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Profile: Shelby Heitz

Losing weight seems to be a goal that every girl wants to achieve, but there is a difference between having a goal and completing the goal. Shelby Heintz has not only achieved her weight loss goal, but she has also gone beyond that, becoming an inspiration for women of all different sizes, shapes, and colors. She is a walking example of “if you put your mind to it, you can do it” and boy, did she do that! In this interview you will learn how she did it, why she did it, and what keeps her going.

What made you decide to lose weight?

“When you step on the scale and it says 300lbs and you are only 20 years old, it is really scary. You think you are 20 years old and you have the rest of your life ahead of you but if I continue the way I am, I won’t have a life ahead of me. I want to do things. I have aspirations. I want to travel. I want to have kids but being that heavy there was a possibility that I would never be able to do any of that stuff.  

When did you start this journey?

“I first saw the doctor in January 2016, and that’s when I started losing weight on my own, changing my eating habits, and drinking more water. But over all, it probably started during Thanksgiving of last year.”

How much weight have you lost since you started this journey?

“I started at 298 pounds and I am now at 185.”

What did you do?

“I started off with just changing eating habits, avoiding bread, eating a lot of protein and veggies, drinking more water, walking, and swimming. Once we started seeing doctors, we saw a dietitian and then a fitness specialist just to lead us in the right direction. And then of course there was the gastric sleeve, which is when they take out 75% of your stomach and make it banana-shaped.”

How do you feel now?

“Very confident. I feel a lot better than I did before. I can walk out of my house and feel like the world is not staring at me or judging me.”

When you first started, was it really hard to stick to your diet?  

“Yes, especially because right before surgery I had to have a two-week liquid diet. You have to be mentally prepared for that. I had a couple of break downs. It’s like when your family is still eating out and they’re like running to Taco Bell even though you can’t eat anything. I’ve cried in the drive thru. And you kind of just question yourself, is it really worth it to go through this?”

What motivated you to keep up the diet?

“My mom and I were doing this together, so it made things a lot easier because I watched what she did and she watched what I did, so it was nice to bounce off of each other.”

What would you suggest to someone who is trying to lose weight?

“Stay focused and be confident, even if you don’t reach that goal that you want on the scale. There are off-scale victories. For example, I can sit crisscross apple sauce now and it doesn’t hurt. It’s the little things. You will have good days and bad days. But the good days will outweigh the bad days.”




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