Littledave continues health journey after ‘Remember the Removal’ ride
In a side-by-side photo, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians citizen Sheyahshe Littledave displays a 52-pound weight loss since starting an exercise and diet regimen three years ago. The left side is from 2017, during a hike before the “Remember the Removal” Bike Ride. The right side is a photo from this year, sporting the same T-shirt. COURTESY
CHEROKEE, N.C. – After coming out of a toxic relationship, learning to raise her two young sons and being at her heaviest weight, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians citizen Sheyahshe Littledave held nothing back after completing a 950-mile bike ride with other Cherokees on the 2017 “Remember the Removal” Bike Ride, beginning her health journey.
Littledave said the ride saved her life in unexpected ways. “I was at my heaviest weight at 231 pounds. I was struggling with learning how to be single mother to two young boys and trying to figure out who I was as an individual outside of a very toxic and unhealthy relationship. The moment we reached the Oklahoma line I broke down because it was then that I learned, even at my heaviest, I was a mentally and physically strong person.”
Though it was a struggle and she beat herself up on the ride, not feeling good enough, she said the support system she had helped her through and was part of the motivation she needed to continue with the ride and onto a healthier lifestyle.
“I had to take a very hard look at myself after the ‘RTR’ bike ride,” Littledave said. “What kind of person do I want to be? How do I want my kids to remember their childhood? Do I want them to remember growing up with an angry mother unable to just be comfortable in her own skin? How will that reflect on their own self-worth?”
She said beginning her health journey was not easy as she struggled with various diets and hit plateaus. In 2018, she was inspired by a mentor at work who had success with a program called BeachBody.
“My problem was that I used food as coping mechanism, eating made me happy and then it made me feel incredibly miserable,” Littledave said. “I didn’t understand portions and got frustrated when I’d eat a salad one day and didn’t see significant weight loss the next. I wanted instant results to keep me motivated.”
She said she signed up for the BeachBody program, started using Shakeology (a protein supplement shake program), committed to portioned meals and doing 30-minute workouts per day.
“I had a good friend that used her lunch breaks to go on runs with me. I went from barely being able to run consistently for 90 seconds without having to stop and walk to completing a 5k for the first time in my life,” she said.”
At 52 pounds down, she said her clothes fit better now but there are still goals to be achieved and challenges to be faced. “I think the challenge is that once the weight starts coming off, it doesn’t mean the journey is over. You can lose all the weight you want and still look in the mirror and not like what you see. Health journeys are just as much internal as it is external.”
She said those who want to start, they just have to start somewhere whether it’s incorporating a 30-minute walk every other day, cutting out fast foods or drinking more water, it’s important to just start.
“Today I continue to commit to my daily workouts. I still drink my Shakeology. I pay better attention to my portions, drink more water and really try to listen to my body – am I hungry or am I bored? It’s a process and I’m still learning,” Littledave said.