Shannon Weight Loss Story
New Job, New Look
Getting laid off gave Shannon Watson the time to focus on eating healthy and working out, which, ultimately, lead to a new job.
Name Shannon Watson
Height 5’8 1/2″
Job middle-school math teacher
Weight before 205
Weight after 135
The Buildup: Although she was on the heavy side of average all her life, Shannon Watson had always been able to keep her weight stable. In her late 20s, however, her hectic schedule—two kids and an accounting career—caught up with her, and she left her 150-pound figure in the dust. “Between driving carpools and long hours at work, I stopped taking care of myself,” she says. Family meals of drive-thru burgers, corn dogs, and fried chicken washed down with soda piled on 55 pounds over 5 years.
The Breaking Point: In 2001, Watson was laid off from her job. Though devastated at first, she soon welcomed the time to exercise, cook, and enjoy her family. She dropped 20 pounds in a year. When she decided to switch careers and become a teacher, she found the motivation for an even bigger loss. “I was in no position to be anyone’s role model when it came to health,” she says.
The Changes: Watson traded processed foods for fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cut back on sodium and sugar. “At first it was really hard to make healthy choices while everyone around me indulged in junk food, but I was determined to stay on track,” she says. She also began going to the gym in the evenings. Her hard work paid off: After a month, her pants had more wiggle room. By the end of 7 months, she had lost 35 more pounds, but she wasn’t satisfied. “I was 150 pounds, but I was still flabby,” she says. At the gym, she started strength training an hour a day four to five times a week. In 3 months, she lost the last 15 pounds. Now she challenges herself with new activities, such as swimming and training for her first 5K, which she completed last October in just over 30 minutes.
The Reward: “Now that I’m at a healthy weight, I feel like I’m a better mom, wife, and teacher,” she says. “I often talk about my workouts in my classes, and my students comment on my muscle tone.”
Do the write thing. “I use an online food journal at FitDay.com. Seeing what I’m eating in writing keeps me accountable.”
Bust plateaus. “When you stop seeing results, change up some part of your routine, like the type of cardio or the amount of weight you’re lifting.”
Eat to lose. “It seems counterintuitive, but you have to eat regularly to lose weight. If you’re not eating enough, your energy levels will drop, and you’ll feel exhausted and be tempted to eat junk food to refuel.”
Republished by Blog Post Promoter