Transformation of the Day: Shenitra lost 80 pounds. She is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. This single mom of 2 has a family that really depends on her. When she was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, she really reflected on how the disease had affected many of her family members. Her journey to greater health began with that diagnosis and she hasn’t looked back. Check out how she transformed her lifestyle.
What was your motivation?
I went to the doctor a little over three years ago for a regular check up. I always had great lab work so I assumed this visit would be no different. When I received my results, she informed me that my body was not breaking down insulin as it should and I was borderline for Type 2 Diabetes. That is when she tried to give me Metformin and other medication. I knew then it was time to make a change because diabetes is a major health problem on both sides of my family. My mother is currently on dialysis and both of my grandmothers were on dialysis before they died. I know how much of a toll it can cause on your body because I currently help take care of my mother on top of being a single mother of two. So I knew I had to make a change quickly because I refused to take any medication.
What inspired you when you wanted to give up?
My family is what has kept me going. I have too many people who depend on me. I have my son and
daughter whom I provide for. I have my mother who I help take care of. I also have a brother who requires my assistance. I have family who loves me and who made sure to encourage me through this journey which has been one of the hardest things I have done.
How did you change your eating habits?
First thing I did was cut out soda and other sugary drinks and start drinking water. I then attempted to go on several diets, which I failed miserably. I always ended up binge eating. So, I decided to start doing portion control. I practiced only eating half of my normal meals, because I was overeating. Once I got the portions under control I slowly started eliminating the unhealthy foods and trying new things. I also found that cooking my own food instead of going out really helped. I found healthy recipes online and started experimenting in the kitchen.
I started eating more vegetables and found ways to cook them that I enjoyed. I also started using more turkey and chicken and eliminated the more fattening meats. My main problem was cutting out white bread and white rice. I switched to brown rice and started eating wheat bread. I also increased my fruit intake by doing smoothies in the morning combining fruits and vegetables with 100% pure
juices and almond milk.
What did your workout routines look like?
I started out doing mainly aerobics and cardio workouts with my trainer. A lot of running and core work. I was losing weight, but was not satisfied with my overall look. After a few months of that he started adding weight lifting. I was originally against it because I thought it would make me bulk up which is not what I wanted. However, it had the opposite affect. I really started seeing results after that. At one point I was working out 6 days a week and sometimes twice in one day.
Starting weight/Current weight
My starting weight was 260 pounds. My current weight is 180 pounds. I’m 5’7″ tall.
How long did your transformation take?
I began my journey in August 2013. It’s been three years and I am still putting in work.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
Do not beat yourself up. You will get frustrated and feel like you are not going to reach your goal. There will be days where you fall short and you do not stick to your diet. There will be days where you do not feel like running or going to the gym. The trick is just remembering why you started and staying the course. There were days where I really just wanted to get in my car and go home and never come back. However, I had to remember the bigger picture. At the end of the day your health is your responsibility and you have to take it seriously. The key is simply not to give up and to keep moving.