Testimonials from extraordinary people motivated to achieve a healthy lifestyle too!

2016 was a challenging year for me. I have learned a lot about myself and decided to narrow my focus on things that really are important in my life. Basically, I trimmed the fat and cut off things such as poor habits and people that did not positively contribute to my overall well-being. Some of the decisions I made was very tough because of emotional attachments and routines that developed over time. But, as the saying goes…what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger and so my renaissance has resulted in reaping favor in many areas of life since making the change. I am different mentally, spiritually and physically today and it shows.

I have made some mistakes in my lifetime that affected my relationships with some as well as created personal challenges. I have learned from those errors by making corrections and vowed to not repeat them. Three major lesson points that I will share are as follows: 1. Only invest time in things and people that will make you better. 2. Reduce stress and take care of your mind and body because if not, your days can be numbered on this earth quicker than anticipated. 3. Life seasons are temporal. So, learn from the past, live today and be excited about the future.

My lessons can easily transition to your current health lifestyle as well. If you’re not satisfied with your current health situation then choose to do something about it. If your proud of your condition then keep going and stay the course.

I wasn’t the only person that decided to transform their lives. In this article are friends of mine that became motivated to do something to achieve a healthy lifestyle too. Their stories stem from personal improvement to increasing awareness about health concerns for the masses.

First on deck is a dear lifelong friend of mind. She is a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, participates in hand dancing, and frequent the gym on a weekly basis. She is a stealth butterfly because she manages to create a balance to take care of herself despite a busy schedule and the multiple responsibilities she juggles from day to day. Introducing a bad mutha-Kelvin watch your mouth…… Khadijah Shaw.

There are a lot of different reasons why I remain motivated to achieve and maintain some degree of physical fitness. First, I just enjoy it. Some women don’t like the idea of working out because it involves getting sweaty, breathing hard, your hair gets messed up, and perhaps you don’t look your best because you don’t have makeup on. I say whatever!! I feel tired, but great after a good workout and I’m not afraid of any of the above. In fact, when I don’t workout I become little irritable because I miss the good feelings you get from the endorphins that your body releases during exercise.

Secondly, I like feeling strong and appreciate my athletic physique. Some women are afraid that they may have a physique like a man if they work out too much. Well, ladies, we aren’t going to look like body builders or a man because in general men and women’s bodies have different muscle fat compositions. In my opinion, muscle makes women’s shoulders and arms look good in dresses for instance like Michelle Obama. Our legs and buttocks look good in jeans and muscle also help everyone burn fat when our bodies are at rest. Personally, I take pride in the fact that I have upper body strength, therefore, I can lift a full

five-gallon jug of Deer Park water and hoist it onto the water cooler at home with ease without breaking a sweat.

Finally, I am motivated to exercise because I want to set an example for my two sons by demonstrating the importance of remaining physically active throughout their lifetime. Some of the forms of exercise and/or physical activities that I have enjoyed over the years include running/jogging, aerobics, kickboxing, Judo, Taekwondo, Dance, Pilates, Yoga, HIIT, Zumba and I have also had the pleasure of working with a personal trainer.

Regardless of what form of exercise you decide, be certain to make it an important top priority in your life because it will benefit you in the long run.

Up next is Sean Davis. A fellow Morehouse College brother with a great attitude who decided to make a change because his health was at risk.

Love yourself, do it for YOU! Get yourself right for a lifetime, not just the Summer. Back in 2012, I was overweight, had high cholesterol, and they wanted to perform a biopsy on my prostate. THAT was my wake-up call to make a change. I started walking in the morning, eating oatmeal, drinking more water, and improve my diet. I also made it a point to separate myself from stressful people and life situations.

When it's all said, and done, embracing a healthy lifestyle isn't easy. It's HARD....You must 'pledge' yourself while embracing a new mindset. I didn't get fat overnight and my 'reconstruction' was going to take some time. My advice to beginning a healthy lifestyle is for people to see the doctor, do serious soul searching, and write down feasible goals. You must purge negativity and old habits beforehand. After I became more active and changed my ways, I hired a personal trainer for a one entire year in May 2012. This was a gift to myself and I treated working out as if it was another job or class. I was serious about improving my health.

You must be dedicated and CONSISTENT....There are no shortcuts to undo your old lifestyle...This is a process, and you're going to sacrifice a lot. If you're concerned with off days and the easy way out then you're wasting time, PERIOD!

Again, you should get RIGHT for a lifetime.... not just the Summer. All the best to you and your health journey.

Sean Davis

Gordon Patterson is my right hand and has been passionate about participating in sports since we played stickball and football in the streets of our neighborhood as kids. He is highly competitive in various areas of life and shares his reasons why he chooses to maintain his motivation for a healthier lifestyle below.

What keeps me motivated to exercise at the age of 50? I've been motivated to exercise since the first time I picked up a weight at the age of 16. I've always been very active and played competitive sports like Football and Basketball going back to my childhood with friends including the author of this article - Kelvin Abney. Not only did I enjoy various forms of working out, but I made it a part of my life.

I always enjoyed the benefits of taking care of my body and the older I got, the more I became aware of the importance of staying fit and healthy. I must honestly say that staying fit is more challenging as I age, but I still go all out and push myself to the limit. I recommend working out in some form regardless of the aging process and that’s where I utilize friends and family as a source of motivation. I draw inspiration from those that train and stay physically fit and the bottom-line is that your transformation for a healthier you start with you!

To wrap up is a good friend and colleague of mine. I met Felicia Slider when she attended Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) and her motivation to achieve a healthy lifestyle is emotional and extends to a cause outside of herself. Her story hits close to home for me because my brother David lost his life in a similar way at a very young age.

My motivation to achieve a healthy lifestyle stems from the loss of my dad and his battle with pancreatic cancer. His death was very traumatic for me and I have dedicated my life to celebrate his legacy and be an advocate to increase awareness of this deadly disease with hopes of a finding a cure. So together lets “Stand Up” for a cure for Pancreatic Cancer.

After my Dads diagnosis almost two years ago, it’s been surreal and downward spiral. His path consisted of being diagnosed with Diabetes, heart failure, getting a pacemaker implant, stage IV Pancreatic Cancer – malignant of which spread to his Liver. From day one, he dealt with a host of Doctor and ER visits that lead to biopsies, multiple surgeries, aggressive triple combination rounds of chemotherapy, unforgiving side effects, hospice teams, then his mortality. I held his hand while he slept in ICU to watching him take his last breath.

Again, his journey was tough and I “Stand Up” for a cure for Pancreatic Cancer and to bring hope to those who have been diagnosed.

Other known facts about Pancreatic Cancer are as follows:

  • The mortality rate is the highest amongst all cancers with a survival rate of approximately 9%.

  • Little is known about the disease and how to cure it.

  • Leading health organizations shared data that “Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in African-Americans.”

  • Another prominent health organization shared “When compared with other ethnic groups, African-Americans are significantly more likely to develop cancer and subsequently die from this disease”

  • (Celebrities/Personalities also diagnosed; succumbed to Pancreatic Cancer: Steve Jobs, Patrick Swayze, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Michael Landon, Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Crawford, Sally Ride, Chuck Daly, Randy Pausch)

“Our Health is our Wealth!” …

so, we must ALL be proactive in early screenings and treatment; to reduce the incidences of

Pancreatic Cancer, ANY Cancer, ANY health matter!

My motivation is to “STAND-UP" as a Cure for Pancreatic Cancer Advocate

Join me as a proud & passionate volunteer Advocate with the national organization

"PANCAN"(Pancreatic Action Network https://www.pancan.org/)

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My Journey of Discovery
and Weight Loss

A year ago, I decided it’s time to change my lifestyle. This meant taking control of my life and making important decisions..

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