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How I lost 70 pounds: It was time to take responsibility for myself

Shannea Morris

23, Vaughan, Ont.

Pounds dropped: 70

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My turning point: February, 2011, was a time of new beginnings for me: I was newly graduated, had just ended a long relationship and was starting a new career in the nursing field. I was mapping out exactly who I wanted to be – and that person was not 230 pounds (104 kilograms) at 5 feet 10 inches (1.8 metres) tall. I just knew that was the time to take responsibility for myself: I had became an adult and felt it was my time to take great care of me.

With many ups and downs, I have finally reached and surpassed my goal weight and have lost a total of 70 pounds. Working out and being healthy is still very much a part of my lifestyle. Finally participating in my first 5K run this summer and inspiring others to lose weight, I feel as if I have accomplished so much in just two short years. I have realized that life is truly about choices and I made the best choice to change into a better me.

My method: I had to rewire my brain and unlearn all the poor choices I used to believe were normal. I had to learn how to be healthy. I started with my diet: My first step was to cut out all the sodas and juices, and drink nothing but water. Then, I started to replace all the junk in my diet with lean protein. I used to eat fast food every day, always with large fries, large drinks and dessert. My meals soon consisted of grilled chicken or fish, with whole grains and vegetables.

As my diet became easier to handle, I began to exercise: I started slowly, with simple 20 to 30-minute walks around my neighbourhood. Then I bought my first workout video – an intense, challenging workout (the Insanity DVD) that kicked my weight loss into high gear. I now go to the gym four to five days a week. I must admit: I have my off days, where I eat a little unhealthy – but I try to keep it in moderation. I find if I don't keep the foods that I crave in my house I will not be tempted to eat them (out of sight, out of mind).

My Kryptonite: I don't eat it every day, but I absolutely adore cheesecake, any time. My new favourite indulgence is frozen yogurt (with all the "bad" toppings, of course, such as Smarties, Oreos, caramel sauce and cheesecake bites).

This interview has been condensed and edited.

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About the Author
Editor in the Opinion section

Amberly McAteer is an editor in the Opinion section at The Globe and Mail. She has been a homepage editor, online editor and community editor in Features - including Life, Travel, Style, Arts and Books. She's written columns about her quest to run a 10K and find the perfect dog. More


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