Battling weight problems for years led to bouts of depression for a Detroit woman, who made it her mission to be healthy and help others do the same.
Sticking to a diet and holding yourself accountable was tough, said Carenna Fields, 29.
“I was fed up with being overweight,” she said. “I started diets that always ended in binge eating fiasco. I would order a whole pizza and eat it on my own. My whole day would consist of food. There was no accountability in sight. I knew that if there was no change in my behavior, I would never lose weight.
Then one day, while browsing Facebook, Fields decided to create a status that saved his life. She reached out to her friends and family on the app and asked if they would join a weight loss support group if she started it.
The response has been overwhelming. After receiving a wave of support, she created a Facebook group which she named Fat2Fierce.
Fat2Fiece, formed in 2016, aims to encourage, uplift, and motivate people to become better versions of themselves. The mission of the groups: to ensure that no one walks alone in their fitness journey.
“The Facebook group I created at the time was the accountability I needed to stay on track,” said Fields, who weighed 332 pounds at the start of her weight loss journey. “I lost 50 pounds in just five months just by being motivated by the group.
“I needed to know that I was not fighting this war on food alone,” she said. “The outpouring of support I received from creating this Facebook post assured me that I had to stand up for my truth. It showed me that staying in my truth would not only set me free, but many others. “
The group meets five days a week at the SuperBad Boxing Gym in Detroit, owned and operated by brothers Tony “Superbad” Harrison, former WBC lightweight middleweight world champion and one of the last proteges of late Hall of Fame coach Emanuel Steward, and LJ Harrison, the head coach.
Fields’ original goal was to lose 200 pounds, but now she’s shifting away from the weight and instead focusing on how she feels.
Over time, Fields noticed a huge improvement in his health.
“I used to have really big headaches, now I barely have a headache,” she said. “I can move around more easily. I even noticed that I wasn’t breathing as hard as I used to when I was going up or down the stairs.
“I sleep so much better at night. Even my snoring has improved, ”she laughed. “My mental clarity has improved, I no longer suffer from depression and my anxiety is almost completely gone.”
Being physically active with a group has a positive effect, said Dr. Mark Schweitzer, Dean of Medicine at Wayne State University and vice president of health affairs.
“It is well established that physical activity has many positive effects in improving disease, especially for heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia,” he said. . “However, it is difficult for patients to get motivated and, most importantly, to stay motivated. Support groups are a great way to develop a group dynamic that helps all individuals follow exercise programs.
Fat2Firece member Aireona Smith said she enjoys working with people who are facing the same issues.
“We all live in different cities, so I have the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and train with multiple people,” she said. “I definitely made new friends along the way. I thank God for this group and the founder.
Monique Daniels, 45, of Detroit, says she met Fields during a dark time in her life. Before joining the group, Daniels said she always worried that others would judge her because of her weight, which is why she didn’t allow herself to have close relationships with people.
“This young lady literally put me in the spotlight,” she said. “Meeting her and joining her organization taught me to love and believe in myself despite my faults. It also taught me transparency.
“What I like most about Fat2Fierce is that it’s a judge-free zone for people who are different but face the same obstacles. Even if we are wrong, Carenna encourages us to get back on track.
Fields said accountability is the main driver of Fat2Fierce.
“Fat2fierce is family and we make sure that no one feels alone on their fitness journey,” said Fields. “Accountable partners are crucial in the fitness process. With Fat2fierce, people will have someone who will hold them accountable for their actions. You can get out of depression and fight anxiety and any other illnesses that lead to overeating or undereating. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it. “
For more information on Fat2Fierce, visit www.fat2fierce.org.