I moved to the United States from Puerto Rico when I was 4. I started playing baseball at a very young age and continued playing until high school. But after feeling burned out from the sport, I decided to call it quits to focus on school. I went from a very active lifestyle to a completely sedentary one, and I started to gain weight. Heading to college just made things worse. Eating healthy can be expensive, so many college students eat what they can, and I was no different. As a result, the weight continued to pile on.
My weight was always in the back of my mind, and every attempt to lose it was unsuccessful so I decided to go to a consultation about lap band surgery. After hearing details about the procedure, though, I decided against having the surgery.
The Turning Point
After a group of friends and I decided to take a vacation to the Bahamas in November 2011 reality really set in. Looking at pictures after the trip, I noticed that that my weight had climbed to an all-time high of 315 pounds, and I realized it was time to do something about it. I was unhealthy, and I was already starting to feel the effects of my family’s disposition to hypertension and diabetes.
Something had to be done.
How I Lost The Weight
Single, 26, and just having come out of a four-year relationship (that ended as a result of my weight), I set a goal to drop 100 pounds between the time we got back from the Bahamas in late November 2011 and my next trip in March 2012. I had a total of four months to try to reach this goal, and I was determined that nothing would stand in the way of me accomplishing it.
I began by walking 45 minutes a day. Trying to do anything else was complete torture to my body and increased my risk for injury. Each week I picked up the pace until I could jog the entire 45 minutes.
I also started a high- protein/low-carb diet. Fish and chicken along with fruits and vegetables became my best friends during this process. Since I come from a Latin household, the food was a big change. Going from eating rice and beans with fried chicken and fried plantains on a daily basis to grilled chicken and broccoli was extremely hard, but I was determined.
My two favorite things in life were sweets and soft drinks. There was nothing like a Dr. Pepper with a Snickers bar. I can recall eating around 10 mini chocolate bars a day. But that had to stop. I started substituting Quest bars whenever I had that craving for something sweet! If you’re going to cheat, cheat clean!
I didn’t completely eliminate carbs from my diet because they are a major source of energy; instead, if a food was originally white in color, I eliminated it from my diet. This meant avoiding rice, pastas, breads, crackers and tortillas. Instead, I ate whole vegetables, whole fruits, and whole-grain cereals.
I permitted one cheat meal a week, which usually fell on Friday nights. When I would eat out with friends, I ordered a salad and made sure I ate it dry because dressing takes the “healthy” out of the salad! I also avoided ketchup and mayonnaise, while completely removing sodas, juices and anything else that wasn’t water. It’s all about the water!
I did my final weigh in the Saturday before my trip. I was super excited to see that I reached my goal! In fact, I lost a total of 101 pounds! It took a ton of hard work, but I reached my goal.
I currently weigh 160 pounds and my passion in life is to show others that their impossible is possible. It just takes lots of drive, dedication, determination and discipline. I’m now and ISSA-certified personal trainer and absolutely love helping others reach their health and fitness goals!
Other Advice And Tips…
- Never do it for anyone else! Do it for yourself, you deserve it!
- Surround yourself with positive people and those who will support you no matter what!
- Meal prepping is key and takes away the excuse of eating bad!
- Last but not least, believe in yourself! You have what it takes! Find that drive, dedication, determination, and discipline to make your impossible, possible