I grew up eating Mexican and Chinese food and drinking tons of soda. I was always on the chubby side, but I played volleyball and danced, and I was happy.
My weight hovered in the 160s until I got pregnant. I gained 50 pounds, but lost most of it by walking with my stroller after I had my son. But when I got pregnant again a year later, my weight shot back up and stayed there.
After my second son was born, I started a new job and took college courses on the side. I snacked while I did homework and when I felt stressed. I spent 90 percent of my day sitting.
I felt so uncomfortable in my body. My feet were swollen all the time and I often woke up gasping for air in the middle of the night.
I went to see my doctor after my mom was diagnosed with diabetes. He told me I was pre-diabetic, my blood oxygen levels were too low, and I had borderline high blood pressure. That news was devastating.
I decided to take control. I wanted to be a good example for my boys. I called an old friend who’s a trainer and she created a meal plan and exercise routine for me. (Ready to jump-start your weight loss? Check out our Look Better Naked workouts to get started!)
I cleared all of the Pop-Tarts, pizza rolls, and frozen boxed food out of my house. My trainer put me on a meal plan that involved small, frequent meals with lots of leafy greens, proteins, and complex carbs like sweet potatoes.
At first, my family was not on board with ditching their usual snack foods, but eventually they got curious about the food I was eating and wanted to try it.
I started meal-prepping twice a week so that I always had healthy foods to bring to work, and I even started eating breakfast (which I never did before).
When I first started working out, I realized how weak my core was and decided to start a plank challenge. I practiced planking every single day for a year. I could only hold my first plank for 20 seconds, but after a year I could plank for six minutes!
Though I never felt motivated to do cardio (my treadmill at home served as a clothing rack), I really enjoyed my strength-training sessions with my trainer three times a week. Eventually, I sold that treadmill and bought a few weights to keep at home.
Sticking With It
Sticking With It
Social media really helped keep me motivated throughout the two years it took to transform my lifestyle. I created an Instagram account and Facebook page to track and share my story. People started reaching out to me and asking for advice. Their support and enthusiasm kept me going on tough days.
Before I started working out and eating healthy, my son couldn’t fit his arms around me when he gave me a hug. As I’ve made more progress, we talk about how much easier it is for him to wrap his arms around me. The first time his arms could overlap, I almost cried.
It felt incredible to lose 24 percent of my body fat and 100 pounds, but my transformation is about so much more than numbers.
My quality of life has drastically improved. I don’t fight with my closet for every trip to the grocery store anymore, I go on bike rides with my kids, and I even helped my mom lose 70 pounds.
My Number One Tip
The extra time you need to work out and eat healthy isn’t going to magically appear. You have to make time in order to see change. Every morning before I shower, I plank, do a wall squat, and bang out some bodyweight squats.