Shannon transformed her life and lost over 40kg by adopting a few simple diet, exercise and lifestyle habits. Here she shares all her secrets.
Shannon’s love for food began to consume her life.
“Even though most of what I would cook at home was relatively healthy, my portion sizes were far too big and I would snack like an unsupervised child,” the 37-year-old tells Body+Soul.
Takeaway lunches were a regular occurrence, too.
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To add to this, exercise was “non-existent”.
“I would walk the dog around the block and occasionally go for longer walks around a nearby park but that was about it.”
Before she knew it, Shannon was tipping the scales at 140kg and was wearing size 24 clothes.
“I wasn’t happy within myself, I was disappointed I’d let myself get so big,” she recalls. “I knew something needed to happen but lacked the motivation to do anything about it.”
But after researching into her neighbours’ new F45 studio in Mackay, Queensland, she decided to muster up the courage and try out a class. This was the beginning of Shannon’s weight loss transformation.
Over 700 F45 classes later and she has lost over 40kg and is now easily fitting into size 14 clothes.
“My journey is far from over but knowing I was a tight size 24 and am now wearing a size 14 is awesome.”
Here’s exactly how Shannon managed to transform her health…
While Shannon admits she still loves and indulges in food, she now has a better understanding about calories, macros and portion sizes.
“My meals and snacks are a lot cleaner than they used to be, I’m not eating as many empty calories and my portion sizes are smaller,” she explains. “I don’t snack as much and I’m eating a lot more protein to keep me fuller for longer.”
Here’s what a typical day on a plate looks like to her…
Breakfast: 150g plain Greek yoghurt, 20g vanilla protein powder, 30g oats and around 60g of fruit (berries and banana) or a smoothie.
Lunch: Leftovers from the night before.
Dinner: Meat and vegetables, either as a stir fry or as grilled meat with a salad.
Snacks: Ranges from protein shakes, protein balls, muesli bars, carrots, fruit and yoghurt.
Dessert: Current obsession is protein custard with fresh fruit.
Moderation is everything to Shannon: “My diet isn’t perfect, I enjoy eating out and socialising. I just rein it in a bit during the week if I have something on, balancing my calories over the week rather than each day.”
Shannon’s exercise routine
Shannon said goodbye to her sedentary lifestyle once and for all.
“I’m up at 3:50am Monday to Friday to train in the 4:40am F45 classes. Quite often after class I’ll try get in a 3km walk before work. If I don’t get a walk in before work, I’ll go when I get home. I like to get in at least 10,000 steps a day.”
She also includes a mix of other exercise classes for variety.
“Tuesday nights I often do a step class with a few friends from F45, I’m super un-coordinated so it’s good for a laugh.”
Weekends include an F45 Saturday morning session followed by a walk. She’ll also sometimes play golf with friends.
Shannon’s lifestyle changes
On top of overhauling her diet and exercise regimen, Shannon also adopted other healthy lifestyle habits.
“One of the first things I did was go to the local supplement store for magnesium because I knew my muscles were going to be hating me. I still take magnesium every night before bed if I’ve trained that day.”
She’s also learnt the importance of a good night’s sleep.
“My bedtime changed as well,” she explains. “I started getting to bed earlier as I was getting up to train at 5:15am.”
Shannon on the biggest challenge
Shannon admits that she’s still a work in progress, especially after an unexpected 2020 that caused her to fall into “emotional and comfort eating” patterns. But she understands that these setbacks are all part of the process.
“I’m still learning, changing and enjoying the process. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s about being fitter and getting stronger. It’s definitely a marathon and not a sprint.
“My motivation comes and goes but as long as I’m consistent I’ll get there eventually.”
Shannon’s advice for others trying to lose weight
Shannon has 5 tips of advice for anyone wanting to transform their physical and mental health:
1. You’ll have ups and downs. Stay consistent, work hard and make yourself accountable.
2. Some days you don’t want to, but you commit and do it anyway.
3. It’s not a race so take it day by day. Move your body doing something you enjoy. Motivation keeps you going but habit gets you there.
4. There’s no such thing as good and bad food, everything in moderation and as long as you’re in a calorie deficit you’ll lose weight.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others; compare yourself to yourself, month by month, year by year, and be proud of how far you have come.