The 29-year-old Shawna Fearn felt like a prisoner in her own body when she gained weight she battled to lose after her second son was born. If that was not enough, the doctor told Shawna that she was pre-diabetic and suffered from high blood pressure. Find out how this busy mom of two jump-started her battle to drop the kilos and live a healthier life.
How did you feel when you were overweight?
I felt totally disgusted with my appearance. I was depressed and ashamed about it and would even miss functions at my kids’ school or appointments with my friends because I hated the way I looked.I despised the oversized clothes I was wearing and felt uncomfortable all of the time. I had swollen feet on most days of the week and I also battled to walk short distances.
What did it take to get you on the path to transformation?
I felt depressed and decided to call a friend, who happened to be a personal trainer, Amanda Harry and asked for help. I then signed up for training sessions at Aspire Total Fitness in Happy Valley, Oregon.
How did you start your transformation?
I immediately started drinking more water and less soda. I also started to log my food every day to see what I was doing wrong and how I could fix it.
What type of training and/or diet did you follow as part of your transformation?
I followed a strength training split three times a week while also doing cardio for an hour four times a week. I also realised how weak my core was and started to practice planking every single day for a year. My first plank was over in 20 seconds but after a year I could plank for six minutes! My diet consisted of six to eight small meals a day. I focused on lean protein,vegetables and carbohydrates.I would drink half of my bodyweight in water.
Who helped you along the way, personally and/or professionally?
I received fantastic support from my family. My youngest son couldn’t wrap his arms around me when he gave me a hug. The other day he hugged me and his arms overlapped – I almost cried with joy! Amanda trained me and her guidance and support helped a lot. She was so patient with me, answered all my questions and held me accountable each and every day.
What was your motivation to achieve your goal?
My father battled with obesity and passed away at the young age of 43. I didn’t want to end up like him and that motivated me. I also wanted to lead a healthier life with my family.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was not to train hard or follow the right eating plan but to keep believing that I was worth it in the end. I lacked the confidence but what inspired me was all the positive feedback and support I received from family, friends and even strangers on social media channels, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. When I took up the challenge I created social media pages to track and share my journey. My before and after photos motivated me and kept me on the right track.
How long did it take you to achieve your weight loss goal?
It took me a year to lose 52kg. I started at 43 percent body fat and set myself small goals of losing 5kg a month. I was measured every 4 weeks.
What did you learn from your transformation?
There is nothing so rewarding than being healthy and feeling energetic. It takes a lot of hard work but I have become a happier person who can now keep up with my children – I even go on bike rides with them! Every morning I plank and bang out some bodyweight squats before the day starts.
What message would you give to readers who might be in the same position as you were?
Don’t quit no matter how long it takes or what challenges you face. Just don’t quit. Take it day by day.
Since you have completed the transformation have you made further progress?
I help others who want to drop excess weight by giving them inspiration and holding them accountable to reach their goals.I am now working on toning and building muscle.I can also hold a 6-minute long plank!
Have you achieved anything else noteworthy since your transformation?
Soon I will be taking a test to be a certified personal trainer. I have been coaching ladies in my area to be healthier by following a strength training routine. We train outside which is fantastic!
What was the most difficult part of your transformation?
Finding the time to train and prepare meals.
How did the experience change your life?
I am now more active than ever and can keep up with my eight and 10-year-old boys. I am no longer ashamed of my body and I have met some amazing individuals who have motivated me to share my story with others who feel depressed about their weight problems. I have also inspired members of my own family to lose weight. My mother lost 32kg and my husband lost 23kg. I have the inner strength to overcome obstacles. I have come a long way from feeling depressed, being chubby and overeating on pizza and pasta. Mentally, I feel stronger, happier and more confident than ever before in my life!
What fitness challenge would you recommend?
Definitely, the Advocare 30-day challenge. Check out www.advocare.com for more details.
Shawna Fearn: Quick facts:
Weight before transformation: 110kg
Weight after transformation: 58kg
Body fat percentage before transformation: 43%
Body fat percentage after transformation: 17%
Career: Medical insurance specialist and fitness coach
Favourite dish: Chicken, asparagus and sweet potatoes with a tablespoon of cinnamon.
Favourite exercises: Squats and planks.
Favourite health tips: Drink water upon waking, between meals and before bed. Log your food intake religiously.
Social media links: Instagram: @shawnafearnfitness
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.