September 3, 2014
By La Trisha McIntosh and La Tasha Taylor
How this Public Relations President publicly Tackled her Weight Loss
Photo: Touche’ Harvey (Touche’ Studios)
You’re a busy professional always on the go and running your PR company Gazelle Media Group (formally Gazelle PR). Does the fast-pace lifestyle ever affect your health in any way?
Absolutely! When you are so focused and passionate about your projects, it’s easy to forget to eat, sleep or decompress. All of these components are essential in having a healthy life. It’s important to stay balanced. I usually start my mornings at 5am. Before I start work, I make sure that I spiritually feed myself by reading my bible and daily devotional; I physically feed myself by exercising and eating breakfast; and mentally feed myself by meditating, sometimes just sitting in silence for at least 15 minutes can have a positive affect on your day.
Your father suffered a stroke due to hypertension. Did his condition alarm you enough to evoke a change?
Not at first. Knowing that he suffered from a stroke definitely alarmed me but it did not evoke change at the time because I did not have high blood pressure. I would say that the seed was planted by my father’s stroke. In the back of my mind I knew I could possibly suffer from hypertension because my father had it, it’s in our family blood. It really started hitting me last year when I went to my gynecologist and I got on a scale. I noticed that my blood pressure was rising as I was gaining weight. The more it elevated, the more concerned I got and that’s really what made me want to take a step towards healthy living. I am blessed because my cousin, Dave Kuti is a certified trainer and nutritionist in DC and he helped me take those steps. He gave me a great meal plan and workout regiment that had me dropping healthy weight and keeping it off. He also has a motto that I live by now and that’s BE YOUR BEST DAILY #BYBD. I try to live that way, everyday of my life. My father is doing so much better now. He’s healthier than he has ever been, exercises everyday, eats healthy [Thanks to my mother who is also a nutritionist] and he is no longer on medication for high blood pressure. That alone inspires me. We must understand that our health is fragile. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
You’ve shown physical results of your weight loss journey via social media. What has been the overall reaction from your followers?
Very positive! I was skeptical at first because I have never been the type to showcase my fitness life online. Also, I am NO WHERE NEAR My GOAL so in the back of my mind I felt like I really didn’t lose weight [crazy what your mind will tell you]. But since posting my first photo, the energy has been so motivating and I have received messages from others asking for advice. I thrive on that because I naturally love helping people and knowing that I can help someone make a change in their life is wonderful! I know how it felt when I got help. You are forever grateful! Anyone who asks for advice, I give it to them. I’m no fitness expert but I don’t mind sharing how I made changes with my weight and health. I look at it as passing on the blessing.
As women, we can have a successful career and a family/friend circle to lean on for help but we will still place ourselves last in terms of caring for our own health. What’s your interpretation of that?
That’s very true. Women are nurturers, mothers, sisters, and lovers and we care so much for the people around us. On the other hand, when we do focus on us, especially a single independent woman, we are often labeled as “selfish” and bitter. Everything in life is feasible with balance. Especially in my profession, I spend so much time helping others and less time on myself. It was never an issue until I started seeing the effects and started drowning in my own problems. I felt like I had no one to help me and I was no good to anyone who needed my help. I have learned a lot through that: 1.) Never let your pride get in the way of you asking for help! 2.) You have to take care of you before you can help anyone else— that is personally and professionally. 3.) Surround yourself with positive people who encourage you to be better 4.) Once you learn from it, pass it on. We all go through something to bless others.
Think from a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual place. What’s different about you today versus a year ago?
I am stronger! Not just physically but in every area in my life. I push through my pains and acknowledge my flaws. I don’t hide from who I am and I love harder than ever before. I’m still a work in progress but through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, my wonderful family and my awesome friends, I am walking in my truth. Because I know who I am, I really don’t care what others think about me. I would have never said that out loud a year ago. I always cared what people thought about me and though my reputation is important, and I hold integrity with high regard, I don’t let people’s perception of me rule my life.
What advice would you give to women who just can’t get motivated enough to start a fitness routine?
1.) Making a small change can go a long way. If it’s hard for you to get into a fitness routine, start with just walking 15 – 30 minutes a day. Staying active and getting your heart rate bumping is key! Soon, that will become habit and you will increase to an hour, next you are running, before you know it, you are sprinting your way into a better you. 2.) Make better food choices! Eating is 80% of the battle. If you are exercising but still eating junk, you are not going to see any changes. Incorporate more vegetables and less starchy foods like white bread, white rice and pasta. Drink plenty of water— drink half of your bodyweight. If you are 150, divide that in 2, you should drink at least 75oz a day. 3.) Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off. We are human and we break. Forgive yourself and get back on track. Keep pushing and soon this will be a lifestyle change.
Also, find a buddy who can motivate you. Accountability is essential. If you have someone pushing you and you’re pushing him or her, you two will help each other to a better life. My friend and fitness buddy, Daisy Chavez, is a lifestyle fitness expert and she is now a client. We will soon launch “Daisy Inspires”- a lifestyle brand and digital network of fitness videos, blog posts, Boot camp schedules, products, fitness tips, and Vegan living (nutritional facts) for women inspiring to change their life. I encourage women who want knowledge on fitness and healthy foods to check it out. www.daisyinspires.com
What are some of the things you do now to improve your health?
I make sure that I drink at least a gallon of water a day. I eat healthy 85% of the time; I exercise at least 5 days a week and sleep. <Laughs>!
Sleep is so important. So many live off that motto “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” and though I get it, I know that if I don’t rest, mentally I am drained and I am no good to my hustle.
Laughter is good for the soul. What’s the last thing you remember that had you completely tickled?
This may sound cliché’ but I laugh everyday! I am always tickled by the comedy of life. When I am with my friends, we act goofy, when I am with my family, we laugh and I even laugh at myself. I don’t take things too seriously…all the time. <Laughs>!
You ladies are absolutely right when you say; Laughter is good for the soul! Indeed it is!
Questions for Dorcey? Connect: @gazelle_PR
Dorcey Yetunde Kuti is Founder and President of Gazelle Media Group (formally Gazelle PR); a boutique, innovative public relations, communications and brand elaboration firm— specializing in entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, non- profit and consumer goods.