Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How I lost 75 pounds – PART 1: “Getting Fine in 2009”

I used to be overweight.  Some might even say fat.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly at "goal weight" now but I am healthy, and that’s all that matters to me. 

If you take a look back at my life so far, you’ll find that I’ve had a loooong love affair with food.  I love to eat; always have and I always will!  I’m a foodie.  For me, there is nothing better than a freshly prepared, home-cooked meal with wholesome ingredients that are bursting with intense flavors!  And although when I was younger I could get away with eating a little too much, hindsight has helped me realize that my weight has been like a roller coaster – up and down, up and down, for most of my life.


I was an at-times-chunky but active kid and this continued into my teenage years.  I started dancing when I was two and a half (ballet, tap and jazz), and then began playing sports at age nine, which continued throughout junior high and high school.  Because of this, I was a healthy (and thin) size 11 and about 165 pounds as I went off to Texas A&M University.  Nonetheless, I ended up slowly gaining about 65 pounds over the four years that I was there.  When I graduated in 2001 I had gone up to a size 16. 

I moved to Houston to teach and dropped about 50 pounds in 5 months after joining a kickboxing gym and working with a trainer.  I stayed thin for most of that year.  By the next summer (2002), I had replaced the gym with salsa dancing.  That was when I met my husband, who at the time was a ballroom dance instructor, and was immediately swept off of my feet and into a whirlwind romance where we were dancing practically every night of the week. 

This pic is from our "salsa-dancing-every-day" days!

Naturally, the weight stayed off.  By the next year, I was pregnant and gave birth to our daughter in October of 2003.  Breastfeeding helped me lose most of the baby weight, and I was pretty much down to pre-baby weight within months.  It was then that I settled into my life as a wife and mother and started gaining weight as my priorities shifted and I put everyone else’s needs before my own. 

Me with my daughter when she was about 8 months old.

With my good friends, Angela (l) and Cristina (r) at a party.

Almost at my heaviest weight and biggest size; she's two and a half here.

Before I realized it, six years had gone by and I was now up to 260 pounds and wearing a size 20.  On the surface I was happy and had a beautiful, healthy daughter and a loving husband. 

The hubby and I...look at both of our cheeks! LOL

But deep down inside I was not content with myself.  The gnawing feeling that I needed to do something about it started to grow and finally came to a head the night that I broke a chair at a wedding.

Yep, that’s right, you heard me correctly.  In April of 2009, some friends of ours got married and celebrated their reception in their backyard.  That night right after dinner, the chair that I was sitting in BROKE.  My husband tried his best to make me feel better.  He told me his chair was on the verge of breaking too, that the ground was damp and everyone’s chair was sinking in too – he said a number of things to try to soothe me.  But I knew the truth.  My chair broke because of the strain of my weight.

This is an actual picture of me from the night I broke the chair at our friend's wedding!

That was the catalyst that I needed.  It was then that I vowed to start eating better, exercising and (hopefully) drop some weight.  I launched what I called my “Get Fine in 2009” campaign and went about trying to get healthy.  But how in the world was I going to do it?!?!  I created this action plan to help me stay focused along the way.


Get FINE in 2009

 Action Plan
Step 1

admitting I had a problem that I wanted to fix.

Step 2
form an action plan to carry out that plan

Step 3
get informed and acquire the knowledge that I would need to best tackle my problem

…still to come
Step 4
follow-through and WORKING MY BUTT OFF, no pun intended! …still to come
Step 5
maintain the weight loss so that I stay healthy from now on. …still to come

By now I had steps 1 and 2 done.  Now onto the real work!

***Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow, where I share the most important things that I learned about getting healthy and losing weight.***


  1. I love the "Get Fine in 2009"! Can't wait to read more about your journey!