Sheri is a 41-year-old single mom of Isabella (14) who is going to school full time for business and accounting while working full time at an accounting firm. She also wakes up at 4:00 am every morning to lead women supporting women at boot camp style workouts with FiA (Females in Action). She is training for a half marathon and after hearing her story, I needed to help. She is a very impressive inspiring woman. As If, Inc. is lucky to have her as our first recipient.
What started your weight loss journey?
Funny story. I’d been divorced about a year and my ex-husband had lost a lot of weight. Bella came home (she was 5) while I was getting changed…and in that very vulnerable state…she looked at me in all her sweet innocence and said, “Mommy!! Daddy’s not fat like you are anymore!!” And at that moment I went, “Oh, HAIL NO. This is NOT ok.” And I vowed to do something about it. (Bella is now horrified by this story, but I try to tell her she did me a huge favor and she didn’t mean anything bad by it…just the innocent honesty of a child.)
How did you lose and keep 100lbs off of you the last 7 years?
I lost the weight and kept it off in the way that no one wants to hear…lol… Calories in and Calories out. I started tracking everything I ate. BEFORE I ate it in order to avoid surprises. I weighed everything for accuracy. But I did it in what I consider the healthiest way possible. It’s a way of eating called IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). What it means is that there are NO evil foods. You set a calorie goal. You set goals of how much will come from each Macronutrient (Fat, Carbs, Protein). Then… You want a Twinkie? Eat a Twinkie. Just make sure it fits into your goals for the day. Make sure you stay under your calorie goal. Make sure you stay in those macro ranges. It makes it sustainable…and it stops you from making food the enemy. On top of that, I started lifting weights and hiking and then running. I tracked those calories, too. I made sure I had more calories going out than going in. And the weight came off. And it stayed off because I did it in a healthy way.
Has losing and keeping the weight off change your life?
Keeping the weight off has TOTALLY changed my life. I’m more active than I ever was as a child. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been. It used to be a struggle for me to walk long distances…I definitely couldn’t run…I was, quite honestly, miserable with who I was. The weight wasn’t the cause of that. You can be happy and overweight. But it was a symptom of that. I was unhappy, so I didn’t care to take care of myself. I love myself now. And I treat myself better because of it.
Why do you want Skin Removal Surgery?
The hardest part of getting in shape for me was that I had this vision of the body I would have after. And I worked HARD for that body. But I can’t have it. Losing 100 pounds…well…that skin doesn’t just go away. I try to tell myself it’s a badge of honor…it’s proof of what I did…but I still look in the mirror and am disappointed in what I see. I want to SEE the hard work. Which IS vanity. But…it’s also…body dysmorphia is a very real thing. I still hear some horrible voices from my past telling me I’ll never be thin enough or pretty enough. For the most part I can fight them, but when you still see this huge flaw…it’s hard to fight them. I want to be able to look in the mirror and not hear those voices anymore because I’m that confident in what I see and what I’ve done.
What makes you proud of yourself?
I’m proud of the fact that I’ve gotten in shape. I have Lyme Disease. I have since I was 23. I’m not supposed to be able to do these things. Because of the neurological damage, my doctors told me I’d never do more than walk and that I’d never really be able to lose the weight. I don’t like the word No, so…I decided to prove them wrong. Then when they saw that I was really doing it…they said that was great, but I’d never be able to lift weights. So I decided to do that, too. Now…I do it all and I’m even training for a half marathon. I still have this illness, but I fought back instead of accepting defeat. And I’m really proud of that. I’m also proud that I’m a single mom…no local family…I work full time AND go to school full time…and I’m excelling in school. I’m proud that I can show my daughter that it’s never too late to do anything…even getting healthy or getting a degree…and there are no obstacles that can stop you from doing it WELL if you set your mind to it.