Published October 22, 2018

Fighting For A Cause: How One Woman Lost Over 120 Pounds and Is Using Fitness to Help Others


After hitting rock bottom, Shanna Fried found a glimmer of hope when she discovered boxing.

Shanna was at her heaviest and had all but given up hope when she found a light at the end of her long tunnel of weight loss struggles. That’s when she tried boxing for the first time, based on a recommendation from a friend, and she never looked back. After losing over 120 pounds, Shanna now works as a trainer, dedicating her life to helping others on their weight loss journeys.

After seven years of boxing, Shanna is finally stepping into the ring for her first fight. Despite her fears, she’s pushing herself to fight in the name of a good cause.

Shanna is a Fhitting Room regular, and when we heard her story, we knew we had to share it with our community. Read on to learn more about Shanna’s journey, and learn why she’s our latest FHITspiration: 

How did you first get into boxing? 
I was at my very bottom with my weight struggles. I was obese, miserable inside, hopeless, about to give up and accept that I would be 300 pounds or more for the rest of my life. I didn’t think I had a choice any longer. It was too hard, and I was too prideful to admit complete defeat. I told myself, “I can get used to it. It won’t be that bad.” But the reality was, it was awful! People looked at me differently; I was disgusted with myself.

I had tried time and time again to go to the gym, get a trainer. I thought if I had a commitment to a class or to someone, I would show up, but then I just gave up. A friend of a friend worked as a boxing trainer and [my friend] mentioned going to him. As she was describing the experience, in my mind there was a glimpse of light. It was more intriguing for my mental wellbeing to punch something, to get out everything that was inside of me. I wasn’t even thinking of the physical benefits! So, I went and the rest was history.


What inspired your weight loss journey? 
To be honest, there wasn’t anything that inspired me in the beginning. I started out of pure desperation.             

You work as a fitness coach and personal trainer. How do your clients inspire your own fitness journey? 
Some of my clients remind me of the old me. They remind me that the journey isn’t always easy; there are going to be excuses, there are going to be setbacks. The only thing I have to do is keep going and NEVER GIVE UP! Some of my clients call me a “motivating drill sergeant.” In the classes I teach, they call my class “the torture class” - but they say it with smiles! 

On October 25, you’re competing in your first fight for charity. Can you tell us more about the cause, and what made you want to get in the ring? 
Yes! Ahhhhh, I can’t believe it’s almost here!! The organization I am fighting for is called Gleason’s Give A Kid A Dream. Established in 1991, Gleason’s Gym “Give a Kid a Dream” has worked to provide mentorship to disadvantaged youths through the sport of boxing. Currently, the program is supported by Gleason’s and the efforts of individual personal trainers who volunteer their time or substantially discount their rates in order to help the children. With an average referral retention rate of 75%, it's clear the program is working.

I can first tell you what has kept me out of the ring: my pride, my competitive self not willing to take the 50/50 chance that I could lose. In the seven years I have been boxing, I had always thought about doing it; I just wasn’t willing to take the risk of losing.

I turned 40 this year, and I said on my birthday that this is the year I will step into the ring for my first amateur bout. Since my weight loss journey, once I put my mind to something, I am going to get it done! I still don’t want to lose, or even think about that outcome, but I am willing to take the risk now and get in there and fight my very best! Plus, it’s for charity and I love giving back, so that’s definitely a huge motivation.

It sounds like you are really putting yourself out there! How will you be celebrating after your first fight? 
Well, because I am a person who keeps it real, my competitive self is saying that I won’t celebrate if I don’t actually WIN. But, I have amazing people in my life who have been so, so supportive, and they’re telling me that we are celebrating win or lose… so we shall see!              

How has Fhitting Room helped you prepare for your fight? 
First of all, I want to give a BIG shout out to Fhitting Room! You guys ROCK! Even Daury, when I want to curse him out in class!

Preparing for this fight has been extremely hard. I knew this, and I was prepared for it. It requires a lot of training hours, and no cupcakes and candy! In order to be at my best, I need to train in more than just boxing. It’s conditioning and endurance that will make me a better and stronger fighter. Fhitting Room has been perfect for the HIIT training I need and has been so beneficial in this process.


How long have you been coming to Fhitting Room? 
At least three to four years!

What was your first FHIX like? (If you can remember it!) 
I don’t remember it exactly, but knowing me and how I am, I was probably in the back corner wanting no attention [thinking], “This is HARD AF!”

If you would like to purchase tickets to Shanna’s fight or donate to her cause, you can do so here. Shanna shared with us that one of her goals is to raise the most money for the fight. Right now she’s in first place, so let’s help her keep her title and crush her goal!