Transformation of the Day: Shani lost 108 pounds. After moving from St.Maarten to the Netherlands for college, she experienced significant weight gain. By the time she graduated and started her career, she found out she was at risk for a heart attack. She shared with us how she took action and took back her health. Check out her story.
Starting Weight: 153.9 KG (338.5. lbs)
Current Weight: 104.8 KG. (230.5 lbs)
Total Weight Loss: 49.1KG (108 lbs)
Goal Weight: 65 KG (143 lbs)
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going when you wanted to give up?
For the majority of my life, I was overweight. I weighed 72kg (152.8lbs) at twelve years old and about 80kg (176lbs) during most of my teen years. Although I was overweight, I was always comfortable with myself, which meant the most to me.
I moved away from home (St.Maarten) at 17, to further my education in the Netherlands. Shortly after, I found myself in a predicament and realized that life wasn’t as clear cut as I thought that it would be. I gained 30kg (66lbs) in my first six months at college. Somehow, I found the strength to crash diet my way down to a more comfortable size. However, all the crash dieting took a toll on my metabolism and my health.
It took a while to find my direction, but finally, in 2013 I found a career that I loved. I pursued it and successfully graduated in 2017. After graduation, I landed a position at the company where I did my internship.
Three weeks after I started working, the ambulance picked me up at work. At the time, I thought that I was having a heart attack. Thankfully, It wasn’t. The cardiologist told me that the pain was coming from tension in the walls of my chest and that it could be quite painful. She also warned me that I was overweight and if I didn’t do something about it, I could have a heart attack in 10 or 20 years.
After that experience, it still took me four months to get serious about my weight. My weight continued to contribute to other health issues (like breathing problems and PCOS). One day while sitting on the couch, I became emotional. In that very moment, I realized the damage that I was doing to myself, and I admitted that I needed help. In that very moment, I reached out to a health coach on my LinkedIn. I was scared, and I wasn’t ready, but I knew that I was willing to Fight!
How did you change your eating habits?
I got an eating plan from my health coach, but the foods on the list included foods that I didn’t want to eat anymore (bread, rice, potatoes, etc.). The health coach and I were not seeing eye to eye about my food plan, so I took over. After all, it is my life, and I had to do it my way.
I eliminated carbs and added sugar. I limited my dairy intake and ate lots of protein and vegetables. It was truly a process of trial and error. As the weight continued to melt off, I made gradual adjustments. I stuck to the schedule of my previous meal plan, eating five times a day (3 meals and two snacks). Dinner is still my heaviest meal. Usually consisting of meat and vegetables. I will be making adjustments to that soon.
Cutting out carbs worked for me, but I advise you to listen to your own body. If eating a spoon or two of rice works for you, do it! It is essential to feel good during this journey. For many of us, the journey is quite lengthy. Don’t compromise your mental or physical health. People will always have “the perfect fix.” My advice: find your own balance and stick to it.
What did your workout routine consist of?
I worked out 2-3 days a week with a personal trainer for 6 of the eight months. After I stopped working with a trainer, I kept up my weight loss regime.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 153.9 KG (338.5 lbs). At 5’6″, my BMI was through the roof. I now weigh 104.7KG (230.5 lbs). My goal weight is 65KG (143 lbs). I am still losing weight, at a rate of 1.5KG (3.3 lbs) per week.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started my journey in April 2018. It took eight rigid months to lose the weight. I still have a long way to go. I will hit my goal in June 2019.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
Weigh loss surgery was not apart of my journey. I considered surgery to be my last resort. I had to fight first, before making such a big decision. I am grateful to God that I had the strength in me to fight. To those that are considering surgery, know that you are strong. Everyone’s journey is different. You must always do what is best for you.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson that I have learned is self-love. There were so many people around me who loved me so much, but I didn’t love myself. Lack of love for myself allowed me to accept certain things that were, simply, unacceptable. Now, I set serious boundaries and draw straight lines. I love myself too much to allow those to be crossed, not even by me.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
Love yourself enough to fight for your life. You are worth the fight. There will be tough days and nights but better and healthier days are ahead. Start now and never look back.