Transformation of the Day: Cee lost 68 pounds. We started following her transformation journey in 2017. Over the years, she faced the loss of loved ones, PTSD, depression, and the challenges that come with a busy life and a growing family. Despite all this, she was able to prioritize her health and fitness.
Facebook: Cee Duncan
It was January 27, 2017, when I submitted my initial submission to BWLW. For those of you who are not familiar with my story, let me catch you up on my backstory: My fitness lever was placed on the back burner because everything else was more important at the time:
- Working full time
- College classes full time
- Managing my own growing family
- And being one of three caretakers for my aging parents.
Looking back on it all, I would’ve done exactly what I did. However, as life often does, my juggling act would eventually lose its balance.
I lost my mother in 2009. Then, in 2012, I lost a sister to suicide and my dad from bone cancer a few weeks later. I would eventually develop PTSD and depression, which forced me to take months away from my job.
With the help of a wonderfully gifted psychologist and medicinal therapy from the VA, I managed my fledgling mental illness. It was a few years afterward before I felt normal and could focus on my physical self. My “house” wasn’t normal. I was 5’2″ and weighed 196 pounds.
My 2014 fitness journey began with a Zumba class at the Hayes-Taylor YMCA. My eyes were drawn to how everyone exercised together and had fun doing it, as well as the encouraging smiles of the group teacher. Everyone was doing something a little different, and it didn’t matter. I was hooked as soon as I eased into the back row and got lost in the music.
In the next few years, I would become a Les Mills Body Pump Instructor, a Silver Sneakers Instructor, and a Certified Personal Trainer. I wore a size 6-8. I was feeling great! I never thought I would do this in my 50s. I weighed 140 pounds and felt amazing!
Then Covid. The world stopped. And I wasn’t sure what to do.
I am naturally a social person, but as much as I tried to wing it on my own around my family (I became a proud grandmother during the Pandemic), the continued isolation and my carefully cultivated routine added to my depression. Twenty-five pounds seamlessly crept back on. I couldn’t go to church. I gamely walked and did online classes. I kept on trying, and my mind was eased. My control was gone.
As the world slowly opened up in mid-2021, so did my heart. The Y’s classes resumed outside and inside the gym. As we masked and socially distanced, we all cautiously came together with a common goal: to become what we once were or as close as possible.My goal before and now is the same: to be my best self. To FEEL better.
I began with a prayer to my Lord because a “weight journey” is a stressful undertaking. I started taking (in my case, “teaching”) three classes a week. I remember how hot it was outside, but I was so happy to move. As I found my footing, my confidence in myself and my ability to regain control over my body returned. I ceased focusing on the end result. Instead, I focused on my strength; at 61 years old, I needed to! My weight slowly came down, and with sensible portion control (no pills), lots of water, and less fried foods/more veggies, I returned to my pre-Covid weight of 128 pounds. Because I am older, I was able to lose those pounds in about a year.
My fitness routine consists of teaching six classes weekly (Thank God for Les Mills Body Pump!). I have both the socialization and the energy of the class to drive me. It’s a win-win! I also walk with my husband and with my dog.
My “a-ha” moments were simple ones: my inner thighs stopped rubbing together. It is much easier to climb up a set of stairs. A few months ago, I was with my grandson, and it was huge! As much as I love my many selves, I have mad appreciation for it now. I am healthier, adventurous, more energetic, and living life with all I can. (Can I say “skydiving”??)
To that sister who’s ready for change: before you became someone’s sister, friend, girlfriend, fiancee, wife, mother, coworker, boss, employee, confidant, etc., it was you. We, as women, are taught to be selfless and to place ourselves last. You are one of The Lord’s babies, and she needs attention as well. Keep moving. Find something you like to do and do it. Invest in you. Believe in your own hype. Don’t stop. Never give up. You are precious. You are worth it. DO YOU.
Read more about Cee’s transformation journey.