Down 55 pounds: How Shawn Little lost weight—and what he found

Down 55 pounds: How Shawn Little lost weight—and what he found

Down 55 pounds: How Shawn Little lost weight—and what he found

Fifteen-hour days are exhausting for anyone. But life as a chef is much easier with the extra weight gone, says Shawn.

Morgan Pavon, MS, RD, LD
Last updated:
August 1, 2023
5 min read
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Shawn Little used to hide behind baggy T-shirts. He thought camouflaging his weight gain in oversized clothing would give him more confidence. 

“You think to yourself, ‘This is as big as I’m going to get. I’m going to do something,’” says Shawn, who works as a chef at Westerly Hospital in Westerly, Rhode Island. “And then you jump to yet another, bigger, size.” 

He couldn’t help but wonder where it would stop. He wanted to be healthier, for himself and his partner, but temptation abounds when you’re a chef. Indeed, taste-testing is part of the job. Shawn also found himself mindlessly snacking as he worked, especially during catering events where bite-sized delicacies were everywhere. 

On a trip back to his hometown of Nampa, Idaho, he noticed something interesting: While Shawn had put on weight over the years, many of his high school buddies seemed unchanged, roughly the same size they had been back in the day. When he came across an ad for Found, he decided it was time to try something different. 

Shawn’s sustainable approach to weight loss

When it came to losing weight, Shawn already had tried what seemed like everything—keto diets, counting calories, the “whole nine yards,” he says. He even considered bariatric surgery at one point. But he says it wasn’t until he became a Found member that things began to change. He realized the key to keeping weight off was less about taking an extreme page out of an old diet book and more about balance.

After nine months with Found, Shawn is down 55 pounds.* He did it without eliminating entire food groups (something he’d tried previously, without success)—because, as he says,  “Doughnuts and cake happen.” 

Instead of trying to follow outdated, outlandish recommendations for weight loss (such as  sticking to a calorie limit that’s enough to sustain only a toddler or exercising for multiple hours a day), Shawn is taking it slow and steady. He says a few key factors helped him stay motivated, lose weight, and keep it off:

Eating healthfully (with occasional treats)

With the help of Found’s mindful eating approach, Shawn aims to eat nutritious, well-balanced meals. And preparing meals and snacks ahead of time helps him do that when life and work get busy. Shawn says he’s now open to trying new, and healthier, foods while still making room for the foods he currently enjoys that aren’t necessarily the most nutrient-dense.  

Prescription medication for weight loss and weight maintenance

Before Shawn joined Found, he’d never tried medication-assisted weight care—and was eager for something new. He worked one-on-one with an experienced medical provider and was prescribed medications that catered to his specific biology and needs. Shawn was surprised at how affordable the Found membership was, especially after hearing about a friend’s experience with other programs on the market, and after doing a little investigation himself. 

“When I started looking into medication, I had done a lot of research on other programs,” he says. “Many of them were expensive, which is why I decided to start with Found.” Found’s monthly membership fee includes the cost of generic prescription medications for weight care when filled through a Found-preferred pharmacy partner.

He was prescribed bupropion and naltrexone—two medications that work together to treat cravings and compulsive eating—and metformin**, which can help keep blood sugar in check and tamp down appetite. Shawn credits these medications with regulating his appetite and helping him stay clear-headed enough to make healthier food choices. “They give me that split second to think before grabbing something,” he explains. When he ate at restaurants in the past, he’d often finish his plate and then some. But with the help of his meds, he now feels satisfied with less food and can enjoy leftovers the next day! 

The Found community 

The exclusive member-only community within the Found app is where Shawn connects with other Found members. He gathers ideas, asks questions, and gets—as well as gives—support. “The Found community is so encouraging,” he says. He enjoys bonding with others, especially during weight-loss plateaus, which can be difficult for anyone to overcome. Sharing struggles with others who’ve been in the same boat helps him stay focused and trust the process. 

Starting therapy, boosting self-respect

In addition to the support and care provided as part of his Found membership, Shawn says getting help from a mental health therapist not affiliated with Found was a critical factor in his weight loss. “There’s a lot more to it than what you eat,” he says. “You have to like yourself. And I finally realized that I deserved to be healthy.”

Recently, busy days and long hours at work have left little time for meal prep. In the past, Shawn says this would snowball into gaining back the weight he lost. But this time feels different. He says he respects himself enough that he doesn't let a couple of “off” days become his norm. And he’s now better able to observe, without judgment, areas of his life that might need adjusting and to make the changes he needs—like remembering to bring healthy food options to work and to stay hydrated—to get back on track.

Looking to the future

Shawn’s goal is to lose 96 more pounds, and thanks to his hard work and positive attitude, he has continued to show himself and fellow Found members that it’s possible. 

His impressive weight loss isn’t the only meaningful change he’s found. Shawn can now tie his shoes without needing to come up for air. He can stand for long hours at work without pain and exhaustion. He has a newfound excitement for travel because he’s no longer worried about fitting into an airplane seat or fussing with a seat belt that’s too short to buckle. 

And he can fit into clothes that have long been tucked away in his closet. “There are clothes that I can button that I wasn’t able to button before,” he says.

*Individual results may vary.

**People taking these medications may experience side effects, and these medications are not advised for those with certain conditions or risk factors. Serious risks include suicidality and other psychiatric disorders (bupropion), overdose if taken with opioids or opiates (naltrexone), and lactic acidosis (metformin). Find detailed side effect and risk information for these and other medications by name here or ask your healthcare provider.

About the writer, Morgan Pavon

Morgan Pavon, RD, is a registered dietitian and a former Found coach who writes about health and medicine at Found.

About Found

Found is among the largest medically-supported weight care clinics in the country, serving more than 200,000 members to date. To start your journey with Found, take our quiz.

Published date:
August 1, 2023
Meet the author
Morgan Pavon, MS, RD, LD
Health writer

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