Dr. Ian Smith

175 vs. 230/1995 vs. 2009/Then and Now

Think of the time when you were at a weight you were happy with then answer the following questions: (Mine was 1995 before I got pregnant with Kalia when I was at Vassar living in Main Building with Dayhna Carroll)

What foods did you eat then that you no longer eat?

Salads daily

Vegetables daily

No meat

Drink only water

What foods did you eat in abundance?

None- everything was in moderation. If I wanted something like cookies or cake- I’d take a piece, but my palate had changed so much that sweets tasted way too sweet. I couldn’t stomach pop or cake and cookies so it was easy to pass them up. Bad foods made me feel sick immediately after eating them so I didn’t even have a craving anymore.

Three physical activities

Running across campus for no reason (usually just to meet Dayhna after she got out of class)

Jane Fonda Aerobic tape- this thing is so 80s but foreal it’s a lot like dancing so I would just put it on when I was bored after class in the middle of the day and work up a sweat.

Dancing in the mug till all hours of the night! Nuff said…

Three hobbies you enjoy

Socializing with my friends


Rapping/Writing rhymes

People places ore things that stress you out




Where do you get most of your support

Dayhna- she would literally walk up to me and take the cheetos out of my hand, she would pour the soda down the drain. She told me I could do it- that there was a smaller person inside my body waiting to get out. She didn’t let my anger, temper tantrums or pouting keep her from encouraging me to do what was ultimately right for my body. (sans ganja smoke- that was ok, LOL)

How do you regard your physical appearance?

The weird thing about losing so much weight in such a short period of time was that I didn’t recognize myself. I would catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and always be like “who’s that?” I felt alienated from myself in a weird way.

How important is your health?

Well, I was doing other things at the time that were not healthy, so I wasn’t totally caring for my body. And I think my weight loss was more motivated by wanting to be a big time rapper and feeling like I needed to look a certain way. I wasn’t yet thinking about health because my mother’s health problems hadn’t surfaced. All the overweight people in my family up until this time were healthy!

Level of motivation

I had no (real) man, no kids, just school and friends, so there was much more time on my hands then there is now. Also I didn’t have to worry about paying bills (the good old days). But I also had to eat in the retreat or ACDC so my healthy food options were limited.


What foods did you eat then that you no longer eat?





What foods did you eat in abundance?

I eat a lot of carbs in abundance. Like the pack of cinnamon graham crackers I ate the whole pack of…Or the entire bag of microwave popcorn…Or too many pretzels…A few weeks ago when my eating was really out of control I was eating candy bars from the snack machine and pop too a lot. I also started eating ice cream- I don’t even really like ice cream, but the chocolate chip cookie dough with the sugar cone from Clown Cone was the bomb!

Three physical activities


Three hobbies you enjoy

Socializing with my friends



People places ore things that stress you out


Kids who don’t clean up after themselves

Flaky people

Where do you get most of your support

My kids- they are really sensitive to my struggles and are working on themselves in their own ways. I see their responses to my eating ups and downs and it makes me more aware of the long term impact of my bad eating choices.

Facebook: Yolanda Sabio, Toya Lilliard, Nakea Hughes, Andrea Roberts, Kyla Kupferstein Torres, Yolanda Ramos-shot out to my used to be big girls now small(er) girls!

How do you regard your physical appearance?

230 is like my “normal” weight. I feel comfortable at this weight though not the most attractive. I feel a man would have to know me first to be attracted to me physically but that’s safer for me then a man being attracted to my body first because that makes me feel vulnerable.

How important is your health?

The main reason I am losing weight. I don’t do needles so I can’t get diabetes. The only way to prevent diabetes is through diet and exercise- nuff said.

Level of motivation

High, even though I am still under serious time constraints. I may have to (aaaarrrg) start waking up at like 6:30 am just to get my work out in. If I can wind down and get to sleep by 11pm I should be able to do that. But I’m a night owl! So- that’s my hang up right now on exercise. I could also walk around the park while the kids are at football/cheerleading practice… no excuses it’s got to get done.

Dr. Ian Day 2

What is your current BMI?


What does the chart say is healthy weight for your height?


What are your bad habits when it comes to exercising/eating right?

Not exercising at all.

Not planning my meals ahead of time.

Eating too many carbs.

Not eating vegetables or fruit.

Not drinking enough water each day.

Not eating breakfast.

Not encouraging my kids to do the same things stated above.

What are your good bad habits when it comes to exercising/eating right?


Not eating late at night.

Not buying things that are really bad for me like Ice Cream and junk food.

Buying organic.

Shopping at Trader Joes.

Shopping frequently so that food is always fresh.

When was the last time you were at a weight you were happy with?

1994-1997 before I was pregnant with my second daughter. When I was pregnant with Kaissa I got over 200 pounds and have never been under that since. I did get down to 204 before I got pregnant with the twins but that’s the closest (2005). So when I lost weight it took about 8 months, I worked hard all summer thanks to my roommate Dayhna who would literally take cheetos out of my hands and never let me eat pizza (two of my big comfort foods). She had never struggled with weight so she bid me to do as she did and it worked. By the fall, I was so small people thought I was sick. I was in a size 11 but I looked much smaller. My bra size was 36 C which was perfect. There were no dimples, dents, rolls, it was amazing. Also, I loved doing Jane Fonda workout tapes and I would run across campus just for the fun of it! (I did have a slight substance abuse problem at this time, but that’s for another blog) LOL

4 Day Diet- Day One

Dr. Ian's new book "The 4 Day Diet" is off the chains. It deals with the emotional aspect of being overweight. He says losing weight is 80% mental and 20% physical. I am going to work through the questions in the book. Join me and write and post your answers (or keep them to yourself). Let's work this weight off on paper and then enjoy the results on our hips and thighs! What's up people?

Why are you currently overweight?

I am overweight because I was raised that food was a panacea. Whenever there was drama at home (and there was lots of drama at home) there was always something to eat to make it feel better. I was offered ice cream after I scraped my knee, McDonald’s after a hard day, Pizza if I got good grades. So I learned that food was attached to feelings, that there was an emotional component to eating. How I’m thinking of it now after reading Dr. Ian Smith’s 4 Day Diet is that food is fuel- there’s nothing emotional about putting gas in a car! Eating should be just eating.

Why have previous weight-loss efforts failed?

Previous weight loss efforts have failed because I want fast weight loss. It is hard to work hard for anything is this society. Me being part of Generation X, which is also the microwave generation is like if I can’t have it with the snap of my finger, I’m just going to keep it moving. I see this in my relationships and my finances and my weight. I have not learned the patience to stick with something even when it doesn’t seem to be giving me the desired results. One example is that I started dieting and exercising in January. By the time I got to April, I was still the same weight, so I partially gave up. What my nutritionist showed me this Monday is that my sugar levels went from 102 to 84 and my cholesterol improved as well, so although I may not have seen the results of my work on the scale, my overall health was improving. If I had stuck with it, weight loss may have come eventually.

How does your weight influence your self-esteem/self-image?

Well, now that I’m single again I definitely think about what Tyrese will think of my body when he meets me. Seriously, I know I’m an attractive woman, but with those chisled abs and biceps what will he think about my grandma arms. Maybe he will want a woman who words just as hard at keeping in shape as he does. He said something in an article in Men’s Health (not that I’m stalking him or anything)- he said “…when you are in shape, you don’t have to tell people that you love yourself.” That’s powerful. And how can you love anyone when you don’t love yourself? And How can you expect someone to love you more than you love yourself. So that’s where I am with the self-esteem thing, I love being plus sized, but the dents, dimples, and flab have got to go!

What are your weaknesses related to sticking to a weight-loss program?

Refer to microwave generation answer above. Planning out meals in advance and not getting caught in the fast food drive thru line is my main thing. If I can plan out the meals and have the food at home and get home in time to cook before I get hungry, I’m cool. But if not- everything is out the window and I’m scrounging for food “just today” not seeing that it’s a pattern and a habit. My days have got to be more structured so I can eat natural, live food made by my hands.

Without weighing yourself or looking at a BMI chart how many pounds away do you think you are from your target weight?

40 pounds

Dealing With my Weight-220

Well, by now you all know my list of accomplishments, and my list of failures. Most of the failures I have dusted myself off, picked myself up and kept it moving. But now it's time to confront something I do not want to blog about. My weight. I am currently 220 on a 5' 3" frame. That makes me Obese- with a BMI of 39 (30 and over is obese). I read a statistic yesterday that 81.6% of Black women are overweight and 53.9% obese. Sure we look good but we are dying. I love that Tupac phrase from keep your head up "dying inside/but outside your looking fierce." That describes so many of us. I have to do something about my weight. Everytime I go to the Dr. I hold my breath while I get my blood pressure taken wondering if this will be the time it will go above 120/80. The last time I had my sugar read, I cried, thinking of the whole pack of butter cookies I ate while on a trip to NYC. I was relieved when once again I got a pass, but how long with the grace and mercy last? I'm ready to do something. All year I've been inconsistently working on my weight and growing frustrated that nothing has "worked." I look smaller but the scale insists that I'm the same weight as when I started being vegetarian, working out on the wii, eating one meal a day, cutting out fast food, cutting out soda (for a minute). But the frustration of not seeing the results pushed me back into the "regular" eating habits we enjoy as Americans: fast food, soda, snacks, late night dining, no exercise, etc.

How is today any different from any other day? I have you. And I believe that this will speak to some of you and motivate you to join me in doing something. I know Shuida, Drea, Lashunda have all been working hard and maybe we just need each other to motivate, to know that in the words of the late MJ: "You are not alone, I am here with you." (OK maybe that was corny) Anyway, let me know how you feel via FB or blog. I'm detoxing- and doing the 50 million pound challenge, and I read Dr. Ian's latest (and best) book: the 4 Day Diet. Anybody wanna join me in reversing the trend?

What a Difference a Week Makes

I had a health crisis this week. This time last week I was in a hotel at Vassar College suffering from anemia, leg cramps, charlie horses, shortness of breath, hives, asthma, and severe allergies. I was at the bottom of my game. It was definitely a wake up call. Since I separated from my husband I have been using food to nurse my wounds: turning to too many burgers from Steak and Shake, soda, pizza, and anything that brought comfort. But all that came to a halt this Monday. Motivated by Vassar Grads Toya Lilliar and Yolanda Sabio who both have had amazing weight loss success I decided to unlearn the bad and remember the good things I know about nutrition and exercise. I read Dr. Ian Smith's "4 Day Diet" book which addresses a lot of the emotional components of obesity. I had to acknowledge that I was obese with a BMI of 39 and a starting weight of 220. I had to get on the Wii Fit, something I have been dreading since I bought it in February and look at those numbers on my flat screen TV. It was humbling and sobering, yet I love my body, it has served me well over these years and it deserves better fuel and energy sources. I read in Dr. Ian's books that people take better care of their cars than they do their bodies. We never give our car anything but gasoline even when we are pressed for time or have financial constraints. Yet we reach for depleting and undervalued food when we are hungry rather than the foods we know are best for our welfare. Getting a glucose reading yesterday and waiting for the results and praying that I wasn't diabetic (like my mom, paternal grandmother and a close friend) was tough. I shed tears and whispered prayers and promises to both God and myself. I watched the blood pressure reading rise to 143/83 and thought of the salt I had been intaking over the past couple of weeks. We must be more mindful, proactive, and take better care of our temples.

This was a wake up call for me. I never want to feel this bad again, ever. So I pressed and Detoxed this week. It wasn't that hard after the first two days. I just thought about the alternative, feeling bad, looking bad, and getting used to it and I decided to persevere. That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. But we shouldn't just be getting stronger, we should be getting smarter. And taking care of this body is smart! And it feels good!