COLUMN: Shaking my way to a healthy lifestyle

Published 9:15 am Thursday, October 19, 2023

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Pop singer and 12-time Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift wrote “Shake It Off” and released the hit song in 2014.

Tish Richardson, Zack Maio, and Bobby Richardson

While the lyrics have their own meaning, they took on a completely different meaning for me at the beginning of the year. I set a goal to lose 75 pounds by the end of 2023.

I met with EmPower Nutrition owners Tish and Bobby Richardson on the final day of 2022 and set up a free wellness profile and consultation. After making random visits to their nutrition club since Hunter Smith first took me in January 2020, I decided to become one of their preferred members. I knew this was not going to be easy but knew my eating habits had to change for the better.

Tish and I talked about a customized plan for me that would benefit me and help me lose weight. She took measurements of my chest, hips, waist, and arms on Dec. 31, 2022. When I stepped on the scale, I weighed 244 pounds, which was definitely overweight for my 5’10” height. My blood pressure and heart rate were both really high, too. Tish decided I should start with two meal-replacement protein shakes per day and one healthy meal with healthy snacks and plenty of water.

I have never cared for water to drink, but if it meant getting my health back on track and shedding pounds, then let’s go. Granted, I have to flavor it, but water is water and really beneficial to your body, which I never paid attention to before. I started with two shakes: banana pudding and strawberry cheesecake. I lost seven pounds at my second weigh-in two weeks later and was proud to see those results. I completed my first month 13 pounds lighter. Tish reminded me every time how proud she was of me and to keep going strong.

Fast forward nearly 10 months later, I am down 62.4 pounds and stand at 181.6 as of my last weigh-in on Oct. 5. I drink water multiple times every day and keep myself active as much as possible when I’m not writing. My blood pressure and heart rate are back to normal levels. As a matter of fact, my blood pressure was 117/79 and my heart rate was 67 Monday morning. I check it every day per my doctor’s orders with my next appointment in November.

As if that’s not enough, my confidence level has changed dramatically. I have always struggled with my confidence, but this healthy lifestyle change put a stop to that. I started cooking more in the kitchen and began eating nutritious meals along with my two shakes a day. I have since learned how to make many more shakes at home and have probably 70 to 80 I can make. Who would have thought ice water would be the base for these delicious shakes? (And, no, they are not gritty for those who ask.)

I have always put myself last in the past, but that’s not the case anymore. My health had to come first, and thanks to Tish and Bobby at EmPower Nutrition, I’m getting healthier day by day and boosting my confidence to levels I’ve never seen. Each time I go for a weigh-in, I make a Facebook post and receive comments and feedback from everyone following my journey.

This has been one heck of a journey, and I have every intention to keep going with two months left in the year. The next step for me is reaching my goal weight of 170 and maintaining it. I hope to become a distributor of these products and help others achieve the same results I have seen. Tish is always thankful for new clients, and I encourage anyone who wants to lose weight to give her a try. She truly cares about her clients, and it shows through her continued support and smile. It’s up to you whether you want to weigh in once every week or two weeks. Personally, I try to go every two weeks but occasionally go once a week.

Keep in mind wellness profiles and consultations with Tish are free. You only have to pay for your annual membership and the products to make at home. Just make sure you have a good quality blender.

To say I feel “empowered” is an understatement. I have enjoyed every ride of this journey thus far and know God will continue to guide me along every step of the way with Tish and Bobby’s love, guidance, and support. Do you want to be healthy and shed pounds like I have? Well, let’s get you started and get you going on your own personal journey!

Reach out to me and let me help you be successful, or see Tish and Bobby at EmPower Nutrition in Andalusia. You will not be disappointed and feel better, too!