Update: Voting for the Finding Ashley Stewart 2017 competition will take place August 16-23. Danzhi wants to make it onto the Grande Finale. She would appreciate your support very much. Visit this link to vote.
Transformation of the Day: Dazhai lost 57 pounds. She was bullied, teased and attacked because of her size, from childhood and into her teens. This young lady found relief by changing her lifestyle and her mindset. Now, she is living her dreams and helping to inspire girls who are dealing with depression and low self esteem. Check out her story.
My name is Dazhai Brown Shearz. I’m 20 years old and I’m from Newark, New Jersey. I’ve struggled with my weight ever since childhood. I suffered from depression and low self esteem for years. Although I smiled on the outside with friends and family, I was sinking on the inside. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always had a dream of becomming a model and actress. However, I felt that I was too big and ugly to make that dream come true.
During my pre-teen years, I actually gave up on that dream. At just 12 years old, I weighed 263 pounds and wore a size 22 dress. I was also diagnosed with pre-diabetes during this time. Growing up, I was always the biggest girl in my class. During elementry and high school, I was bullied, teased and beat up because of my size. I suffered a lot emotionally during these years. There were many nights that I cried myself to sleep and kept all my pain to myself. The more I was teased, the more depressed I got and the more I ate. Food became my comfort. No matter how beautiful my mom told me I was and no matter what kind of clothes I wore, I always felt like the biggest girl in the room and the ugly duckling.
Over the years, by changing my eating habits and exercising, I was able to lose some weight. I changed my eating habits by taking soda, juice and all drinks with added sugar out of my diet. I only drink water and flavored water for taste. I don’t eat any candy, cakes, potato chips or sweets on a regular basis. I only treat myself to dessert once every two weeks. I eats 5 small meals a day and don’t eat starch or bread at all. For dinner, I eat a healthy meal that is high in protein with vegetables or salad. I make sure that I stop eating by 7pm. For exercise, I worked out 4 to 5 days a week by walking or doing cardio. I joined the gym and just recently started working with a trainer twice a week.
It took me 1 year to loose the weight. I’ve been able to maintain my size and I currently wear a size 14. I continue to exercise daily and maintain my weight by eating 5 to 6 small meals each day. My starting weight was 263 pounds and my current weight is 206 pounds (height: 5 feet, 7 1/2 inches). I want to maintain my thick frame, but I would like to lose 31 more pounds and tone my arms and legs.
Now, I am a full time college student, licensed hairstylist, makeup artist, plus size model and actress. I’m also a mentor to other plus size girls and those who suffer from depression and low self esteem. I am also one of the 20 semi-finalist in the nationwide competition “Finding Ashley Stewart 2017“. Online voting will take place August 16 – 23, 2017. I would greatly appreciate it if you could vote for me during those dates and help me become Ashley Stewart 2017.
Just a few years ago, I would have never thought I would be able to lose weight, become an actress, walk on a runway or even be a contestant in a nationwide competition. One day, I just got fed up and decided to make a change and take control over my life. Deciding to make a change, staying focused and committed to losing the weight, creating realistic goals and having patience with myself were the best decisions I could have ever made for myself.
Advice: The struggle to lose weight is real and it’s a challenge, but DON’T give up. It may be hard in the beginning, but you have to keep pushing through because it gets easier. Once you see the pounds gradually start to fall off, use that as motivation to keep going. Start with small, realistic goals and work your way up. I started off with a goal of losing 5lbs. After losing my first 5lbs, my next goal was 10lbs and so on. Keep going until you reach your goal weight. I believe in YOU ladies. Keep pushing. We got this!!!
Today, I’m proud to say that I’m very happy, confident and resilient. I’m living my dreams, and I’m helping others to achieve theirs. I’m still pushing to reach my overall weight loss goal. I hope that by sharing my experiences I’m able to inspire and help someone reach their weight loss and personal goals. If you have any questions or need advice you can reach me on my social media accounts: (Instagram: @dazhaishearz and Facebook: Dazhai Brown Shearz)