Today’s true weight loss story comes to us from Las Vegas, Nevada where Amanda Shepherd is enjoying the freedom of being 60 pounds thinner and has her eye on a future Tough Mudder competition. The look on her face in the before and after pictures says it all, she’s a pretty happy girl. We asked Amanda to tell us about her journey.
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I’ve always been the bigger kid in school. I was made fun of, but I always chose to surround myself with friends who didn’t care that I couldn’t fit in to double zero jeans. I never noticed that I was the bigger kid. I was a cheerleader, even though I was the biggest one.
It was in college that I stopped being as active, and started eating (and drinking) a lot more than I should have. That’s when the weight started coming on strong.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I ate whatever tasted good, and I ate a lot of it. I drank on the weekends because it was the cool thing to do. I wasn’t active at all. Exercise was not in my daily routine. I took the “freshman 15” seriously.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? The day I stepped on the scale, realized I hit 240lbs, looked in the mirror and cried. I just had knee surgery and it was hard to hold my weight. I could hardly walk up the stairs without breathing heavily. I knew that if I wanted my life to go somewhat back to normal after surgery, I had to start losing weight, immediately.
How did you lose the weight? My dad introduced me to a woman who was a health coach on a program called Take Shape For Life. With her help, I have been able to learn how to eat right, learn healthy habits, control cravings, avoid temptations, and take my life back.
What diet and exercise methods did you employ? The Take Shape For Life program sends me food every month, and I only have to make one meal a day for myself, called a “lean and green” (it’s a combination of veggies and proteins). For exercise, I do a mixture of cardio and light weight lifting weekly, to avoid flabbiness!
Did you have any “ah ha” moments along the way? The moment I sat on an airplane and my hips didn’t touch the side of the seat was a great moment. I was recently able to fit in a pair of jeans I haven’t been able to wear since I was in the 10th grade. That was a tear-jerk moment for me, as well.
Biggest struggle in your journey? Avoiding temptation is something I still struggle with. It’s hard to say no to some of my favorite foods.
Biggest triumphs? My biggest triumph would be running my first 5k. That was an exciting moment for me, and something I never thought I’d do.
Future goals? I want to complete a marathon and a Tough Mudder one day. I want that shirt!
Advice you’d give to other people struggling to lose weight? You’ll never lose weight until you decide that you NEED to change. You have to decide to do it for YOU. I promise you – the feeling you get when you accomplish milestones is worth EVERY hard moment of the weight loss process.