Normally, I don’t disclose personal things through social media but I felt compelled to share my struggle and gratitude. This year I have so much to be thankful for. I’ve been able to network with a lot of people in the beauty and fashion industry. I’ve been able to travel and attend both IMATS and The Makeup Show. I’ve increased my clientele and had opportunities to work as a makeup artist and beauty blogger for fashion shows and other events.
One of the biggest changes that I’m thankful for is the change in my appearance. This time last year I was clinically obese. I was quite uncomfortable with how I looked and felt. I made a commitment to start working out regularly and changing how I ate on 11/1/11. I decided that I wanted to start in Nov, to get a head start on all of the other people who’d make their New Year’s Resolution weight loss and working out. Honestly, November and especially December are THE BEST times to workout at the gym. At this point, most people have given up on fitness so the gyms aren’t as crowded. No need to be self-conscious or worry about having to get to the gym early to sign up and hope you make it into your favorite classes.
I had two major motivators to lose weight. IMATS LA and my university homecoming. From everything I’ve seen on TV, it appears that there are NO fat people in LA. This meant if I went to IMATS looking the way I did, I’d stand out as the fat Texan. I didn’t want that to happen. I also didn’t want to be uncomfortable talking pictures and networking with people because I was so worried they’d say I was fat. (shallow but whatever, I know it happens). I’ll never forget how horrible I felt at two events I covered for my blog. The Web Awards when I met rapper Bon B of UGK, who’s from my hometown and Fashion Houston last year when I saw one of my favorite gospel singers of all times Yolanda Adams in the audience. I struggled for at least 30 minutes each occasion trying to build up enough courage to go talk to them and ask to take a pictures. Even if they would’ve been nice enough to talk to me and listen to me tell them how much I’d admired them since I was younger, I still had to ask for a picture…which meant I’d be fat in the pictures. Until this point, I’d tried my best to avoid taking pictures for a while (at least full body ones) because I didn’t want people to say how bad I looked. But this was different. I wanted to be able to remember these moments, so I eventually decided to suck it up and asked.
Here are the pictures below.
Even though I hated the way I looked in both of these, I’m still happy about having the pictures.
I never wanted to have to deal with that delmina again so I began by taking Zumba several times a week and cooking more. Then I found out about the horrid “pink slime” epidemic that was in so much of the fast food and other places. I really started cooking a lot and totally avoided fast food restaurants. I felt like the FDA really deceived us with making us think we were eating meat when we weren’t. Shame on ya’ll.
The more I worked out the more comfortable I felt while covering fashion events. As you know, most of the models and fashionistas are pretty thin. I HATED standing out as the overweight make up artist/beauty blogger.Above I’m with my fellow Houston Fashion Blogger Imani of Style By Faithseeker forcing a smile and trying to be as photogenic as possible. This was at Coquette Boutique for the Kate Kills Pretty event. I was so uncomfortable at this event because all of the clothes were in smaller sizes and it appeared that I was the largest person in the boutique. I felt so out of place and hated how I looked to the point that I became unhappy about the experience and I didn’t even post the event on my blog even though I took a lot of pictures. In this picture I’m with fashion designer Sydney Dao. I was so happy to see her and proud of this picture but still too self-conscious to post it.
Even though I was still far from being comfortable with my weight, I did begin to see some results of my working out and eating differently by March. Below I’m at Daisies and Diamonds Event by Sherra Simpson-Byrd of Renu Your Life.The above pictures were taken by Dwayne Maple of Tree House
My mom and I were going to Las Vegas for Mother’s Day. This meant I’d finally get a chance to go to the Inglot store and the cool Sephora. I wanted to be cute while in Vegas, so I started taking more classes around April. I added Body Pump, Turbo Kick Boxing, and JAFrican (called Cardio Dance Fusion at 24hr Fitness). These classes helped a lot. I still had a ways to go, but I could at least see progress from last year.
Above is a picture of me with Hello Kitty while working at the MAC Counter.
Me in front of the Inglot Store sign.
When it came time to go to IMATS LA in June, I was very disappointed in how far away I was from my “goal weight”. What I didn’t realize was due to me working out so much, I’d built a lot of muscle, which weighs a lot. This meant, I was actually able to wear cute clothes that I hadn’t worn in years. I’d loss inches, just not the desired pounds. So, I built up some confidence and was able to have a spectacular time at IMATS.
Here are some of the pictures I’m most proud of below
Above, I’m with the incredible Emmy Award winner Kevin James Bennett. I’ve wanted to meet him for years. He’s so inspirational. His website In My Kit has been so helpful. I love his tweets and facebook posts. He takes time to interact with his followers. When I met him, he was so personable, approachable, and fun.
The biggest highlight of my IMATS experience was getting to meet and hang with Denise and Janice Tunnell of Illusions Beauty. They were so amazing and helpful. This was my very first time going to IMATS, they took the time to educate me on what classes to go to and what brands to try out and just how to navigate through all of the many things going on throughout the weekend. They introduced me to people and just truly made the event and outstanding one. I’ll be eternally grateful for Denise and Janice.
At this point I felt better about going to events and taking and posting pictures. July was a busy month. It started with the Houston Fashion Bloggers special meetup event hosted by Qwashae Boutique. It was such a fun outing.
This picture is courtesy of Shalanda of Live-Life-In-Style.com. I’m standing with Shakeina, the owner of Qwashae Boutique.
Next, I attended the Houston Image Expo in July. It’s another trade show mostly geared towards hair but there were still a few makeup and skincare vendors and presenters there. I really enjoyed it. The highlights were interacting with Kim Kimble and Eve Pearl. I’d finally gotten to a point to where I didn’t have to hesitate to ask to take pictures. I also got a chance to meet some of my internet friends I’d met through social media but not yet in person.
Also in July, Shalanda came to visit me at work and took this picture. Definitely a difference from my other work photos. I was proud to see how far I’d come.
Then, I worked as the make up artist and beauty blogger for the Meet and Greet/Fashion Show for Artist and Fashion Designer Lauren Luna at Qwashae Boutique.
At the end of July The Houston Fashion Bloggers had another meetup for Happy Hour.
I really enjoy being a blogger and having a great group to work with. It’s always nice to have a support group of like minded people who all want to be successful. I’m thankful for the Houston Fashion Bloggers.
In August , I worked as a blogger the 1st day and as a makeup artist for the 2nd day of the Houston International Fashion Week.
I also finally got a chance to go to the Make Up Forever Store in Dallas and received terrific customer service!!!
In Sept, I traveled back to Dallas to attend the The Make Up For Ever Pro Road Show.
Above is a picture of me with my fellow Houston Make Up Artist Faith Haller. In October I had the awesome opportunity to be a guest on Great Day Houston with Deborah Duncan.
Later in October I attended the Le Métier De Beaute event at Saks. I could really see the changes. I was getting closer to my university’s homecoming so I stepped up my workouts and really started eating better.
Another cool moment this year was getting to meet one of the Original Kings of Comedy D.L. Hughley while I was in Orlando for The Makeup Show. He’s so cool and down to earth. I really enjoyed his and Houston Comedian Ali Sadiqq’s show. Below at The Makeup Show, I was finally able to meet a celebrity makeup artist who I’ve admired for a while. The phenomenal Marietta Carter Narcisse!! It was such an honor meeting her. She has such a vast wealth of knowledge, especially as it relates to makeup and film.
Finally made it homecoming! Here I am with UH Alum Legendary Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis. It was such a terrific experience getting to talk to him. He took time to educate me and my line sister about a lot of historical facts that made me love my school even more!
To bring this post full circle, I attended Fashion Houston a couple weeks ago. I can truly say I felt 100% better than I did last year at Fashion Houston! I never once doubted or hesitated when it was time for me to take pictures.
Below I’m with Sharron Milton, local newscaster for ABC. She was sooo nice!
There are some very special people that I have to acknowledge and they are my fitness instructors. In no particular ranking or order, these people have made such a tremendous difference in my life. Thank you so much Karen Franklin of Cha Cha Zumba, Rashard Pennie of Zumba with Rashard, Karen White, Dena Shipley, Jackie and Horace of JAfrican for encouraging me and motivating me to work out and not give up even when I felt I couldn’t make it through the classes. I couldn’t have gotten the results I did without you guys. Ya’ll are awesome. I’m one of those people who HATES working out and would try my best to avoid the gym. However, because of your classes, I look forward to going to the gym now and I actually have fun while I’m there and want to return. It’s a part of my regular routine now. I never thought I’d ever say that.