Sheila Howard didn’t recognize herself in the mirror after she ballooned to more than 300 pounds in her late 40s.
“I looked foreign to myself. I said, ‘I know you’re in there. You’re trapped inside yourself, and we’re going to get you out,'” Sheila recalls at 57.
It took years, but she finally did, after two scary medical diagnoses, multiple surgeries – and completely changing her lifestyle to exercise and healthy eating.
Now, she’s below 180 pounds at 5 feet 6 inches tall. Her medical conditions are being treated. And she’s on a mission to help others persevere on their health and fitness journeys.
“Exercise has been a part of my life for a long time,” she says. “It’s like my second chance.”
A Long Road Begins
Initially, Sheila could not lose the weight she gained from her two pregnancies, despite dedicated workouts and eating right. Her weight reached over 300 pounds.
“I went from this small person to this bigger person in just a few years, and the weight continued to pile on unexplained,” she says. “I tried all the different programs; I had a personal trainer, diet pills, water pills – just anything I could think of that I could afford, I tried. I went to the gym. I did everything I was supposed to do, and none of it worked.”
Sheila was eventually diagnosed with hypothyroidism. It’s a common disorder caused when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone in the front lower part of the neck.
The thyroid controls your metabolism, and without enough thyroid hormone, your body’s process slows down, according to WebMD. You have less energy, and your metabolism becomes sluggish.
That diagnosis helped, but it was far from the end of Sheila’s journey. She was next diagnosed with leukemia. And she eventually underwent gastric bypass surgery, at her doctor’s insistence.
Didn’t Want the Easy Solution
She resisted it for a long time because she wanted to make lasting, overall lifestyle changes – not just get a quick, easy fix. But her usually placid doctor had a “come to Jesus” moment that brought Sheila to tears.
Since the surgery, she has kept the weight off through a dedicated workout routine of weightlifting, running, and – her favorite — hula-hooping. She has overhauled her diet, too.
“With the weight loss came my full lifestyle transformation,” she says. “I knew surgery wasn’t enough. I wanted to be fit, not just lose weight.”
She’s even written a book about her journey. The title? “Trapped Inside Me.”
That was true for a long time, but through medical help, healthy living, exercise, and determination, Sheila has ensured that it’s not true anymore.
We are here to help if you’re having similar issues with your weight, exercise, and diet. Of course, talk to your doctor if you have health concerns. And do as Sheila recommends: Keep looking until you find the solutions you need. If you want a solution that has helped many in Sheila’s situation, click the link to learn more about our 21-day Strength and Longevity program and see guaranteed results.
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