One hundred days is not a lot of time, depending on how you look at it, but it’s just enough to formalize a tremendous change in your life if you use it effectively. Through daily video diaries that she’s been posting on GiveIt100.com, LaKeisha Shurn dedicated hers—plus 20 extra days and counting—to accomplishing one goal so many of the rest of us are chasing, too: to lose weight and love herself.
"I have low self-esteem, I’m going through depression, and I want to change all of that. Next hundred days I will be on the journey of losing weight and finding myself," she says at the beginning of her series.
In the process of creating her personal revolution, she’s become an internet sensation and an every woman heroine to the thousands of folks who’ve watched and shared in her effort. Her milestones feel like victories for all of us. At one point when she demonstrated how she could lift her leg above her waist, I cheered. When she weighed herself and crossed the threshold from 300 pounds to 299, I squealed.
Here’s a montage of clips about her past 120 days:
If you’ve never struggled with your weight, if you’ve never tried to think light thoughts when you stepped onto a scale and instead been confronted with an offensive set of digits, if you’ve never glared down at a plate of fresh broccoli and carrot sticks with venomous hatred while your friends were noshing on french fries, if you’ve never been on the receiving end of someone else’s snide comments or hurtful snickers, then God bless you. Consider yourself favored beyond measure to have shirked the experience.
But those of us who know how the effort to knock off even five or 10 pounds can make you curse your body and anything with a carbohydrate. Challenging yourself to push through the frustration and effect real discipline ultimately makes you a better you, blah blah blah, but can we be honest about how disheartening and discouraging that thing can be? If you’ve ever lost weight—a little, a lot, pregnancy pounds, post-surgery bloat, whatever—say something sweet to yourself right now. You deserve it.
For the rest of us, we the resolution-makers and promise-keepers who’ve vowed to make 2014 the year to stop trying to get healthy and just get healthy, we have a new example that it can be done. It’s one thing to see celebrities and reality show stars do it. If only everyone in the weight loss struggle could have access to a nutritionist, a chef and a personal trainer to bark us out of bed every morning, we might also look like da-da-damn every time we set foot out the house, too.
Thank you, LaKeisha, for humanizing the effort to be healthier and happier and for being brave enough to share the intimate details of your story to keep yourself encouraged and motivate other people along the way. And please, by all means, keep doing the darn thing. We’re proud of the old you and looking forward to the new you. Get it girl.
Janelle Harris is a writer, blogger and editor, and the owner of The Write or Die Chick , a boutique editorial services agency. She’s also a single mother, a proud Washington, DC girl and a longsuffering Kanye West fan. Chat her up on Facebook or Twitter.