Students left their struggle behind on a sheet of paper as a way of letting go of their coffin.
For Ferris speaker and Zeta Phi Beta sister Whitney Franklin, obesity was the coffin that changed her life.
Franklin was depressed and suicidal after losing two close family members to obesity and decided to change her life. In the past year, she has lost over 100 pounds naturally and decided to come to Ferris to share her story.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., invited Franklin to speak as a part of their Finer Womanhood Week on March 24 in Science 120.
Ferris nuclear medicine technology senior and Zeta Phi Beta sister Shanique Lewis wanted to share Franklin’s story with the Ferris community because “of how inspiring she is.”
“She shares the entire story, the downfalls, everything,” Lewis said. “That’s inspiring to me because it’s relatable and she doesn’t leave anything out.”
Franklin started working out three times a day, seven days a week and started seeing transformations soon after.
“Every single day I’m closer to my goal,” Franklin said.
Franklin continues to share her journey over Instagram and YouTube with videos entitled “Big Girls Workout Too.”
Franklin said you cannot judge one addiction against another one; anything could be someone’s “coffin.”
“It’s time to walk out of your coffin,” Franklin said. “It won’t be an easy journey, but it’s time. You have the power to do anything.”
Ferris accounting sophomore Jimmiaya Dixon dealt with obesity growing up and said she could relate to how Franklin was feeling.
“I felt like I could connect with her, so I couldn’t wait for that moment when I could talk to her and share my story,” Dixon said.
Diabetes runs in Dixon’s family and was a reason for her to make a lifestyle change to become healthy. She cut out her favorite sweets, Honeybuns and Hot Cheetos, and started conditioning with her high school volleyball and softball teams. So far, Dixon has lost over 60 pounds.
“You need to embrace yourself before you can lose weight and that was a hard thing for me,” Dixon said.
Dixon said looking a certain way affects the way people interact with you.
“It’s sad to say, but people accept you more if you look a certain way,” Dixon said. “If you look attractive, people are more willing to talk to you. If I would have come to Ferris looking the same way I did my freshman year of high school, not many people would have latched onto me.”