Real Women. Real Stories. Is a series that we are star11745847_10101069250420831_4358288053831540881_nting at Real Health. This series focuses on hearing from many different women in their fight to find REAL Health. Jumesha is the first one to share on this series because I have always loved her passion to see women embrace their God given Body; whether that’s curvy, long, lean or muscular. She is fighting to be the healthiest she can for her family. She’s an inspiring women. Thanks for sharing with us, Jumesha.  xo, Jenn

My Best Me
Not waiting for the Scale to Confirm Confidence

It took me so long to write this post, because I just didn’t know where I wanted to go with it. I mean, I can talk all day about curves and confidence. I wanted to show everyone this mom that was confident in her curves and her body’s ability to carry, birth, and breastfeed, 4, almost 5 babies and love her body more, now, than she ever has. The reality is that I do feel confident in my body and its curves about 95% of the time, but let me tell ya, that 5% that I don’t, is brutal! It mostly happens when I look at pictures that my 3 year old takes of me. I mean, she gets the worst angles with ALL of my chins and love handles hanging out. Why do kids do that!? Since we live in a world where people take at least 10 selfies to get the right one, these pics make me mad, and nobody even sees them! Why?, because they highlight where I really am. Mostly home, mostly looking dusty, but not having enough time, energy or desire to do anything to “fix” myself up. This includes consistently meal planning, exercising, and practicing portion control. I guess I’m still shocked that this is real life for me and I have to know when to stay in my lane (*mind my own business, keep moving forward without trying to do what everyone else is doing), and do what I can do to be the best me, while still loving myself where I am.
So what exactly does it mean to “stay in your lane” AND love yourself while in that lane? I think it kinda depends on a couple of things….
• Genetic Curves. When you understand your body-type and where you typically store fat, then you will understand how best to attack that fat, or if you don’t have a booty, but want one, you can learn to work on that too. I’ve always stored fat in my hips, thighs and butt, BUT I know that even the smaller framed women in my family couldn’t get rid of belly fat, after being pregnant. Which brings me to the next “type” of curves.
• Situational Curves. If you’ve gained weight because of depression, over-eating, pregnancy, being a freshman in college, vacation, hormonal imbalance, etc., then own that and do what you can to work with where you are. Some of the situations are harder to combat than others.
I decided to get married while in college, so that meant that I needed to be “fine as wine” for my wedding day and honeymoon (let’s not act like someone seeing you naked for the first time won’t send you to the salad bar and the gym with the quickness. I thought to myself, this will be easy, I will just workout, and eat more salad, and I would be good to go. That first time trying to lose weight, really was “that easy” Fast forward to fall 2013, where I’d had my 3rd baby. I knew that we would not be having another baby for a long time, so I needed to make a conscious effort to lose the baby weight. I was about 225lbs when I decided to lose weight. I used dietbet and myfitnesspal and even a fb group to keep me motivated. The weight was literally melting off, even though it seemed to be going very slowly. By the time my baby was 1, I’d lost all of my total pregnancy weight and I was disappointed with my body. My stomach was still jiggly, including the love handles, my booty wasn’t as perky and my boobs were still larger than I wanted. BUT I felt good and had so much energy. I was/am amazed at how I had fought and won battles against temptation to overeat, in public and in private.

281305_10100297357899277_4901795_nThe reality is that I have almost 5 kids under 5, and I’m lucky to drink all of my water and remember to go pee when I feel the urge. Speaking of…so, I’m expecting my 5th baby and it was a surprise! I mean…I’ve kicked myself so many times because really…who has a *surprise* 5th baby?!? I was really confused, upset, embarrassed, and the list goes on. Most importantly, but really dumb, I didn’t want to start a pregnancy at 230lbs, especially knowing that the only place to go from here, was up. I know I’m mostly alone in this, but I feel beautiful when I’m pregnant and I really enjoy the whole process, even giving birth! While, I was born with curves and birthing hips, as my grandma calls them, I did not want or need to carry this much extra weight. These “situational” curves are not the ones that everyone is raving about. I mean, just check some of the hashtags #fitthick, #curvyfit, #thickfit, etc., and you will find plenty of women that have or want a big booty and a small waist. These seem to be the acceptable curves. A friend gave me some timely advice when I confessed my feelings to her. She said “don’t go down without a fight.” It finally hit me! I’m being bombarded with body images on Insta, pregnancy apps that tell me how much I should gain, my own self-consciousness, and the list goes on. We have to fight against what society tells us we need to be, and fight for our health. For me, I know that I gain weight easily, and mostly because I make bad choices, which I try to hide. Darkness will come to light, so even when nobody sees the extra cookies and brownies you ate, even though you’re trying to lose weight, they will show up!
Being committed to loving yourself, in your own lane, doesn’t mean you have to be content with staying there. I know that there are situations in which people can’t lose weight, but really want to, and I’m sorry about that. You are beautiful and you are loved by the One that created you.
Staying in my lane,