Occasionally you come across a personality on social media whose intriguing story makes you wonder what inspired them or motivated them to change their life in the way they did. Well this is precisely what happened when we came across Shannon Palmer, a local Instagram on our social media feed.
Naz Hussain caught up with Shannon to ask about her story, life as an Instagram influencer and what a traditional Christmas means to a local lass from Bradford…
Naz: Hi Shannon, please introduce yourself.
Shannon: Hi. I’m Shannon Palmer, otherwise known as ShazzaP as my Instagram followers will know me as (@thelittlelifeofShazzaP). Let me start by saying I’m a pretty normal and down to Earth girl and I work on the front line with the elderly in dementia care. I love my job and I’m so proud to have worked through Covid-19. I also really enjoy blogging on my Instagram in my downtime.
Naz: So how did it all begin with Instagram?
Shannon: It all started last year when I began my weight loss journey and lost 5 stone. I began documenting my life on Instagram and started posting meal ideas, diet plans and the good, bad and ugly of it pretty much. The next thing I know I’m at just short of 50,000 followers. It’s pretty mental that a down to earth lass from West Bowling in Bradford could acquire all these followers.
Naz: Wow. That’s amazing. I hear you also caught the attention of various media. Tell me about that.
Shannon: Yes, my story was featured in local and national newspapers. The Mirror, The Sun and others had all featured my story. And not just in the UK, Fox News in America also did a piece on me which I thought was pretty special!
Naz: So what do you think it is about you that got you so many followers in such a short space of time and so much media coverage?
Shannon: I think perhaps a lot of people look at me as an older sister who is down to earth and relatable. So I tend to post or blog in a similar fashion. I like to include hearty family, drink and meal ideas with a few twists such as adding anecdotes and funny jokes along the way. I get so many people asking for recipe ideas for families so I tend to go for homemade healthy options and comfort meals.
Naz: Fantastic. So do you have a recipe idea for our readers as I’m sure they’d love that?
Shannon: Yes, absolutely. I’d love to. It’s an old family favourite of mine - Yorkshire Pudding. Please do share my recipe with your customers.
Naz: Absolutely, will do. So tell me, as a down to earth family girl, what was Christmas like for you growing up in Bradford?
Shannon: Christmas was always a big occasion in the Palmer household growing up, as I did in the heart of inner city Bradford - West Bowling. All the neighbours were like family and we all chipped in together to make Christmas special. I think every Christmas memory I have revolves around food. I remember one year we went to my Aunt’s next door and I’ll never forget the picture in my mind - the kitchen table all decked up to the nines with a fancy table cloth and Christmas decorations - and the seating all at different heights due to lack of chairs! But we improvised and still managed to have a most memorable and wonderful Christmas. Nowadays Christmas is very different. For the last 4 years I’ve worked 12 hour shifts on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and it is lovely seeing the residents I care for smiling and happy.
Naz: It’s been lovely chatting with you Shannon. Do you have any final words of inspiration for anyone reading this?
Shannon: When I started my weight loss journey I really did put my all into it. I sat back and thought if I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do it fully and not half-heartedly. I wanted to show myself that I CAN do it, I can take my health from a negative to a positive. After years of bullying at school due to my looks and weight I always found myself taking solace in food. So when Christmas came around it was just an excuse to over-indulge. But when I started the weight loss I realised instead of not enjoying my favourites at Christmas I can still enjoy my favourites such as homemade Ferrero Roche or a chocolate orange and still lose weight the healthy way. In life it’s all about moderation and still enjoying things you like.
For more of Shannon's stories, anecdotes and recipes you can follow her on Instagram here: @thelittlelifeofshazzap