Featured Stories

DHS Weight Loss Series: Shamia Rafter


How long I’ve kept it off:  My name is Shamia Rafter. In May of 2016 I started working on my weight. I weighed 230 pounds. The first thing I did was change how I ate. Instantly I dropped 10 pounds. I started my journey a week before Memorial Day that year.  That made Memorial Day tough on me because I couldn’t eat the good stuff. Right now I weigh 180 pounds.

Personal life:  I’m a Developmental Disabilities Services Intake and Referral Specialist for the Pulaski North office. I help people who need services like Pathfinder, group homes, waiver services, or human development center placements. I handle applications for those services. I’m a preacher’s daughter. I’m a Monticello native and the mom of two teenage girls. I’m also a graduate of Philander Smith College.  

Keeping track of progress: I track my weight, by knowing my measurements and my clothes. I measure myself monthly to see what my body inches are.

Turning point: I have Epilepsy. Plus, the medicines I took to cure other ailments I had, increased. Also, my knees started hurting. I couldn’t even walk up the stairs without my knees hurting. I knew something had to change. I was 35 when I decided to lose weight and change my life.         

Exercise routine: Some mornings I do Zumba, other mornings I do Pilates. I have a friend who I walk with in the evenings. We’re in a competition with one another to see who can get in the most steps during a week.  When I’m not too busy working, I’ll even step outside the office and go for a walk.  

What’s your diet plan? For breakfast I’ll have a green apple and eight calories of cottage cheese.  I try not to snack between breakfast and lunch. For lunch I have 4-to-6 calories of a protein and I eat a lot of vegetables with some kind of carb. I don’t fry anything. Everything I eat is baked or grilled.

Biggest challenge: I love honey buns. I can eat a honey bun every day. I still love honey buns. Also, I’m an emotional eater. But I learned that just because my day was tough, I didn’t have to eat a honey bun. I’ll still eat one occasionally, just not every day.  Having the discipline to eat right was tough. It took me a while to adjust.      

How life has changed: My knees no longer hurt. I’m not on blood pressure and water pills anymore. I like to go shopping now. I used to dislike having to look for clothes. Also, I sleep better. My kids are happy, because I don’t snore nowadays. It’s the little things that I’m enjoying. I’ve changed my outlook on eating, and it’s made a difference. I want to lose 10 more pounds. I plan to lift weights and become very toned.

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