A few months ago, I looked up from my crazy-busy life and realized that I had gained the equivalent of the “freshman fifteen”—extra pounds added in the midst of an unbelievably hectic life transition that came after I assumed the position of editor in chief of ESSENCE last July.

As my role has expanded from desktop jockey to a lady who lunches (…and breaks fast, and hosts dinners) to build important relationships for the brand, so have my hips and thighs! SMH

Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with being a curvy girl. In fact, I’ve waiting all my life to grow into the womanly figure I rightly assumed I would inherit from the other women in my family. But I do have a problem when how much I weigh begins to affect my overall health. High blood pressure and diabetes run in my family, and I’ve had issues with high cholesterol in the past. And I also have to confess that this weight gain has meant that the clothes I was able to fit into just last July at ESSENCE Fest have become increasingly harder to squeeze into—and I just find that outright annoying.

So I’ve decided I need to make some changes, quick-fast. Not only have I joined a gym, but I’ve also invested some time and money in working with a trainer. At first I hesitated—I just didn’t want to spend the money. I reasoned that I could use that money elsewhere—on my bills, kids, house, upcoming wedding. But then I realized that if I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be around to take care of anyone else. And that’s something I just can’t allow to happen. 

So far, I haven’t lost any pounds per se, but I have experienced an uptick in energy that I haven’t felt in quite a while. I’m also noticing that my skin is getting its glow back. These small signs are giving me hope—and are just enough encouragement to keep me going.

I know I’m not alone in this health journey, so I hope over the next few weeks you’ll follow my progress, and tell me how you’re doing to. We can help keep each other honest, and cheer each other on. Feeling fit is the end goal; we want to support you any way we can and cross the finish line healthy and whole.

Let’s all get #fitforessencefest, or wherever your summer plans will take you this year, and I just know we’ll be healthy and happy for years to come.

Stay in touch,