Weight Loss Transformation: Cheree McDaniel


Cheree’s Journey to Fitness

My story starts in 2009. I was medically discharged from the Navy with an ankle injury. After two years of service, I was told I would always have pain in my ankle and most likely would never run again. I was depressed. I had hoped to make a career out of the Navy. Right before my discharge, my husband and I found out we were expecting a baby!  This was beyond exciting news, but I was hitting a wall with my depression. I was happy, but I was also sad. I ate everything in sight and none of it was healthy. I ballooned and figured it would all melt off after giving birth… but that never happened.

Sandra pregnant

Not only did it not melt off after birth, I fell even deeper into depression and continued gaining weight. I turned to food as my comfort. Burgers, ice cream, soda, candy… you name it, I ate it. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t clean. I didn’t live. I sat around playing games on my computer and got fat. I visited my family for the first time since discovering I was pregnant in 2010. My father took pictures of our visit that left me in tears. I wasn’t this tiny pretty little girl that I used to be. I didn’t even recognize the person in the pictures anymore. At this point, I didn’t know how much I weighed. I didn’t want to know. I was scared of what the number would be. Instead of making a change, I continued to eat myself into oblivion.

Sandra Before1 eating

My husband deployed in 2011. We were fighting a lot. I couldn’t shake the depression I was going through. He didn’t know how to help me, and in turn, I was throwing him into a depression as well. We were both miserable because I was refusing to snap out of it and DO something. Shortly after he left, I took a long hard look in the mirror. I didn’t like what I saw. I hated myself. I was fat, I was angry, and I wasn’t me. I didn’t know who was staring back at me, but I knew they needed to change. I downloaded an app on my phone and started cutting back my food. I failed. Miserably. The app wanted me to make soups from water, celery and onions. It was a poorly constructed app and I ended up binging on fast food.

One evening I had too much wine and went out on a walk with my sister-in-law. I stepped on some rocks with my bad ankle and it caved underneath me. I hit the ground hard. I was unable to walk for a few days after. I called the doctor to be checked… and that was when I faced the scale. My enemy sat across from me in the little room. I knew I wasn’t going to like the number I saw. When the doctor asked me to step on it, I cried. 240 pounds. There was no way that was right, right? I knew I had let myself go… but that much?! It hit hard. Seeing that number come across made me feel ashamed. I had really been eating myself to death.

I left the doctors office with information on bursitis, an appointment with a nutritionist, and information on how to start losing weight. I took the first step that day, after seeing the numbers on the scale. I was ready to lose weight and I was serious about doing it. I started out by walking. Then I started using at home DVD’s and going on hikes. I changed my eating habits and cut out soda completely. I watched as the numbers slowly started to move. Then I got a gym membership and added in a weight routine every morning while my daughter played in a children’s room.

Sandra hiking

Researching different routines and different healthy recipes took up a lot of my free time, trying to perfect my nutrition and exercise routine. I spent time with a counselor working on overcoming my depression and becoming a better wife and mother. I worked endlessly at becoming a better me! Between the time I saw the doctor and the time I met up with my husband again in 2012, I dropped 80lbs. I went from 240 to 160 in less than 12 months time. When he saw me again, I was a completely different woman than the woman he had last seen. I was happy, I was energetic and I was healthy! I was able to chase after our daughter without running out of breath and he could actually wrap his arms around me! Something he hadn’t been able to do since before I had gotten pregnant!

My husband’s next set of orders sent us to Texas. Along the way, we had a lot of fast food. I gained back 14lbs. Mentally, I took it hard. That was 14lbs that I had busted my booty to lose and really had no intentions of finding again. However, I knew I could work it off again. The weight I gained on the trip didn’t want to budge. I’d lose it just to gain it back again while exploring San Antonio. It seemed like I was at a standstill. Then I discovered that we were expecting… again! I was excited, yet terrified. I didn’t want to gain all of that weight back! I didn’t think I could mentally handle it. Then the morning sickness hit and I dropped weight for the first half of my pregnancy. At about 16 weeks along, we made another very big move up North. We ate out often and the weight finally started to pack on. By the time our son was born, I was in the 200’s again. After giving birth, the scale was at 214. I wasn’t happy with that number, but there wasn’t a lot I could do after my c-section until I was cleared.

Five months after our son arrived, I was back at 192lbs… so I knew it was time to start working out again. I went hard, six days a week, at least an hour a day, not including the additional long walks. I was determined to get the weight back off. I did crazy routines, picked up insane workouts to do at home and then eventually got a gym membership where I started lifting heavy. I researched supplements and started buying different ones to try. That’s when I came across Quest Bars and fell absolutely in love! I alternate between different supplements, but Quest Bars I keep on hand at all times. I like being able to have something when I’m on the go with my kids or right after I leave the gym.

Sandra baby pouch

My weight loss stalled at 160-175 lbs. this past October. I fluctuated a lot and no matter what I did with my diet and routine, it would not budge. Back to the doctor I went. They ran blood tests and called me while I was in the middle of running one day to tell me I was pre-diabetic. My poor habits from the past had finally caught up with me. They set me up with another nutritionist who shared new ideas. I was to change what fruits and veggies I took in, watch how much bread I was eating, and portion things out differently from what I’d grown used to.

Since then, I’ve gone from 175 to 154. I’m sitting at 27.6% body fat right now, instead of the 30% I was at. I can’t say I am finished with my journey, but I can say that I have come a long way. It wasn’t an overnight change, but it has been a change that will last me a lifetime! I’m hoping that I can continue down this road and see some nice muscle definition soon! One of my main goals now is to inspire others that feel this is an impossible journey. It isn’t impossible at all! It’s worth every minute and every drop of sweat to feel the accomplishment that I do!
3 Tips for Anyone Starting Out:

– See your doctor first. They’re the gateways to knowing where to begin.
– Watch more than just your calories. The rest of the nutrition facts label is important as well. Carbs, sodium and fats play a large roll. Get a pedometer!
– There will be times that this all feels impossible. Times where you want to give up and you question why you are doing this at all. Go stand in front of the mirror. Look yourself in the eyes and tell yourself you can do this. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Write down all of the reasons you should do this. Whether it is for your health, your kids, or your spouse. Keep pushing.

BLOG: http://mommygetsfit2000.blogspot.com/ for anyone that wants to keep up with me. I also have a Facebook page that I post on.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mommygetsfit2000

Instagram: @mommy_cheree

Twitter: @mommy_cheree

Team Quest – We are here for you! Share your transformations and triumphs with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email them to us at [email protected]Remember that these transformations took hard work, discipline and a plan. Quest products are a delicious component of, and not a substitute for, an exercise regimen and effective diet. The Quest Community is always there for you if you need help, inspiration or motivation!