“I thought it was baby fat or big bones, not obesity…”
Zada Green was overweight since childhood, but her size rarely held her back. “I enjoyed swimming, the beach, and other things slim people do. I didn’t hide away because being fat wasn’t a problem – it was normal for me.” However, her experience of buying clothes was far from ‘normal’. Most times she would leave the changing room in tears when yet another outfit didn’t fit. “I’ve never followed the latest trends, but it would’ve been nice to wear cute clothes like my peers.” Still, she never thought of losing weight and getting fit until…
One afternoon in class, Zada overheard a boy she fancied call her fat. In the past she would’ve ignored him, but this time something clicked. “After years of denial, I finally admitted to myself that I was overweight. It wasn’t ‘baby fat’. I wasn’t chubby or big boned. In fact, weight loss revealed that I’m very close to a ‘small frame.” In acceptance of her unhealthy weight, the 17-year-old was ready to take action!
That evening, Zada hopped onto her mother’s elliptical and could only exercise for two minutes straight. “I was very embarrassed by my unfitness, but remained positive. Things could only get better.” She was right. Within four weeks she was exercising for thirty minutes three times a week, and hungry for more. Her sister bought the Billy Blanks’ Bootcamp series, and Zada has stuck with Billy ever since. “Taebo was the first of many workout DVDs. I couldn’t afford a gym membership, so my exercise tapes were lifesavers!”
Support arrived when she joined fitness communities like Sparkpeople (her username is SunriseSunset). “I’ve deserted Sparkpeople twice, and ended up regaining to obesity both times. A strong support system helps me stay on track when I’m close to giving up.” Inspired by communities like Second Helping, Zada started three health and fitness blogs: Maintain Weight Forever, Cutting Fitness, home of the popular 5 Reasons Why Sparkpeople Sucks! entry, and Healthy Black Queens.
Over the years, Zada has slowly reduced her weight from 200 to 125 pounds, but she’s not done yet. “I’m close to maintenance, so hopefully another 15 pounds should tone everything up. Then I’ll focus on building muscle mass to fill any loose skin.”
Now this 22-year-old English graduate is conquering the freelance writing world. “I thought that being fat didn’t hold me back. I was wrong. Getting, and staying, fit pushes your body and mind in ways you’d never expect. Achieving fitness goals pushes you to succeed in other areas of your life. Being slimmer is great, but being a more positive, determined, strong woman is even better!”