"When I was heavier, I never thought, 'I'm going to set out to lose this many pounds,' " Shonda – who was 203 lbs. at her heaviest – tells PEOPLE. "That was never my goal. My goal was to get off the baby weight and to get healthier, but once I started the journey and started seeing results, then it became fun."
I don't post pictures like this often and I don't wear a swimsuit often.I wanted to post it tho because I believe sharing my progress good or bad helps me stay accountable. Often I'm ask what keeps me motivated and I can honestly say progress. The daily push to improve is what drives me. I will never have a big round booty but I try to focus on what I can improve. Focus on what I can control and that's what I love about working out. Find what it is for you and just stick with it until you see the progress you're looking for....IT TAKES TIME. And often I go backwards but I try to never give up.
Shonda, 39, grew up eating biscuits with gravy and fried chicken, but started cleaning up her diet and researching the most effective exercises. And she started seeing results.
"Once you have worked so hard to get it and keep it off, the motivation is just that," she says. "Nobody wants to repeat that again. You become very committed."
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"When I get up, I do cardio first thing in the morning," says Shonda, who is a fan of the elliptical and arc trainer machines. "Then after work I try to get to the gym before the kids are home, and that's when I lift."
As for her diet, Shonda sticks to a low-carb, high-protein diet, making sure she has a protein and a fruit or vegetable at every meal.
"I have a food sensitivity to eggs, so breakfast is usually fish or chicken and a carb – oatmeal, grapefruit, cantaloupe," she says. "Then the rest of the meals are usually chicken or fish, a vegetable, and I'll rotate carbs in. It's very basic. If I deviate off that, I can really tell a difference so I have to stay very strict with my diet."
Shonda has shared her transformation from overweight to super-fit mom on social media, and has amassed 2.7 million Instagram followers. She shares videos of her workouts, some of her favorite recipes, and photos of her progress on her page.
Family size Cobb Salad by @cleanfoodcrush @cleanfoodcrush Baby Spring Greens Various Tomatoes Fresh Avocado English Cucumber Red Onion Grilled Chicken Boiled Eggs Nitrate Free Bacon Anything else you love To make a healthier Blue Cheese Dressing: 1 cup Greek Yogurt 1 or 2 Tbsps unsweetened almond milk...(just add milk until it's the dressing consistency you like) Whisk those 2 ingredients together until yogurt is a bit more "pourable" Then add: 2-4 Tbsps all natural Blue Cheese crumbles (depending on your preference) 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice 1/4 tsp garlic salt You can even add a few drops of Sriracha, to make Blue Cheese Sriracha Dressing! (Optional) Whisk, and add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired.
Good morning! I read your comments on my video post and I appreciate each and everyone of them. . Many of you said you like a "real" mom and that's why you followed. Well I'm not fabulously fit and I'm harder on myself then anyone else possibly could be but "real" I am!! . This is my just rolled out of bed on my way to do cardio~obviously no filters~ progress pic! I will never have a big round booty but I am determined to be fabulously lean and strong by spring break.Just turning 39 gives me one last year to be fabulously fit by forty!! . For me it helps to pick a date, set goals to be met, and taking progress pictures weekly!! The scale can be misleading but your clothes and how you look is reality! Thank you again for you comments. . ***Let me add to the booty remarks because is really gets frustrating for me. With a ruptured disc and 2 bulging in my lower back I'm blessed to work legs/glutes at all. Pushing beyond what's safe to build an ass isn't something I'm willing to do. Being involved with my kids is far more important then what someone else may think of my backside. I also believe with all my heart and what knowledge I have genetics play a HUGE part into you having the ability to grow an ass. ~~rant over
"There's an accountability there that is far greater than the scale, because sometimes the scale doesn't move, but you can see a huge difference – good or bad – in those pictures," she says.
Shonda believes she's been able to attract so many followers to her page because "it's real," she says. "I'm not super fabulous. What I am is attainable. They can do my workouts, [and they do]. That is very rewarding."