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I Joined A 60-Day Transformation Challenge During The Pandemic

Your body is your home. And you should always feel at home in your body.

Her Voice

For a while now, I have struggled with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And for longer than that, I struggled with accepting the changes that were happening to my body. With the disappointment of family dynamics, a demanding career, and personal emotional trauma after I moved back home to California, I found myself at the heaviest I had ever been.

My bra was cutting into my back fat. My panties were not fitting on my hips right. Still, not fitting right. I went from a size 4/6 to a 10/12. I went from small/medium to large/extra-large. I went from 141 pounds to 175+ pounds. (I typically weigh 125-135.). Mind you, I was born 0.9 of a pound. I went from a 32DD to a 36G/H. Chile. Let me tell you, these tig ol' bitties are H-E-A-V-Y.

Cellulite was appearing in places on my body that was never there before. The definition around my collarbone and shoulders was gone. Traces of my little four-pack of abs slowly faded away. My thighs and arms felt like Jell-O, even my nine-year-old nephew would comment, "You're so squishy." Four and a half years later, I still couldn't get this weight off no matter how many times I told myself, "I can do this."

The problem was I didn't completely believe myself.

I struggled with maintaining my workouts, eating healthy, and achieving my fitness goals. For reference, I used to aspire to become an FBI Agent at one point in my life. So, your girl was 100 percent on. I ran a mile under ten minutes, I could do push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and lunges, with ease. At the time, it did help that I worked with people in law enforcement who were all about health and fitness. I had worked so hard to build my body.

I was disappointed in my current body. And I am still disappointed. I was no longer the carefree, always laughing, bubbly, breath-of-fresh-air Camille anymore. I was depressed-as-all-hell Camille and I didn't even know it.

I wanted the old Camille back.

Those moments and memories replay in my head like my favorite movie. I wanted the body and the life I had before I decided to take that job. This same, damn, job made me finally crumble. I felt the disconnect in my gut. My body was trying to send me a message, but I did not listen. And "those who don't listen, go feel." Word to the Trinidadian Proverb that means if you don't heed the warnings given to you, you will suffer the consequences. Please believe, I felt every damn consequence. I wanted to permanently erase the chapters of my life titled "2016 to 2018" as if they never happened.

But, I had to accept and realize I am no longer that girl anymore. I had to unpack all the emotions that my heart and body kept like a well-guarded safe.

My journey took me places I could not have ever imagined before. I can say now, I am thankful for the pain. I would not have grown without it. I can say now, I am definitely in a good space. Even though I am still struggling with my body image and accepting my body, I can't go back. Those moments and memories are so many years away from me. I can only move forward with consistency, discipline, and consciousness in this present moment as Camille now.

So, during this never-ending pandemic, I decided to join a 60-day transformation challenge simultaneously with an eight-week strength training program with my new home gym Hardcore Fitness.

What Is The 60-Day Transformation Journey?

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The 60-Day Transformation Challenge at Hardcore Fitness is no joke. The goal of the challenge is to lose as much body fat as possible over the course of eight weeks. After watching the introduction videos, I learned challengers are required to attend strength-training classes at least five days a week and do cardio seven days a week. Where is the rest day?

A total of three fitness assessments are given across eight weeks. This includes a one-mile run and basic bodyweight exercises that are timed. Additionally, there is also an approved food list. No cheating allowed. I can only eat lean proteins (chicken breast, egg whites, turkey, or white fish), green veggies, complex carbohydrates (like oatmeal and sweet potato) with no condiments. A gallon of water must be consumed daily. In doing all of this, I hoped to lose a total of 15 to 25 pounds and a few inches off my waist.

Getting Started

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This time, I was serious. I was mentally ready. I told myself I was done with unhealthy eating habits and little to no physical activity. I threw out any packaged or processed foods in my pantry. I purchased meal prep containers and made Sundays meal prep day in my calendar. I made myself a workout schedule. I booked my strength-training classes a few days in advance. I also downloaded health and fitness apps to help me stay on track with cardio, water intake, and calories burned.

I thought about posting my before pictures and body scan on my Instagram profile but I am not feeling the energy on social media these days. For accountability purposes and that extra "push" in my transformation journey, I posted my before pictures and body scan in the xoTribe. The xoTribe Members Community has been a safe space for me since the beginning of this pandemic and it always will be. And honestly, in this moment, I feel more connected to an online community of women than some friendships I have today.

I am so ready for this.

My 60-Day Transformation Challenge Experience

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On the first day of the challenge, I was anxious. I wanted to stay committed this time. Leave it to me to schedule a strength training class with one of the toughest trainers in the gym. As if I wasn't struggling enough during the workout, he would be the one to hand me heavier weights too. I was not happy, but it forced me to push through my asthma and build my endurance.

My one rep max on deadlifts is 185 pounds. I didn't even know I could lift that heavy. The body is effing amazing. I am grateful that one of the Hardcore Fitness trainers offered me a spot in his small group training program. He noticed during boot camp classes that I was not weightlifting to my potential at all. Like not even a little bit. Like not even close to it. I didn't even have an excuse, reason, comeback, or an argument for him. All I could say was, "I sure as hell don't."

This challenge will end in a couple of weeks, and I look forward to all the small wins. When I say small wins, I don't mean the physical results that come with living a fit lifestyle. You know, the muscle gains, strength, body definition, inches lost, smaller clothing sizes, or a more pleasing number on the scale. I am not talking about the technical wins either; an increase in lean muscle mass or a lower body fat percentage. We all want to be bodied AF.

I'm talking about the renewed energy and confidence that come with taking care of your body. Having a sense of awareness in knowing you are choosing to nourish your body with whole foods and movements for longevity.

Your body is your home. And you should always feel at home in your body. If you don't, recognize it's a problem and ask yourself what you can do to feel at home, comfortable, or safe in your body.

And more than that, do that thing.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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