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  • Writer's pictureDonnese Monique

Focus Change! (#J2FA50)

4/15/21 - The big 5-0 is fast approaching. 22 days to go and my weight stayed the same. Uggghh!!! I ate out a few times over the weekend, but tried to stay and eat as close to program, as possible. I think I may be "hormonal" this week. But I don't know. We'll see. I'm going to have to really buckle down and stay focused for next week's weigh-in. These are the last few days of my journey, so I'm hoping that I don't fall into self sabotage activity (which I'm famous for doing). I know I turn to comfort food when I'm stressed and these past few days at work have been pretty stressful. Fortunately I am aware of this, so I hope I'm able to keep myself focused and on program. Okay, now back to the journey...

I’s Married Now! We got married in July 2000.

I think this was the smallest I had ever been in my life because I lost tons of weight from the stress of planning the wedding. I think I had gotten down to a size 0/2.

I had been performing on stage, television & screen, modeling in print-ads and even mini tours for five (5) years, but now that "I's married", I had a husband, bills and more than just me to think about. So let the bi-weekly guaranteed pay check hunt commence! I landed a legit job working from home when Soul Possessed ended for a Project Management (PM) training company (thanks to BFF). I had a 401K, sick leave and paid time off working from my home office. I was so fortunate and blessed to have found this opportunity, because I was still able to sneak out and go on auditions from time to time. I was responsible for coordinating and ensuring that the training materials arrived in the city that our trainers were traveling to so they could conduct a week's worth of Project Management training every week. Every week 1 - 3 trainers were flying out on Sunday to different cities and flying back home on Thursday or Friday. I enjoyed the work and the people. I was establishing myself and had plans to work hard and work my way up in the company as I'd previously done at Cellular One. I received a Great Performance review and then low and behold, September 11, 2001 happened!! That's right 9-11! Which means all flights were grounded or people were simply afraid to fly. This effected the company's business drastically! Which of course lead to a decline in business and I was unfortunately laid-off. Though short lived, the taste of working from home full-time was sweet.

My husband and I decided to join a local gym in Bowie, MD and we started going to work out, take spin classes and more on a consistent basis in an effort to stay healthy and physically fit especially now that I've stopped dancing regularly.

Fortunately I had the contacts and connections to start gigging again. I started auditioning and performing again and supplementing with temp work from time to time. My husband and I had decided to start trying to have children, so I knew that I had to make sure I secured consistent income soon. Of course I was longing to find another full-time job working from home, but to no avail. But with the help of my father and a good friend of his, I was hired to work at a prominent black owned architectural firm in D.C. and a few months later, we found out we were pregnant.

Talk about perfect timing! But of course the entire time I was working there, I was in search of another job working from home. So not only was I not working from home, this job was in D.C., which meant I had to either take the metro to and from work or fight traffic everyday and find metered street parking or pay exorbitant parking lot fees. And to make matters worse the D.C. Sniper was in full effect!!

I was pregnant and walking in serpentine fashion every time I walked anywhere for fear of being a big enough target for him to shoot. My son was born in December of 2002 and six (6) weeks later I had to return to work. I was devastated, but so thankful that my grandmother agreed to keep him for me every day. She kept him the entire first year of his life and I am ever so grateful for her.

I had gained about 30lbs while pregnant and was hoping breastfeeding would help me get my body back, but little did I know it wasn't going to be that easy. And believe it or not I landed my biggest role thus far at this weight. Right after I had my oldest son, I auditioned for and landed the role of Marketta in the movie The Salon.

(Vivica A. Fox) (Me as "Marketta" in The Salon) (Me and Monica Calhoun)

(Me and Taral Hicks)

When my son was two (2), hubby and I decided that we wanted to have another child. But there was no way I was going to have another baby and gain more baby weight on top of the current baby weight, so I decided to go to LA Weight Loss and Curves. LA Weight Loss was great! It worked for me. I followed the program and lost weight really fast! I get on my husband all the time because he referred to me as a "crackhead" and thought I'd receive it as a term of endearment, lol. He said he was just trying to "compliment" me because I had lost so much weight so fast. He's going to kill me for telling y'all this story, but I now think it's funny and rag on him about it. It was a pivotal moment in my weight loss history. LA Weight Loss worked for me and several of my friends. I have no idea how or why someone would file a class action law suit against them. They obviously didn't listen to or do what the counselors instructed them to do because I was proof that it worked. But unfortunately as a result of the lawsuit, they went out of business.

By 2005, I had reached my goal weight and The Salon premiered at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring. I was so excited to finally see it. I invited several of my family and friends and couldn't wait to see my scene on the Big Screen. I was sitting down front, close to the screen and all of a sudden BAM!! I busted through the door and appeared on the screen. I was SHOCKED!! I didn't hear a word that came out of my mouth or anything anyone else said because not only was I overweight already with the baby weight, but the screen put an additional 10lbs on me. I was HUMONGUS on that screen. At the end of the movie they called the cast in attendance up to the stage and when they introduced me and the character I played, I'm pretty sure I heard the entire audience GASP. I didn't know whether to be proud of how much weight I had lost since filming or to be embarrassed by how big I was in the movie. Everyone hung around in the theater and in the lobby for a while networking and mingling. I have no idea who this young lady was, but she came up to me in the lobby, told me she enjoyed the movie and my performance. I thanked her and then she asked me if I had on a FAT SUIT in the movie. I couldn't believe it and didn't know if I should have been offended or not.

I chuckled uncomfortably and just said No, I had just had a baby when we filmed. She said "Oh okay. Well you look good NOW." Which of course I took to mean, I didn't look good before. I didn't know what else to talk to her about at that point, so I simply thanked her again and walked away.

By this time I was experiencing some success in the mortgage industry with a network marketing company whose vehicle was refinancing mortgages. This opportunity allowed me to work from home again. I was traveling back and forth to Atlanta weekly and it was generating a significant income for me. And during this time, I found out that we were pregnant with our second child. I was going to continue working and building with the company and even continue traveling until it was deemed unsafe for me while pregnant, but that all changed when I informed the owner of the company that I was expecting and his response was, "You gonna "F" the money up!".

Seriously??!? That's what you say to me?! Not congratulations? Not I'm happy for you! But I'm gonna F the money up! Oh I was DONE!! The Taurus horns were out and if you know me at all, when I make my mind up and I'M DONE, oh I am DONE!! You get cut slam off!! At that point I decided that I would be moving on. And I did just that in March 2006.

I am so glad I lost lots of weight before this pregnancy because I gained 50lbs this time. I was very insecure after this pregnancy and this is when my yo-yo and fad dieting began.

Check back next Thursday and learn about the Shift I had to make!

Please Like, Follow, Subscribe and Share my journey with others. Until Next Week!

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