In honor of our July Body Issue, we're sharing real stories of real women who've lost 50 pounds or more without surgery. Their dramatic results and healthy habits will inspire you!
Name: Nekita Shelton from Columbia, Maryland
Total Weight Lost: 144 lbs
How She Did It: Weight Watchers and Tae-Bo classes
Follow Nekita on Twitter @dstlowbeam.
On September 8, 2008 my journey began at 288 pounds. After several attempts at Weight Watchers this time was going to be like no other. I walked into Weight Watchers in Columbia, Maryland where I was determined that this was my time. Leading to this moment, I had experienced three disturbing events, where I knew a change had to be made.
At age 24 my doctor advised I had high blood pressure and was severely overweight. As usual those words “you must lose weight” were mentioned, and as usual this statement went in one ear and out of the other. For me as long as I was still breathing I was “healthy”. It wasn’t until I realized my love for food began to make it physically impossible to enjoy my life at such a young age. An example of this was when my daughter was 4 years old and we decided as a family to go to Six Flags. I was asked to exit a ride because I was unable to fit and my 54-year-old mother had to ride with my daughter. The following Saturday my husband and I took a vacation to Florida, and just as before, I could not fit in the seats and struggled to fit the seat belt around me. Luckily, the nice lady beside me allowed me to lift her arm rest for extra room.
For me, I was never depressed or unhappy with myself, as others unfortunately expect larger woman to be. My life was at its best, I was loved by family and friends, and simply living life, but these things unveiled how important my health really was. I wanted to be around for my family, and wanted to prove to myself that I could overcome this mountain in my life. I remember feeling so humiliated and embarrassed by these experiences that I had to do some self evaluation. I had to ask myself am I really happy with my weight? I started to think back and breakdown my actions. I would always make the first joke about my weight in fear someone else would, now realizing that was a cover-up to my pain. I would always make others laugh, and I realized it was so they wouldn’t have the chance to laugh at me if they were laughing with me.
Joining Weight Watchers not only revealed many changes that needed to be made in my diet but my life as well. I went into this weight loss process with a positive attitude planning to stay on track and to take it 5 pounds at a time. I promised myself that no matter how hard or frustrating this could become I would never give up on myself and I did exactly that. Weight loss had its many challenges. It actually started to feel more mental than physical. I would make up little games and motivational quotes to keep myself going. One of my favorite quotes is “Today I will intimidate my body with my positive thoughts”. I would also quote “Impossible means I’m possible”, and as the weight shed this was no longer a quote but became reality.
I joined the gym at work in which I linked up with two personal trainers who understood my goals and were there to motivate me every step of the way and fell in love with Tae-Bo. Never in a million years did I think I would fall in love with fitness, but as the pounds were shedding the more I enjoyed getting fit. I was able to run three 5K races and would like to one day train for a half-marathon. Yes, this process to a healthy life had its ups and downs and it’s definitely not easy, but the great thing about Weight Watchers was how easy it was to get right back on track, and make every day a new day.
After 1 year I lost 100 pounds and regained 85 with my second child in 2010. However, through Weight Watchers and a lot of dedication on March 3, 2012 I became lifetime at Weight Watchers, marking this day a one of the best days of my life. I surpassed my original goal weight of 146 pounds. As my leader Heather Stone presented me with my Lifetime Award, I cried the entire time, because I was so happy and excited that all my hard work had paid off!
I now encourage others to think positively and to envision their goals. My motto is “Think it, see it, and now go get it!" This phrase sums up the determination you need to achieve your goals and the strength you will gain once you've accomplished them. Yes the scale will be stubborn, and yes you will have temptations but the key is to keep starting over and find what will work best for you. I found that dwelling will cause reverting but by accepting you can move forward.
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