Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Getting Fit Inspiration: Shannon

Shannon Burnham

This month on Enjoy Utah, I have devoted April to sharing bits of information about getting in shape and staying motivated.

Shannon is one of my inspirations as I have watched her on Facebook over the last five years get in shape and lose a ton of weight. Seeing her progress on Facebook day after day makes me feel like “Hey, I can do it too!”

I want to send a big thank you to her for allowing me to share her story in the hopes that others will find it as motivating as I have!

A big pet peeve of mine is hearing “lose weight fast” stories, and products that claim to help you lose the weight on a short amount of time and still eat what you want. I think that is why Shannon’s story is so inspirational to me. She didn’t jump on the bandwagon of any fad diet; she exercised and watched how much she ate.

Here is Shannon’s story:

My journey started about five years ago when I was at my biggest of 275ish lbs. I was perfectly healthy as morbidly obese people come. My blood pressure and cholesterol were fine. I was not diabetic or even pre-diabetic. I literally decided one day that I was done. I couldn't be that big anymore and it had to change. My goal then was never to be where I am now. It was to do what I could and hope the weight came off.

I didn’t go on any crazy diets or even join the gym. I refused to pay for a gym pass I wouldn't use until I could commit to myself of working out at home for a month. I started out doing 10 minute work-out videos on They kicked my butt!! Five days a week I did 10 minutes of exercise a day. That's it. Food-wise I didn't change much, other than I tried to control how much I ate rather than what I ate. That first month I dropped 10 lbs. The next month I started adding in stairs to my workouts and would run (more like walk) up them as fast I could and back down for three minutes.

I joined the gym shortly after that and got addicted fast. I was working out five days a week and still couldn't last a whole class, but I was there! Over the course of probably 2 years I dropped 60 lbs.; and then life happened. I got stressed with work and just life in general and I stopped working out for months. I slowly gained back 40 lbs. of it and then I got pissed last year and said enough, and that fueled the start of my current fire.

That's really it. Baby steps. I didn't lose it over night. Sometimes it has come off easier than others and sometimes it comes back and I fight with it. I will likely always fight with it for the rest of my life. For me its just easy to do small goals that are actually possible. Because eventually those small five lb. goals turns into almost 85lbs. and training for a marathon and a triathlon.

Someone told me once something I still tell myself. “You can do anything for a minute.” If you can only run for a minute and then walk. It’s still more than not doing it at all.

Want to know what inspires me? I know a girl who was nearly wheelchair bound because her body didn't want to cooperate, and that girl climbed up a mountain with me and is training for a 5k, despite the trials she's going through to get there. I know a girl who has battles major health issues who is also training for a 5k and thinks she's in it alone, but she's not. I know a girl who has lost 100lbs, and despite life happening, she's still trying again. Those are the people that inspire me to keep going when I don't want to. Because if they can do it so can I!

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