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Before And After And An Apology

September 6th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Back Story

Late last year, I reached out to my friend and fellow Howard University alum Brandon Carter. Besides being a dope MC and producer, he’s also a personal trainer who has developed his own exercise program for those who want to get in shape but without the hassle of joining a gym.

Jermaine originally hipped me to what Brandon was doing. I went on YouTube and noticed most of his videos featured himself doing the exercises. The people who commented were skeptical, accusing Brandon of doing extra things he wasn’t showing to stay in shape, so I approached him with an idea: If he trained me and got me into shape, I would embarrass myself by allowing it to be filmed. Hence the original reason for this post.

Needless to say, it worked like a charm. Brandon’s methods got me into shape, and I feel and look better than I ever have. I say  not to brag, because really it was never about looking good so much as it was about feeling good. The two go hand-in-hand, but the way I feel about myself trumps any feelings other people have about my results.

And here is where the apology begins.

The Apology

I have not seen what I looked like without my shirt on since we took the first pictures in October. Needless to say, I forgot how bad it was. The only real photographic evidence I had of my out-of-shape days was my driver’s license photo I took in the summer of 2010, which you can see below alongside a picture of me taken in this summer.

Put aside the awful decision for me to sport a mohawk for a second. Instead, peep the lack of a chin and jawline. See how my eyes are low? I’m sure that’s the weight of the fat in my forehead was pushing down on my eyelids. This photo alone is pretty bad, but when Brandon sent me the pictures, I could not believe what I saw.

Simply put: I look awful. I look like my father. My father weighed 300 pounds. I look so bad, I was contemplating reneging on my deal with Brandon, publishing a post on a completely different subject, and acting like this picture never existed. I was even going to call Brandon and beg him to take it down. But I won’t. As embarrassing as this picture is it’s also humbling, an aggressive reminder of what I can go back to should I ever decide to let myself go again.

Ladies who slept with me back in my out-of-shape days, I’m sorry. Seriously I’m very, very, very sorry for exposing you to this horror show. I’m sorry for ever contemplating just letting myself go over working myself back into shape; sorry for ever letting a thought cross my mind. To think, I had the nerve back in those days to take my shirt off for women. If no one ever thought it was possible to look like an old man and a baby at the same time, apparently it is.

To Jesus and all the women who submitted themselves to me back in my fat days, my sincere apologies. They weren’t that long ago. If any of you reading this wants to cut me off for good after seeing the pictures and call up your girls and say, “Yeah, I never really hooked up with Jozen back in the day, I was just playing” I will gladly corroborate your story. To any of my ex-girlfriends reading this, if you want to now deny you ever were my girlfriend, feel free to do so.

I’m not only apologizing for the 204 pounds of disgust I was wearing, I’m apologizing for the ego that came with it, for thinking I had the credibility to say anything about anyone’s physical appearance. For that I should be retro-actively put on house arrest. I had absolutely no room in my elastic band sweatpants (as you will see), let alone to talk about anybody.

But ladies, just so we’re clear, part of that is your fault too and for that you owe me an apology.

There is no way the level of conceit I had back then should have been as high as it was, but because you fine women enabled me with phrases like, “The weight looks good on you”, I continued to pack on the pounds.

Why didn’t any of you tell me things got this bad? How could any of you all let me walk these streets with a body as shapely as a bowl of porridge without checking me? Did you all actually think this was cool to go visit my family looking man pregnant?

You all let me come out of the shower looking like Simon Baker in The Devil Wears Prada and gave me a kiss with a smile attached to it. The nerve! What the hell were you rewarding me for if I looked like that? Whenever I hopped out of the shower, you all should have been greeting me with a pair of my running shoes, and a carrot for breakfast. The (figurative) cookies should’ve been relegated to the back of a freezer and only taken out as a reward for losing 10 lbs at a time. But instead you all let me have the cookies anytime I wanted, talking about “Take your clothes off and come here.” The only time you all should have told me to “come here” is if you were on a treadmill.

It should have been illegal for me to take my clothes off back in those days. So ladies who were with me back when I was as out of shape as a Disney movie villain, I’m sorry for not taking the initiative to get into shape when we were together. Now apologize to me for letting the problem fester and we should all be back on good terms.

Now finally, take a look to see the before and after photo and hear about my process from Brandon’s perspective.

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  • KitKatCuty84

    I’ve lost 85 lbs since my biggest weight. I did this through fat camp (Camp Shane, the same one featured on “True Life: I went to fat camp”), caloric restriction, exercise, then Weight Watchers, which I’ve now been on since last October. Weight Watchers helped me get off that last 25 lbs that no amount of exercise or caloric restriction seemed to get off. 

    Now I’m at normal BMI for the first time in my post-adolescent life, and the dudes are noticing. I loved summer because I wanted to show myself and show off I did. I have awesome clothes and I donated about 200 lbs of clothes to Good Will.

    That being said, I still LOVE food. I spend a lot of time tweaking recipes so I can eat the food I love while still making sure it’s not loaded with fat or calories. It’s to the point where my mom thinks I should do a cookbook.

    Unfortunately, however, this change only positively affected my SEX life, not my LOVE life. Dudes I’m meeting are awed by the body, but still not looking to settle down. Sometimes that makes me feel a bit objectified and want to go back to when they weren’t just salivating at me. But then I remember that I didn’t do it for them. I did it to feel good about myself and to look the way I want to look and hopefully, some guy will look further than the attractive physique. 🙂

    But yeah, I’m hot. I can’t hold that against them. 😉

  • Missesq98

    You shouldn’t be embarrassed – it’s an impressive transformation that you had the discipline to start & stick with. I’d like to know how long the process took.

  • Sydney

    Good job! As the cliche goes, it’s not where you start it’s where you finish and hopefully you can inspire others to get in shape as well. No on is perfect!

  • myrna orvam

    First of all a big congrats to you! You look great but more important you look happy. A while back you wrote about how  you were looking for your happy and  it seems that getting physcially fit was a part of that. Clearly you accomplished it. That being said, as far as apologizing to the women who were with you..unless they knew you from before..there’s really no comparison for them. If they were with you during your “before” then they saw beyond the physical and wanted to be with you because of YOU!

  • MusicInspiresArt

    I’m not sure why Brandon insisted on repeating the part with your arms swinging ever-so-lazily next to you flexing, but a serious kudos to you for sharing. I’ve been following since before you first start documenting ‘The Progress’ and it’s cool that you shared the good, the bad and the ugly. thanks

  • Brandon Carter

    Yooo, Jozen put in A LOT of hard work!!! you should be proud homie! you are inspiring people to live a more healthy lifestyle! More Black people die from being overweight that ANYTHING else! 

  • sunt97

    Congrats on the transformation.  You def look great, keep it up.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate,

  • guest

    Today’s post definitely represents love yourself before you can love others. The fact that you’re only 30 and have alot going for you and with the belief that great things are in store for you as life goes on, there’s no reason to downgrade yourself now, physically, emotionally and mentally. Keep up the great efforts in taking care yourself because that’s what really matters in living a healthy life. You’re definitely going to make a great husband to whoever you chose to be your wife. Putting so much care in yourself shows you tend to your priorities. Great post!

  • taut_7

    congrats on getting off the pounds. thats a good look. i’m currently trying to go in the other direction. i’m about 192 right now and i’m trying to get to 205. does your man have any tips for healthy muscle gain?

  • Kendra C

    As someone who stays active but has slacked off as the body has changed in my 30s, I’m going to check out the web site. He does this outside of the gym? I’m impressed. His arms are impressive alone to say he gets definition like that without a gym!

  • Tea

    Congrats on the weight loss. You actually didn’t look that bad before, you’ve just reached a new level of conceit with the after (how is that even possible, LOL!), so now the entire world should be afraid, very afraid.

    I’m all about your friend’s workout. What I lack is the motivation to do it. If I was in NYC, I’d hire him as a personal trainer though.

    Dope results. Congrats again!

  • Anonymous

    LMAO at the new level of conceit.

    I can see how you hate the way you used to look compared to today, but reading your apology I had a much different level of obesity pictured in my head.  Your body didn’t look bad before, your jawline is the biggest difference.  Congrats, you definitely look healthier now.

  • Vonmonrok

    Congrats on the weightloss, I know that you feel a new surge of energy with being more active now. And don’t be mad at your people bc weight gain is a sensative subject. I had gained a lot of weight towards the end of my college career and no one told me either but the good thing is that were able to recognize it and make some life changes!