Healthy Living

How a Cancer Survivor Changed Her Diet and Lost 100 Lbs!

Yvonne B&AMeet our January Ship Shape Challenge winner, Yvonne Shaver!

Yvonne’s story is proof that willpower can go a long way in creating your ideal shape. Ten years ago, at age 40, Yvonne was diagnosed with breast cancer. She survived, but aggressive treatments and depression left her weak.

“My body suffered from sore bones, muscles and recovering from chemo,” she says. “Slowly the weight just kept adding up and I was very sedentary and unhealthy.”

Fast-forward to December 2013, and Yvonne was ready to get her body and her health back. She also felt that losing the weight was essential to keeping close watch on the cancer in remission.

Yvonne set a goal to lose 100 pounds in a year… and exactly one year later, on December 1, 2014, she reached her goal: she went from 234 pounds to 134 pounds!

You’ve got to be really dedicated.”

Yvonne’s journey started in the kitchen, but she wasn’t interested in doing a restrictive diet.

“I removed all processed foods from my diet and tried to just eat healthy with as little deprivation as I could,” she says. “I researched several diets and energy drinks, came across IdealShake and ordered three flavors. Every morning began with an ideal shake and sometimes my lunch as well. I loved them!”

yvonne before

Yvonne with her grandkids in 2013

Another secret to her success was cutting out sugar, and this is where her willpower had to kick in…

“It’s hard for maybe the first four to six weeks, but once you get it out of your system you don’t crave it as much,” she explains. “Other people feel like I’m deprived. But it hasn’t been as hard as people think.”

She does have to repeat that process again from time to time. “I went on a cruise and ate whatever I wanted, then it took two weeks of headaches to get off sugar again and get it out of my system.”

Going through the “dejunking” phase isn’t easy, but in order to keep losing around 8 pounds a month, it was worth it for Yvonne. It was the same with other junk foods: by replacing them with healthy things, she eventually stopped craving them.

The whole reason I did this was to be healthy.”
yvonne after

Yvonne and grandkids in 2014

Yvonne’s husband followed the same diet but not as strictly, as he only wanted to lose 15-20 pounds. Together they gave up sugar almost completely and said good-bye to a lot of junk food and soda pop.

“It’s hard for friends to see me do it, they actually think I’m too extreme. I look at them and say: it’s not extreme to eat healthy. I didn’t do anything crazy like cut carbs,” she says.

Yvonne didn’t have to count calories or watch her fat intake. It all came down to reducing sugar, white flours and baked goods, enjoying whole foods and lean meats, and having IdealShake for one or two meals a day. The occasional cheese, sour cream and steak weren’t off limits!

“Now that I’ve lost my weight, my friends think I should eat junk food again. They say, ‘Now you can!’ But my goal was to get healthy, not just lose a hundred pounds.”

It got easier to push myself with exercise”

Regular exercise was another big part of Yvonne’s success. She started with low-impact activities like walking a mile a day, then two miles, then eventually three miles up the mountain and back for a total of six miles. She later started biking up to 10 miles a day.

“The more weight that came off, the more excited I got about it, and the harder I worked, and the easier it was to exercise,” she says.

To keep her results, Yvonne still has an IdealShake every day (usually strawberry, with milk), plus IdealBoost for appetite control. “I love them, I just can’t do a day without it,” she says.


“Years ago, after my last treatment of one year of chemo and surgeries, my husband took me up the mountain in the jeep and four-wheeled me to a special place where he carved our name in a tree. I was too weak to walk, and I was bald and very fragile,” she says.

In October 2014, they hiked back to that same spot, 15 miles roundtrip, to the tree where their names were carved. The picture above is Yvonne at their special spot on the mountain!

Do you have an IdealShape success story? If so, we want to hear about it



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Chelsea Ratcliff

Chelsea Ratcliff

Writer and expert

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