Transformation of the Day: Shafia lost more than 55 pounds, going from a size 18-20 to a size 8. Despite the extra pounds, this mom was happy and had no major health concerns. However, she got a wakeup call in the form of vacation photos that made her really consider her health and wellbeing. Now, she has overcome emotional eating, changed her eating habits and is in love with fitness. Check out who she did it.
Hello, my name is Shafia. I was petite in high school but after my mother passed as way in 2008, I think that’s when my weight began to get a little out of control. That coupled with the fact that some of my relatives are overweight and never made it seem like it was a problem.
I began my journey in 2011 weighing 220 pounds at 5’1″. Prior to that, I was comfortable with being overweight. I was well proportioned. I had big legs, breast, butt, and also stomach. I had good friends, I went on dates and had no real major health concerns that I knew of. I thought I had everything I needed to be happy, even though deep down I always wondered what it would be like to be smaller.
My weight didn’t become a problem until I went to Jamaica in 2011 with some friends. I was going to have to wear a batching suit which I hadn’t done in years. I was really uncomfortable with the fact that I’d be on the beach and people would be seeing me practically naked. I decided to try to lose some weight before my trip and I did for the most part, which made me feel better.
In the beginning of 2012, I got pregnant with my daughter and I was not focused on losing weight at all. After I gave birth, I lost some weight naturally and also decided to try to do the green smoothie cleanse before returning to work. I got to the smallest I has ever been since high school at 180 lbs. I maintained this weight but still hadn’t been in the gym consistently.
In the beginning of 2014, I took a cruise with some friends and that was my turning point. I together I was cute on vacation. My clothes, hair and makeup were on point. However, I hated the way I looked after seeing my pictures and seeing the way the clothes clung to my body. Upon returning from vacation, I made a vow to myself to lose the weight. I talked to a friend of mine that coaches football who had been telling me for years to start lifting (and I was always so reluctant to do so). I didn’t wanna lift weights, but I decided to give it a try.
I hired a female personal trainer that was into lifting weights, which I had never done, and I LOVED it. I stopped drinking sodas and juices and started drinking only water. I also had to cut out sweets which was really hard for me, and I actually still struggle with it today. I started eating more fresh vegetables and cut out fried food. All of this was something I never thought I could do. It made me feel really strong and I like that I could push my body.
After working with her for a little while, I started training on my own. The same friend that suggested lifting also suggested I try Crossfit. After much reluctance, I signed up for a class. OMG! Crossfit is like nothing I’ve ever done… still to this day. It’s strength, agility, speed, and much more. It makes you really competitive. It’s crazy because you’re competing against yourself. The goal is for you to do better and go harder with each class. That’s what really gave me the me vs. me mentality. I found that I really like challenging my body.
Through an outdoor bootcamp, I met a trainer who is a powerlifter and bodybuilder. I started working with him and lifting heavier than I ever have. I really started to see my body being sculpted. Since working with him, I’ve done both powerlifting and strongman competitions.
I’m still a work in progress. I focus on eating clean and I train 5 days a week. I strength train as well as doing cardio. I usually superset my strength training to get the most out of my time in the gym in a short period of time. I have a toddler and a job so my time can be limited. Cardio used to be really boring for me, but now I do more HIIT (high intensity interval training). I also mix strength and cardio together. I like to do explosive full body movements and anything that will get my heart rate elevated, followed by a short rest period.
My goal weight used to be 165 pounds, but I’ve surpassed that. I try not to go by numbers on a scale these days. I used to be a size 18-20 and now I’m a size 8. For me it’s all about pushing myself. I’m never satisfied. I always plan to put in work even when people tell me not to get “too small”. At the end of the day, we have to do what makes us happy. We have to live for ourselves and not anyone else.
I only thought I was happy before but now I really am happy on both the outside and inside. I have more energy and stamina to run around and play with my baby and to walk up flights of stairs, for that matter. This fit life is definitely for me. I’ve personally seen the benefits both mentally and physically.
I urge anyone that wants to loose weight to never give up. This is an uphill battle. I found out through the years that I am an emotional eater, so I may fall off my diet here or there. I’m a work in progress, but I try to write down my feelings instead of using food to soothe them. I never stop training. I don’t go to the gym to punish myself , but instead I use it as a way of healing myself.
I’m in the process of studying to get my certification to teach group fitness classes and maybe become a personal trainer down the road. I live by the truth that this journey is a slow process and you must trust the process, because quitting won’t speed up the process. I haven’t reached my highest potential. I plan on working on myself daily while helping others to reach their fullest potential. I’m in awe of all of all the black women out here forging their way through fitness.