Here’s the story of one of my Inspirational Clients – Sharna W
Wow… what a lady!
Introducing Sharna W
Favourite Healthy Meal: Love my morning omlette with mushroom, spinach, tomato and coriander, served with baked beans. I could seriously eat that every day!
Current Goal: To reduce more body fat and lean out.
Biggest Achievement in life: Firstly, creating two beautiful children! Secondly, losing 40kg so far on my health and fitness journey.
Your biggest motivator to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle: Once again it would have to be my children. I want to see them up with good habits and have a good role model for a mum. I also feel so much happier within myself when I lead a healthy lifestyle and seeing the positive changes from it.
Favourite workout song: Hmm I don’t really have a favourite workout song. I’m happy as long as it’s got a good beat. I tend to listen to dance music or Hip Hop/RnB. ‘Not Giving In by Rudimental’ works for me and so does ‘Til’ I Collapse’ by Eminem (and Nate Dogg usually finds its way on my playlist when I am working out).
Your favourite quote: Zig Ziglar – “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”
Over the past two decades, my relationship with food has mostly been a turbulent and messy one. I am what you would call a textbook yo-yo dieter. From a very young age I thought it was normal to be on a ‘diet’. All through my childhood and teens I wasn’t classed as overweight or obese but I had no muscle definition. I really didn’t like keeping fit and thought fixing my body was best through dieting, after all even the Dolly magazines I bought as a teen emphasised dieting and cleanses more than exercising.
The thing is, I love food. I always have and I probably always will; however, I have found a happy place where it doesn’t consume my mind. I now want to fuel my body with nutritious, healthy food and indulge once in awhile. In my family, we absolutely love cooking and making delicious meals and making excess as if we were feeding the masses! Usually for me this would lead to binging as I couldn’t bear to throw away leftovers. This would lead to weight gain, a feeling of guilt, followed by the desperate attempt to lose it quickly with some new fad diet of the moment. This has been a vicious cycle, happening over and over, for many years.
Back in 2002, I was at my absolute thinnest at around 54kg. I had successfully lost 20kg in 7 weeks on the Atkins Diet. I was so proud of myself but it wasn’t enough. I still looked fat in the mirror and hated my body. Even my fiancé at the time hated my body. He said I looked too good and that I was attracting the attention of other males, and he didn’t like it one bit! He asked finally that I start putting on weight.
At the time I loved him and wanted to please him and make him happy, so I started eating and eating, then eating some more. The weight crept back up slowly. I thought this would please him but he would torment me and say awful things about my body. He told me I should feel so lucky to have him love me and put up with me because no-one else would! After a while he vowed that he would change once we were married, but it just got much worse. It led me back to secret binging at night due to my depression. I went on radical diets which were not sustainable so the weight would return.
The mental and emotional abuse (which eventually also led to physical abuse) I suffered at the hands of my partner just drove me deeper and deeper into a black hole. It got to the point where I started mutilating my body through cutting, burning it and ripping at it with my own fingernails as I just hated it so much. If he didn’t love it, neither did I! Obviously it hurt at the time but I felt instant relief like it was taking away the pain from my relationship, from suffering body dysmorphia and low self esteem. The scars are a reminder each and every day that I was in a deep dark place and that it’s not a healthy place to which to return
After being with him for several years I managed to wake up to myself and leave him. I surrounded myself with friends again (as my ex drove them away). I took up Salsa classes which made me feel sexy, alive and free. My eating also improved and, as I left with no car, I had to walk everywhere.
Having been away for such a long time from my family, I decided to move back to my home town. This is where my life took a positive turn and I met a wonderful man in late 2006. I was around 80kg at the time and, although he was thinner than me, my weight was never an issue and we fell in love. Eventually, this led to an unplanned pregnancy lol!
I worked all through my pregnancy, ate pretty healthily and walked through my lunch break. I only put on around 10kg in my entire pregnancy. However, in my 39th week of pregnancy I had a slightly high blood pressure reading at my routine check-up. I was whisked into hospital and soon felt liked I’d been pushed onto an intervention roller coaster ride! You name it and they told me to do it – induced, syntocinon drip, epidural. My baby was born after a failed ventouse delivery and, eventually, emergency cesarean. I had local and general anesthetic as well as morphine and codeine. I looked and felt like a train wreck! My body swelled due to all the toxins in my body and it was over 3 days before I was able to even get out of the hospital bed.
Anyone who has had a cesarean knows that you don’t usually get the all clear to do any form of exercise for at least 6 weeks. In my case, due to my wound reopening, it took well over 12 weeks. During this time I didn’t exercise and I didn’t walk. I ate highly refined fattening convenience foods. Basically, I set up really bad habits. My weight went over 105kg!
We eventually moved state in 2008. I embarked on eating healthy again but, being obese in humid weather, I found it hard to want to exercise. The gym membership I bought was wasted after one month. I went back into my old ways of yo-yo dieting and started on plans like egg fasting, a Chemist-sponsored Program and a Lemon Detox program. My weight did start to drop off but I was starving and I hated cutting out vital foods and food groups and would usually binge in between diets.
Unfortunately, our time interstate was short lived and we moved away in 2010. It was nice to finally live in a house on our own again which led to another unplanned pregnancy lol! After such a traumatic pregnancy and labor with my son, I was determined to have a natural birth (VBAC). I found an amazing midwife who was unbelievably supportive and told me how capable my body was. I went into labor naturally and got the most empowering natural birth. Yes, it hurt, but to accomplish something I set out to do changed my mind set completely!
After achieving that, I knew I could make positive changes in my life. I embarked on a journey to a healthier, fitter me. After the birth of my daughter in July 2011, the scales had me at 115kg! It wasn’t going to be easy that was for sure! I had photos taken of myself with my children and was mortified at what I saw!
I joined up with a well-known 12 week fitness plan which helped with meal planning and nutrition and was something I could do whilst breastfeeding my baby girl. During the 12 week plan, I managed to complete my first City to Bay just 11 weeks postpartum. This was a huge accomplishment as I had never done that much walking at once in my life!
I still wasn’t feeling 100% and found through a naturopath that I had a sensitivity to wheat and gluten so I went off the 12 week eating plan. I saw a friend join up with Ashy Bines and decided to give that a whirl, after all it was cheap and what did I have to lose. I think I lasted around one month on that plan BUT it did see me get my weight back in double digits. After that, I learnt more about ‘clean eating’ and dabbled in a paleo/primal lifestyle for a while.
Slowly, my weight went down. It wasn’t until I was in the mid 80’s that my body just kicked up a big stink and said enough was enough. It landed me in a ‘stall’ for 6 months (I kid you not!) – my weight went just a few kilos up and down, week after week with absolutely no progress with measurements, scales or body composition. I knew that my metabolism was in absolute meltdown!
Frustration crept back in and I badly wanted to return to yo-yo dieting. I am so thankful to some wonderful women on a particular Facebook group page. I got to know those women and they became my friends. They kept me sane through the difficult times and have supported me on my journey.
I decided that I really need to improve my relationship with food, find someone to help me with that as well as provide me with a training plan. I had just been winging it at the gym for the past year and felt like I needed some guidance. A couple of women who are clients of Sarah Davis mentioned how amazing she was in the Facebook group page. For me, it was a toss-up between a number of plans, but the rave reviews on Sarah Davis’ plan and her attention to detail, unconditional support to every client and professionalism made the difference. I knew I would be making a wise choice and investment and, after speaking with Sarah Davis, I signed up for the 12 Week Maximum Challenge knowing I would be in great hands.
The nutrition plan not only made me feel like I was no longer deprived in any way (Yay to having rice back in my life lol!), it was the most sustainable plan I have been on in these past few decades. I get to enjoy eating foods I missed out on and I am loving it. It’s something I shall continue doing. Also, for the first time in the longest time, I don’t think about food 24/7!
Sarah’s training plan – where do I start!! It hurts, it kills and it challenges you mentally and physically at times but BOY OH BOY does it change you! I can see so many changes in my body composition now and even see actual muscle definition in some areas. Even in areas needing further body fat reduction, I can feel those muscles under there taking shape nicely, so it’s just a matter of time! 🙂
Where am I taking my journey from here on out? Ultimately, I would love to reduce my body fat down to under 20% and be the fittest, leanest and sexiest I have ever been! It has taken blood, sweat and some tears to lose those 40kg and I have worked too damn hard to turn back and lose sight of what I want to accomplish! I still have some work to do but with support from Sarah and her team and other clients, I have absolutely no doubt I will succeed! Pipeline dream to compete one day? Who knows! 😉
This is my new life and I am enjoying it so much and having so much more energy for my children. xx
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