Here’s my candid, no sugar-coated story about my weight loss.
Shaina dropped from 179 lbs in 2019 to 135 lbs in 2022.
Losing fifty to sixty pounds three times is no easy task, it takes a lot of willpower and a lot of self-control. It’s so easy for us to see celebrities losing weight quickly or wearing their bikinis prancing around on a beach taking what looks like effortless, super skinny photos. Well, real life isn’t like that. Real life is different, and things take time.
I was bullied for being heavy as a child
I was always a heavier kid; I remember when I was in fourth grade I weighed 100lbs and the gym teacher yelled ZERO out when we were getting weighed. By the time I was in fifth grade we switched schools and I’ll never forget the pair of jeans my mom got me- remember those cool relaxed fit jeans back in the 90’s? Well, she bought me a sweet new pair that I forgot to take that long “16,16,16,16” tag off down the leg. The school bully said, “what size are you?” I replied “five”, he said “NO YOU’RE NOT! LOOK! SHE’S A 16!!” and my self-consciousness started there.
Did I stop eating junk food? Nope! Did I exercise or do sports? Nope! Heck, I even tried to fake asthma to get out of gym class! I was a solid size 11-13 during my high school years, but I was fine, other than that snobby friend of mine that said, “you’re lucky you’re pretty since you’re fat, because I’m lucky that I’m skinny and pretty.” (She wasn’t that pretty by the way). Other than her, no one bothered me about my weight, I was confident, and life was good…until my first job.
I used to eat out — a lot
I ended up dropping out of college with two weeks left of my final semester at MCC for a job in a call center, I saw dollar signs, not future. During that time man did we eat! We ate out every day, from Jamaican food to Olive Garden and Cracker Barrel, man did we eat a lot! I ended up at a whopping 195 pounds at age 20, not only was I heavy, but oh my, was I super unhealthy! By the time I got to age 21 I became a bartender at a local nightclub where I was told that I was hired because the manager was a “chubby chaser” (who the heck even says that anyways? Ugh!). After that comment I looked around and I realized I was indeed the heaviest bartender at a nightclub filled with girls that were gorgeous, and I think maybe four of the bartenders on staff were personal trainers. I had to do something.
I ended up at a whopping 195 pounds at age 20, not only was I heavy, but oh my, was I super unhealthy!
Atkins was the diet of choice back then, but mind you, I wasn’t ever particularly “healthy,” so I did Atkins probably the worst way possible: I ate pounds of bacon with cheese, endless slim jims, and never one vegetable or fruit. I did this for almost one year. I remember one time that I cried because I couldn’t even eat a carrot. Nope, a carrot has carbs, and I was eating NONE! I was able to lose forty pounds that year. I was not healthy at doing it, but I did it.
I got into working out and eating healthy
I ended up meeting a great roommate a few years later who would workout with me and introduced me to actual healthy eating, so we’d wake up, do Insanity workouts, drink Shakeology shakes, and get fit. I’d then go and bartend at night and get my steps in, and I really became into it. I ended up finding out that I loved CrossFit and Cycling, so I got into both for a while, life was good, I was happy, I was healthy, I was fit, it was cool. I remember one day someone asked me to run a 10k with them and I just went and did it, no problem. Another time I was able to do the Tour de Cure and ride forty miles without any real training. I was finally healthy… until I decided to go for my bachelor’s degree.
In 2011 I decided to go back to college and get my degree at SUNY Brockport (to back up, I ended up finishing my degree at MCC, replaced all of my F dropout grades with A’s, and graduated with an Associates Degree). During that time my ring finger on my right hand became deformed, it was weird, my doctor thought I popped a capsule in it, but months later my hand was getting worse. Suddenly one day my pinky finger on my right hand became oddly deformed, I was tired, sluggish, and felt awful, something was wrong. After going to some doctors, I was diagnosed with severe Psoriatic Arthritis. I couldn’t believe that someone my age would get arthritis, but I did. I tried a clinical research study which I ended dropping out of since it made me feel the worst I’ve ever felt in my life, and then the doctor prescribed me Methotrexate. I FELT LIKE DEATH! That was the worst week. I remember feeling so awful I just layed on a couch for days, until I finally went down to Arizona to visit my mom. She found me a naturopathic physician that I visited, and he set me up with a treatment plan that included a ton of vitamins, more than I could afford a month, and a VERY strict paleo diet.
I tried paleo as a poor college kid
The diet was your regular paleo diet; fruits, nuts, vegetables, meats, but this one had no nightshade vegetables and no citrus. I couldn’t afford all of the vitamins as a poor college kid, so I found these Vega One shakes that tasted awful but gave me most of the recommended vitamins. I drank that shake, ate the prescribed diet, and after six months I went back to my rheumatologist and they told me my disease was in remission. It has been ever since.
My first of three weight loss stories is the most significant, because I overcame so much. I overcame the bullying as a kid, as an adult, I figured out what it was like to eat healthy, to be healthy, to feel healthy, I was diagnosed with a disease, I fought the disease, and I was able to share my story with others to help them.
Fast forwarding to 2012- I became an Administrator at the University of Rochester Department of Surgery, wow, 25 years old and I was on top of the world! So many people would ask me what I did to get so fit (I was 25, 135lbs, and in great shape by this point), so I started sharing my story about my arthritis and preaching the paleo diet.
I started Effortlessly Healthy with only $1,000 in the bank
One day I was home sick and had an idea- what if I figured out a way to feed people so they didn’t have to cook or grocery shop? So, I did. I had $1,000 in the bank, quit my new career, and started Effortlessly Healthy, it was a struggle, and almost everyone I knew told me how crazy I was to do this, but I wanted to help people eat healthy. I wanted to take my story and spread my experience to others. Would you believe it has already been nine years? Go me!
Almost everyone I knew told me how crazy I was to do this, but I wanted to help people eat healthy.
I gained a quick twenty pounds starting the business, yes, ironic, I know, but it was stressful, and then I fell in love with a food truck and catering company owner, Mike in 2014. We would eat the leftovers from his gourmet caterings, or we’d go out to dinner at like 9pm when we finally had time, and I probably ate too much chocolate and drank a little too much wine sometimes, but who cares, I was happy. Mike was my guy and 2016 we had our first baby, Zoe.
After Zoe I was able to get myself down fifty pounds, it took two years, I was not in a rush. I never cut a carb, I honestly didn’t exercise much at all, I just watched my portions, ate Effortlessly Healthy meals, didn’t go out to eat too much, cut down the wine and chocolate, and just didn’t overdo it. Slowly, but surely, weight came off.
And when life was good….my little sister died….…. then I got pregnant again…and I had a miscarriage. Really the year of 2018 was a complete pile of shit for me, but I stayed positive, let myself pack on a few pounds, and persevered. Positive life. Positive vibes. Keep on going…. LUCKILY in 2019 I was pregnant again… I gave birth to baby Michael in September and wow how lucky I was!
Losing the baby weight the healthy way
Then a damn PANDEMIC began in 2020! What the heck! Well, I decided I was stuck in my house, might as well lose this baby weight! Slowly, but surely, I lost quite a bit of pounds and with quarantine I found myself walking at least three miles a day with the kids- I really think this helped. I started tracking my weight on My Fitness Pal in November of 2019, I never was able to track food, but always tracked weight. I found that if I tracked food, I’d just want to eat more food, it’s like in my mind if you track your food with these apps it makes you nonstop think about food, so I just did it for weight.
...today as I write this I am one pound away from my goal weight of 135lbs
November 2019 I was 179lbs. My last track of 2020 was 158lbs in October. 21lbs, 11 months. Slow weight loss. January 2021, I started at 151lbs, and today as I write this I am one pound away from my goal weight of 135lbs. it took me over ten years to almost see that number on the scale. My highest dress size was a 14 as a mom, and now I am wearing a 2. If I have learned anything from losing this much weight this many times, it is this-------
THERE IS NO QUICK FIX!!!! You are not going to lose ten pounds in ten days and keep it off. Plus, why are you going to deprive yourself that bad over trying to be skinny? Losing weight is simple, eat healthy and drink lots of water! Side note- one time I heard this interview with Mariah Carey and she said she always has a spoonful of everything, or she will eat something, but not the whole thing if it is an indulging item, so for example, eat the cake, just don’t eat a huge piece of cake, have a portion, and just don’t have cake every day (although wow, I’d really love to eat cake every day, can someone please come up with a fat free cake that is delicious and not filled with chemicals and ship it to me?) Also, don’t forget to move! Even if it is walking around your building on your lunch break, move your feet.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: Be HAPPY! Your attitude reflects on your life- I recommend reading the book “The Secret,” it changed my life- it will change yours too. Stop looking at the celebrities and these tik tok stars and whatever else is popular these days and just look in the mirror- learn to LOVE yourself! This is so important. You must love yourself to make any sort of positive change in your life. Love and believe in yourself, understand that everything in life takes time, and strive to live your best possible life. It took me so many ups and downs, but when my little sister died at age 28 I realized something, LIFE IS SHORT, and you only have one, so there is no turning back. If you are still reading this, I hope you learned a few things, but honestly I hope I’ve inspired you to eat a healthy meal or take a walk, but most importantly I really hope you have realized that if I can drop out of college, quit an amazing career, lose a sister, lose a baby, and have so many different wild things happen to me, but at the same time love myself enough to truly better myself in every way from physical to mental, I hope that you can do the same. And again, read the book ‘the secret’ manifest your destiny, put positive thoughts out there, and live your best life…oh, and eat Effortlessly Healthy meals.
If you ever want to chat- you know where to find me, I started this business to help people, and if you want to talk, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.
Peace & love,
Shaina dropped from 179 lbs in 2019 to 135 lbs in 2022.
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