For some, it’s alcohol and cigarettes. For me, it was fast food and TV. I remember making more trips to fast food restaurants than to the gym and I was literally on a first name basis with the girl that worked the lunch shift at the burger place on the corner.
I remember slowly going up a pants size … then another … and another. I snacked on leftovers, breezed thru drive-thrus and did not set aside any time to exercise. I put myself last on the list of “things to do” but never seemed to get that far down the list.
That was until one day it “clicked.” I was sick of being tired and overweight and unhealthy. I had just given birth to my third child six months earlier when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I not only needed and wanted to be healthy for my three young children but also for myself. I wanted to be an example of a strong and healthy mom and, most of all, I realized that I was worth spending the time it took to plan meals to eat healthy and get my daily workouts. I was ready.
At this point I was approaching 200 pounds. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror  and I was feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I started slowly. I cut down my fast-food consumption from several times a week to once a week. I made slow changes to my diet and educated myself on the importance of clean eating. I subscribed to Oxygen  magazine and bought Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet book. From those resources, I got lots of new workout and recipe ideas. It opened up a whole new world for me. It did take more time to plan and prepare healthy things but I knew that the payoff would be priceless. So I started working out consistently and eating clean and the pounds started coming off.
I realized that it’s like building a house. You can’t build your dream home without the knowledge and the tools to do so. I was not going to be able to build my dream body alone. I used The Eat Clean Diet to learn how to eat right. There were so many ideas of ways to mix up recipes and workouts that before long, I had a huge knowledge base and was prepared and confident. The more fit I got, the more fit I wanted to be. It was such an amazing thing to see what could happen when I believed in myself and fully committed to something. After dropping the first 20 pounds or so, I got a trainer that would help me keep on track and focused. Over the course of five months or so, I was down over 40 pounds. I decided to take the ultimate challenge and I started training for a marathon. I trained with a group for about four months and completed my first marathon. I was so proud. The marathon represented, to me, my weight-loss journey. It was tough and there were times I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish and wanted to give up. But, most of all, it was a concrete example of how I had wanted something, believed in myself, prepared myself and did it! I have gone from a starting weight of 192 to a current 127 lbs – having lost 65 lbs!
I am still working hard and have so many upcoming goals and dreams and I know I will accomplish them. This journey has taught me that you really can do whatever you put your mind to. You just believe in yourself and visualize what you want and you will make it happen. The possibilities truly are endless. I had my first fitness photo shoot and that was so exciting. If you had told me a year ago that I would be on Miami Beach in a bikini with a photographer, I would have thought you were out of your mind. But I did it.