‘I Practiced Macro Counting And Did Weightlifting To Lose 100 Pounds’

My name is Shannon Snider (@thehighdeserthaven), and I’m a 36 year old mother of two. We live in Oregon, and I work full-time as an apparel buyer for a retail store. I wanted to be the best, healthiest mother possible for my girls, so I got into macro counting and lifting weights and have lost at least 100 pounds in five years.

I had been overweight my entire life, but the memory that always stuck with me was my sophomore orientation in high school. One of the beautiful senior girls made a nasty comment about my weight, a hurt moment I’ll never forget.

I didn’t feel good about myself or have self-worth, and so I tried all of the diets and fads. I would often see results, but they were never long-lasting because fad diets didn’t allow me to make a true lifestyle change or offer way of eating that I could maintain for life.

Fast-forward to both of my pregnancies—I gained weight after both. I also struggled with asthma, auto-immune disease and was pre-diabetic.

I started my weight loss journey at the age of 31 after I had my second daughter.

I decided after I had my second daughter at 31 that I needed to make a change in my life. I hated the direction I was going in life and I was unhappy. I didn’t want my girls to grow up with a mom that was depressed, unhealthy, and just not 100 percent there for them. I wanted to set a good example for my daughters, and I knew that I needed to start taking care of myself so I could be the best mother to them that I could be.


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I did a 21-day diet challenge to jumpstart my journey and started walking daily.

I had tried a lot of plans (Advocare, keto, the HCG diet, low-carb eating, intermittent fasting), and I would typically have great success but then gain it all back, and sometimes more.

This time, I started working out three times a week (mainly cardio), and that was when I really started to notice a change in my body that was long-lasting. I lost about 70 pounds by following a low-carb diet and exercising regularly. I also used the food and nutrient tracking app MyFitnessPal. My weight was at 235 pounds at this point.

It took me about two years to lose most of that weight. Then, about two years ago, I hit a plateau and wasn’t able to lose more weight despite working out regularly.


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Enter: counting macros, which has been a game changer for me.

I started working with a macro and training program coach, and I am in a place I never thought I would be!In six months, I lost 30 pounds and achieved my goal weight and then some.

I have seen the most changes in my body in this past year as well.It’s just incredible. With macro counting, I have found that the major keys to my success are realizing carbs are not the enemy (your muscles need them to perform!), and that protein is extremely important.

Here’s what I eat in a day.

  • Breakfast: Breakfast burritos with one whole egg, egg whites, and turkey bacon.I use Carb Balance tortillas because they are high in fiber. I try to hit 30 to 35 grams of fiber a day.
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken, jasmine rice, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and sweet chili sauce.
  • Snacks: Protein bar or protein shake.
  • Dinner: A big salad with sugar-free dressing, chicken, and sometimes rice or bread (depending on the carbs I have left over or what phase I’m in with my macro counting).
  • Dessert: I have a local friend who makes high-protein snacks like truffles, cinnamon rolls, pronuts, etc. I will usually have a truffle after dinner.


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I started walking right away, then increased to jogging/running, but the weights always scared me…until now.

I never considered myself athletic, coordinated, or competitive, so I always shied away from lifting. But weightlifting has been the most rewarding and beneficial change for my body. Lifting weights is how you build muscle (and in turn, burn more calories even at rest) and create muscle definition in your body.


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Now, I do cardio four times a week (typically 20-30 minutes of incline walking), and I lift five times a week.

Typically, I start with stretching and a warm-up, then I’ll go into a push day or a glute day—something with a specific game plan.

For me, the key has been incorporating “progressive overload” to build my muscles, meaning I add weight as I get stronger to continue putting my muscles under more stress, so they adapt and grow. My favorite lifts are overhead press, Romanian deadlifts, hip thrusts, landmine press, and Arnold curls.

My coach and I change my training plan every month. I love hitting the gym at 3 a.m. every morning! It starts my day off right, and I miss it on rest days. I enjoy moving my body, and actually seeing the results has been so rewarding!


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These three changes have led to my weight loss success.

  • I started counting macros. Doing so allows me to enjoy my favorite foods while still hitting my caloric goals. I don’t deprive myself, but I also make sure that I meet my macro goals. If I want pizza or I want a drink, I plug it in and adjust my meals around it to make it fit. If I deprive myself of something on a diet, I will fail… and I know that about myself. For me, macro counting has set me up to gain a better knowledge of the foods I eat and the quantity that I should be consuming. I feel like I could transition into intuitive eating eventually given the tools that macro counting has taught me.


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  • I started doing less cardio, more weights. If you want to see real progress and long-term success, stop logging miles on the treadmill and pick up some dumbbells. Once I got the basics of lifts and form down, I started increasing my weights, and it is an endorphin high like no other. I feel strong and powerful. And most importantly, my girls notice the changes, and they say they want to grow up strong like Mommy.


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  • I drink lots of water and eat lots of fiber. If you start logging your water and fiber intake, you’ll probably learn that you’re not getting nearly enough. Once I started hitting my water and fiber goal, the weight started dropping. I started by filling up a gallon jug each morning and bringing it to work everyday.


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I’ve lost at least 100 pounds in five years.

I am so proud of myself, and the joy I feel when someone approaches me and tells me that I’ve inspired them to make a change is like no other feeling.Happy people help people. I am so much happier, and I think I am a better person to those around me because I decided to take charge of my life and make a change.


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