At age 40, I walked past a window shop and caught a glimpse of my reflection in the glass. What I saw surprised me – I didn’t recognize myself at all. Who was this woman? The person I saw that day had bags under her eyes, fat on her belly and, most upsetting of all, a miserable look on her face. Was that person really me?
I felt detached from my own body. This overweight, unhappy person was not who I imagined I would become when I visualized my future as a young girl. I had three beautiful daughters, who I adored, but I was stuck in a brutal marriage with a man I no longer loved, and I had lost my sense of self. I used to have dreams, aspirations and goals for myself – what happened?
At this point I knew I needed to take control of my own life. No one was going to hand me the things I wanted. It wasn’t easy, but I broke free of my marriage, went back to school and started taking out all of my frustrations at the gym. I lost my extra weight and found a new love in weight training. Through the instruction of my coach (and now husband), I started Eating Clean.
Along with my new body came a growing self-confidence and the belief that I could do anything I set my mind to. I decided to enter a bodybuilding competition and the rest was history! I began to write articles for fitness magazines. It was at this time that women (strangers!) began asking me about my diet and lifestyle, so I decided to write a book.
Readers responded, and The Eat-Clean Diet series was born! Now named in “Hollywood’s Top 5 favorite diets” by Us Weekly—with celebrity followers such as Halle Berry, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Lisa Rinna and Cheryl Burke— I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to help so many people realize their nutrition and fitness goals. I feel truly blessed that I am able to make a living out of my passion and make a contribution to the world at the same time.
I recently turned 50 and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I have become a bestselling author with my eight-book series (The Eat Clean Diet), a fitness cover model (11 different covers), reality television star (with my new show “Flexing at 49”), and most importantly happily keeping my job as “mom of five.” I feel comfortable and secure in my own skin. I feel like myself again – the person I always imagined I would be.
For more on my story and before and after photos you won’t believe visit www.toscareno.com