It wasn’t until I changed my perspective that I was able to change my life. For so many years I had a secret addiction. No, I was not addicted to drugs, sex, or alcohol. I was addicted to losing weight. I had a fear of being fat. Yes, I could not get skinny enough. Starting in the tenth grade I began seeing myself as a fat girl. When I looked in the mirror no matter what anyone else said or saw all I saw was a FAT girl. So, I began making myself vomit and occasionally just not eat. I weighed myself numerous times out of the day until I made myself sick. Now with the stigma of mental illness and seeing a therapist especially in the African American community it was thought that black girls did not suffer from eating disorders. Well, I suffered from anorexia for many years.
One day, I looked in a floor mirror that was at my mom’s house, and by that time I was passing out, having a noise bleeding and more. I was weighing about 85 pounds. As I stood there looking at my reflection I began to cry. With tears streaming down my face I had to make a decision to live or die. I wish I could tell you that making that decision was the easiest thing I ever did. It was so hard because of the mental battle and negative thoughts of if I get fat…. Fast forward I am so glad that I decided to make the choice to live. I made the choice to change my perspective about me. With the help of my family supporting me, I overcame being anorexic.
It was not overnight, but I did not want to die. During this time of transformation, I came up with my business INSO Ins. Inside-Out. It was not until I allowed God to help me from Inside meaning, my thoughts, actions in order to show externally. I know there are so many young girls and women battling with body shaming and eating disorders, that is why I have made a commitment to speak up to educate, empower, engage and encourage women all around the world. I want women to know that regardless of what you have been through or maybe going through you can overcome it. I was so scared to allow myself to fail, to succeed, and to share my truth because I did not want to be judged or condemned.
I allowed the fear of rejection, self-doubt, and perfectionism to paralyze me from doing my purpose. Not anymore though, I said BYE to fear and hello to FREEDOM! I do this daily because I am always growing and leaping into things that make me scared. Even when the thought of you can’t or you shouldn’t do it, I say two words to myself and out loud…. Those 2 words are Just F-IT! Now, calm down I forgot to tell you I am a PK kid and Christian woman… Don’t worry the F-IT stands for Faith-it, Face-it, and Fulfill-it. These are the three things that got me started and they keep me going on my journey. I had to elevate my faith and believe that I could do it. I had to see it before I see it, my goals and where I want my life to be.
Learning how to deal and heal from the challenges that came my way and those that I will face. It’s not obstacles won’t arise but it’s knowing how to handle them so that you don’t be stuck. I have learned to focus on getting a solution and not the situation. When you focus on what’s just in front of your time just passes you by and nothing will get accomplished. One thing we can never get back is TIME, so don’t waste it having a pity party. There comes a time where you want to go from fear to freedom.
Lastly, being committed to me so that I can be committed to doing my purpose. I was not always committed to me. I was committed to pleasing everyone around me. Now I have my prioritized, where it’s God than me. I know that if I am well spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally then that’s when I can show up. That’s when I can impact someone else’s life as well. I know that motivation alone won’t keep me going but developing discipline even when it gets tough, even when I don’t FEEL it, I know my why and I am intentional and committed to keeping it going.
Carleeka Basnight-Menendez is an Empowerment Coach and the Founder of INSO Inc. Inside-Out, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, who helps single women eliminate fear and gain clarity to create an action plan to start living again. She is the wife to Thaddeus Menendez Jr. and together they have three children plus bonus children. Carleeka started INSO Inc. Inside-Out in 2017 to help women overcome the barriers of self-doubt, rejection, fear, and malnutrition so that they can get clarity to live the life they have always desired.
While raising her family and working a full-time job, Carleeka obtained degrees in Biology Pre-Med and Histological Technology. She has facilitated numerous workshops, spoke at conferences, retreats, and more. In her free time, she loves to travel with her family, sing, and act. Today Carleeka offers coaching programs and services – from individual and group coaching, to seminars and keynote speeches. She knows that when you change your perspective, you will change your life!