Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
Hello. My name is Shanielle. I’m 30 years old. I’m currently a nursing student and I work in patient financial services. For fun, I’m crafty, so anytime I can do with my hands & a hot glue gun I’m happy.
What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?
What started my journey was, one day, I went shopping for jeans. The last time I had been shopping I was a size 16. This time I was struggling to fit a size 24. I was in the dressing room of New York & Co in tears and I knew at that moment I had to do something different with my life.
What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?
I started as a size 24 & the last time I remember weighing myself at that time I was 265lbs. Currently I’m a size 12. I’ve been as small as a size 8 but I was unhappy that small. I rarely weigh myself now I’m not sure what my weight is currently.
How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?
I started in November of 2008. I was down to my smallest by March 2010
Which physical activities did you participate in during your journey?
I started out by going to cycling classes at my gym 3 days a week and doing the elliptical the other 4. I started lifting weights about 6 months in with the help of a friend and trainer Eric. Now, I still cycling and weight train but I also try other things for fun like pole dancing, yoga, obstacle courses, 5Ks, etc.
How did your eating habits change?
When I decided to lose weight, I started with a 1400 meal plan. Now, my diet is more relaxed but I still try to keep my diet fresh & colorful. Lots of fruit & veggies, chicken, seafood & rice. After eating well for so long, you stop craving a lot of the junk food.
What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner?
Breakfast is either a smoothie, oatmeal with berries, or boiled eggs with turkey bacon & a citrus fruit. Lunch & dinner is a meat/protein with a veggie & optional carb. My meat is normally chicken or seafood. I don’t eat much red meat. The carb is normally rice or potatoes.
What is your favorite fitness activity?
My favorite workout is cycling! It changed my life & I found a love for it during my journey.
What do you do now to maintain your physique?
Now, it’s harder because I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which causes weight gain and messes with your hormones. I try to stay mindful of what I eat & workout at least 5 days a week.
How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
I stopped having it around me when I could and tried to remember that all that crap I was eating was why I was in that dressing room crying.
What advice do you have for someone looking to get started with their fitness journey but not sure where to begin?
Don’t be afraid to start. Even if you start small and work your way up, that’s something. Maybe start by walking & cutting soda from your diet then add something else every few weeks or month.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?
That it’s the same for everyone and it’s going to happen over night. Especially with social media now, it will make you think everyone got these amazing bodies in a month by doing the same thing. A lot of these social media celebrities are selling cookie cutter fitness plans they never followed and that’s not going to work for everyone.
Do you have any fitness inspirations? Who are they?
My fitness inspirations are celebs like Serena Williams & Ashanti. As well as Instagramers like kristline_ , yourstrulybriana , & achanty.t
How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)?
I post often on my Instagram @fitandfabshanielle & I have a Facebook fitness page ‘A Healthier Me’. I post my journey & what I’m going through on there to hopefully help someone out.