Shaina Shares Her Weight-Loss Journey

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After the Truth Tube is the destination to catch up with your favorite Truth Tube participants and see how their progress is going. Read on to cheer them on and try tips from their plans to improve your own health.

Everyone deals with stress differently. My skinny mom and sister lose their appetites, whereas I’d dig into the pint of ice cream until I hear the spoon hit the bottom. And the past few years have been very stressful. My mother had four brain operations and was in a coma last year after being run over by a car. My dad has MS. My grandmother, who I took care of, died from heart failure after years of dialysis. And the man I loved most died from cancer at age 27.

And so, in the past 15 years, I gained 85 pounds. I was so worried about others that I had forgotten to care about myself. I tried to get rid of it using every diet on the market, but with every new stress or trauma, I failed to keep the weight off. It didn’t help that the other women in my family couldn’t relate. They’re sizes 0 and 4. So, even when I had some success, I was still much heavier than them.

It’s also been hard being the “big bridesmaid” in my friends’ weddings, especially when I’ve remained single. I’d considered online dating but couldn’t bring myself to check that “extra weight” box. “Once I lose the weight, I’ll get back out there,” I’d tell myself. But I never did. I started using my weight as an excuse not to date. I was sabotaging my own shot at happiness. But why?

It wasn’t until I learned that I weighed 20 pounds more than my 9-months pregnant sister that it hit me: I need to change, or I will end up with the same health issues that claimed my grandma. It was time to stop feeling upset that my mom, sister and friends were skinny and to start focusing inward. It was time to face the Truth Tube.

Something that resonated with me during my time on Dr. Oz was the audience’s response. As people filed past me, more than one person thanked me for telling my story. “I’m the same person in my family!” one girl called out, as another high-fived me and got everyone chanting my name. And that’s when it hit me: although I may often feel alone in my own weight struggle, my experience is not unique. Others feel like the fat one in a thin family, and I can inspire them with my journey.

My first step was to be vulnerable. “Go public!” my mentor Elvis Duran had advised me, so I tweeted to the world that I am trying to lose weight. I check in with him with my progress and struggles. That’s something everyone can do: build a support system you can turn to in times of weakness. I also told my friends, family, and coworkers that I’m trying to lose weight. I am still social, since Elvis told me not to isolate myself. I share my recipes and hope some of my loved ones are inspired to eat better, too.

The first real challenge I faced was my birthday. My whole life I’ve had cake on my birthday (who doesn’t?!). However, this year I made a healthy choice – not having cake would be my gift to myself. Instead, I ordered a grapefruit brûlée, so I got that satisfying sweet crunch without all the calories. I am doing the Total Choice Plan on Dr. Oz’s website. It’s so satisfying! I crave the creamy quinoa mac-n-cheese, and plain Greek yogurt is my new best friend. I have not had a single soda since being on the show, and I no longer put sugar in my coffee. Instead, I seek sweetness in other aspects of life, like hiking with my dog and nephew, and making time for my passion, writing.

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As for my results, today as I write this marks three weeks since the show, and I have lost (drum roll please…) 10 pounds! But more important than what I have lost is what I have gained from my experience in the Truth Tube. If I don’t make these changes, my blood will remain inflamed, and that puts me at risk for heart disease—something that runs in my family. The Truth Tube was eye-opening. If you have control over those numbers, then why would you ever do anything to make yourself feel worse? I am excited about the potential to lose more weight, get back out there, and not only fall in love with someone else, but with myself again. Besides, if I fit in those goal jeans, Elvis Duran will have me on his radio show. And that’s just one of many happy happenings I have to look forward to in the healthy life ahead of me.

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Feel free to follow my progress at http://overweightandunderwhelmed.blogspot.com/.

Find your healthy! Check out more expert Truth Tube plans here.