Well I was never built to be the skinniest person in the group, but my weight began to escalate when I graduated from high school and started college. I gained most of the weight when I was in college.
NAME : Shanae
BEFORE WEIGHT : 268
AFTER WEIGHT : 195
POUNDS LOST : 73
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? My weight definitely affected different aspects of my life. I was always a pretty confident person, but one of the biggest aspects that bothered me was not being able to wear what I wanted to because certain things just didn’t look nice on me. Most of the time I would always have to buy clothes that would create an illusion and not draw too much attention to my weight. I also had a significant problem with taking full body pictures. That was the worst part for me because it would always remind me of how distasteful my outside appearance was.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? The turning point for me was when I was completing my fitness assessment with my trainer and he had me weigh in on the scale. That was when I realized that I gained over 40 pounds in three years. That’s the moment it clicked to me that something desperately needed to be done.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? My weight loss journey began in March 2017 when my amazing mom and sisters bought me a personal training package for my birthday. They realized that I needed a change and that I needed help so they took the extra steps that I wasn’t even considering at the time. I began working with my trainer Yaw and it literally was the beginning to a challenging but amazing journey.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? It took me about 3 to 4 months to begin noticing my weight loss changes. Yaw advised me to take as many pictures in the beginning (as much as a I hated it) and throughout the whole journey. But I thank God for the pictures, because that how I noticed how much my body was changing. When you see yourself every day, you don’t really notice the progress, but the pictures will show you.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I had moments during my journey where things would get really difficult, but I always knew that no matter what I couldn’t give up. My trainer told me from the beginning that I would be weighing in every week that we met. Once I started seeing the results on the scale and the pounds shedding off, I literally knew that I could do it and that pushed me to push through the difficult moments whether it was during a workout or resisting the temptations of bad food. I wanted to see more results so I knew giving up was not an option.
God blessed me with such an amazing support system. Anytime I felt discouraged about the journey, my family friends, trainer, and team members were right by my side. They never gave up on me and didn’t allow me to give up on myself. Their constant support always gives me the push I need to pick myself up and keep going.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I hit about two weight loss plateaus during the journey. Each time for three weeks straight my weight would not move. To overcome the first one, my trainer put me on a no-card diet for a week to shock my body. In that one week I had lost six pounds. The second time I was put on a soup diet for five days. In that week I lost five pounds. Also my workouts had to be alternated and pumped up so that my body could readjust.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It took me about 8 months to lose the 73 pounds.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Having to buy basically an entire new wardrobe because all of my old clothes became too big!
I now enjoy taking full body pictures
Losing a significant amount of inches off my waist
I hope that for my next non-scale victory that I will be fitting into a two piece bathing suit.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I snacked heavily when I was heavier. There were certain snacks that I loved and felt like I always needed to have them. I always drank sweetened coffee several times a day. One of my biggest weaknesses was cheeseburgers. I love a good burger and every chance I had when I would eat out, I would order a burger with a side of mash potatoes. If it was at a fast food restaurant, then I would get it with nuggets and sometimes a milkshake. I also ate a lot of bad carbs (bread, donuts, muffins, bagels, and honey buns). It would get to a point where I wouldn’t even notice how bad I was indulging in all of those bad food choices.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Before I started my journey, I would only really go to Zumba at the gym. I loved the style of Zumba and felt like it was a good workout. Unfortunately I would only go on and off so it would sometimes be months that I would go without working out.
In the beginning of my journey, I started off working out 4 days a week for one hour. Now I work out 6 days a week typically for two hours. My workout routine consists of circuit/weight training and cardio. I usually take high intensity and strength classes at the gym which I love because they are taught by trainers and I really get a good workout in. I still take Zumba classes occasionally. I work out with my trainer for one hour a week. I would suggest going at your own pace in the beginning and working your way up, as well as challenge yourself along the way. (Intense cardio/heavier weights)
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Be patient, you didn’t gain the weight overnight, so you won’t lose it overnight.
- Don’t cheat yourself and then expect it to work. You have to stay committed in order to see results.
- Endure the pain! As my trainer would say, “Pain is weakness leaving the body”
- Fight for you! If you really want it, fight for it, and you will get there!
- Always challenge yourself, don’t just stay comfortable! Learn to step out of your comfort zone if you want big results.