Tamika Herrera

Season  Alumni

My name is Tamika Herrera, wife of Jorge Herrera and mommy to Jorge, Marcos, Martin and Vicente. I feel extremely blessed to be given another opportunity to regain control of my health and my life with FWSW, Season 10!

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"The medicine for the pain is in the pain". When your body aches and your muscles are sore and your so tired that you now have beautiful handbags under your eyes, remember; the medicine for the pain is in the pain. When the thought of another bite of sweet potato literally makes you want to puke and to take another swig of water becomes a chore, remember; the medicine for the pain is in the pain. What this quote means to me is that just on the other side of defeat and hopelessness, is your victory. Don't dull the pain. Don't try to numb the pain with medicines, food and alcohol. Feel it. How will you know how far you've come if you've never allowed yourself to feel the pain of where you were? I have spent my whole life searching for something to numb the pain, even take it away. Only now have I realized that in the depths of my pain is the elixir for healing. The medicine for the pain is in the pain. Each day I get stronger, tougher and the pain that once debilitated me becomes a mere puddle in the ocean of my life. You must be willing to feel, to hurt, to cry, to scream and to push yourself to the brink. But you cannot quit. Take your pain and turn it into your medicine and accept that had you not gone through that Hell, you would not be who you are now or even who you are becoming. Everything I have gone through and every bit of who I once was has become my potion of healing for the person I am becoming. I am stronger in the broken places of my heart and soul because they had to be mended piece by piece with the fibers of my spirit. My God-given spirit. My pain and my past has fallen away. Dear future; I am ready!



This blog goes out to our trainer Katelyn! She is the real M.V.P. I just want to say thank you for staying with me during all the walks and 5ks we've had to do. As much as I HATE having someone come check on me, I want you to know that I appreciate your support and motivation so much. I find myself getting better and better each day and I have you to thank for that. When I say I couldn't do it all by myself, I truly mean it. You are the most down to earth person I've ever met. Getting that small window of opportunity to talk to you and get to know you is awesome. It makes you less "intimidating"... j/k. I really want you to know how much I appreciate you and your guidance. Thank you for helping me change my life!





Week 11 in the books and I honestly have nothing witty or awe-inspiring to say. From the German Fest 5k on Wednesday right after work, to the Vision Walk on Saturday, right after a pool workout, this week was so busy I hardly had time to feel anything. I will say my week started off rough. I let someone's words hurt me to the point I considered quitting. I was almost defeated by someone's senseless words. Toward the middle of the week I had to decide if I was going to let those words play over and over again in my mind until they drove me crazy or I could become better than those words. I chose the latter. I don't know if that will pay off in some huge weight loss or if the mental toughness that it took me to get over it should be enough of a victory. We shall see tomorrow. I'm ready for a new week to truly push myself and lose these last 17 pounds!




Week 10 in the books and now it's time to go harder than ever. I am looking forward to the German Fest 5K and the Vision Walk for Team Michaela. I was able to raise about $450 so far but I'm not done yet. It's amazing how much people will support you when you're doing positive things in the world. My goal for this week is to set a PR for my 5K completion. The last time I did the 5K, I was the last one in at 1:07. Just awful! In that time though I have changed so much and lost weight so I am confidant in my ability to set a new personal record for myself. This week has been all about understanding that I am in this for me. It's great that we have teams and challenges but what it boils down to is my journey to better health. The goal is to be the best at what you can do not what someone else can do. I am excited for what these last four weeks will bring. Not just in weight loss but in personal growth.





Well, week 9 just wrapped up and I thought I could come up with a witty blog or something fun to talk about. The fact of the matter is that I am preparing myself for the end of the program. I have spent this week mentally preparing myself for what I will do after this is over. For me, that's when the real test begins. I am so happy that my family is becoming more and more involved in our health journey and they are genuinely excited to go to the gym with me. I am about 20 pounds from my goal weight and I just get excited thinking about it. I know these last few weeks will require me to work even harder than before. I am so ready to put in that work to get those results! Here’s to week 10!





"If I asked you to name all of the things you loved, how long before you'd name yourself"?

I love this quote. The first time I read it, it was such an eye-opener. I shared it on Mother's Day because I know us women, especially mothers, have a hard time of showing ourselves the love and attention we deserve. I give 110% of myself to my husband, my kids and my job. What's left of me, for me? Through this whole program it has been so easy for me to associate myself with just a number: the number on the scale. I am one of the heaviest people in the program and the heaviest woman. It has not been easy for me to stand before people and be weighed every week in less clothing than I am comfortable with even in front of my own husband. And each week we learn how much weight we've lost and whether or not we've earned extra creditJ. Each week I am not satisfied. Each week I find myself comparing my journey with another's journey and when they do great I am happy for them but it leaves sadness in me. "What am I not doing right", I ask myself. "Why aren't you losing as much as him or her"? "You are the heaviest woman; you should be losing much more". These statements reverberate in my brain over and over and sometimes I can't shake it. It's that number! It’s the 300+ pounds that I've carried for so many years. That number has become a part of my identity. My first inclination when meeting anyone new is to precede my name with "I am over 300 pounds". I could never even say the number aloud before now. I have come to understand the fact that the only way to disassociate who I am with the number on the scale is to count all the things I am that has nothing to do with the scale. I have given 300+ hugs in my lifetime to those who needed one. I have shed 300+ tears for friends, family and even strangers because they were sad and what they feel, I feel. I have said more than 300+ prayers for those other than myself in their time of need because I know God heals. I have had my heart broken 300+ times and it still beats. I have written 300+ words from the heart in a card or letter for Holidays or birthdays and even out of sympathy. I have given 300+ gifts to people who I believed needed a token of gratitude. I have held my tongue 300+ times rather than saying something that could potentially hurt someone's feelings. I have said more than 300+ words of encouragement to people who needed it and I have watched 300+ times their frowns turned to smiles. I have asked complete strangers 300+ times how their day was going and I genuinely meant it. I have stopped what I was doing 300+ times for a stranger to talk to me about their life without even knowing who I was and I understood that there was something in me that made them feel comfortable with doing so. I have flashed 300+ smiles even though a lot of those times I didn't feel like smiling but I knew that one smile could change that person’s day. So you see, I am more than 300+ pounds but I am also much more. The number on the scale measures my weight in pounds but does not measure my soul in love or my spirit in faithfulness. I am not where I want to be but thank God I am not where I was. The scale does not lie but it cannot measure my truth. I have attached that number to who I am for so long that it is hard to remember all the things I am above and beyond that. I will try my best to think of all the 300+ things that I am and that I give until eventually that number on the scale fades away. I guess you could say I will always be 300+ because I will always be ready to give, to love, to smile, to hug and to start over.


We're in the thick of it. This week has been a challenging one but in the best way. I did exercises this week that I've never done before. Zoo day was incredibly hard. Who would have thought Bear Crawls and Crab Walks could light your gluteus maximum on fire? I felt that in my bum for three days! I spent some time in the pool this week. Although I was disappointed at first, Tina helped me realize that we're changing for the long haul. Knee preservation is a top priority for me. There are a ton of exercises I can and have done that takes the stress off my knees. One thing I really enjoyed was Aqua Zumba. What a ball that was! To be able to shake my booty and feel the resistance of the water was awesome. I'll definitely be adding that to my routine. All in all, I'd say this week was a great one. I started to feel like myself again and was able to push myself to new limits. I'm aiming for a five pound weight loss this week. We shall see...







I usually try to begin with some positivity but I have to be honest- this week has been rough. I don't know if it is because my birthday is coming and I am realizing once again that I am another year older and not where I want to be in life. I don't know if it's because Mother's Day is coming and my mother is in California and 13 years without my family is hard. I don't know if it's because I was expecting to be able to lose a lot more weight a lot faster than I have been. I just don't know but my positivity is weaning. I have been quiet this week. I've spent a lot of time in my own head. I didn't even fully enjoy my children's birthday party because I was too busy worrying about calories and feeling sorry for myself that I couldn't enjoy what everyone else was enjoying. There was a wave of loneliness that set in. No one else was watching what they ate. No one else was chugging water in an attempt to feel full. No one else was worrying about forgetting to write down their food in their food journal. I kept hearing CICI in my head saying "if it was easy...” But that didn't make it less lonely. I know I am doing this for me and I understand it can take time and major commitment. Normally I would have given up on myself by now. The physical results are there but the scale is not reflecting the same. How can you completely change how you eat and add in a ton more exercise and STILL not see the numbers dropping as fast? I don't quite understand it and I know the stress and sadness does not help at all. But I wanted to be honest. I know I am not alone and this journey is not easy-peasy. Sometimes I crumble. Sometimes I get sad and dig myself into a hole. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning and I wait for someone to come save me. Then sometimes I realize that I have to save myself!




"Sometimes God lets you hit rock bottom so you will discover He is the rock at the bottom". I was tired this week. It took me a few extra minutes to get out of bed for my workouts. I was slower walking in to work. I was slower on my walks than I wanted to be. Do you know what I realized? This weeks "slow" is way faster than I would have been five weeks ago. Celebrate every step! It's so easy for us to keep focusing on the end and what big weight loss number we'll have to celebrate about. What about the small numbers in between? Every triumph, big or small should be celebrated. There is someone out there somewhere wishing they had your bad day. Please remember that! On my walk with Katelyn on Saturday, she asked me when after Season Two did my life go back to normal. Unfortunately, it didn't take long at all. I would say within a year or two after, I was back up to my start weight- plus more. My biggest mistake was that I thought I could do it on my own. I thought I could keep up the healthy eating, the exercise and that I was strong enough to stand on my own feet. Boy, was I wrong! God places people into our lives for a reason. Whether they be here for a lifetime or for a short while, he gives you just who you need to reach your fullest potential. How silly of me that I thought I didn't need Him. A tough lesson to learn. It was only until it hurt to walk and I was going to need blood pressure medicine to survive, that I realized God put Smallest Winner in my life for a reason. A lifetime reason. He knew I couldn't tough it out on my own. He had to open up a way for me to come back. As hard as this program is, it is exactly what I needed to begin taking care of myself again. Some of us need a push. Some of us need to be held accountable because we are weak on our own. Instead of feeling bad about that- thank God for it! It means that we are accepting of the fact that we are weak without Him. He will supply all of our needs and will sometimes use a weight loss boot camp to do it! :). Don't be afraid to admit that you don't have it all figured out. Don't be afraid to admit that you may never be the fastest or the strongest. But you damn sure better not admit defeat! Let nothing you do be done in vain!




"Working out is hard. Being fat is hard. Choose your hard!" This quote played in my head over and over again this week. Form sleds to swimming to push-ups, my mind and body was pushed to its limits and then even further from there. And you know what? I survived it! I was able to see just how hard I can work and how much my body craves exercise and healthy eating. I haven't once gone to bed with my pressure so high I could feel it in my ears. I haven't had to recount everything I ate that day trying to figure out what it could have been that made my ankles swell. Choose your hard. The extra credit from Rick was hard, no doubt. And I didn't even do as much as my other teammates did. They worked their booties off to the max and I am so proud of them. I wasn't lying when I said i want to be as strong as Whitney is. That girl keeps up with the fellas. Choose your hard. I loved being shown some other exercises I can do besides running. There really is no excuse not to exercise. I learned I love medicine balls and the thrill of being able to slam them to the ground. I don't know why but it relieves so much stress for me. I learned I can use the bike, which is a really great workout. I learned how to perfect my squats and lunges and it doesn't hurt so much to do Bird-Dogs. Choose your hard. Even non-scale victories are popping up for me. I can put on my flats without a bulge of skin pushing out. I can get up and down from my chair without having to work up to it (don't quote me on squat day). My clothes are getting looser and my P.M.S. symptoms have changed drastically. I mean...that in and of itself is a major freaking victory for me. Ladies, you understand. As the weeks progress I know the workouts will get harder and the enthusiasm will waver. But I have to continue to be aware of that fact that i can choose my hard. The workouts are hard. Fitting double workouts into my schedule is hard. Logging everything i put to my mouth is hard. Looking into the mirror and trying not to get discouraged as I don't see dramatic improvements right away, is hard. Do you know what is harder? Living your life each day in an unhealthy, poison-filled body. Working out is hard and I know I'll get to a point where it will be like second-nature. But being fat has been the hardest thing i have done. There is no enjoyment in it. There is no hope in it. What is harder than accepting a sedentary life filled with fear that you may not see another day or carrying a purse full of prescription medication just to make it to the next day? There is nothing harder than that. Choose your hard. I choose life!





"... A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken". When we received the card this week, for some reason that verse echoed into my soul and stayed with me through the whole week. It made me remember when Pastor Ray Harris of The Pointe Church gave a sermon a while ago and one of the things he said was "you were never meant to carry this burden alone". My God! It was a message that shot right through me. I often wonder how my life would have turned out had I realized that it was perfectly ok to not be ok. I have spent years trying to handle things on my own. I am always the strong one whose facial expressions and "tough-girl" stance kept people at bay. I've often used RBF as a defense mechanism and it has worked! But in these last few weeks i have been met with the realization that I was never a tough girl. The quiet, stern look that I perfected was a farce to hide the fact that inside I was slowly dying. I am now learning that asking for help when it is needed is not a sign of weakness but a sign of true strength. You have to be strong enough to recognize when you can't do it by yourself and humble enough to understand that your weakness may be someone else's strength. For instance, this week after running what little i could on Thursday, my knee pain decided to flare up. Obviously from the weight of my body, my left knee couldn't handle me running on it. The devil whispered in my ear a lot after that. He'd say things like, "I knew this would happen to you". "What business did you have thinking you could run". "You should quit now, look at you". You know, the devil has always been a liar. He will make you believe every ounce of doubt he casts upon you. We showed him! Tina told me to get into the pool Saturday. My, oh my- what a work out that was. But it was a perfect example of my needing help but being too afraid to ask. Sometimes God will put someone in your path to tell you what to do and you have no choice but to listen. My knee is still weak and I'm wobbling a bit. But, you know what? I am not giving up. I know there are many resources out there to help me reach my goals still. I don't need to be worried about how others see me or who might be judging. There's no judgment here. If you need help, ask for it. Do not be ashamed or too proud to admit you cannot do it all on your own. God has put us together so that we can stand back-to-back and conquer the demons that can take over our lives. 




Those stairs! This week was the first week we got extra "love" from Rick. Nine stairs for the Fine Nine. It took everything out of me to finished those stairs. I wont lie and say every part of me didn't want to quit. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do yet. But in all that pain was determination to be someone other than the person I had been for so long. All the encouragement from the other teams and my very own team was just the icing on the cake. I finished those stairs. It took me longer than everyone else but I realized something. I can't compare myself to everyone else in this journey. My goal is not to be the fastest, toughest, strongest and most athletic person in the Season. My goal is to become a better me every day. My goal is to lose the weight, create healthy habits for life and to use these 15 weeks as a catapult to my new life. So, I will work towards maybe not coming in last at everything. Small goals each day where I push my limits and show what my body can really do is all that is on my mind. With our excellent team of trainers, nutritionists and behaviorists, I know I will succeed if I continue to put in that work! "You wont lose if you don't move"!



(April 1, 2017) How did I get here? That is a question I've asked myself at least 100 times since starting Season 10. How did I allow myself to get this far from healthy? As I struggle to keep up with the pace of everyone else during the exercises I cannot help but to feel down on myself. I start to feel myself replaying all those negative thoughts in my mind that we tend to tell ourselves. "Who do you think you are trying to keep up with these people"? "You're so much bigger than the others!" Then as I am sweating profusely and feel like taking a rest, I can hear the trainers yell out, " YOU GOT THIS". The others, who are struggling through their own workout, manage to shout out words of encouragement to me. Then I am reminded of last summer in June, when I was down to my last hope and considering weight loss surgery. I had gotten so tired of my knees hurting from the weight I was carrying, I felt the only thing I could do was consider weight loss surgery. So, I prayed so hard right then. I asked God to please send me help. I begged Him to tell me what I should do. Quite frankly I was terrified of surgery. So I asked Him to send me a miracle. A few months later I opened my Facebook and saw a message from FWSW about something special to come for Season 10. I almost heard God speak to me and say "get ready". Then in December I saw the very thing I had hoped, wished and prayed for. A chance to Re-do, Re-start and Re-new my life. I knew for a fact that God heard me through my tears and suffering. I am so grateful that The board allowed me to come back and workout with everyone. I am beyond blessed to have Rick, Tina and our amazing trainers, running coaches, nutritionists, behaviorist and alumni all playing a role in helping me get to finally be the woman I deserve to be. So this week, every time those negative thoughts and feelings filled my mind, I just kept repeating the same words. God. Brought. You. Here. The exercises are uncomfortable, sometimes painful and some of the hardest things I've had to do. But I am fighting for me. I am literally fighting for my life. They say everybody dies but not everybody lives. This is my chance to get my life back! I will get better, faster and stronger. One day at a time.