Up until the age of 35 I never worried about my weight. I am a ballroom dancer, so I was constantly moving and training, if I needed to lose a few pounds – well I cut out the “good stuff” – the candy bars and sodas – the weight came off and I was back down to a size 0/2 and weighed 115 pounds at 5’6″. I was a smoker and that was another thing we did – have a cigarette instead of eat.
Then things changed at 35 – I got married and my priorities changed. I wanted to have children, unfortunately I went through a couple of miscarriages. At 39 I was pregnant once more, I quit smoking and dancing the day I found out and in my first trimester gained 30 pounds. I sat at home and worked behind the desk by my third trimester was at 180 pounds. Then developed gestational diabetes – by the time I gave birth to my daughter a month before my 40th birthday – I was at 210 pounds. With birth 20 pounds came off and then nothing. When my daughter was 9 months old I discovered Zumba and was ecstatic (I do not enjoy working out – it always felt like a chore) – with Zumba I got to dance and it did not feel like a workout. I came down to 145 pounds – and found out I was pregnant with my son. I did so well with him – I had gained only 17 pounds at 7 months – I was all baby – then they discovered I had hypertension and got put on bed rest – by the time I gave birth I was back up to 195 pounds.
Here I am 45 years old, with hypertension (it has remained with me since my last pregnancy) I was teaching 12-14 Zumba classes a week, on top of ballroom classes, so in constant motion, and stuck at 160 pounds. I made an appointment with a nutritionist – she looked at my activity level and my caloric intake and could not understand why I was not losing weight. Mind you – I had coffee for breakfast – taught endless amounts of classes – stuffed a banana in my mouth if I was lucky – and then ate whatever I could find in the refrigerator at 10pm at night. Trainers told me I need to vary up my workout – add weight bearing workouts – not that I disagree – BUT – I have two small children, I sleep 5 hours a night, I need my energy to teach the classes that pay my bills – there was not enough time in my day to ADD another activity. I felt hopeless. That is when Shelby comes in. One of my friends – started telling me about this lady she found online. My friend was a trainer – always wanted to have the physique of a body builder – but could never find the right balance of working out and nutrition. I said “Let me see what she does for you and then I will try” – well – I watched Jen’s body transform into a muscle clad beauty. Still I was skeptical – I am a Latin ballroom dancer – I want beautiful and sexy and curvy lean. Jen convinced me to try it – she said – Shelby will tailor your nutrition to you….
I worked with Shelby for a under a year. It was amazing – I finally felt like someone was LISTENING – she took into consideration – my lifestyle, lack of time, that I was an athlete, me being a mother over 40 with two small kids, the fact that I LOVED chocolate. She taught me how to eat, how not to feel guilty, to enjoy the foods that I love, how not to say “NO” but to say “YES” – and to listen to your body when it says – “I’m good – we don’t need anymore”. She taught me to eat all the time – YES I am constantly eating. My students are always laughing because I am constantly snacking between classes. Now I do have one negative – I have to carry an extra bag with me every day to work – it has all my food for the day!
Today, a year later, I am about to turn 48 and feel amazing. I weigh about 135 pounds and am a size 4/6. I maintain this weight without much mental effort. You have really given me all the tools I need to stay healthy and feel great (and look it too – for an almost 50 year old). I don’t feel guilty when I enjoy food because I know that the 95% of the time the foods that I gravitate towards, the food that I enjoy and I feel great after I am done eating is food that is great for my body. I feel great, and much healthier than I have ever been. Thank you, Shelby, for listening!