Transformation of the Day: Shakail lost 58. 2 pounds and over 12 inches off her waistline. This teacher faced years of yo-yo dieting and was concerned about a family history of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Fueled by faith and a supportive family, she made the decision to transform her body and her lifestyle. Check out the details of how she did it.
Occupation: School Teacher
Starting weight: 222.6 pounds
Current weight: 164.4 pounds
Toni Sirenson once said “Weight loss doesn’t begin in the gym with a dumbbell; it starts in your head with a decision.” After I became an adolescent, my weight would always go up and down and my BMI was always extremely high. I tried to lose weight in 2012 and gave up about a month into it. In 2014, I tried it again and I also gave up on myself after only losing 4 pounds. Since mid-April of 2016, I have lost about 58 pounds and over 12 inches off my waistline. When I started documenting my fitness journey, I weighed 222 pounds.
Diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure seem to run heavy in my family. I didn’t want to become another statistic, so I decided to change my lifestyle for good. I started exercising on a regular basis. I also started eating more vegetables, lean meats and fruit on a daily basis, and stopped eating heavy meals later in the day or junk food before bedtime. I absolutely love junk food… just being honest! I also started eliminating sugary drinks and soda out of my diet, and began to consume over 8 glasses of water every day.
My workout routines were a little bit of everything. I started out just walking around my neighborhood for about an hour a day after work, completing 3-4 mile walks by myself. Then I incorporated jumping rope and running up and down a basketball court while practicing drubbing a ball for about 30 minutes. I am not a basketball player at all, but I discovered that it is a good workout. I would also complete 2 mile jogs and walks in the early morning. I woke up early with the birds! I really got serious about my journey because I started losing inches first.
I started working out at the gym for 2 hours Monday through Saturday in mid- April 2016. I would complete 1 hour of HIIT cardio and 1 hour of weight training. Then during the months of June and July, I was on summer break and had a lot of free time, so I basically lived at the gym. I was so excited with my results, I became addicted to working out. I would get up before sunrise to walk 4 miles and then I would still workout at the gym twice a day. I would complete 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening after dinner. I would do a combination of HIIT cardio and weight training. Also at least twice a week I would just do HIIT cardio for 3- 4 hours at a time. I fell in love with arc trainer and the elliptical! Today, I continue to workout for a least 90 minutes 4-5 days a week, but do more weight training now than cardio. On some Saturdays, I like to wake up extra early and workout for 2-3 hours. I like to do fasted cardio and then weight training to get my day started! I love the way exercising makes me feel! I have set up a small workout area in my home to help me stay active as well. Fitness is truly a part of my lifestyle. It’s now a habit!
After losing a significant amount of weight, I feel better and I have more energy. I can run for longer periods and exercise longer without getting out of breath five minutes into my workout. I’m so glad that I didn’t give up on myself as I did during previous weight loss attempts. During this journey, I’ve realized that fitness is more mental than physical, but consistency definitely pays off in the end.
What kept me inspired on my journey was and will always be daily prayer and the fact that I challenged myself to lose at least 50 pounds and be out of a size 17/18 by my 30th birthday which is New Years Day! I am currently in a size 10, which is becoming baggy daily. I’m working my way to my next goal of a size 8. Also, I often look back at old pictures of myself at my heaviest weight and I tell myself that I don’t ever want to be that girl again. Being that heavy really put me in a dark place in my life that I didn’t like at all. It defiantly wasn’t a good feeling. Throughout my journey I told myself that I want to and will become someone better and stronger through my own hardwork and discipline. Lastly, my greatest inspiration came from my beautiful mother who is doing a great job on her own weight loss journey after having 8 children. My loving and supportive twin brother also kept me motivated throughout this journey.
Advice for others: Be consistent no matter what! Be patient with your progress and never compare your weight loss journey to someone else’s, because it can become discouraging and have a negative affect on your journey. Remember everyone’s body responds to fitness differently. I would also advise people to find accountability partners with the same weight loss mentality to help keep them encouraged. Also, remember that there will be hard times, set backs, temptations and you may even fall off track at times. One must keep in mind that it’s all apart of the journey. Just get back on track and keep going. Remember slow progress is better than no progress at all. Keep the faith and keep getting fit for YOURSELF!
I want to continue to challenge myself to completely transform my body by working in the kitchen and in the gym, because I know change is possible! My faith will drive my passion and I’m excited to see what transformation I can bring about in 2017!