The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl – A Success Story
Name: Shauna Reid
Before weight: 351
How I gained it: I developed an fixation with my weight from an early age by tagging along to my Mum’s Weight Watchers meetings — she was a group leader! I remember being 8 years old and watching the ladies line up for the scale. I realized what you ate and what you weighed was a really big deal, and I grew up very conscious of my body and my eating — I had a very love/hate relationship with them both. It wasn’t until my late teens when I left home that I really started to gain weight. Food became my comfort during some very difficult times. My self-esteem was non-existent, and I was trapped in a cycle of terrible binges and careful dieting. I gained over 100 pounds during my degree. By 23, I’d reached 351 pounds.
Breaking point: Seeing my giant size 26 knickers on the clothesline next to my sister’s tiny size 8 ones. Hers were lacy and dainty — mine were frumpy cotton like my grandmother would wear. These were no knickers for a 23-year-old! I knew that I had to do something about weight and do it right this time.
How I lost it: I was overwhelmed by how much I needed to lose, so I started out slow, focusing only on my diet. Then after a couple of months, I started walking. At first I couldn’t even make it to the end of my block without gasping for breath, but gradually I made it around the whole block, then another. By the end of the year, I’d braved the gym and did cardio and weights classes. Exercise boosted my self-belief and made me feel proud of what my body could do, instead of focusing on what it looked like. These days my favorites are weight training, Pilates and kickboxing.
In terms of diet, I initially followed Weight Watchers but left after a year as it clashed with my favorite gym class! It took me five years to reach my goal — I left my nativeAustraliato go traveling so my weight loss slowed down as my social life took off. But it helped me figure out how I could be healthy for life, instead of an unsustainable diet. My rule of thumb these days is to eat about 80 percent virtuously — whole grains, fruit, vegetables, healthy fats and mostly vegetarian lean protein. The other 20 percent is reserved for goodies. It all boils down to, “do the healthy thing more often than you don’t.”
After weight: 175
Shauna has maintained her weight loss since August 2006.
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