After Canceling Her Weight-Loss Surgery, This Mom Lost Nearly 80 Pounds by Walking

Shannon Fleming is living proof that chronic pain doesn't have to hold you back from weight-loss success.

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If you've ever felt like your chronic aches and pains are holding you back from getting the body of your dreams, say hello to your new source of inspiration: Even with back problems that prevent her from doing any other kind of exercise, 33-year-old Shannon Fleming was able to walk her way to a nearly 80-pound weight loss. (Wow!)

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Fleming was inspired to start her weight-loss journey in 2013 when she first realized just how unhappy she was with her body. When she was younger, she had maintained a relatively consistent weight of about 145 pounds, she told TODAY — but after getting married and giving birth to her daughter, she had put on more than 100 pounds and was living an unhealthy lifestyle.

At first, Fleming elected to undergo gastric sleeve surgery to make her stomach smaller. But one week before the procedure in 2013, she started having cold feet. She wanted to feel more in control of her weight loss, so she called her doctors to cancel the surgery: "I called them and said, 'I'm going to try and do it on my own.'"

I called and said, 'I'm going to try and do it on my own.'

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And she did! The Las Vegas mother's journey really began in January 2016, when she started making over her diet. She downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and started limiting her caloric intake to a reasonable 1,550 calories per day, replacing her breakfasts and lunches with protein shakes and sticking to a light protein and veggies at dinner. She lost 20 pounds in the first two weeks after transforming her diet and hasn't looked back.

Fleming's exercise routine also underwent a major overhaul: Previously, Fleming didn't exercise much at all, and her back problems limited what types of exercise she could do. But she's found her way around her physical constraints: She now typically walks more than 100,000 steps per week and continually finds ways to incorporate more walking into her everyday life, such as taking an extra lap around the perimeter of stores while shopping. (So simple and so smart!)

Now, one year later, Fleming is down 77 pounds — and happier than ever. "Once I started seeing results, not only on the scale but physical changes as well, it just kept me motivated and I haven't stopped since I started," Fleming told TODAY. "I feel a lot better."

[h/t TODAY]

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