Who is Slender Safari?

Riding my horse for my exercise

Shey Harms and Topcat Amigo – December 2012

I’m so glad you asked and I’m here to help answer your questions. First off, my name is Shey Harms and I am the proprietor here, otherwise known as the blog author/editor/contributor, podcast host & producer, and weight loss adventurer.

I started this site with the intentions of being totally selfish. I need to lose weight, about 80 pounds of fat actually, and this site began as a way to help me lose that weight. I thought if I created a website, and people started to read my blog posts, I would feel challenged and obligated to do something to lose weight. However, within a time frame of 4 to 8 weeks, my site already began to evolve into something more.

My original intentions were selfish but now I want to inspire others. I want to lead by example and share my knowledge of losing weight, by explaining both what worked for me in the past and what will definitely work for me now.

A little history about myself

For the past 14 years, I have been following the yo-yo diet styles of the masses and haven’t had any lasting success. The only success I’ve really found is how to pack on more weight with little effort. As I’m sure any person struggling to lose weight can attest, in our society, gaining weight is very easy to do. Every day we are challenged with sweet treats covered in buttercream frosting, salty snacks filled with unhealthy fats and enormous portion sizes at our favorite diner. We age, our bodies slow down more with sedentary jobs and our metabolism declines faster than the stock market of the late 2000s. This is the summary of my problems.

Shey Harms Image in 1992

Shey – 1992 (135 pounds)

When I was in my early 20s, I weighed around 135 pounds, bought whatever cute outfit I could find at the store, participated in social and athletic activities I thought were fun, and worked with computers: unpacking, lifting, carrying, installing, and all the while eating foods like cinnamon rolls for breakfast, cheeseburgers and french fries for lunch and whatever I felt like fixing for dinner, on a daily basis, without giving it a second thought.

As I started to grow a little older, my job changed from being a PC specialist to that of a junior level programmer. I started to sit at my desk all day and my activity declined. I did find enjoyment with activities such as roller blading and step aerobics, so all was not lost, yet.

Shey Harms Image 1998

Shey – 1998 (145 pounds)

My late 20s saw my addiction to sweets and my dinner time in restaurants increase, while my exercise levels decreased. I still managed to keep the weight off for awhile, but that was quickly coming to an end. By the time I hit my 30th birthday in 2000, I was married for 2 weeks and weighing in somewhere between 170  and 174 pounds.

Shey Harms Image - 2000

Shey – 2000 (174 pounds)

Once I hit 180 pounds, I have never been back to visit. In 2001, I managed to go over the 200 pound mark and hit my highest weight at that time (around 213 pounds).

Shey Harms Image 2003

Shey – 2003 (210 pounds)

In 2002 or 2003, I had got back down to approximately 185 pounds, thanks to Weight Watchers. Then, while going through a separation and later my divorce, my weight went back up to 195 – 198 pounds. I managed to bring it back down again to 182 pounds with swimming and water skiing, in the summer of 2006. In 2007, my weight crept up again and I held it between 196 and 203, just depending on the month.

Shey Harms Image - 2006

Shey – 2006 (182 pounds)

Then in 2008, after a year of dating, I was getting married again. By the time our wedding rolled around, I weighed in around 216 pounds.

Shey and Thad Harms at Breckenridge 2008

Shey and Thad – 2008 (200 pounds)

Since then, the best weight loss success I had was when I got to 182 pounds in 2010 while training for a 4 mile run in Kansas City, Mo, with my new husband. I had never ran in any competition before, so it was a huge goal for me. I reached my goal, I ran (aka jogged) 4 miles non-stop, but then returned to my prior eating methods. I managed to keep the weight off that summer while I water skied and swam with my water ski club, but by the end of 2011, I went over 200 pounds and haven’t been in Onederland since. 🙁

Shey - Trolley Run KCMO 2010

Shey – 2010 (182 pounds)

My Goals

I have a primary goal and many secondary goals for myself and for my site. My primary goal is to lose weight, while writing blog posts about my journey and sharing with my audience. I will have ups and downs and struggle along the way, but I won’t give up. This is too important to me and my health, and let’s face it, at 43 years of age, I’m not getting any younger.

Shey Harms image

Shey – Summer 2012 (210 pounds)

Some of my personal secondary goals include:

  • running the same 4 mile race in under 45 minutes, instead of the hour it took me my first year
  • compete in a triathlon
  • compete in a slalom water ski competition
  • finally get up on my wakeboard that my husband bought me for Christmas in 2011

My goals for my website are:

  • Motivate, encourage and inspire others
  • Lead by example
  • Have a successful podcast show, interviewing guests with weight loss successes, experts in fitness and personal training and experts in nutrition

I look forward to getting to know each and everyone of you. Please drop me a line on my Contact page, or leave me feedback on my podcast listener line. You can also call in with your telephone at 620-628-3228 and leave me a message there too. I welcome your comments on any of my blog posts, including your comments below each podcast episode. I hope to grow this Slender Safari community into a fun, adventurous place. With your help and support, that’s what it will become!

Thanks for reading!