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GEMINI Spring 201 2

Brittany Jemison

Living Life 100 Pounds Lighter

GEMINI Gemini Magazine, LLC Atlanta, GA (c) Copywritten by Gemini Magazine, LLC 2012 All rights reserved Are you interested in becoming a part of the Gemini team? We are currently taking photograph and article submissions for the Summer and Fall. For more information, please visit

On The Cover Model Brittany Jemison Styled by Faithe Dennis and Crystal Smith Hair and Makeup by Kortney Moffett of Dull to Diva Photography by James Lewis of Noire 3000.

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Change Is Good So this is what mile 1 0 looks like. What can be seen is the salt-film mustache (no way to avoid that one), the dazed look (the bright sun wasn’t helping much either), and the sweat drenched headband. What cannot be seen is the 3.1 miles left to go. I have challenged myself to a lot of things during this time of change in my life, but this particular 1 3.1 meant more to me than any other mile I have ever run...walked...or crawled. Never in a million years did I ever think running anything would become a passion (let alone 1 3.1 miles), but at this moment--this 1 0 mile moment-the change I had implemented in my life was ever so apparent. This was a milestone. It was the mark of change being a very good thing. Our first issue of 201 2 (’s really been that long) is dedicated to all of the women who stood at mile 1 0 because they decided to take a step toward change. Of course not every life change comes in the form of 1 0k’s and half marathons. Our cover girl, Brittany Jemison, took on the challenge of healing her pain and dropping over 1 00 pounds! Her story of transformation is honest and inspiring. Gemini has been transforming too! We added a new section (Fast 5) that allows you to get our top picks for Beauty, Skin, Fashion, Food, and (a personal favorite) my Perfect Pick of the month. I am so excited about the ideas and changes that will come as the months pass. This June, in conjunction with Naturally Me, Gemini will be challenging all of you to become a better, healthier version of yourself (and win prizes too). This summer we will begin to incorporate more pages with more amazing things to be read and shared. Change is good. It should be welcomed with open arms. Do not be afraid of that huge journey. Anything is possible with a little faith, a little strength, and a little change. Good luck!

Sommer J.

Next Issue: Gemini Magazine, in conjunction with Naturally Me and Honey Bun Boutique, will reveal our challenge to women of every shape, size and color to get 5k or 1 0k ready for the first ever Black Girls Run! Race in Atlanta, GA this September. Dust off the tennis shoes, pull out those sports bras, and get ready to be open, honest, and very sweaty.

Fast 5


Ever finished working out and noticed that sweat has reeked havoc on your edges? The EdgeStick is a professional heated hair styling tool suitable for all hair types and textures. What makes this so different from your trusty flat iron? NO BURNS! The EdgeStick's double足comb design protects the skin while catching the smallest hair at the hairline., $80

The best solution to battling the summer heat and a post足workout do is the drawstring pony. It is simple to use and adds a smash of color, curl, length, and shine to the ordinary ponytail. They come in all different lengths, colors, and styles. Visit your local beauty supply store and have fun with different styles. Local Beauty Supply Stores, $10

Skin Whether you are running a 13.1 or walking to the car, the summer heat can suck the life out of your skin. By the time you finish your workout or running your errands, your face feels dirty from all of the sticky heat (and sweat). La Fresh Eco­Beauty wipes are the perfect solution. With a blend of Aloe, Cucumber, Papaya, Pineapple, Marshmallow, Jojoba, Vitamin C & Vitamin E how could you go wrong? Free of oil, parabens, sulfates, alcohol, petrochemicals, glycols, dyes, PEGs, fragrances & animal byproducts. A perfect quick facial cleanser for your on­the­go summer lifestyle., $10

For your skin, there is a battle between the sunny summer days and keeping its moisture. Luckily, there is a perfect solution to help protect skin from daily sun exposure that is specifically formulated to moisturize and protect (and who doesn't want that). This light, fast­absorbing formula with SPF 15 sunscreen provides 24­hour moisture and helps defend against sunburn., $10

Summer heat does not just effect your skin. It can also effect your lips and in a big big way. No matter the weather, hot or cold, Yes To Carrots USDA Organic Lip Butters conditions, invigorates, and revitalizes your lips, moisturizing to keep them the smooth and soft., $13 for 5

Fashion When working out, every piece of your fitness wear wardrobe is important...yes, even the socks. This revolutionary sock from Balega is built around a new cushioning material that promises to add a little

"bounce" to your step, Soft Tread. Anatomically shaped pads of Soft Tread protect your feet in high impact areas. Extreme vibration damping allowing you to cross all terrain with ease and comfort. The Soft Tread by Balega promotes rapid evaporation and keeps your feet cool and dry., $13

With the heat already beaming this summer, staying cool is paramount during a workout. This Nike top is made with Dri­ FIT fabric technology that helps wick­away moisture to keep you cool and dry during your workout., $12

When doing high impact activity, compression is your friend. The material holds most jiggly parts in place while you get to work. The BCG™ Women's Compression Contrast Stitch Short is constructed from 79% polyester and 21% spandex moisture­wicking material for tight compression with a 4­way stretch. The short features contrast flatlock stitching and a full elastic, covered waistband., $13


Shirataki (shee­rah­TAH­kee) noodles are thin, low carb, chewy, and translucent traditional Japanese noodles. They are also sometimes called konnyaku noodles. Shirataki noodles are thinner than wheat noodles, do not break as easily, and have a different texture. They are mostly composed of a dietary fiber called glucomannan and contain very few calories and carbohydrates (sometimes even zero). They do not have much flavor by themselves, but absorb flavors well from other ingredients you can combine them with. Shirataki noodles are made from Konjac flour, which comes from the roots of the yam­like Konjac plant grown in Japan and China. Shirataki noodles are packaged "wet", that is, you purchase them pre­packaged in liquid, and they are ready­to­eat out of the package. You can prepare them by boiling them briefly or running them under hot water, then combining them with other dishes, or adding things like tofu, garlic, spinach, or soy sauce to enhance the flavor. Local Retailer, $3

We all sleep late. We all get absent minded when it comes to breakfast (or lunch). Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus shakes are the perfect option for an on­the­go meal (or snack). Snag a refreshing Mango Protein Plus and head out of the door without the fear of tearing through the doughnuts in the office kitchen. Its packed with 30g protein per 15.2 oz. bottle, made with 90% real fruit juice, no preservatives, nothing artificial, and no GMO. Local Retailer, $3

Perfect Pick For the readers who may not know, I am an easy kinda gal. I like the pretty frilly stuff, sure, but a good old tee suits me just fine on any day ending in 'y'. Being an active mother of two and wife of one, I have to be ready at a moments notice for just about anything and this Old Navy Ribbed Knit Henley ($9) does the job oh so well. I can throw it on before taking the kids to school in the morning, or I can unbotton a few buttons before taking the Husband on an easy night of dinner and movies. The light breezy material is perfect for afternoon ball games at the stadium. This is indeed my perfect pick for spring and summer--for $9 with lots of juicy colors it cannot be beat.

Sommer J.


Finding Brittany

I have read weight loss stories they always seemed too good to be true. More often than not they gave me a false sense of hope. Eat this, try not to eat that, work out this much, try not to work out that muchIit all seemed so over the top. Could our bodies actually respond to such torture? Were we created to deprive ourselves of one thing over another for the sake of being slimmer? I guessed not and decided to embark on a journey that would change my life in every way. Sometimes, the very thing we see on the outside is more than just too much or too little of one thing. Often times, it is a very real hurt on the inside. Welcome to the Journey.

H ello,

my name is Brittany Jemison and I am addicted to food. The first step to recovery is admitting there is a problem, so I have been told. If there is one lesson I have held close throughout this journey is to never be ashamed of where you are in your life. Acknowledging your current state is a step forward towards where you want to be. Too often the struggle between where we are and where we want to be makes starting or even accepting the problem impossible thus we are unable to move forward in the process.


discovered my obsession with food when I realized it consumed my thoughts 24 hours/7 days a week, and yes that does at times include dreams. I could be eating a meal and half way

M orbidly

obese—those are tough words to hear and an even tougher label to be slapped with, but at 300 pounds that is exactly what I was. Honestly, I doubt I got there because there is a fast food restaurant on every corner or because I have an obsessive love of sugary foods. I got to morbidly obese status because I am an emotional eater. What does that mean? For me, that means for everything I feel I deal with it in terms of food. When I was happy I ate. When I was sad I ate. When I was angry I ate. When I was excited I ate. When I was depressed I ate. When I was stressed I ate. When I was abusedII.I ate.

was nothing left, usually ignoring the fact that I was so full my stomach hurt.

The breaking point came when I was

in college and I had gained so much weight that I reached 300 pounds. One evening, probably due to sadness or depression more so than sheer lack of judgment, I ordered a large pizza, boneless buffalo wings, cheesy bread and a 2 liter bottle of Sprite from Papa Johns and ate it all in one sitting. My stomach hurt so badly and my heart was racing so fast that I felt like if I ate one more of anything I would die (literally). I did not want to die eating. That is not how I want to be remembered. From that very moment I decided I wanted to eat to live not live to eat.

I This is me at my heaviest, 300 pounds. Do not get me wrong, I still looked good, but I definitely was not healthy.

through I was already thinking about the next one. Leftovers in the fridge never stayed there long because they would be on my mind until they were in my belly. If they were really good, they would not even make it to the fridge because I would eat until there

have tried everything under the sun to lose weight except surgery. The Lemonade Diet, South Beach Diet, Herbalife pills, Quick Weight Loss Centers, Lipoloss, Xenadrine, and Phentermine just to name a few. I spent countless hours and money only to arrive at the same result every single time: I could drop dramatic amounts of weight the first couple of weeks (which was water weight by the way) and then due to my own unrealistic goals, I would get discouraged and revert back to my old ways. Needless to say all of the quick

fixes resulted in major failure. I gained the weight back plus more. One of the many unfortunate side effects of yo-yo dieting (besides having your metabolism slow to a crawl) is skin sagging. Still unhappy with the small results I had, the realization came that I was searching for a temporary solution to a persistent problem instead of a permanent solution for a deeplyrooted, long term problem.

I magine

a car tire blowing out and putting a spare on the car. Instantaneously, the problem has been solved, but there are limitations. The spare tire is designed to be used as an emergency measure, not for long term use. When using a spare, you can only go so fast or travel so far before the spare tire ceases to work. When dieting, you can only eat certain things or do so little the diet does not work. In both cases it boils down to the responsibility of the operator (driver/dieter) to seek a permanent solution. I have learned that you need to find out the cause of the weight gain and work through the issues.

F or some of us, the answer to why the weight gain occurred is simple. We go through pregnancies, medical traumas, and times of stress where

we either overeat or are affected by an outside component like medication which causes the gain. However, most of us tend to bury things or pretend we have gotten over issues when deep down we know it is still there and it still hurts.


learned through therapy, which I highly recommend, that burying and pretending is just sweeping the issues under the rug. Because you have not dealt with them they are still there, you have just managed to suppress them temporarily. Unfortunately the issues slowly creep back into your life and show up in various areas—one of which is weight. The purchase of a new tire and the time it takes to get it fixed properly may not be considered a wanted (and fun) experience, but piece of mind you experience getting back on the road without concerns is well worth it. The same can be said about our bodies and the issues that bleed into our lives through weight gain and emotional eating.

P ersonally,

therapy was a major turning point in my life to a healthier Brittany. It was hell reliving traumatic events and having to come face to face with issues that I had no intentions of acknowledging. I even gained weight during this time. I was

dealing with some deeply rooted issues I was not prepared for so I turned to my best friend that never judged me, expected anything from me, and comforted Food was my best friend and my worst enemy at the same time. Unlike a smoker or drinker, I needed food to survive so I could not cut it off, shut it out or replace it with something else. I had to stare it head on and make some of the hardest decisions in my life.

Therapy revealed that it was not the

food’s responsibility to comfort me or help me deal with my emotions. Its purpose is to fuel the body, and I had unrealistic expectations for it. It was not the food who had betrayed me. I had been misusing food because that was the only thing I could control when everyone around me was misusing me.

The secret to shedding major pounds

is (drum roll please)... EATING HEALTHY AND EXCERCISING!!!!!! Who would have thought that really worked right?! See the problem with diets is that it is a temporary fix to a lifelong problem. We diet when we want to get into a certain outfit, or for a certain season or when we are just fed up with being overweight, but the

Calorie Round Up

Want to know just how many cals Brittany took in with her Papa Johns extravaganza? We have the numbers right here.

Large Cheese Pizza 2,320 Calories 720g Fat

Cheese Bread 1 ,295 Calories 56g Fat

Buffalo Wings 850 Calories 65g Fat

2 Liter Sprite 800 Calories 0g Fat 208g Sugar

Total Meal 5,265 Calories 841 g Fat

problem is that diets don’t work. It is about a lifestyle change. Diets do not last for life which is why they have such a high failure rate. You must learn how to eat properly and be honest with yourself. Saying no more eating cake, pizza, hamburgers or drinking again because of being on a diet is setting yourself up to fail.

I have found that if I deprive myself of these things then it leads to cheats which is the beginning to the end. We always want what we cannot have and the more it is considered off limits the more we want it. My plan of action was to eat clean during the week and allow myself to have what I wanted on the weekend but for only one day. Eating clean for me consists of fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats such as turkey and chicken, and anything that is not processed, loaded with salt and sugar, or prepackaged.

F or the one day I chose to eat what I

please, in no way am I eating whatever I want the whole day. I allow myself to have what I want within reason. For example, I love burritos, pizza, and burgers. Instead of going to Pizza Hut, McDonalds, or Taco Bell I try to find a healthier version that still gives me the feeling and taste of eating outside of my norm, but it stays on the lighter side. I eat at Chipotle

which serves all organic and fresh ingredients for a healthier burrito. I stop by Subway for a fresh veggie pizza, and if I want a burger I find a place that serves fresh turkey burgers.

One of the most important steps to

my successful weight loss has been having a personal trainer. Many people protest at the sound of those two words “personal trainer” with an immediate “I can’t afford it”, but when we look at how much is spent on on all the weight loss programs that failed, and how much is spent on extracurricular activities such as shopping or going out with the girls the perception changes. I felt a trainer was critical to keeping me alive, and, yes, it was just that serious. I cut back in the areas of financial nonsense and made room in my budget.

P ersonally,

I needed someone to push me, motivate me, and scold me, but not everyone can make such room, no matter how much they cut out of their financial lives. For those people who cannot make the room, there are tons and tons of workout videos, programs, groups, recreational centers, and so on that can help with the fitness part of living a healthier lifestyle. . You might have to kiss a few frogs before you find

your prince, meaning you might go through a few trainers, groups, and videos before you find one that fits your needs and that is ok. I went through three trainers before I found the one for me, Davius Billingslea of MaxResults. I work out with him 3-4 times a week and it is far from easy, even at this size. There are more times than not that I do not want to workout but I have to keep pushing and my trainer helps. He always encourages me to keep going.


weight has been the most difficult challenge I have ever faced in my life. The stories I have read and the many shows I have seen do not truly represent a realistic view the determination it takes to continue to move forward on the journey to a healthier life. My weight represents every negative experience I have gone through and shedding the weight is letting go of all the hurt, anger, negativity and disappointment that controlled my life for so long. I am a strong believer in others finding what works for them. Some people turn to surgery to correct their weight issues, while others find success in other ways. Some people choose to just stay exactly where they are and I do not judge. What ever chosen method for a person to really happy in their own skin, if the outcome is optimal

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Oh, the summer night, Has a smile of light, And she sits on a sapphire throne. ~ Barry Cornwall

Finding Brittany continued from page 14

health and wellness that is all that should matter. With all of the bad things at our disposal, there are tons of good things for us to turn to as well. Just remember no matter what keep moving and putting one foot in front of the other. Weight loss or not, make the effort to become the healthiest version of yourself. Your life will thank you laterII know mine did! Brittany Jemison is a plus size model and healthy living advocate.

Do you have talent in front or behind a camera? Are you extremely gifted with a pen (or keyboard these days)? Do you know of a worthy cover girl? We need you to showcase your amazing work and to nominate a person of inspiration so their story can be heard. Please send all inquiries to

We would like to extend a special thank you to Brittany Jemison for being brave enough to share her story with the world. It is not every day a woman is willing to share her scale numbers with complete strangers. We would also like to thank Faithe Dennis and Crystal Smith for styling Brittany Jemison with the perfect wardrobe for our cover. Kortney Moffett of Dull to Diva did an amazing job on hair and make up and we cannot thank her enough. Mr. James Lewis of Noire 3000 has an amazingly beautiful portfolio and we were so lucky to have the ability to showcase his incredible work. We cannot wait to work with all of you in the very near future. Gemini Magazine would not be what it is without the diverse community of women who read the publication. Our special thank you's go out to the team of professionals who created such an amazing look for the Haitian-American beauty, Diana Gaitirira, and the Caucasion-Japanese beauty, Maya Nozaki (the MUA for the shoot as well as the model). Thank you to photographerQiao Qiao Jade, hair stylist Snacks Viva, and wardrobe stylist Kelly D. Campbell.



Spring 2012  

Our first issue of 2012 (’s really been that long) is dedicated to all of the women who stood at mile 10 because they decided to tak...

Spring 2012  

Our first issue of 2012 (’s really been that long) is dedicated to all of the women who stood at mile 10 because they decided to tak...

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