Transformation of the Day: Sherah lost 52 pounds. After being prescribed yet another pill for high blood pressure, she decided it was time to make some changes. By embracing a balanced, plant-based eating style and working out consistently, she has transformed. Now she is thriving and helping people adopt healthier habits.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
God, Family, and Health have always been the three categories I’ve lived my life by. I believe the Most High God put it in my heart and spirit to have a passion for health and wellness. I have always been active (I was a cheerleader from grade school-high school). However, when I went to college, my sport was intercollegiate debate, so I was less active.
Once I graduated college, my lack of eating healthy and not being as active caught up with me.
At the age of 26, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. My Doctor advised it was due to my genetics and that I would always be on medication. He gave me some printouts about the DASH Diet and sent me on my way. Every time I went to the Doctor, I noticed that another pill was being pushed at my unhealthy lifestyle (with no change to my blood pressure) instead of helping me change my lifestyle.
At my next appointment, my Doctor prescribed a third pill. That same day, I set out to prove that if I changed my eating habits and was more active, I could fight a condition that’s typically caused by a less healthy lifestyle. (A condition which can be in our “genes,” so to speak… i.e., same unhealthy habits passed down through generation after generation.)
I switched to a raw vegan way of eating the next day after doing a lot of research about diet and the positive impact of reducing our high blood pressure. By the next appointment (three months later), I was on zero pills, and my blood pressure was normal – 120/80.
I currently practice a plant-based way of eating because I genuinely enjoy tofu, green smoothies, and potatoes. I know my gift to provide for others is the gift God blesses me with every day, living a life of thriving. Now I can help others figure out a healthier way of living.
How did you change your eating habits?
After I graduated from college, I was really into bodybuilding and competed in my first bodybuilding competition in 2013. I wanted to compete as a Vegan but, at that moment, I did not have all of the knowledge I have now.
Now I know how to eat a balanced, whole-food, vegan diet. I started out eating “clean” by eating fish, chicken, tons of salad greens, fruit, plant-based protein powders, etc. I also decreased my intake of processed foods which helped significantly improve my overall health.
What did your workout routine consist of? How often did you work out?
I initially started with an hour of cardio in the mornings and an hour of weightlifting in the evenings. Currently, I try to keep my workouts (cardio and weightlifting) to a maximum of 1 hour a day or less. I have recently been enjoying 20-minute workouts.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
After I had my son in 2018, my heaviest weight was 240 pounds. Currently (Jan. 2022), I’m around 188 pounds.
What is your height?
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started my health journey in 2007, but my focus after having my son was to get my health back on track, so 2018 to current.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
Figure out what works for you. I eat plant-based because I love the foods I eat (i.e., tofu, beans, potatoes, rice, lentils, fruit, nuts/seeds). I also utilize the plate method (1/2 plate non-starchy veggies/fruit, 1/4 plate protein, 1/4 plate complex carbs/carbs with some fats). It took me four years to figure out how to nourish my body and fuel it for my workouts while also eating foods that I really like.
It is easy to lose weight but challenging to keep the weight off and maintain good health. There are SO many fad diets and quick fixes. However, I was tired of losing the weight and gaining it back, so I stopped dieting and started living. I eat to live, and not just live to eat!
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
Take it one day at a time. The scale is a great resource, but it should not be the only resource used. There are other methods that can help. (i.e., tape measures and clothing that fits/does not fit)
Also, set non-scale goals like eating more veggies this week, parking a little further from the front door this month, and loving yourself no matter what size you are. Show up for yourself first.