Shalita Ford had already tried 45 different diets. When her favorite rapper, Nelly, pulled her onstage to dance and sing, she felt humiliated. And she began a lifetime change.
“Nelly and I sang ‘Dilemma’ together while a friend took pictures, but when she showed me them, I was just disgusted by how I looked. Looking at my gut was the worst, I had leggings on and it was like a stocking bulging and sticking out, making my stomach look 10 times bigger”, remember Shalita.
At 230 pounds, Shalita vowed to lose weight. She swore that if she ever met her favorite artist again, she would look like a new woman. Over the course of two years, the mother lost 84 pounds.
“I had these incredible once-in-a-lifetime pictures where I had sung onstage with my favorite person in the world since I was 13 but couldn’t show them to anyone because of how I looked,” she said.
Seeing the photos with Nelly motivated her to completely change her lifestyle.
“Thinking about the photograph with Nelly kept me motivated to change my lifestyle and made me determined to continue on the diets when I was struggling,” she said.
Shalita was always a bit bigger, but steroid treatments for her asthma caused her to gain weight. Also, a sedentary 13-hour job only made things worse. Shalita spoke with her physician, then added probiotics, exercise, and healthy foods to her lifestyle.
“I’m so proud of what I have achieved, but weirdly I’m not used to it yet,” she said. “I have kept my old clothes because it feels like a dream that someday I will wake up from.”