Interview with Shawn

In the past, I have interviewed a couple to share their healthy lifestyles with the world. You may remember Ashley, my bridesmaid and bestie, who was my running partner in crime. I also interviewed my sister, another Ashley, who took up hula hooping and pole dancing as a way to stay in shape.

Today, we are going to steer away from "Ashleys" and talked to my good friend Shawn. He and I met 4 years ago when I was hired into the company I presently work for. We were both techies who reset account passwords and did some online coding assistance, which surprisingly involved making laser noises (according to his training methods).

ANYWAY, about a year ago, Shawn decided to make some BIG changes to his life to better his overall health. So let us welcome Shawn to Run Freckles Run!! :o)

Tell us a little about yourself!
I'm Shawn (duh). A 30 year old reforming fat man and all around okay human being. I'm currently a lead at a tech support call center and I've lost, at the moment, 120 pounds. My starting weight, when I actually started to realize I was having some success and measured was 378, though I know the doctors office has me as high as 380ish currently I'm hovering around 250 but I will hopefully get below 200 if I have my way of things. I am a nerd and have no qualms about it. I enjoy video games, just relaxing with friends and have a penchant for terrible movies.

Now, on to the juicy questions!!  

Your weight-loss journey has been absolutely impressive to me and I know many others have been excited to see you make this change. What has been your favorite part in dropping the pounds?
Favorite part of dropping so much weight, honestly, has been the reaction of the people around me. It's kinda nifty when people you don't even know at work come up to you and start gushing about how much you've changed. Personally, I tend to keep to myself so I wouldn't imagine doing so but the reactions of those around me has really surprised me as I started to shed the excess pounds. Just the in general positive reactions of people I normally wouldn't associate with is something that has really helped drive me to continue with losing the weight.

What prompted you to take action on your health?
Well, being completely honest, my reasons for starting the whole thing were (at first) kinda shallow. I wanted to (and admittedly still want to) be in some sort of shape...other than round...that may get noticed by the opposite sex. However, as I started to get farther and farther in, I realized I was gaining back some of my lost self esteem, and the main driving factor has been the confidence I've gained in being less and less ashamed of the way I look. Sad but true, it started out as a hopeful (albeit admittedly unsuccessful) way to try and find a date, and has moved onto something that I'm doing so I can look at myself in the mirror and not shake my head at what I've let myself become.

There's definitely a lot of positive changes that occur win one loses weight, but what has been the must difficult obstacle you have had to overcome since you started this lifestyle change? How did you get through it?
The most difficult obstacle (aside from being an apparently accident prone klutz) is the daily temptation in the work place. I never realized that sitting on a bleeding phone all day led to as much bored eating as it did. There is a definite habit of munching on whatever is in front of me out of sheer mind-numbing boredom that had to be overcome whenever I started to lose weight. The trick, for me at least, was to start cutting down on the amount of snacking I did when I wasn't really doing anything and subbing out all the candy and things with healthier choices.

What are some physical activities you do to help keep those calories burning? What is your favorite?
I walk during breaks, I lift weights (which I've found to be amazingly entertaining and always puts me in a better mood). I also tend to walk around the office at work a lot, if something needs done, I'll get up and walk to whoever needs a hand and not just answer them on the inter office communication tools we have available.

Any exercises that you are interested in trying and why?
I'd like to start biking possibly. I'm not terribly sure I have the endurance for the whole running thing (kudos to you by the way) but I'd maybe give it a shot. I'm not entirely sure what else is out there, but I tend to at least give everything a fair shot at first before I turn my nose up at it.

Having a healthy diet is also a big part of losing weight and keeping it off. What food alternatives, meal plans, etc have you implemented? Anything in particular that you swear by?
There is a website ( I use that helps me look at what I'm really eating and at a restaurant or other places where there isn't a lot of information available I find it absolutely invaluable. I've changed A LOT of what I'm eating. I used to (as you know) go to extravagant lengths on my lunches. One time there was a two burrito Chipotle challenge topped with five guys fries, a Starbucks drink, a frosty from Wendy's and some candy from Five Below mainly because I could. I find myself looking at labels a lot more in the grocery store as well, and have found some really nifty snack-like things in the organic food isle of all places. I've really broadened my diet to include more choices that help maintain a weight I'm more comfortable with. Portioning and not buying a whole bunch of pre-made and frozen shenanigans has helped immensely as well. Again I can't control what goes in that stuff and the labels are rather frightening if you take some time to look at them.

 You have a HUGE craving! How do you handle the situation? 
CRAVINGS... I'm sorry did you say chocolate, cause I SWEAR I heard you say chocolate. ANYWAY, simple, I eat some bleeding chocolate. I don't think giving in will kill ya or make you go back on your whole bleeding lifestyle change. Most things are okay in moderation. So take a step back, enjoy some of the nicer things in life, and then figure out what you can do to stay within your goals. Now, there are times when I will sub something out for something else as well (peanut butter, you are my bestest friend), but you don't have to give up on everything just because you are trying to lose weight.

You have fallen off the horse and see the scale has turned in the opposite direction than where you want it to be. How do you get back on track?

Oh, you mean like this past month? Seriously due to injuries (hurray being accident prone) and what not, I've not been as active as I wanted to be. The only thing I can do is look at myself in the mirror, figure out what I've been doing that's hurting me (in this case, I've been on a bleeding plateau for a long darn time) and figure out what I can do to fix it. Currently, I'm kinda stuck on the last step since its a bit of a persistent fault, but I'll get it. If nothing else, I'm stubborn and I refuse to come as far as I have to stop almost 3/4 of the way there. To this extent I'm going to re-evaluate what I'm allowing myself, fix whats wrong with me, and kick it in to beast mode and power through this thing.

Someone has approached you for advice on how to lose weight. What 3 tips would you give them to get them started?
You know, this actually happens a decent amount.
  1. First and foremost, I'm kinda against dieting. You have to change the way you do things, the way you think and act, make it a habit to stay conscious of your decisions more so than eat nothing but meat or cut out carbs in my opinion. 
  2. I suggest the website I've used ( as a way to track things then get a better idea of what you really are eating, and lastly...
  3. STICK WITH IT. Things, don't change right away and especially at first its a bleeding roller coaster as you start to adjust the way you do things, don't get discouraged and keep at it, you will find what works for you, hone in on it and then you can achieve what you set out to do.

Name 3 goals you wish to achieve in 2014.
  1. UNDER 200 pounds... not terribly sure if this is realistic but dang it I'm going to try despite the lack luster start to this year.
  2. Buy a new wardrobe - Ok, this one I should have done perhaps a long time ago since all of my clothes fit like I'm trying to bring back late 80's oversized fashion, but I hope to get close enough to my goal to actually go shopping for some nice attire by the end of the year.
  3. Perhaps be more social, I suppose why I've had no success at finding anyone (see initial reason for losing weight) may be due to the fact I'm a bit of a hermit.
BONUS: Name an activity you have on your bucket list and why?
Visit another country, as stated before, I'm a freaking hermit. I would love to get out of the states and see a bit more of the world. Perhaps Japan, Germany, England, Italy... not sure but I would like to experience other cultures for sure.

Where can you find Shawn? (username: erodahs) (username: erodahs)

If you have any questions for Shawn, feel free to post them here!!!

No comments

Post a Comment

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig