Welcome to the How They Did It series, where we spotlight one individual and their body transformation. Learn what they did, and how they did it to succeed at their weight loss journey. Today we are featuring Shelby Buchan.
Tell Us a Little About Yourself
My name is Shelby, I am a married, 40 year stay at home Mom from Vancouver Island, BC in Canada. I have a 4 year old son who keeps me very busy.
What Made You Decide to Get Fit and Healthy?
When I turned 39 I felt great! Then I looked at the pictures taken of me with my friends…. I didn’t feel like what I saw physically matched how I felt about myself on the inside. I still had about 15 pounds of ‘baby weight’ to get rid of. I decided that I wanted to be in the best shape of my life for my 40th birthday. At first I just exercised & ‘talked’ a lot about it. I lost just a few pounds & inches… In January, a friend told me about a calorie counting app. I finally said I was ready & went for it. I wanted to feel comfortable in my skin again & made a commitment to set a good example for my son.
As of today I have lost 36 pounds & 20 inches. I lost more weight than I ever thought possible. I’m pretty much the same size I was in high school now!
What is Your Nutrition Philosophy?
Everything in moderation. Smaller portions, multiple times a day. If I know I’m going to eat out, I try to work the calories in. A lot of restaurants have the menu online with nutritional information. If I can, I’ll decide what I’m going to order beforehand, so I don’t get overwhelmed by the menu. If I have a day that I go over, or I splurge on dessert or a glass of wine, I don’t get down on myself. It’s OK to treat yourself sometimes! Just get up the next day & start over. And drink lots of water!
What is Your Exercise Philosophy?
Move everyday! And try everything! I get bored very easily so I constantly look for something new to switch up my routine. I fit some kind of exercise in every day if possible. I love being active every day, but I also listen to my body & rest when I feel it’s necessary.
What Was the Most Important Thing You Learned During Your Transformation?
I learned a few things:
- I am an emotional eater. I needed to figure out a better way to deal with stress & anxiety. I realized that I cannot control what happens to other people, but I can control my life & how I choose to deal with it. Exercise is my new ice cream!
- That counting calories works! I always thought that counting calories was difficult & didn’t bother… but the apps make it so easy now & I’m now conditioned to looking at labels, always thinking ahead about what to eat or not eat so I can stay on track.
- I also learned that when it comes to exercise, I can do ANYTHING!!! It may not always look pretty or in perfect form… but if I TRY it, I can do it. This year I have tried & loved Zumba, TRX, Bellyfit, even Pole Dancing class!!
- As much as I love hearing ‘You look so thin/skinny!’ I find the best compliment is when someone says ‘You look so FIT!!!’
What Mistake(s) Should People Avoid When Trying to Lose Weight?
Doing it too fast. Doing a fad diet or cleanse, expecting to drop a bunch of weight in a week is not the answer. Slow & sure wins the race if you make the decision to stick with it in the long run.
What Advice Do You Have For Others?
Make a plan. Decide what the long term goal is, then break it down into smaller goals. 5-10 pounds seems way more achievable than 50. When you reach every short term goal reward yourself! (Not with food, but something else that will make you feel good).
Try to exercise at the same time everyday, and eat your meals at consistent times as well. Your body will thank you for the routine by continuing to excel & change.
When you see that your clothes are too big, get rid of them! Don’t go back! You will feel so much better having even just a couple of ‘transition’ items that fit you well than running around in baggy clothes. It’s great for confidence & slipping into a size smaller helps keep you motivated.
Be sure to check out the past editions of How They Did It. If you or someone you know would like to be featured in the How They Did It body transformation series, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you’re interested. More details will be provided. Don’t be shy. Your story will inspire others!