Shaniqua Garvin of Baychester recently repped the Bronx on the cover of Oprah’s ‘O Magazine’.
The April issue, which hit stands on March 15, focused on the weight loss journeys of nine woman in the tri-state area.
Shaniqua, 35, shared her weight loss story, and the goals she set for herself.
Weight loss, however, has only been a small part of Shaniqua’s progress over the course of the past year.
In January 2015, her husband abruptly passed away, thrusting Shaniqua into single motherhood – at the time her son was just five-years-old.
It was her late husband’s death, which was largely caused by his declining health, that made Shaniqua realize she needed to live a healthier life.
“My son only has me now,” said Shaniqua, who was told she was pre-diabetic, and that her cholesterol levels were not good.
She decided to tackle these problems by bringing her weight down, and making small conscious decisions to change her lifestyle, like taking regular walks every afternoon.
As an event planner for childrens birthday parties, Shaniqua is constantly surrounded by junk food like pizza and cake, making poor diet choices routine.
“It’s hard to resist when you’ve been working all day,” says Shaniqua.
Once she started keeping a journal though, Garvin realized she was eating and drinking when she was upset or sad, something she never realized she did.
“Paying attention to my feelings really helped,” said Shaniqua looking back. Now, she rarely drinks and makes an effort to stay away from junk food.
Another huge help was learning to lean on others and form communities.
For her weight loss journey, that community has been the other eight woman she met on the set of Oprah Magazine – she has a gym date set with one of them for this Friday.
For coping with the loss of her husband, Shaniqua has joined widow support groups.
“Surround yourself with people, make connections,” advised Shaniqua.
Overall, she feels like a brand new person, compared to the woman she was just over a year ago.
“Not to say its not hard, I still have bad days, but I have definitely come a long way,” said Shaniqua, “It’s like night and day.”
Shaniqua has shed nine pounds since she started making healthy changes a few months ago.
She says her goal is to feel great, not match a perfect number on a scale.
“I want to look good in a bikini, I’m waiting till I look and feel good…and I’ve already been feelin’ pretty great,” Shaniqua exclaimed.