Transformation of the Day: Shaneda lost 142 pounds. Her motivation to lose weight came from watching the women in her family suffer from illnesses due to obesity. Seeing the suffering her mom went through before she passed away at the age of 43 had a profound effect on her. Check out how she took action.
What was your motivation?
It’s funny what motivates people to do things. I would have to say that my motivation to lose weight came from watching the women in my family suffer from illnesses due to obesity. My mother was my main motivation. Her heart was pure and her love was real, but her weight limited the things she could do with me and my brother growing up. As bad as it is for me to admit this, I was embarrassed of her as a child. Kids have a way of being so mean and I was picked on for her being overweight. As a single mother, my mom raised us to the best of her ability. Unfortunately, it cost less to eat unhealthy then it did to eat healthy. So, I learned unhealthy eating habits at an early age. My mother and I were famous around town, in the restaurant industry.
One day, I fell in love with a man I hope to marry, but I promised myself that I wasn’t going to walk down the aisle overweight. So, that’s when my weight loss journey began. I tried my best to get my mother to join me but she was uninterested. Later, my mother was injured in her home as she tried to use the restroom in the middle of the night. The fall would cause her to break not one but both of her ankles. While she was in the hospital healing, I visited her. All she talked about was that when she got better she was going to join me in the gym. Soon, she was able to go to a nursing home for rehabilitation. I was very happy about because not only was my mom coming home, but she wanted to start living a healthy life. However, my happiness was short lived.
I got a call telling me to hurry up and get to the hospital because my mother had another accident. I took that drive to the hospital with this gut wrenching feeling of the unknown. I was placed in a small room. Someone came in and told me my mother had passed. A feeling of disbelief came over me and I just couldn’t breathe. As I was escorted to the trauma bay where my mother’s body was, I could hear the whispers from the people who must have seen her wheeled in there. There she was my mother, my life, my protector, my support and most of all my friend laying there in front of my eyes. She was still warm to the touch and I felt comfort in being able to close her eyes, as they were still open. A person I would have given my life for was gone to soon at the age of 43. The autopsy stated that she died due to a blood clot caused by two broken ankles… that were caused by obesity. This is my motivation, as painful as it was, and my driving force to change.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
Weight loss surgery is a route that I took. I had the Lap Band procedure, because I wanted my weight loss to look natural. I will say this, if you can lose weight without surgery please do so. I’ve had some medical issues due to the Lap Band and it is not a permanent fix. You still have to do your part to see results.
How do you change your eating habits?
I started drinking more water and eating more vegetables and fruit. I also practiced portion control and stopped eating so much beef and pork, because studies show that the body processes meat slowly. All in all, I mainly watched what I ate.
What did your workout routines look like? How Often do you work out?
At my heaviest, I worked out in the pool a lot. That helped, because it put less pressure on my joints. Now, I mostly walk on the treadmill at an incline, do reps on the leg press and sit ups on the incline bench. When I can’t make the gym, I like to exercise in home with Billy Blanks DVDs. I like to workout at least 4 days out of the week for at least one hour.
What was your starting weight and what’s your weight now?
My starting weight was 282 pounds and my current weight is 140 pounds. My height is 5’2.5″
When did you start your journey?
I started my journey in 2008 and I’m still on this journey for the long run.
What inspired you when you wanted to give up?
I’m inspired everyday by my children. Not only to lose weight, but they inspire me in everything I do. I work out because I would never want to be a burden to them. My job is to be their caretaker and not the other way around. Also, I never want them to feel the way I felt when I had to bury my mother.
What advise do you have for others who want to lose weight?
My advice would be to first make sure you are losing weight for yourself. Talking to a specialist could help if your weight gain is a result of something that has affected your state of mind.
Also, don’t assume that the people who where with you at the beginning of your journey will be with you at the end. Some people are enablers and if you are dependent upon them, they are satisfied. Trust me I know. The same man I started this journey with for couldn’t handle my weight loss, because I became less dependent on him. Just remember this one thing, no matter how big you are or how small you may become, someone loves you and they want you to be around for the long run.