BW Success Story: Shannon McCartney

Last week we finished another amazing session of Biggest Winners with even more jaw dropping results this time. The lovely Shannon McCartney was our Biggest Winner losing an incredible 33 pounds in 12 weeks. Shannon is the shining example of commitment! I remember being in class and she said "I changed my entire work schedule so I could be at every single workout" - she was committed, now 12 weeks later and down 33 pounds Shannon looks amazing. She graciously agreed to be interviewed, I'll let her tell her story.

What was your starting weight?
254 pounds

What is your current weight?
221 pounds

What is your goal weight?
180 pounds

What had you join BWs?
One night I saw the BDHQ advertisement pop up on facebook and I ignored it, but found myself creeping back to it a couple of times. I was able to access the website where I came across a blog and read about peoples different weight loss journeys. I remember wanting to join but feared it at the same time... did I mention the program started the next day? I began playing the mind games where I was disappointed in myself for being scared and not following through. I emailed the gym really late that night... a nervous wreck... hoping and praying that my request was received too late to start this enrollment... but at least I tried, hence not being disappointing in myself. Did I mention mind games? Well, I received an email early the next morning inviting me down to the gym, and as I said a few choice words my new reality began. It was time. Time to gain back control of my life, time to invite fun back into my life, and time to choose it for the right reason... me!

How long have you struggled with weight?
You know, I've always hated this question. Being overweight doesn't always imply a negativity such as sadness or depression, in fact I have always been quite a positive upbeat person who lived quite happily at any size. What I have struggled with is Society's view on obesity. I was born into this world with hypopituitaryism, long story short (pardon the pun), I was injected with growth hormone- an anabolic steroid- 3 times a week from the age of 18mos old through until about 16yrs old. Following that was daily estrogen/ progesterone pills which I finally stopped (against medical advice) about 2 years ago. I had enough of people telling me how my body should look. I have always been a huge advocate for self love regardless of your size.

Why was this time the right time for you to take on your health?
A couple of years ago I had a routine doctor's appt and learned that my blood pressure was high. I was given the speech "next visit in 6 months, if it remains high we will have to look at medication to control it" It took me 2 years to return. Mortified that I would be back on any medications, let alone blood pressure medication... at 38yrs old!! During those 2 years I made some lifestyle adjustments, none which included exercise. The truth was I was petrified of having a heart attack. I honestly thought that it was a highly likely possibility.
I had that follow up appt., and to my surprise my blood pressure was fine. It was the rush of emotions that followed; relief, shame, and fear... because now there is really no excuse. When did it become okay to give up on my health? When I joined BDHQ I remember saying "If I am going to die of a heart attack I would rather it be during a workout than laying on my couch watching tv.

What would the YOU today tell the YOU 12 weeks ago before this program about deciding to be in it or not?
As I would say to anybody in that situation, when the time is right it will happen. I would also say, yes it's fun, yes it's safe, yes you will love it, and yes you can!

Apart from the weight/inches what is the biggest change you have noticed?
I have my upbeat, cheerful energy back... plus I have never slept better!!

What do you do to maintain your schedule, life, health and have it all balance?
First off let me just say I do not have children to worry about- kudos to all of the parents out there balancing their own health with their families. It isn't easy, you really have to know what you want and prioritize in order to get there. You also have to make sacrifices. I had to switch over 20 shifts at work in order to attend all of the workouts. It wasn't easy but I wanted and needed it so badly. I missed my 21st high school reunion in order to attend a weekly weigh in and workout. Again, not an easy decision but I really wanted and needed to be focused on this program. I missed opportunities to get off the island and visit family. I was able to fit in some desperately needed girl time but had to sacrifice the late nights in order to get in the early morning workouts. It's a balancing act for sure, but I find if I keep my goals at the forefront then the sacrifices are tolerable.

What was your biggest accomplishment over the last 12 weeks?
The small victories: attending a party and not snacking on the chips and cheezies, getting through a day at work without eating goodies delivered by patient's families, getting out of the grocery store with only the items on my list. Feeling proud of myself for succeeding each and every day.

What did you have to do to make this program work for your life? what changes?
I had to face it head on. Life I mean. I had to look at my current situation and admit that I wasn't happy. That was one of the hardest truths I have ever had to tell myself. From that point it was all forward motion, one step at a time.

What is next for you? goals?
I have just resigned with the Biggest Winner program for another year-yay! My goal is to find joy in everything I do. I want to say yes to every invitation, I want to ski down those slopes, hike up those mountains, lay on those beaches... and look and feel good doing it. I also want to retire from my nursing career with a healthy pain free body.

WOW Shannon, I acknowledge you for being brave, courageous and authentic and taking this program on FULL FORCE! You are a shining star and will accomplish anything you set your mind to.


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