60-70 Pounds Lost: How many miles do I have to run to burn off a large size bag of peanut M&M’s?
NAME : Shannon
BEFORE WEIGHT : 210
AFTER WEIGHT : 145-155 (depending on if I’m lifting)
POUNDS LOST : 60-70 (fluctuates)
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I was self conscious of my body since I was 8-9 years old. All the girls were skinnier than me and able to run in gym class without getting winded. I was lazy and didn’t feel motivated. I played sports outside of school but hated being forced to exercise. My mom forced me to run 3 days a week and put me on weight watchers at the age of 14. I lost some weight but cheated all the time until she just gave up. She had to buy me clothes throughout the school year because I just kept getting bigger. I’d find a pair of jeans and wear them every day because they were the only pair that fit. She would make comments and my dad would snatch a bag of chips out of my hand mocking me. My older brother was a stick. They all told me I needed to not eat junk food and exercise while they all sat there eating the same junk food. I just ate the food to spite them. I tried all kinds of diets and followed weight watchers off and on. I lost a lot of weight in high school due to anxiety from a bad friendship. It was bad. I was diagnosed with gastroparesis in college (slow moving stomach) but continued to fluctuate in weight. I was sick constantly and always tired. I was depressed and jealous of all my friends that could eat and drink whatever but never gain. After college I got a job with the commonwealth and hit my peak weight: 210.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
I got engaged in 2012 and decided enough is enough. I wanted to look good for my wedding. I ended up looking good but I didn’t feel good. August of 2014, after my wedding, was when I really made a drastic change. I signed up for weight watchers online and never looked back.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
The first weight loss: My husband got me the Insanity DVD’s for Christmas of 2012. I was a fanatic. I didn’t miss a workout unless sick. I loved them. The weight started coming off even though my diet still wasn’t the best. That was until April of 2013 when my I blew my right knee out. Second weight loss: I signed up for weight watchers, got addicted to running, and started weight lifting.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
First weight loss: I saw results immediately. Then I blew my knee out and kind of stopped. I gained some of it back over the year and ended up having knee surgery in October of 2013. I lost and gained up until my wedding. Second weight loss: I started to lose weight immediately and kept losing for months. I’d buy a pair of pants and a month later they’d be too big.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
The biggest challenge was the injuries. I injured my right knee and right ankle with insanity which resulted in countless physical therapy appointments, injections, and ultimately knee surgery. The ankle was the same process without surgery (thank god). After getting those healed up, I developed tennis elbow in my left elbow and forearm area. That took over a year to heal and limited my upper body progress. The biggest setback was in June of 2015 when I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my right hip from running. I was on non weight bearing for 6 weeks and no exercise for another 4 after. Exercise makes me happy. Running makes me happy. Running became my hobby and I get depressed without it. I’ve been able to get back into it (slowly) over the year but I also developed IT band syndrome in the bad knee. I then pulled a muscle in my back and wasn’t able to lift for a month. Physical therapy helped that as well. I never had an injury until I was 25. Then: BAM. I feel like it’s Mother Nature telling me to stay fat!
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
So many times. I did give up on my first weight loss journey and ended up not looking how I wanted to at my wedding. I was too stressed. I gave up with the knee and ankle injury and just didn’t care. This second time around, even with injuries, I found ways to keep exercising or watching what I eat. When I was laid up for my stress fracture, I would do resistance band work outs on the floor. With my back injury, I just focused on lower body. I’ve been bad and allowed myself to not track what I’ve been eating but it’s not good. I need to monitor my portions or else I just keep eating and eating. The inspiration I get from all the people I follow on Instagram (mostly weight watchers) and just seeing how I’ve inspired others to be healthy is what keeps me going. People ask me for advice and I don’t mind giving it out. I research and read a lot. I know I can always be better and that’s what drives me.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I plateau when I don’t track my food. I started weight lifting and that has also helped with slimming down even if the scale doesn’t move. Muscle does weigh more than fat so the scale won’t always reflect a loss! I just change up what I’m doing to keep my body motivated and energized.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
It took me from April of 2012-April of 2013 to lose about 30-35 lbs. It then took me from August of 2014-May of 2015 to lose the last 30.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
So many! The first time I ran under a 10 minute mile, than under a 9 minute mile, and lastly an 8 minute mile. I always ran/walked no less than a 13-15 minute mile. The first time I ran over 3 miles straight without walking was so amazing for me. People telling me I look good is awesome but people telling me I’m an inspiration to them and seeing them lose weight is even better. Fitting into a single digit pair of pants and wearing a size small makes me want to cry with joy sometimes. You know what’s a weird NSV? Seeing people from years ago and they not recognizing you until your loud laugh comes out. The greatest NSV was this year when my husband and I had testing done for our health insurance and my BMI was in a normal range!!!! I feel better overall, have more energy, never sit still anymore, motivated in life, and I hardly get sick anymore *knocks on wood*
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I am addicted to salt so I will never give up my salty snacks. I just try to buy bettee versions of them. I love beanfield farms chips and multi grain tortilla chips. I use PB2 instead of peanut butter. I love ground turkey and chicken. I don’t buy bread unless it’s low carb. I make my own desserts because I modify everything. My low carb and sugar coconut flour cookies are amazing. I just cut out diet soda and drink natural seltzer water (vanilla cream is the bomb). I eat the same lunch every day (avocado rolled up in sliced turkey with a fruit and something Crunchy like pretzels and hummus). When I eat out, I try and modify my food like taking the bun off or asking for no mayo. The only fast food I eat is chipotle. I rarely drink because I don’t think it’s worth the calories. I don’t buy peanut M&M’s because then I won’t eat the entire bag. I live on coffee and I used to hate coffee. Weird…
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I find any way possible to burn calories now. I have a polar watch and I love hitting my daily activity goal. I used to be happy if I ran 3 times a week. And the days I ran, I devoured anything. In my mind, a 30 minute run was enough to burn off the family sized portion of peanut M&M’s I ate. I go on walks with my husband weekly, I still run (carefully), I weight lift 3-4 times a week, I do at home work outs, I take the steps, I do wall sits and lunges when brushing my teeth, I walk to stores, I spend an hour just walking in the grocery store for extra steps, and I make sure to get up and move around at work if I’m sitting too much.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Always eat breakfast. Don’t save up calories for later. You’ll regret it!
- Don’t binge on the weekends (every weekend). Your insides hate it. Your pancreas, heart, and liver can’t handle it. Eat in moderation every day and don’t starve yourself throughout the week.
- Weight lifting won’t make you big or bulky. You burn fat and calories up to 72 hours after weight lifting. It really helps with excess skin. It’s not just for men.
- A size 2 doesn’t look good on everyone. Focus on how you feel over all more so than what size your jeans are.
- Get allergy tested. You may be allergic to certain foods and not know it. My husband has a soy allergy so we both have cut it out of our diet. We both feel MUCH better.
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