Tina Shelley’s Weight Loss Journey

It feels like it has been a long journey to “Become Myself.”

Growing up, I watched my mother try diet after diet. Healthy and controlled eating was not taught or learned. I learned overindulgence and a sedentary lifestyle.

I was a petite girl—a late bloomer. So eating anything and everything was not really a problem. Not living an active life was not a problem…in the beginning.
In fact, I almost failed physical education in high school. I was one of those girls that did not even dress up for gym—yet I was still thin.

I turned 30 and everything caught up with me. The weight started creeping on. I could no longer continue to eat as I had always done. I was getting heavier each year. Trying to introduce physical fitness into my life was very difficult, uncomfortable, and hard.

I tried every diet possible from age 30-40.  Atkins, Cabbage Soup, Mayo Clinic, Slim Fast, Smoothies, Factor 5, Phen-Fen, etc. I lost weight, but the minute I veered from the plan, I gained weight back. I would stay focused, follow the plan, hit my goal and go on a food bender the very next day. I would shift back to the old ways of doing things. I spent 10 years yo-yo dieting, getting bigger each time I fell off the wagon. I became increasingly unhappy.

I was tired of buying new clothes all the time, because I was growing out of them. So I stopped. Everything I owned was ill fitting, so I stopped being social. And you know how they say that no matter what your clothing size is, you can always fit into your shoes? WRONG! I had knee high boots that I couldn’t even zip over my calves.

I was so overweight and out of shape, even if I tried to work out, like hike with friends, they thought I was going to have a heart attack because my face would be beet red and I would hyperventilate.

The bigger I got, the more unhappy I became—and the more I lost myself. I became an introvert. I was very emotional. I didn’t trust my judgment. I needed help with every little task, whether physical or mental.

When I turned 40, Medifast found me. It was truly a life-changing moment. The program helped me learn about portion control and noticing when I felt satisfied. I no longer felt the need to overeat. I didn’t want to sneak snacks in between meals. Not only did I start to feel better, but the weight started dropping! Clothes started fitting again. I started gaining confidence back.

As my mental and physical body changed, I started taking risks. I made the goal to do one 5K per month for 2012. It was hard at first—more walking than running. But each race got a little easier.

And for the first time ever, I actually completed a New Year’s resolution. During the year of becoming me, my husband and I moved from Los Angeles to his hometown of Chicago, so he could open a fitness studio, Body R+D. How can a man who owns a fitness studio have an out-of-shape wife?

I had to make changes so I could be a part of his world instead of having to hide in the shadows. I never thought that I would walk around in public in spandex athletic clothing. Me, a PE flunkee, has actually become a fitness instructor. And I love it!

I love being athletic. I love feeling strong. I love feeling healthy. And I love that I can help other people feel the same way.

I thought that Medifast was another go at another diet, but it actually caused me to “Become Myself.” And I can finally say that I love who I have become.

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