Dr. Shellie: Talk to me about your journey and what brought you to that red carpet the day we met at Halle Berry’s fundraiser for the Jenesse Center, Inc.
Trice: I go to events in Hollywood that touch my heart. Because I was a victim of domestic violence, I always want to be supportive of those going through it. Seeing Halle Berry and women from all over the world there to support those women was beautiful.
That event really helped me realize that I can continue to give my time, even if it’s just interviewing them. By talking to them and sharing their story with the world, people who hear their story will know that you don’t have to be a victim anymore.
Dr. Shellie: Excellent. When you were going through the domestic violence, when did you turn from a victim to a survivor?
Trice: One day when I prayed, I said, “I know this is not your best for me.” Soon after, I saw a preacher on TV who said that sometimes the people you marry are not your husband or your wife. I remember getting hit hard in the head the next day, and I left.
I was free and I was done. At that moment, I needed better for me and my son. And it just became better. I was taken in by a friend of mine, and then, I moved into a battered women’s home. They helped me get through that situation, and I was able to get on my feet.
From that moment forward, I knew my worth! That’s why I tell people you really can live life unlimited, because the fact is you’re not limited in that relationship. That relationship doesn’t define you. That person abusing you has their own issues. That’s the reason they’re taking it out on you. But you have to love yourself enough to say “I’m better than that.”
Dr. Shellie: Talk to me about your relationship with your son. How old was your son when you escaped the domestic violence situation, and what value do you put on motherhood?
Trice: My son was almost three years old, and now he is 20. It took a lot of prayer because leaving meant that I had to be both parents, but at the same time, I didn’t want to be the mom who said, “You can’t see your dad.” He never abused our son, and I knew he needed to be around his dad, too.
I opened my own business. I didn’t have anyone to ask if I can do this or that. At that time, I did hair, so I had a beauty salon. I was always encouraging other women, seeing them go through different things. I guarded my son, and I stayed single to focus on what made me happy, because I didn’t want to go into another relationship not knowing me. That was when I was still broken, you know?
And he turned out to be so amazing. He’s in his third year of college now at University Laverne, one of the great colleges out here in Southern California. It meant so much to hear him say, “Mom, thank you,” because of the sacrifice that I made to show him that if you work hard, there’s nothing in this world you can’t do. There’s nothing that you can’t have, and you don’t have to depend on someone else to make it.
My son was always so honest. I will never forget the first day I took him to Curves with me to work out. I was trying to lose weight, and I suggested that we pray before we work out.
And you know what he said? “Lord, God, help these fat woman lose weight.”
Dr. Shellie: Oh, no. You must have been shaking your head.
Trice: We just all looked at each other. We couldn’t help but grin, because we knew it came from a sincere place. He was probably six years old.
Dr. Shellie: Oh, my goodness. That is hilarious! Talk to me about your relationship with food and weight loss.
Trice: I’ve been dealing with high blood pressure since I was 25. I went to the doctor because I was in a car accident and then was involved in a slip and fall. I was in pain.
I remember asking my doctor how I could get rid of the pain without taking pain pills. I was only 39, and my doctor was honest with me. I was on blood pressure medicine. I was overweight and pre-diabetic. I needed to exercise more and lose weight.
I remember leaving her office sad because I had gained and lost and gained so many times. And I was hurting all the time. I didn’t want to have to take pills. I just needed to fix it.
A couple days later, the cleanse came into my life. It required me to eat all raw, which took a lot of discipline because I’m a bread eater. And I had to cut out meat and sugar. All I could eat was fruits and veggies.
During the cleanse and throughout the year, I realized that food had become my mate, my relationship. Food became my comforter. When life had hurt me, I built the wall and filled it up with food.
This time, it’s been about more than just losing weight. My life is really changing. So now I have to deal with the emotion of what happens when life comes. I recognize now that if I have a certain conversation, it triggers stress, and I want to eat a certain food.
I turned to more prayer and working out, of course. I work out about five times a week, sometimes six or seven. I am mentally building myself up, spiritually building myself up, and tearing down all the emotional walls. And it’s like cleansing. I’m more focused. My blood pressure is normal, and I am rocking a size two dress now!
Remember, if you don’t quit, you will always win. No matter what life throws at you, no matter if you fall down, you can deal with it and overcome it. You have to get back up and keep going!