I truly detest "about me" sections of anything but I gather they are necessary so let's have a go, shall we?
It all started on a warm fall evening in 1985 when, I, Shaina Ricketts was born...
|Baby Shaina 3 months...already fluffy|
Ok, I wouldn't really take it back that far!!
Anyway, as I said above, my name is Shaina and I am originally from New York. I lived there on and off for 12 years and that would be where my love for food developed. Almost anywhere you go in the city, you find Jamaican restaurants, Chinese Food, street vendors selling hot dogs and Falafel, and my personal favorite; delicious, authentic, mouthwatering pizza shops!
|Exchange me for the random white guy and you have my own personal heaven|
From an early age, I had a love for all things savory, creamy and rich, and in New York the restaurants generally use the best ingredients. When you're a kid and you run more than you sleep, it's ok to eat whatever you want. That lifestyle didn't start to affect me until I officially moved away from the city that never sleeps. When I was 12, I moved to North Carolina. Enter Super Size Mcdonald's meals, driving every where, minimal outdoor playing, and of course, boys.
The South was a completely different ball game. Eating wasn't just something you did on the run, but a social activity that was included in EVERYTHING! I mean food was everywhere...and I loved it. Exit- eating delicious treats and enjoying them when sparingly received them and Enter- eating just because. Not to mention the fact that the object of my affection lived right next door and there was no way I was going to be caught playing tag or hide-n-go-seek and sweating and such. No. I sat around and tried to catch his eye if he walked by.
Fast forward to high school. By 10th grade I was already a size 14 and pushing 180. I remained active by doing Cheerleading, track, and musicals, but the problem still remained... Food.
By senior year graduation I was already over the 200 mark, being called fluffy by my dad, and on my way to college (and we all know what happens when you go away to college). The freshman 15 turn into the freshman 20, 30, and then 40. My senior year in college found me weighing in at a lovely 250+ and looking like someone was going to take off in me and hot air themselves to New Mexico.
|I think this deserves a WTF|
After college, I moved to Arizona to become a teacher with the Teach For America organization and by this time I had finally come to grips with the fact that I was on a one way path to fat girl hell if I didn't get my act together. I join the gym and tried to go on a regular basis, but when all your friends are skinny and eat whatever they want, it's kind of hard to keep up with working out like you should. Not to mention the school parties with cake and pizza and all the other goodies that make teachers fat. It was like I just couldn't win.
I'd reached 284 lbs by February of 2010. W....T....F. I was about to move to South Korea to teach and finally be in the same place with my long time, long distance love. I didn't want to start my new life in my old body. I look at pictures now and I can't even recognize my face. Like this one:
|Getting my Master Degree|
And now we come to the awesomeness. Getting thin! (Details of how I did it in Fit > Fat)
Now I am presently sitting at 199 lbs for the first time in over 10 years! I am proud to say that I have learned so many things about myself while going through this massive journey (I hate when people say journey because it sounds cheesy but that is the best fitting word here!) of highs and lows. Losing weight is like becoming bipolar for me. The beginning was hard. I went through moments of extreme deprivation because I didn't know how to eat the things that I liked and remain healthy. I locked myself in my house at times because i didn't trust myself to eat the right things when I went out with friends. I was depressed and I felt like I was a drug addict in rehab. In all actuality, being addicted to food is a real and serious thing and I am sure that many of you can identify with me on this. It's even harder to understand food addiction because, unlike drugs, we are supposed to eat food and enjoy it, which brings it all home to my favorite things; Moderation and Eating Clean.
It has taken me close to the whole year and a half of this process to really begin to understand moderation and eating clean. I found that I can come up with wonderful recipes using foods that I didn't necessarily eat growing up. There can be no doubt that there is a serious correlation between low income households and obese families as healthier options are hard to come by. To really understand obesity one must look at the staples in the low income households; bread, rice, potatoes, microwave meals, sugary snacks, ect. (I will delve into that soap opera another day.) Now that I am on my own and have the means to create a better lifestyle for myself, I have developed a huge lists of recipes and tips that I can't wait to share with the world!
This website is for people like me who are working hard towards their goals and learning that health and fitness don't have to be boring and tasteless. I hope that you find the information here inspiring and useful, and I look forward to sharing the rest of my journey (Urgh) with you.
Now for random things I can't live without!
|My family, mom, dad, little sis, best friend, brother and me!|
|The Love of my life and I in our new home, England|
|My favorite Students from Phoenix|
|My roomates and BFF's|
|Some of the greatest coworkers on earth|
|My time in Korea taught me so much|