How Eating Clean Helped This Mom Lose More Than 30 Pounds
Dina Shingleton regained control of her body through diet and exercise.
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Dina Shingleton’s day never started off with donuts, bacon, pancakes or any other “bad” foods. The problem was that her days rarely started off with any food at all.
“I was not eating anything, then drinking only unsweetened ice tea until 3 p.m. — and then I was starving,” Shingleton, of Amityville, New York, says.
That’s when the downward spiral would begin. “I’d use the fact that I hadn’t eaten all day to rationalize a lunch of a bagel and popcorn,” she says. It wasn’t until dinner rolled around that she’d finally eat a well-rounded meal. “I was totally nutritionally devoid, and then during that last meal I was probably exceeding what I needed because I was hungry,” the 39-year-old recalls.
In November 2014, Shingleton found herself carrying 188 pounds on her 5’3” frame. Though she’d struggled with her weight since she was young, the extra pounds were starting to take a toll on her body. “…I was having a year-and-a-half long bout of plantar fasciitis in the bottom of both of my feet,” she says. “It was miserable, every time I would get up, I was hobbling.” That’s when she knew it was time to regain control of her body.
Finding a Diet That Worked
Ask Shingleton to name the diets she’s gone on and she’ll say, “Pretty much anything you could think of, I tried.” But this time, instead of yo-yoing her way through fad diets, she went with a different approach. “I started to focus on eating clean, whole foods…I eliminated anything white, sugar, flour — and most items with gluten in it,” she says. “And then, I concentrated on adding more protein. I’d do a meal-replacing shake for breakfast.” Her new, balanced approach paid off — and within a month, she lost 10 pounds.
Though she’d never been a fan of exercise, Shingleton started researching workouts she could do at home. “I have two children, and I was a single mother, so I couldn’t leave my kids to go to the gym,” she says. While Googling her options, she came across DailyBurn’s streaming online workouts. She signed up, and decided to start with the True Beginner program. “It’s so funny because it looked so easy and then I was sweating my face off!” Shingleton says. Though the workouts were challenging, Shingleton was hooked and found herself logging on to DailyBurn for workouts five or six times a week.
After three months of True Beginner and other programs like Cardio Sculpt, Shingleton lost another 25 pounds. She kept up her efforts during the holiday season, too. “When you woke up at 5:15 and put all this energy and effort into working out, why undo it with eating poorly?” she says. “I told myself to not undo all that effort.”
Hitting a Weight Loss Plateau
Feeling better than she had in years, Shingleton decided it was time to challenge herself with a DailyBurn Black Fire workout, led by trainer Bob Harper. “The first time I did Black Fire, I spent half the time looking at the screen giving him the finger,” Shingleton says with a laugh. But she learned to scale the workouts to her abilities, which kept her going. “I remember in January of this year doing like two reps [of certain moves] and now I’m doing eight,” she says. “It’s so awesome to be able to track my progress and I keep all my score sheets.”
However, while Shingleton was still losing inches from her frame, the scale had stopped moving. Eventually, she realized she needed to increase the amount of food she was eating in order to be able to keep up with her intense new workout routine. “I adjusted that by adding more mini meals,” Shingleton says. “I’d have a post-workout protein shake, then two hours later a Quest bar, then a green apple. I just added a little more — nothing junky, still clean, whole foods.” With this small change, her weight loss picked up again and she lost 10 more pounds.
Keeping Up the Hard Work
It’s not easy to wake up early to work out, nor is it always fun to eat clean when everyone else is splurging, Shingleton says. “You’re not always going to be on the straight and narrow; some days you’re going to want to have a T-bone, sometimes I have dessert with sugar in it. Whatever!” she says.
Making tiny, manageable changes has helped her nail down a healthy lifestyle that works for her. “I think you need to pick one small attainable goal at a time and make small tweaks day-to-day to change those things,” she says. “It’s not about, ‘I’m just going to eat lettuce.’ I’ll make brown rice pastas with red sauce, or meatballs with toasted Ezekiel bread, so it doesn’t seem like I’m denying myself or changing my entire life.”
Knowing that she has a ton of variety to choose from in her workouts helps, too. “I play a game with myself if I wake up and I’m like ‘I don’t want to do anything,’ I’ll tell myself maybe I’ll do a 15-minute quick workout,” she says. “It’s the variety, the ability to choose — and the fact that I splurged on a whole new wardrobe. This is the body that has to stay!”
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Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or weight loss program. DailyBurn users who worked out for 30 minutes or more at least five times a week for 60 to 90 days reported an average weight loss of about one pound per week.
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