Creque struts along Ariapita Avenue, showing off her new figure.
Creque, who has long battled obesity, has already lost 135
pounds and hopes to reach her goal of 170 pounds. Photos:
Three years ago, Cevelle Creque weighed about 355 pounds.
Today, the 26-year-old hairdresser is just under 220 pounds
and is focused on reaching 170 pounds. For Creque, the significant
weight loss was not the result of any magic injection, surgery,
miracle pills or fad diets, but rather her simply sticking
to the age-old combination
of exercise and eating properly.
Sounds easy, but the journey has not always been smooth as
anyone who has tried to lose weight would know.
all in the mind, said Creque, who confessed to complacency
whenever she shed a few pounds.
Creque was not always a big girl. As a teenager, she weighed
about 130 pounds. When she migrated to Wisconsin in the US
to attend school at the age of 16, her weight problems began.
make fast food so economical. It is easier to spend US$2.99
on McDonalds fries and a milkshake than buy food to
cook, she said.
Added to that, Creque used food to comfort herself during
The weight gain was fast and significant.
came on before you knew it. Inside, you want to be smaller,
but you dont have the strength or the willpower to try,
Asked how the weight gain impacted on her psyche, Creque said
she was more concerned about the impact it had on other people.
jobs, you had fears that you wouldnt be hired because
youre too fat. Even for this current job, I thought
they wouldnt want fat people because, you know, this
industry is very image driven, said Creque, waving her
hands as she spoke while working at Hair and Such located
on Ariapita Avenue in Port-of-Spain.
In the US, Creque said, people were too busy
living in their own bubbles to pay attention to her. But back
home, people were just plain nasty.
went to a party and hear a fella say Look at that one,
ting, ting, ting, she eating for two.
It was on her aunts encouragement that Creque first
decided to lose weight. Her aunt runs the popular Marlenes
Weight Loss classes which Creque attended.
really didnt want to lose weight, it seemed like such
hard work, said Creque. Id go to the meetings
with her and I did that for months. I started off losing an
average of five pounds a week, then three pounds, two and
a half pounds. The initial set came off really fast.
Marlenes, said Creque, restricts participants to a 1000
calories a day diet. A major component was drinking lots of
ten glasses a day for someone at a regular weight. For every
25 pounds you are overweight, you have to drink an additional
glass. I was drinking 18 glasses a day. I remember drinking
water till I felt to vomit, she said.
Although Marlenes programme runs for nine weeks, Creque
attended consecutive sessions until she lost just over 60
the first batch, I got complacent. I was feeling better and
I got lazy and just stopped. When youre over 300 pounds
and you reach close to 200, you just say Eh heh, I there.
I would go home and eat as usual.
Back then, Creques only exercise was walking around
the Queens Park Savannah. That in itself was an experience.
remember the first walk was a nightmare. I did it in two hours.
I walked, sat down, walked, sat down. It was too much weight
for me to carry. People told me I was startling to watch,
she recalled, when asked about the publics response
first time, I felt kind of down watching all the nice people
walking and I wondered why I couldnt be like that,
said Creque whose attitude eventually changed to Im
fat, but Im doing something about it.
Her brother and her current job literally got her on a treadmill.
brother lives away and one day, when he was visiting, I was
cutting his hair and he was telling me how big I was and how
I was unattractive to men. Imagine hearing that from your
own flesh and blood.
said, Imagine you cutting my hair and I feeling your
belly touching me. Imagine doing that to a client,
It was around that time Creque was hired by Hair and Such.
Her work day began at 10 am but her ride left home at 6. To
pass the time constructively, Creque decided to join the Long
Circular Health Club.
That was last September.
first day I hated it. I felt like I didnt know how to
operate anything. I felt like all eyes were on me. I didnt
know who to talk to, said Creque who didnt bother
to hire a personal trainer because she didnt see the
need to spend the extra money once she was assessed and given
a programme with which she could work.
weight is expensive. You have to pay for gym, protein shakes,
clothes, said Creque. Nevertheless, she persevered and
lost 21 pounds in the first six weeks.
felt good. Amanda, a friend I made in the gym, felt so proud.
She was very helpful.
In the gym, Creque also motivates others by sharing diet and
workout tips and sometimes grilling them on what they ate
the previous day.
Despite her continued success at dropping the pounds, Creque
still has to battle temptation.
I first started, I told myself I am on a mission. When I broke
the diet the first time, I said, So this is what I am
missing. I broke it with pholourie, she said with
Creque said she decided not to deprive herself of anything,
but to manage what she consumes.
for lunch, I had buss up shut with potato, pumpkin and beef
but in the night, I had a cup of tea and soup. You have to
balance, she said, advising that one thing people should
never do is go to the supermarket when hungry.
will buy everything on the shelf, she said.
Apart from the challenge of pushing herself in the gym and
finding the motivation to continue without becoming complacent,
Creque is now battling some wardrobe issues.
Everything she owns is now too big and shes reluctant
to buy new clothes because she is determined not to stay at
her current size.
have a lot of clothes to give away. I went from a size 36
pants to a size 18, she boasted.
Losing weight has also enhanced Creques social life.
She is now more outgoing and confident and participates in
outdoor activities. Even something as
simple as climbing into a maxi-taxi with-
out effort is an achievement for her.
little, everyday activities people who are slim take for granted,
are hard for big people. Simply walking down Frederick Street
during the day, or even at Carnival time is difficult,
High in praise for her bosses Angie Thomas and Sandra Goring
and co-workers who support her weight loss efforts, Creques
advice to those who want to lose weight is to start now.
put it off another day. I wish I had done something sooner.
The rewards are limitless, she said.
Speaking of rewards, Creques biggest to date is her
love life which she describes as excellent.
Smiling coyly, she would only say her relationship with Joel
is very recent and that she has decided to move to Central
Trinidad with him.
She wasnt into dating before, she said, because she
was on a mission.
Losing weight changed that.
smaller you get, the more eyes you turn, Creque said.
I turned his and he turned mine.