By Rebecca Drew
MEET the woman who dropped more than seven-stone in just two-years after being embarrassed by how sweaty she would get simply walking to class.
Growing up, Olivia Shanks (24) from Front Royal, Virginia, USA, describes herself as always being the biggest out of her seven siblings and would often find herself sitting back when her brothers and sisters would take part in activities.
Olivia never thought that she would be able to lose weight and used to eat emotionally. It wasn’t until she was 18st 3lbs that Olivia decided to take action because she struggled to walk to her classes. Olivia now works as a weight loss consultant and is a super slim 11-stone.
“I’ve been a bigger girl all my life so I never thought I could lose weight or get healthy. Whether I was happy, sad, angry or emotional I would use food as an escape to eat my problems away,” explained Olivia.
“I never really put too much thought into my health or my eating habits growing up so food was my go to for any occasion.
“I’ve always loved myself but I started to notice my self-confidence was becoming less and less the older I got.
“What really sparked my motivation to lose weight was walking to class one day at the end of my junior year and I was literally losing my breath walking a few flights of stairs.
“I was so embarrassed with myself about how sweaty I had gotten just walking to class and after that day, I told myself it was time to take control of my life and get my health right.
“I was always the happy girl but I wanted to genuinely be happy with myself inside and out so I started my weight-loss journey.”
Olivia now eats low carb meals and went from a UK size 26-16 to a super-healthy size 12 to 14.
“I got serious about my eating habits and got active, I stopped eating fast and going out to eat, I started eating from home every day,” explained Olivia.
“I started meal prepping weekly until I was disciplined to eat without slipping up or binge eating. Over time, the food I once craved, I no longer thought about.
“My whole mindset was different. I went from eating whatever I want to caring about everything that I put into my body.
“I’ve found my passion for helping others lose weight and get healthy, it’s a such a wonderful feeling to see my clients gain their confidence back and feeling good in their own skin.
“It’s just the small things that I took for granted that I’m so grateful for now like being able to walk upstairs and not be out of breath.”
Olivia’s advice to others wanting to embark on a weight loss journey is to be patient.
“I get a lot of positive feedback from family and friends, just saying how proud they are of me and how genuinely happy to see me happy in my own skin they are,” added Olivia.
“Or they don’t recognise me for a while until I say who I am.
“My advice to those who want to lose a significant amount of weight is to trust the process.
“It won’t be easy, nothing in life is easy but it’s worth the fight. Don’t let your excuses win, make your health a priority and not an option.
“Surround yourself with like-minded people and positivity. Not everyone is going to support your journey and some people might treat you differently but remain true to who you are and remind yourself that you have a purpose.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/oliviaxopatrice