Before F.I.T. (Fixing Inside the Temple) weight loss support group even started, I noticed one young woman in my church who was transforming right before my very eyes. Not only did I notice that she was losing weight but I also noticed that her confidence level had gone up. It wasn’t so much the fact that I saw outward changes in her appearance; from cutting her long black hair to a stylish bob, or noticing her wearing more form fitting clothing in brighter colors, matching accessories and gorgeous heels; there was definitely a glow about her when she walked into the room. I knew she was definitely “fixing inside the temple.” Please read my interview with Dawn Oden F.I.T. Spotlight Diva below for more inspiration and words of wisdom.
LL: When did you decide that you wanted to get healthy and lose some weight and why?
DO: When I couldn’t wear stilettos anymore. I was crushed when I started struggling just to walk in my heels.
LL: Tell us a little about your eating habits prior to starting an exercise routine and eating healthier. What were some of your weaknesses and what foods were “trigger” foods for you and are they still now and if so, what do you do about it when the urge comes? What are some of the struggles and benefits of this new lifestyle?
DO: My eating habit was illegal. I should have been locked up. I ate what I wanted, at any time of the day, and was always eating out. I didn’t really have any “trigger” foods. All foods were my “friend” and I never discriminated!! My only weakness was myself. Yes I do still have urges to eat unhealthy and yes I still eat them. But I limit them to a smaller portion.
LL: Portion control is something I am working on, so it is good to know that sometimes it is better to have what you crave, just in a smaller amount. You are looking Fit & Fabulous, I am curious, how long have you been working out and eating right and how much weight have you lost?
DO: Thanks girl! I feel F.I.T, Fabulous, and Foxy!!! I’ve been working out and living a healthy lifestyle since September 2009. I don’t know how much I’ve lost. Nor will I count. Numbers are the enemy! It’s all about inches and muscle tone. I can proudly say that I am down 2 sizes and I’m still dropping!
LL: I can tell too because you are really looking great and seem happier too, your personality is just shining through more than ever! What has helped to keep you motivated and before joining F.I.T. did you have a support system cheering you on along the way or someone to workout with or did you go at it alone?
DO: Many things kept me motivated before joining F.I.T. I had several upcoming trips, functions, a bad break up, and a reunion with an old friend. My family and friends were really supportive from the beginning. They are even still cheering me on today. I had several people join me while working out and it made it more enjoyable, but I prefer to work out alone. It is a time for me to reflect, meditate, and just enjoy my own company.
LL: Sounds like you had a lot going on, though some people may take this time for self-destructive behavior or for an opportunity to overeat, you took this time for self-reflection and improvement, God is good. What are some of your favorite exercises, how much/often do you exercise and how do you feel it has affected your level of energy and overall desire to eat healthy foods and be healthy.
DO: My favorite exercises include doing a 5 mile walk/jog in the park, getting on the elliptical, weight training, or yoga. I work out at least 4 days a week anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 ½ hrs depending on what I’m doing. I’ve definitely seen a change. I have much more energy, confidence, optimism, and outlook on life. I’m more secure in my decisions and more candid with my opinions and my approach with people.
LL: Amazing how changing to a healthy lifestyle can change so much from within as well, I love it! What are some of your health goals?
DO: My goals are to live a healthy lifestyle physically, nutritionally, spiritually, emotionally, financially, etc. I want to do more than “get into shape”. I want to drop a lot of “dead weight”. I want to overcome a lot of demons that are holding me back from being my best potential. More importantly, I don’t want to be overweight and unhealthy when it’s my time to have children. My biggest desire is to be a mother. And I want to take care of my body now in preparation for the children God will bless me with.
LL: Amen to that! You said a lot right there. What are your thoughts on self-esteem, confidence and self love that you would like to share with our readers?
DO: Self esteem, confidence, and self love are a must for every woman. Without them, it will be hard to love anyone else. I try to balance a healthy amount of confidence and high self-esteem. Too much of either is, to me, unattractive and a turn off. Self love is simply, loving yourself; unconditionally. It’s about standing firm on your beliefs and opinion and not allowing anyone to diminish your worth or make you question your importance. It’s about respecting and cherishing yourself as the precious jewel you are.
LL: Beautiful! Anything else you would like to share with us?
DO: I just want to encourage every woman to love yourself regardless of what size you are, but to also exercise caution and wisdom when it comes to your health. There is nothing wrong with having curves. You are, however, posing a danger to yourself and your family when you are overweight. Don’t lose weight to be skinny, keep or attract a man, or take revenge for those losers that left you!!!. Do it because you want to be F.I.T and healthy.
LL: Thank you Dawn for this wonderful interview, truly I feel empowered, motivated and inspired to keep working on my temple as well. You are curvy, confident and beautiful and definitely an inspiration, God Bless!