Transformation of the Day: Shadé Mallory lost 38 pounds. She was diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease called Mixed Connective Tissue Disease in Aug 2019. Then, In Jan 2021, her diagnosis was changed to Lupus. Depression and frustration set in, her medication caused weight gain, and her overall health was suffering. By working with a Naturopathic Doctor and discovering her Big Why, she is creating a lifestyle centered on long-lasting wellness vs. temporary goals.
I was diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease called Mixed Connective Tissue Disease in August 2019. In January 2021, my diagnosis was officially changed to Lupus. (An autoimmune disease is when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body.)
Since being diagnosed, I’ve been hospitalized, I’ve had surgery, my medication list increased to 22 medications, and Lupus started to affect my kidneys. I was put on steroids and immunosuppressants that unfortunately caused me to gain weight. Although, I can’t blame it all the medication. Depression and frustration had set in because I simply had a hard time accepting my new reality. I was on constant edge about my health taking a turn for the worse.
I reached 267 pounds. It was the heaviest I had been in my life. I could hardly walk, and I was miserable. I knew I was headed down the road to high blood pressure, diabetes, and my cholesterol levels had started to creep up. I didn’t want to add more health issues by living an unhealthy lifestyle. I also knew that there is absolute truth in food healing the body.
December 2020, I found a Black Naturopathic Doctor who could help me. I knew I needed to change my eating habits, but I was overwhelmed with the amount of information on the internet telling me what to eat and not to eat for my autoimmune disease. Dr. Rachel Callens @dr_callensnmd put me on a detox, went over foods that caused inflammation, and I started taking supplements to help.
How did you change your eating habits? What did your workout routine consist of?
I cut out dairy, gluten, and processed sugar. I started juicing more and exercising.
In the beginning, working out was hard because my body wasn’t used to carrying 267 pounds, and I was in pain from Lupus. So every other day, I did what I could. I started by doing hip-hop dance videos on YouTube. I needed to feel like I was having fun. It was during the pandemic, so YouTube was my only option. Next, I started doing various workout videos that focused on different parts of the body.
How often did you work out?
I began with 2-3 days a week. Sometimes the Lupus would cause my flare from workouts, and I would have to take a few days off. I basically worked out when I felt my body could handle it.
What is your current weight?
I haven’t weighed myself in a while because I’m trying not to focus on the number. I’m on steroids and other mediation that cause water retention and swelling. The number can get discouraging. The last time I weighed myself, I was 229 pounds.
I’m still not close to my goal weight, but I’ve still come a long way, and my inflammation numbers have improved. I still get frustrated because I know certain foods cause me to get sick and have a Lupus flare. However, I want everyone to know that we all have different limitations and restrictions. You just have to find what works for you. Small progress is still progress!
What is your height?
When did you officially start your journey?
I started Dec 6, 2020
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
No, It was not.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
I’ve lost weight and gained weight all of my life. Before, my motivation was vanity, but now my health has made it to the forefront of my life. I’m learning that it doesn’t matter how much weight I lose. This will be a forever journey. Journeys include setbacks, disappointments, rewards, gratification, etc. I’m learning to try and embrace it all.
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
Find your Why, and then ask yourself if your “why” is strong enough to keep you focused during your journey. My goals used to be needing to lose weight before my birthday, for a vacation, or because I had a bad break-up. I call those temporary reasons. These reasons gave me the temporary motivation that I needed to reach a temporary goal. My “why” was never in it for the long run. That was, of course, until my health forced me into having a reason why.
Lupus is 3-4 times more likely to affect black women, and autoimmune diseases, on average, can take 7-10 years to receive a correct diagnosis. I want to stress how important it is for us (women of color) to listen to our bodies. When something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate. It’s not always stress or anxiety. Put your health first, and don’t stop until you have answers.