Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
My name is Sharae and I am from Seattle! I’m a Project Manager at a marketing company by day. By night, I run an online wellness boutique and I have a natural hair & fitness blog! Outside of my passions, I’m a simple girl who enjoys running, spending quality time with family and friends, reading a good book, and of course, shopping!
What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?
I have always been somewhat overweight, but my weight really skyrocketed when I went to college, because the food was sooo good! My doctor kept advising me to lose weight, because she didn’t want to put me on high blood pressure medication at such a young age. She encouraged me to eat healthier and get more physical activity. I was stubborn and didn’t listen. My wake-up call was when someone asked me if I was pregnant. I was so embarrassed! I knew I needed to make a change
What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?
I started my transformation when I was 164 pounds, which was a lot of weight on me since I am only 4’11”. I am now 100 pounds. I used to wear a junior’s size 13 pant and a size XL top. I now wear a size 0 pant and an XS top.
How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?
I joined Weight Watchers in 2008 and lost 50 pounds in 1 year. Then, over time, I lost an extra 10 pounds for a total of 60 pounds lost!
Which physical activities did you participate in during your journey?
Since I was sedentary before my journey, all I could physically do was walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes a few days a week. I slowly increased the time and the number of days per week that I walked. Then I started jogging since I could never comfortably do that before. I eventually advanced to running. Running was definitely something I had to work up to. I also used to follow several of the Biggest Loser DVD’s.
How did your eating habits change?
They changed drastically! I used to be the fried food queen! A typical dinner was fried chicken strips and tater tots with ranch and BBQ sauce for dipping. I also drank a lot of juice and barely any water. I loved cookies, pasta Alfredo, and bagels. I don’t follow any specific diet now. I take components from different diets and fashion them to create a lifestyle that suites me. So I get inspiration from veganism, Whole 30, Paleo, etc.
What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner?
I am a creature of habit, so I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over. My current typical breakfast is ½ cup of oatmeal along with two scrambled eggs with collards and peppers. Lunch is a green smoothie. Snacks are usually Smart Foods popcorn and fresh fruit or string cheese. For dinner, I get a little more creative. I cook a lot of Paleo. But I always make sure all of my dinners include a green leafy vegetable, a complex carbohydrate (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, squash, etc.) and a lean protein such as chicken, turkey or seafood. I no longer consume beef
What is your favorite fitness activity?
I love running! It’s my main form of cardio. I will occasionally perform some HIIT (High Intensity Internal Training) or go to a Hot Yoga class to mix things up. I also follow YouTube video’s for my strength training
What do you do now to maintain your physique?
I work out 5-6 days a week. I typically run 4 miles a day on the treadmill followed by 30-40 minutes of strength training. I eat between 4-5 times a day. I try to eat a clean diet that is free of processed foods, sugar, and refined carbs 80% of the time. Then I allow myself to indulge and enjoy a little freedom the other 20%
How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t easy now that I’ve lost the weight. But what keeps me going is knowing my “why”. Why do I want to be healthy? What health issues do I want to avoid? If I eat too much of a certain food, how is that going to make my body feel? Also you have to find a physical activity that you enjoy; otherwise you won’t be motivated to do it. Try different classes or pieces of equipment to see what you like
What advice do you have for someone looking to get started with their fitness journey but not sure where to begin?
I would say start by making small changes daily, especially with what you eat. Try to eat fewer processed foods and refined carbs, soda and juice. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Get active by working out for 3 days a week for 30-45 minutes and then work your way up from there. It’s okay to start slow. I didn’t know everything when I started. So you learn and grow along the way. Also, don’t be a slave to the scale. I would only weigh myself once a week. There are non-scale victories you should celebrate such as your clothes fitting better, having more energy and improved self-confidence
What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?
I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that once you’ve lost the weight, you don’t still have to put in the work. But when you reach maintenance it’s just another part of the journey. You still have to live a healthy lifestyle to maintain your results
Do you have any fitness inspirations? Who are they?
Definitely! I love Jeanette Jenkins and also Massy Arias of MankoFit. They both have phenomenal physiques and push their physical limits. They are also both huge proponents of women’s empowerment.
How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)?