, prayed about it and decided to make immediate changes the next day.

I never want to go back to how big I was. Life is so much more enjoyable now, not only mentally and physically, but spiritually as well. It has brought a whole new quiet discipline to my everyday life. I look forward to working out with my husband as we always seem to come up with new challenges to keep us motivated. We have maintained our (over 200lbs combined) loss for over 2 years now. The changing of one’s lifestyle can be a spiritual battle. Without my relationship with my creator and my savior Jesus Christ, I don’t think we could have done what we did. Without prayer, I’m certain we would have been tempted to blow it, but we didn’t. 

My husband and I built a small gym in our garage and we train together all the time. He is very knowledgeable about nutrition, and he plans our eating programs for us. I tried weight watchers, nutri system and other popular diets prior but failed, so I’m blessed to have this available in-house.  Our Facebook friends began to cheer us on as they watched our transformation through pictures.

My current fitness goals  are to improve my body composition, run a couple 5-10k races, and  to ultimately step on stage and compete in a fitness show. My daily vitamin/supplement intake includes a multi vitamin, CLA, Omegas, BCAA’s and Protein Powder.

 Meals on an average day may consist of:

– a protein powder/almond butter shake, egg whites and oatmeal

–  lean protein/veggies

–  protein shake

– lean protein/veggies

An average day of training legs may consist of:

Squats, Front Squats, Lunges, Kettlebells swings & barbell glute raises. 3-4 sets 6-15 reps

Be encouraged and stay inspired. I know that if I can do it, you can do it. Don’t give up, if you fall down, get right back on the horse. Look for people and stories that you identify with and learn from their journey’s, our website not only has our transformation story it has over 30 stories from men and women who are winning the battle against obesity.

Learn about nutrition, keep a food journal, learn how different foods affect your body. Experiment with different activities until you find the one’s that you can do for life. I pray for anyone out there, that is about to take the first steps of their journey to better health. You can do it, even if you don’t have a support system in place, it can be done.


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  1. Reblogged this on Transformation Pics and commented:
    Rhonda’s feature story for Socially Fit blog..

  2. Rhonda you’re stunning “period”.

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. When you say, “It has brought a whole new quiet discipline to my everyday life” I can totally relate. Everyday is a renewed commitment to self, a new challenge, and a new possibility.

    We wish you the very best that life has to offer!!

  3. T Hollis says:

    Well done! Starting was the hardest for me – fear of failure.
    My best friend is my electronic scale for weighing food portions (in grams!) and keeping a food journal vital to learning how one’s body reacts to specific foods, as well as to keep up with what I really have eaten today…
    Have a great weekend!

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