At 28, Shannon Covert weighed 371 pounds. She ate fast food at least once a day, sometimes up to 10 times a week. Sometimes she would eat up to 1,000 calories in one sitting.
"I would eat anything and everything," she told Daily Mail. "I would never exercise. Walking back to my car was the most exercise I got."
Shannon had been overweight since childhood. At age 18, she was told that her weight affected her fertility and that she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which meant that she couldn't ovulate and therefore couldn't have children.
"I was devastated. It's hard when you're not given something you want but I'm a very firm believer that everything happens for a reason. [...] It doesn't mean that I can't be a mom. I can always adopt but this wasn't something I was meant for."
The consequences of obesity caught up with Shannon, especially in 2014 when she saw a photo of herself in a bridesmaid's dress and truly realized that she was unhealthy.
"I was determined to lose my weight by the time I turned 30. I didn't want to enter another decade like this," Shannon said.
In June 2014, she made the decision to exercise and eat healthy, and she lost 70 pounds. But it wasn't easy for the Las Vegas travel agent.
"Las Vegas is full of beautiful people with amazing bodies and I was immediately judged when I stepped foot in the gym. I was stared at, mocked, judged and even videotaped while being laughed at. But I kept the mindset of I am not here for them, I am here for me. Let them show their lack of character with their judgmental actions."
After losing the initial weight, in January of 2015, she had a gastric sleeve surgery. With the weight loss surgery and her healthy diet and exercise routine, today, at age 30, Shannon weighs 165 pounds. She lost over 200 pounds, and went from a dress size 32 to 4-6.
With the extreme weight loss came a lot of excess skin — so in October, Shannon had an operation to remove it.
"When I go on holiday everything is so much better now. I have more energy to do things. I feel more confident and I don't feel like people are always staring at me."
Check out Shannon's diet before and after her weight loss.
BEFORE (3,000-3,500 calories per day)
- Breakfast: none
- Lunch: tacos
- Snack: chips, muffins, biscuits, bagels
- Dinner: burger
- Drinks: soda
AFTER (1,000-1,200 calories per day)
- Breakfast: protein shake, turkey bacon
- Lunch: grilled chicken, vegetables
- Snack: fruit, yogurt
- Dinner: lettuce wraps with Greek yogurt, chicken, vegetables
- Drinks: water, tea, coffee
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