Transformation of the Day: Shakina lost 60 pounds. This petite diva did not want to be on medication for asthma for the rest of her life and knew that she wanted to lose the pounds. She took a nutrition class, joined a local boot camp and took action to create a new, healthy lifestyle. Check out what she shared with us about her journey.
My name is Shakina Y. and about 2.5 years ago I knew I needed to make a change, a lifestyle change. I weighed my heaviest, which was 241 pounds, standing 5ft, 2in tall. With very step I took, I was tired and out of breath. I told myself that I will no longer be on asthma medication for the rest of my life. I told myself that I would not rely on medicine to keep me alive and that it was time to take action. (Currently I no longer take daily asthma medication, except when the seasons change)
My first step towards achieving my goal were enrolling in a weight loss study program called ImWel (Improving Weight Loss) at a local hospital. ImWel taught on nutrition. I learned about reading food labels, good fat vs bad fat, swapping out foods slowly, portions sizes, meal prepping and so much more. At this point is where I began exploring different food options. When I first started my journey, the only vegetables I ate were greens and cabbage. As of today, I eat squash, zucchini, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach, just to name a few but the list goes on. I gave up fast food and started cooking at home. I also gave up fried foods and ate a lot of grilled/baked lean meats. Learning about nutrition helped me to lose 20 lbs.
In the early part of 2015, I went meatless which was supposed to last only a month but I went a total of 3 months. I also began to explore a lot more healthy foods because I had to get my protein intake. I now eat different beans and nuts that I did not eat before. Since going meatless, I only eat meat once a day which is usually at lunch.
During the following year, after being taught about nutrition, I joined “Firm Body Boot Camp” today known as “Squad Fitness”. It was challenging at first and I wanted to give up, but I knew what I wanted. I also knew that no matter how long it took I wanted to do it the “Natural” way; no pills, diets, shakes, etc. It took support of family, friends, and coworkers to keep me motivated. I was determined to achieve the results I wanted.
I missed so many social events because I had to work out. I was afraid that if I missed, I would keep making excuses and I am the only one that can hold myself accountable. Squad Fitness, in my opinion, is better than working out at the gym. No two workouts are the same and you have a group of people who encourage you and hold you accountable throughout the workout. The exercises target your entire body and, most of all, Squad fitness is a mixture of strength and cardio. We do not use machines, like in the gym, and most of the workouts are dealing with your own bodyweight.
It will be 3 years for me in September 2016 and I have made so much progress. I have lost 60 pounds. Although I have not kept up with my measurements, I’ve gone from a size 18 in jeans and to a size 10. In shirts I was an XXL/XL and now I am a M/L. I was a 42 DD in bra size and now I am a 36 D! Some may say I should have lost more weight than 60 pounds in these 2.5 years, BUT the scale does not define me. The scale just makes you want to give up when those numbers do not decrease from week to week. I set realistic goals, I do not starve myself, and I eat the foods I love in moderation. I also know I am not perfect and I will fall, but the key is not staying down for long. Rise back up and keep going.
My advice for others would be to not give up. You didn’t gain your weight all in one day so don’t expect to lose it quickly. You have to work hard to get the results you want. Also do not go on a “DIET”, they are only temporary. Make a “LIFESTYLE” change which will last forever. Set short term realistic goals until you reach your ultimate long term goal. You have to want to make a change, because no one can do it for you or make you do it. You must stay focused, be dedicated and not let excuses get in your way. Exercise should be like brushing your teeth and taking a bath. You shouldn’t have to think about doing it, because it is like HABIT and a task that you learned as a child. I first started working out 3 times a week and today I work out 5-6 times a week. My “REST” days are not actually rest days because I usually take a 30 min walk. I am now a fitness addict and fitness is my “DRUG”!