Transformation of the Day: Shemeka lost 133 pounds. PCOS and depression could not stop her. This mental health social worker was tired of the weight loss rollercoaster and, with time, she found the solutions that work for her.
I started my journey in 2015. I would start and stop. I suffered from PCOS, which is a hormonal condition that leads to unwanted weight gain and infertility. It also made me sink into depression. My doctor tried to put me on many medicines to help, but it wasn’t successful. I’ve always been active, but the weight was tough to lose due to the hormone imbalance.
In 2020, I had gastric bypass surgery after losing 50 pounds on my own, and the rest is history. Even with the surgery, the weight came off slow, and then it stopped because I didn’t change my habits. One day something clicked, and I got aggressive about my diet and workouts. That’s when the weight started melting off.
I work hard now. I work out for about 2 hours most days. My body is beautiful and toning. I love it, I treat it kindly, and I speak positively to it. I think our thoughts control our actions, and actions lead to reactions.
What was your motivation?
My motivation is the quality of life, and overall well-being exercise has given me. It’s so much more than looking good. It’s about being confident in your skin and presenting the “best version of yourself” first and others second.
Exercise and food are gifts to me! Food used to be my addiction, but the root of the addiction stemmed from rejection and fear. I was an emotional eater. I used to eat when I was happy and sad, lol! That’s a bad combination. There were days when I mentally, physically, and emotionally quit, and that’s normal. We all want to quit sometimes. However, we have to COUNT THE COST. I kept going because I realized stopping would get me nowhere. Simply put… To move forward, you have to move forward.
How did you change your eating habits?
It all starting with the basics. I started eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and some healthy snacks in between. (Which was something most people don’t do.) I used to skip meals until I found out it slowed down my metabolism and caused my body to starve and store fat, which is the total opposite of what I was trying to do.
I ate simple breakfast food like oatmeal with nuts and cinnamon. Sometimes I had peanut butter and apple slices or boiled eggs and yogurt. I stopped eating bread, sugary foods, and carbonated drinks.
I drink hot teas daily sweetened with raw honey or nectar. I also drink noncaffeinated coffee and water! I also enjoy wine from time to time. My daily diet consists of kale, spinach, chicken, salmon, protein shakes, nuts, cheese, and fruit. I also splurge on pizza, Mexican food, wings, and catfish sometimes.
What does your workout routine consist of?
I work out 5-6 days a week. I train with a trainer for five days, do a light workout out on my own for one day, and have one rest day. My workouts consist of mostly HIIT intervals, controlled movements, jump squats, box jumps, battle ropes, sled, and tire flips.
I love to lift weights, so I lift more than I do cardio. It has been the best thing for my body type. I’m a strong, black woman! Respectfully! I celebrate all people, and what fitness looks like for everyone! I do a lot of deadlifts, barbell work, and dumbbell exercises. I feel empowered when I lift. I also use my body weight to do yoga and pilates.
What is your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My highest weight was 331 pounds, and my current weight is 198 pounds.
What is your height?
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
Be consistent and disciplined, but also strive to be realistic and have balance. It’s ok to eat the foods you enjoy, just within reason. Know your triggers and boundaries. Set small goals and crush them! They lead to bigger, better goals. Do the opposite of what you have always done to get the results you have always wanted.
Exercise is my medicine. It has helped me beat anxiety depression and reversed my PCOS. I’m currently a mental health social worker, and I’m in school for personal training and weight management. In closing, I’m thankful for this journey. Wellness is a daily progression and not a final destination.