By: Leticia Becerra
I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. My weight loss journey (when I actually made a conscious effort to lose weight) began in 2001 when I hit my highest weight of 215 at the age of 19. I was THE laziest person you could think of. I had my mom write me notes in high school to get me out of running during P.E. I specifically remember the day I knew I needed to lose weight: I saw a picture of me with my brother who is 6 feet 4, 260 pounds and I looked BIGGER than he did. I was mortified. To make a long story short: I lost about 40 pounds fairly quickly on nothing but cardio and a (very) low-calorie diet. This triggered what would be more than 10 years of yo-yoing. I was consistently between 175-207 lbs. in my twenties. I blamed it on layoffs, comfortable relationships, bad breakups, studying abroad, Mexican family gatherings, Saturn was in retrograde, and you name it…
2013 was the most eventful year of my life. It was the year I reached my breakthrough with my never-ending weight-loss journey and said, “Enough is enough”. I had reached 200+ pounds for the 3rd time in my life and I couldn’t’t do it anymore.
It all happened after I had gained about 30 pounds in less than six months from a layoff. It was the second one in four years. I spent the entire time looking for a job all day, then drinking all night. Day in and day out. I didn’t’t have to wake up early anymore and one of my best friends was a bartender so I did’t even need someone to accompany me. When I got a call that I hired somewhere, I realized this was the time for change. I had a new job, a new apartment, and got a new gym membership. In 7 months I went from 200 to 155 pounds. I was on fire. Sadly, my job wasn’t’t. Because it was a job I took out of necessity, I was never happy. Not with the work, not with my office, not with my boss. Without going in to too much into detail, I HAD to leave.
I was beat to the punch, however. I was laid off right before the holidays, the day before Christmas vacation. THIRD time in five years now. I went numb. This is when I would say, “Forget this! I can’t win.” and start drinking and eating my feelings away again. But I had made up my mind last year. NOT THIS FREAKING TIME. I used that determination and anger to continue on my quest to stay fit. I was tired of starting from square one. I joined Grinder Gym in San Diego and got weighed in at 200 pounds. I quickly learned what it took to get fit the right way and it did not include rabbit food. I was a calorie counter in my beginning days of weight loss and while I lost weight (I mean, who DOESN’T lose weight on 1000 calories?), it wasn’t’t nourishing it and me did’t last very long. I attribute better nutrition (and more calories) to me building that muscle and getting me through those long distance runs. I don’t think Lean Cuisines would’ve done that.
I created my Instagram (@leti_grinder), and what was originally simply my fitness diary became a catapult of inspiration for thousands. I am also the creator of the #GrinderGlamChallenge which keeps hundreds of women focused on their goals and on the same fit paths as others. I grew to love the fit life and started preferring hikes and mud runs to clubbing and happy hour. I ran my very first half-marathon this January and on my way to the Spartan Race Trifecta.
With my love of fitness, I decided put the 9-5 life away and start personal training. After 32 years, it was time to do something I want and on my terms. No more hotheaded bosses, or any other job ‘just to get me by’. I was tired of it. This was a hugely scary step, starting from scratch, but I decided to turn my pain into something for good.
My dream is to reach women (and men) with my knowledge and no-nonsense approach, before they too waste too many years on programs, diets, and fads that will only set them up for failure. I want to be part of their lives and let them know that I am HERE for them. I will not be a “side-line” trainer or coach. I will be their TEAMMATE.
You can find Leticia at:
Leticia’s Five Tips to Reach Your Goals:
• KEEP CHEATS TO A MINIMUM – You cheat on your diet, you end up taking 2 steps forward and 1.99 steps back. Or more. If you mess up your weekend, that means you lose motivation on Monday, which means you “have” to start the next week. Stop the cycle for once. My recommendation is one MEAL a week, not an entire day.
• SET GOALS – Whether it’s your weight, inches, # of reps, speed. WRITE THEM DOWN. One of the biggest factors to my progress was goal setting. You need something concrete and measurable to work towards to. Look at them every day, and try and beat it every month.
• TRAIN HARD – YOUR hard. You don’t have to go as hard as others, just do what YOU can. And you don’t need a specific “training plan”… just get moving! Once you can start doing more, DO IT.
• STAY FOCUSED – Most people focus on how far they have left to go, instead of how far they’ve come. Even if you’re ONE DAY into your journey, you’re already ahead of the rest who continue to wait. Remember, I was once one day in, too.
• DON’T GIVE UP – There’s no other greater advice I can give you, than this. If you’re giving up because of one bad day, or week, or any time period for that matter, you’re not ready for the fit life. Pick yourself up and KEEP GOING.