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How SHAPE Reader Shyla Ray Lost 120 Pounds

What Worked for Me: Shyla Ray

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Three years ago, Shyla, a busy insurance adjustor, frequently visited the office candy jar. “It would be full in the morning and empty by 5 p.m.,” she says. “I thought everyone was eating the treats, but one day I realized I was the only person reaching in! It was time for some changes.”

Listen to Your Stomach

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Instead of denying herself certain foods or limiting her calories, Shyla began listening to her stomach. “I ate only when I was hungry and stopped when I felt full.” Cutting out the four daily sodas she used to drink also made a big dent— after one year, she was 30 pounds slimmer.

Setting Goals

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“Exercise always seemed like a chore, but once I began training for races, running became fun and addictive. There’s nothing like the rush you get when crossing a finish line!”

Pumping Iron

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“I recently added strength-training classes to my workout routine. I love how sculpted my arms are beginning to look—and how powerful lifting makes me feel.”

Eating Breakfast

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“I used to think I’d save calories by skipping a morning meal. But starting the day with scrambled egg whites and whole-wheat toast keeps my metabolism steady. Plus, I’m less likely to binge at lunch.”


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“Forget watching TV during dinner. Now I use that hour to catch up with my daughter and savor every bite of food I put in my mouth.”

Phoning it in

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“A fitness buddy in a different state kept me motivated when I was training for my first half marathon. Knowing she’d be calling me and checking in after each run kept me on course.”


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