Transformation of the Day: Shannon lost 114 pounds. A family history of illness, including diabetes, heart failure, infertility, and cancer, is her motivation for change. Through her insurance, she joined a program that allowed her to have gastric sleeve surgery free of charge.
What was your motivation?
My motivation for weight loss has been my family’s medical history. Cancer, Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart failure, infertility, and brain tumors are all diseases my immediate family has had to deal with on both sides. The risk of death was just too high for me. I had to make a change.
Also, being able to carry a child is a huge motivation. My wife and I will have to rely on insemination (obviously, lol). It would’ve been pointless to try insemination and potentially waste money before getting my weight together. Prior to the weight loss, I was rarely ovulating.
What inspired you to keep going when you wanted to give up?
On the days that I want to give up, I think specifically about what I want out of life and the legacy I want to leave. I won’t be able to fulfill my purpose if I’m sick or not in my best health.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey.
Yes, I had gastric sleeve surgery on 08/26/19.
How did you change your eating habits?
I changed my eating habits after participating in a year-long nutrition course that I took to qualify for free weight loss surgery. I focused mostly on portion control and permanently eliminating refined sugar and sodas. After surgery, I completely converted to a vegan lifestyle, cutting out dairy, eggs, meat or seafood. I’m not currently a vegan, but a vegan lifestyle is my end goal.
What is your workout routine?
I started by just walking as long as I could. I walked at least five times per week. As my weight came down, I switched to cardio at the gym (on the elliptical, treadmill, or stair master) for a minimum of 30 mins, five times per week. Now, I run at least 2.5 miles (at least five days a week), in addition to yoga, strength training, and HIIT workouts.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight
Starting weight: 315 pounds
Current weight: 201 pounds
What is your height?
How long did your transformation take?
I began the required process to be approved for surgery in May 2019. I had weight loss surgery (gastric sleeve) on August 26, 2019. I’ve been able to lose 114 lbs since May 2019. (88 lbs since surgery)
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Lesson learned- I’ve learned that my struggle with food is mental. As much as I wanted the surgery to “fix” everything, it didn’t. I’ve had to change my relationship with food altogether. I eat to live now, instead of living to eat.
What advice do you have for people who want to lose weight?
I would encourage others to find out all of their options and not to wait. Weight loss surgery isn’t necessarily the right choice for everyone. However, for someone at risk for diseases or who needs to lose 80 lbs or more, it’s worth looking into it.
I also want to draw attention to the fact that most insurance companies have programs that will allow you to have weight loss surgery completely free! For some reason, that information is kept secret. I want everyone to know their options. I wouldn’t have waited until I was 31 years old if I had known sooner.