Transformation of the Day: Shardae lost 87 pounds. She hired a nutritionist, took kickboxing classes at the gym, and put in the work to get results—no shortcuts or crash diets for her. Check out her awesome story! She shared lots of great insights.
My younger sister was the catalyst for me to get started and keep going. When she reached 340 pounds in August 2020, she told me she wanted to be under that amount within one year and that we should support each other during this time. I weighed 385 lbs at this time, stood 5 feet 7 inches tall, and was an expert yo-yo dieter. My sister came up with the idea of doing our own Weight Watchers-like support group. So for about 3-4 months, we checked in weekly to discuss what we ate, what worked, and what didn’t work.
After those few months passed, my sister lost about 25 lbs. I lost ZERO. Even though we are both adults, I still view myself as needing and wanting to set a good example for her.
Also, for the first time in my life, I didn’t like how my body felt or how I looked at that size. A 30-minute grocery store trip completely exhausted me. Cleaning my own body became difficult as I could no longer reach certain parts of my body.
After decades of failed crash diets, I knew that I needed to do something drastically different. I knew I wasn’t going to find a shortcut to success. I also knew I didn’t want to have weight loss surgery. (because the cons outweighed the pros for me.)
I decided to join a kickboxing gym a few blocks from my home, and I hired a nutritionist. My nutritionist helped me understand that having a restrictive diet (no carbs) isn’t necessarily the best way to lose weight or sustain/maintain the loss. My nutritionist prepares weekly meal plans that include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks that fit my macros. I had no idea what macros were before this! All I have to do is go to the grocery store, get the ingredients for the meals, and prep them for the week. I love the simplicity of the plans, and I actually eat food. I enjoy that they are full of flavor and variety.
After hiring my nutritionist, I made sure to go to my kickboxing class at least three days per week for 45 minutes. The first half of the class is cardio/HIIT, while the second half is weight training. After about four months of making this routine a part of my lifestyle, I started kickboxing 4 to 5 days per week. After just over a year, I now go 5-6 days per week, and I still have the support of my nutritionist.
I started this journey on April 12, 2021 – one day before my 35th birthday. As of April 12, 2022, I have lost 87 pounds!! I started with a 64-inch waist and now my waist is 42 inches. My starting weight was 385 lbs, and my current weight is 298 lbs!
My mobility is better, and I fit comfortably in an airplane seat without having to use a seatbelt extension. Simple tasks like tying my shoes and standing to wash dishes are so much easier! I love and look forward to going to the gym, too! I don’t rest the same at night or have a productive workday until I go to the gym and hit that bag!
The biggest lessons I’ve learned on this journey so far:
1) Perfection is not the key! You will mess up, and that’s okay. You are unlearning decades of poor nutritional habits. Give yourself grace and be patient with yourself.
2) Find something you love and get active! You’re more likely to stick to your workout if you like the activity. The traditional gym just wasn’t for me, and walking or working out at home didn’t excite me. Hitting that punching bag was the key.
3) CARBOHYDRATES ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY!!!! CARBS ARE OUR FRIENDS! It is okay to seek help to learn how many carbs and what kinds are best for you.
4) Journey inward and discern if your eating habits/binging is connected to childhood trauma. I made that connection early on, and I had to heal those wounds (still working on the healing). I had to talk to my inner child and tell her, “You are safe, and you can trust that I will protect you. I’m in charge now, and I say we eat like this because it’s better for us mentally, spiritually, and physically.”
My biggest piece of advice to anyone wanting to go on this journey is that you have to make healthy eating part of your lifestyle. It cannot be something you do Monday through Friday and then eat poorly on Saturday & Sunday. You have to be willing to learn to do things differently than you’ve done them before. Commit to loving yourself fully as you are right now, love handles and backfat included!! If you don’t love yourself now, you won’t love yourself when you reach your weight loss goal.
For more inspiration, meal ideas, and tips, follow my journey on Instagram at @heavy.she.