I had the pleasure of speaking with Willette Hurst the other day and our 30 minute interview turned into an almost 2 hour conversation that had me up out of my chair and pacing the floor. We’ve had multiple conversations since and have started what I expect to be a very long and interesting relationship. I don’t want to specify what that relationship will be because after our initial conversation I imagine that it will be a little bit of everything: friendship, business, spiritual… you name it.
I was totally engulfed in her life story or at least two hours worth of it. Before I knew it I had over four pages of notes which were more than enough to share her amazing story.
This year I decided to do the spotlights a little different. Willette will be the first of many weight loss journey stories that I will feature. I see so many amazing women sharing their before and after pictures on social media and I always wonder things like, how did they do it? What did they eat? When did they decide to just stick it out and make a decision to lose the weight? It amazes me and inspires me so much. It also makes me feel less alone in the weight loss struggle that is so real!
Willette weight loss story is still in progress but she truly believes that the hardest part is over and that is the healing that has to take place from within. She says that she is “on a journey and leaving the past behind her, literally! She’s doing what we’ve all wanted and may have done at one point in our lives and that is: packing up everything that she can fit into her car and hitting the road. I can definitely relate to this having done this exact same thing in 2014. It didn’t feel like it at the time but it was the best decision I ever made!
Willette is an Evangelist on BBW radio where she talks about healing spiritually as well as physically from anorexia.
As a teenager she struggled with rejection from her Mom and molestation which in return birthed an unhealthy relationship with food. It was her comfort. And she says that, “like drugs…comfort can be your best friend or your worst enemy.” At 14 she was 250 pounds and admits that she didn’t even know that she was over-weight until she tried to get a date and guys didn’t respond. She was always told that she had a beautiful face but no one ever mentioned her figure.
By the time she was 18 she’d left home realizing that her mom couldn’t give her the love she always wanted. She was married by 20 to a man she describes as a “chubby chaser”—a man who only likes big women. “He didn’t help my weight loss.” And anytime she mentioned losing weight he would persuade her not to. She was a full figure model at the age of 20 but had no confidence.
The years passed and as a wife, mother and caretaker to her father, she neglected taking care of herself. Before she realized she’d gained more weight—330 pounds.
In the early 90s she had a gastric bypass surgical procedure. She mentions being a guinea pig because it was still relatively new. She says that, a surgical procedure doesn’t fix everything.” She lost 130 pounds but “my head didn’t change.” You know you have a deep problem when you need a surgical problem to fix it. If you have that deep of a problem you have to go deeper than the surgery to fix the problem.
She left her husband and married into another dysfunctional and toxic relationship for twenty years.
Now, Willette is recently divorced and working on herself and trying to figure out “what was I running from.”
“FAT WOMEN DON”T GET RAPED”
When I asked Willette what she thought the reasons were for her struggles with her weight she said that one day she was walking down the street and saw a lady wearing a t-shirt that summed her entire life. It read: “FAT PEOPLE DON’T GET RAPED.”
The t-shirt brought back floods of memories of the molestation that she’d never fully confronted and dealt with. She’d been worrying about everyone else for so long being a care taker to her kids, husband, and father. Everyone always told her how beautiful she was but she didn’t know it.
That was the moment. That was the game changer. She decided that she had to change. Change for herself, her health, because she wants to watch her kids and grand kids grow up.
Now she’s says that she’s a temperature changer! FYA NOW! When she walks in the room she changes the atmosphere. In 2012 she became totally disabled but God told her that she wasn’t disabled and that she could use her mouth and words to encourage others.
Things have changed.
Tired of being sick.
Tired of only having a skinny face.
Tired of being the victim.
Another moment that made Willette reflect on her weight was when she would be asked to go to certain events and couldn’t fit into any clothes (we can all relate to that)!
She took sugar and flour out of her diet and noticed that she was able to think clearer than ever before. Recognizing these positive changes encouraged her to continue the pursuit to a healthier lifestyle.
She gives the example of a car with the wrong oil and gas being put into it. She realizes that’s exactly what she had been doing to her body for so long making unhealthy eating choices.
A healthier lifestyle.
Willette has brought her weight down from 330 pounds to 212 and she’s not stopping there. She admits that what works for her is No Sugar! She divorced all sugars, flour and fried foods and realized that “this enabled me to think more clearly.”
She goes to the gym everyday for 1 hour. This helped her cope with stress and released endorphin's to think positively.
She offers this advice to anyone out their struggling with their weight: “Take time for yourself thatmakes you and your body feel good the next day. Prepare food ahead of time, this allows you to make better choices. Stay committed to yourself and not everybody else.”