Running Down the Fat
On January 21, 2013, I took my 3-year-old son on a glass bottom boat tour to see coral reefs off the coast of Florida. We wore matching shirts and I had someone on board take a photo of us. After the trip, I wanted to post the photo on social media… but I couldn’t. No matter how I cropped it or what filter I used, I couldn’t make myself look decent. I went to bed that night feeling ugly and embarrassed. The following morning, I woke up and said, “Enough is enough”; I made a promise to myself to make the change.
Working overnights as a valet was actually when I began researching how to change my life. I looked up ways to eat healthy and recipes I could try. Healthy eating was something I had never done, so I had to teach myself everything. I knew I had to start somewhere, so I began walking laps around my garage, which motivated me to move more and more. My next step was to join a gym and start exercising. I had no idea what to do at the gym, so at first there was a lot of research that went into learning the specific exercises which I needed to do in order to lose weight. Once I had all the tools I needed to get started, I made my first goal: I wanted to lose 31 pounds by my 31st birthday.
I had about two months to lose the weight, so I dedicated all my free time to it. I set up a strict eating schedule that allowed me to eat small portions more often throughout the day. I began to try meal replacements with protein supplements. I scheduled my sleep so that I had time to go to the gym everyday and get in my exercise. At first, these changes were quite difficult, sometimes overwhelming, but my eyes were set on meeting my goals so I kept pushing through.
By the time my 31st birthday rolled around… I had lost 34 pounds! I loved how I felt and decided to keep it going. For the next 9 months I continued to find new ways to reach my goal of being healthy and fit. I struggled at times, whether because of temptation, exhaustion, or that ever-daunting plateau… so that’s when I relied on my family and friends. My support system made all the difference in this journey. When I felt lazy, they pushed me. When I was frustrated, they reminded me of the bigger picture; they helped me see that the hard times are really the turning points that push me to the next level. I would not have had any of this success without my family and friends’ support.
Near the end of the year I discovered a new passion: running. Cardio is an essential part of weight loss and fitness, but for me, it became more than that. It is a sport that you can always improve on, whether it is distance, time or enjoyment. I started small and worked my way up, mile by mile. After a few months, I was registered for my first 5K and then even a half marathon! With every run I became stronger, more passionate, and determined. Now I can hardly go a day without running! It’s been a little over a year since I became a runner and I just finished my first full marathon down in Miami. I’m currently training for the amazing New York City Marathon in November! Then two weeks after that… the inaugural South Padre Island Marathon.
I’m very proud of what I have accomplished and hope to be an inspiration to others. It was hard and I wanted to give up more than once, but now I can say “I did it”! I want others to see that it’s not impossible. I’m in the best shape of my life and can’t wait for what’s next to come!
Here are a few tips for those looking to move forward in their weight loss/fitness journey:
- Be proud of any weight loss – even if it’s half a pound. Your hard work is paying off and soon the pounds will be adding up.
- Keep pushing through no matter how hard it seems. If you feel like giving up, remember why you started.
- Love what you do and do what you love. Find your passion and that will fuel your journey.
- Eat right. You can’t outwork a bad diet. Meal prep is an excellent way to stay on track.
- Love yourself.
Follow Inez on Instagram – @f.i.t.life_fitness
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