My Purpose is Bigger Than My Plate {Losing Weight Naturally - 141 Pounds Down!}

Rhonda's Story - Losing Weight Naturally CAN BE DONE! 

Read on to find out how Rhonda (now a Certified FRESH Start Coach!) lost over 140 pounds without shakes, pills or surgery...she is a passionate woman living on purpose to now serve others who struggle with weight loss! You will be highly encouraged as you read her amazing story...

Seven years ago on a chilly February afternoon, I decided to bring my friends together to my home for a special Valentine's Day celebration. Most of them were single during the season so celebrating how much they were appreciated and loved was  significant.  I will never forget that day: it was also the day I discovered my internal mantra and message that I would go on to live by and spread as my mission: "I Simply Love Her." I've always had a passion to help others to both recognize and acknowledge their worth and purpose.  In 2009, I even started to host vision board workshops to help women create visuals that represented their self-love and purpose meeting their destiny.

Interestingly enough, I had a bit of problem conveying the message of loving self because I walked around, weighing in at 329 pounds.
— Rhonda Ferebee-Hammond


One life changing day three years ago, I asked a co-worker: "If you came to one of my workshops, would you be able to receive this message of vision from me while I carry this weight?"  Her honest response was: "Please don't get offended by my honesty, but I find it repulsive when people carry around that amount of weight." cut like a knife, but I was determined to take those words as fuel to begin the quest of my life. I was determined to face the fight that I had been running from for years. I ultimately faced my most difficult challenger: myself.

People around me always assumed that I was happy because I always greeted them with an infectious bubbly smile. Nevertheless, inside I constantly struggled with the demon of self control and discipline, earnestly seeking to find the right plan that would finally help me to shed my unwanted weight.
— Rhonda Ferebee-Hammond

In the wee hours of morning faced with desperation and a spirit of willingness, I fervently prayed and resolved that something had to be done; after talking with my husband, we agreed that I would get weight loss surgery.

In June 2012, we embraced the surgery process and started all the testing, awaiting a surgery date. All was going according to plan, until my life was interrupted on August 28,  2012; I lost my job leaving me without health insurance.

Weight-loss surgery was no longer an option for me.

In despair, I attempted once again to lose the weight. I began to take daily walks and boy, was it challenging; I did not realize that I had put on so much weight, that my back would scream in excruciating pain with every morning walk.  Still, I did not give up and began to have faith that an answer would soon come.

One day while watching a commercial on television, a familiar face introduced a woman who shared her stirring, weight loss journey and triumph, encouraging her listening audience to call, to which I heeded.

I heard many a success story of people who lost hundreds of pounds and were able to maintain their target weight without surgery, pills or shakes.

However, plans involving this level of success, usually required a significant monetary investment and since money was tight I decided those types of programs were not for me.  I was referred to a program that required no pills or shakes and just required me to make more deliberate healthy choices at the grocery store.

On January 4, 2013, I started my journey and with the help of Skype I talked to a lady in Africa that began to walk me through the plan.

Since then, I have shed 141 pounds and  I feel amazing.  I have a new look on life; my marriage is renewed because we do so many more things together.
— Rhonda Ferebee-Hammond


My family structure has changed because I'm not in my room loathing over an empty life filled with shame, guilt and depression.  Finally, I look forward to eating healthy, living and sharing recipes with others.

With much excitement and hard work, I started to train in May 2014 for my first obstacle course with a team of ladies from our group, "Team Burn It Up Onpurpose." Since l started my weight loss journey, I knew there would be others that needed the support and accountability of a group to encourage, empower and motivate them through our weight loss journey.

It is personally amazing to hear and see the achievements of others; it gives me the motivation to keep on going and I love it.

As a wife, mother, leader and speaker, I'm constantly reminded of the daily tasks and full schedule I have. However, what I keep in the forefront of my everyday commitments is me, making self-love a priority.  Clean eating and meditation with God is part of my lifestyle, in addition to continually remembering that I need to have a fitness slot on my calendar to keep moving. Fitness is key in maintaining continued success.

My plan follows a 12-step motto and was a bit challenging at first, but it continues to give me discipline, support and the accountability I need. 

Its been over two years and I still have thirteen pounds left to lose to reach my goal of losing 154 lbs; there is no doubt with continued focus and hard work, I will succeed.

This journey has been more than awesome, it's been indescribable and I would not take away one moment.  Most of all I am grateful; before it was hard for me to walk in the message of loving self after a life of failed yo- yo diets, many obstacles,  the death of my mother and living in constant fear.  However, I now have the tools I need to succeed and maintain my success. Some days are up and some are not so up, but  I can truly say there is a new-found fight in me to make wellness part of my story. I now "Simply Love Myself" for making this decision!

To get in touch with Coach Rhonda and learn more about her story, visit her at or on Facebook at!

Walking for Wellness - 7 Tips to Make It Fun

We all know the facts: walking for wellness WORKS! We know that daily exercise prevents disease, reduces unwanted weight and generally makes us feel better! But knowing the facts doesn't always make DOING THE WORK easy or fun! So how to make walking (an easy, light exercise that EVERYONE can do!) fun again?

Would it help you get up, get moving, and get preventing for your own wellness if I gave you some quick tips on making it more FUN?

Tips to make walking more fun:

#1  Walk with your pet – the companionship is motivating, and keeps you committed, as your pet will begin to “ask” you often for the pleasure of a walk – that cute furry face will be hard to refuse, as you justify the benefits of a quick walk! {Confession: this has been my not-so-secret life hack in the last couple furry babies won't let me NOT walk!}

#2  Find a walking partner – you’ll have someone else to get outside for, fun and fulfilling conversation as you move your body, and the walk will seem faster with conversation.  Plus, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone!

#3  See it as meditation/prayer time – how often do you REALLY get to get away from it all, just you and God, and have freely flowing conversation with Him?  Walking with Him is the perfect opportunity to be able to spend that quality time you often crave, but “don’t have time” for!

#4  Play music/audio in your ear – Get a music-playing device or app (they are so affordable now!) and load it with motivating music and maybe even speaking audios that you don’t have time to listen to otherwise – it’s a great way to stay motivated to continue walking, yet still feel like you are accomplishing something, too!

#5  Spend time with family – recruit a family member (or two, or all!) to get out and move with you!  Your child(ren), spouse, or parent would love to have that heart-pumping, quality, one-on-one attention and time with you!  Just sell it to them as time with you, and then they’ll be exercising before they realize that is exactly what they are doing!  They might not be excited the first time or two, but once they realize how rewarding that conversation and undivided attention is, they’ll be the ones asking for the walk next time!

#6  Walk in GREAT weather – Don’t walk in high heat, or numbing cold, it’ll discourage you, and possibly harm your poor body!  Choose pleasant times of the day (and year!) to begin building this habit!  Dusk and dawn are often the best times of the day for mild weather, so be wise and choose the best times to encourage this new habit!

#7  Get a pedometer or use an app to track miles or steps – These affordable tools bring fun back to this very healthy exercise, wear one to encourage yourself as you begin to rack up those miles!  Set an realistic and motivating short-term goal for yourself (i.e. 5 miles, 10 miles, etc) and reward yourself after you meet that goal (i.e. new t-shirt, or pedicure after so many miles).  Make sure it motivates you to set a new goal, and continue developing this new habit of health!  If you are walking with a friend or family member, this is a fun way to motivate them, as well (and hold each other accountable!)

Do you think you can use these tips to increase your walking?  Try them out, and let me know at our Facebook page, FRESH Start for Health, how they work for you!  Have a fun walking idea that I didn't include here?  I'd LOVE to hear it!  Share it with me in the comments here or on the FB page!