Name: Shameika S.
MyFitnessPal User Since: 2011
Shameika grew up in a culturally diverse home that valued food as a means of connection and celebration. (Which is good!) But the intersection of her Filipino heritage and her life as an athlete fueled a complex relationship with food — one that wasn’t rooted in nutrition.
Too soon, Shameika’s weight became a focal point of attention. Teasing by peers and receiving uncomfortable comments from adults contributed to body image issues. But everything changed when she started to love her body by prioritizing her health.
Here’s Shameika’s story, in her own words.
1. What was your relationship with food like growing up?
Growing up, my relationship with food was tumultuous. In a household where food was a means of expressing hospitality and social connection from two different cultures, I had the privilege of always eating well. However, in my Filipino culture, rice was a staple with every meal, and as an athlete, I was always eating, but unfortunately, never making healthy choices. I lacked guidance.
2. What motivated you to start making healthy changes?
One day after moving to Houston, I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself. I’d fallen into the “happy weight trap” with my husband, and realized I needed a change. My clothes didn’t fit the same and my energy levels were always low.
3. What were your initial fitness goals?
My initial fitness goal was to feel good and like myself again. But as I embarked on my journey, I realized it was also about self-discovery. I began prioritizing my mental health, recognizing its connection with nutritional and physical health.
4. When and how did you discover the MyFitnessPal app?
I discovered MyFitnessPal in 2011, fresh out of high school. My doctor recommended it, realizing I was extremely overweight. I wanted to make a change before starting college and successfully lost 30 pounds* during my first semester.
5. Can you share a turning point in your health journey?
A turning point was realizing I could have FUN with food and didn’t have to live on a restrictive diet. Enjoying a night out or a “cheat meal” (which isn’t cheating if it’s part of the plan) became part of my journey. Preparing in advance and being flexible with choices while finding alternatives to favorite foods made the process enjoyable and achievable.
6. How has tracking your food impacted your habits and body image?
Tracking my food made me hyper-aware of my dietary intake. MyFitnessPal and nutrition labels became my best friends when making food choices. I was shocked at the ingredients and serving sizes of some of the foods I used to eat… I found MyFitnessPal’s customizable dashboard, barcode scanning for quick food logging, flexible measurement options, and step tracking to stay active and motivated very helpful.
7. What goals have you achieved in your health journey — and what do you want to achieve next?
I’m stronger than when I started, both physically and mentally. I even talk to myself sometimes to encourage myself: “You can do this!” Now, my only goal is to be better than I was the day before. Every day is a new opportunity to grow and improve.
8. What have you learned about yourself during this journey?
I’ve learned that I can achieve anything I set my mind to with consistency and healthy habits… This journey transformed my physical and mental health. I’ve gained clarity and confidence as a woman and now feel empowered to make great decisions and share my story to help others.
9. Any advice for others considering MyFitnessPal?
Plan ahead. Log your meals and snacks for the night before or the week to set yourself up for success. If you’re craving something specific, log it first and adjust your other meals and snacks accordingly to meet your daily goals.
Shameika did it. You can do it, too. Take control of your health today with the MyFitnessPal app today.
*Weight loss involves a healthy diet and exercise. Results may vary.