Weight loss can be a tricky thing to achieve because your body might respond differently to a method that worked seamlessly for someone else. But once you lose the weight, the tricky part becomes maintenance. In 2003, Shyrita Billups of Gordo, Alabama began her first weight loss journey. She hit 184 pounds in her 5'5" frame. She committed to dropping her weight, 49 pounds down to 135 pounds on the scale.
But it came back.
Shyrita, then mother of four, experienced two miscarriages. It was 2012, and she stepped on the scale at 181 pounds. She started to hack away at the weight, but discovered she was pregnant with her fifth child in 2013. Her husband encouraged her to take it easy and she gave birth to her daughter in December of that year.
Wanting to lose the weight was nothing new, but Shyrita had to wait for the right time. By January, with the approval of her doctor, she was ready to take the reigns back on her weight loss. She was at her highest yet: 194 pounds. She spent the entire year trying to lose weight, but because of her admitted lack of consistency, she wasn't able to achieve much. An entire year passed, and nothing had changed.
"I developed a new motto, 'NO EXCUSES!' and I decided to hold myself accountable before the world of social media," she said.
Shyrita, now 37 years old, pulled all of her resources together. Workouts, meal preps, progress tracking both on paper and through photos. She looked through her closet and pulled out the clothes she wanted to wear but couldn't fit into, pushing her motivation to an all-time high.
"I shared my results every month along with my workouts, which I recorded in my garage," she said. "I made it be about more than me. I was determined to show others that fat loss was very possible. I wanted to inspire others to simply press start and to never press stop while letting them know pressing pause was OK."
The feedback she received from her the exposure of her personal experiences was empowering and thrilling.
She also tapped into DVDs at home, like "The Firm TransFRIMER" and Beachbody cardio workouts. While she sweated through them, she used a heart rate monitor to make sure she was hitting her fat burning zone the entire time (calculate your fat-burning zone here).
The Change So Far
This weight loss journey is far from over according to Shyrita. She began to see the scale move in January 2015, and by September, she saw a 22-pound decrease.
"It doesn't seem like much, but I have lost more body fat and gained more muscle than pounds lost," Shyrita explained. "These results outshine the weight number on the scale. I am more toned and slimmer than I've been in years."
The New Shyrita
She wakes up with green tea and a splash of apple cider to rev her metabolism, then selects her workout for the morning. Sometimes, she uses everything she's learned so far and just makes up a workout. She'll throw together some scrambled eggs and spinach for breakfast while she feeds her daughter and spends time with her. Her go-to snacks include almonds, grapes, string cheese or cashews. She pushes through the rest of the day with more energy and improved focus on her health.
For other moms out there looking to take control or make the weight loss stick this time, Shyrita wants you to know something:
"I would tell her to 'Press Start' by taking daily walks and planning healthy meals. I would also tell her to move onto short and intense workouts that will challenge her whenever she is ready to go to the next step of building muscle, which will burn fat. Next, I would tell her not to 'Press Stop' but to 'Press Pause' when needed. Her body will let her know when to do this. Lastly, I would tell her to always plan ahead, have a support group, do not expect results overnight, and not to rely on a miracle pill for results. Hard work and discipline will pay off. Be patient and continue to move forward on your fitness journey."
Keep with Shyrita on Facebook as she continues to polish her new healthy lifestyle with the support of her family and fans.