Monday, July 30, 2012

How I lost 75 pounds - Part 4: How I MAINTAIN my healthy lifestyle

On my journey to changing my lifestyle and creating a healthy life, I learned quite a few things.  It was only after making the vow to Get FINE in 2009 that I decided to get my MIND healthy and my BODY healthy too.  I knew three things going into this:

 1)    I wanted to get healthy
      2)    I wanted to lose weight
      3)    I wanted to stop the life-long yo-yo weight cycle that I had fallen into.

I got my mind healthy by reading everything I could get my hands on that had to do with fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, calories, portion control, fiber intake, vitamins, water, healthy recipes, running and weight training.  I got my body healthy by getting active; I started taking step aerobics, weight training, spinning classes, Zumba, Pilates, and I even became a runner.

It’s tough work to bust your butt and lose weight…but it’s just as hard to not gain it back!  I think all of that crazy-fast-weight-loss stuff doesn’t work in the long run because it doesn’t really fix the problem, which usually has to do with a lack of knowledge, motivation, commitment and follow-through.  The truth is, anyone can lose weight but it takes a completely committed person to keep it off.    



I made up my mind and committed to getting healthy and all of the hard work paid off. It certainly wasn’t easy – and it didn’t happen fast either! The steps below explain how I did – and continue to do – it without giving up and reverting to bad habits.

How I maintain my health

I am conscious of everything that goes in my mouth. 
The problem – actually, I don’t see it as a problem – and never did – which is what led to the real problem – is that I love to eat!  I am a foodie at heart and have never been good at denying myself and have been guilty of over-indulging a time or two (or two hundred). 




To be completely honest, it bugs me when people I’m around (usually women) go on and on and on about “being so bad” or “oh, I shouldn’t eat this!” or “I’m going to have to workout extra hard at the gym tomorrow to work this off!”  Talk about ANNOYING!!!  To avoid this, I try to stick to the 80%/20% rule.  I try to eat right most of the time so that I can eat the desserts and treats that I want (when I want them) and not feel guilty or bad about it.  I still love food but make smarter choices because at the end of the day I want to remain healthy more than I want that second slice of chocolate cake!  It’s worked pretty well so far. J

I continue to workout.
I go to the gym five, sometimes six times a week and take a variety of classes like step aerobics, weight training, spin, Zumba, and Pilates.  I also designed my own weight program, which I change up about every five to six weeks and make sure to cover all the major muscle groups and vary the weight, which includes alternating between “light weight/high rep” and “heavier weight/lower rep” weeks.


After all, there is nothing wrong with girls having a few muscles, right?!?!  

I surround myself with positive, supportive people.
1. My family (husband, daughter, mother) is my biggest supporter!!  My husband, who still says he never saw me as overweight (love really makes us blind, doesn’t it?), was my biggest cheerleader!  Not only did he verbally cheer me in, he supported me 100% in other ways too.  He became a gym rat with me, never complained when I completely revamped our pantry, fridge, freezer, and daily meals, and is there to photograph my races, even the early morning ones!  Our daughter is my second best cheerleader; although she’s only eight, she constantly tells me I’m the best cook in the world and that I should have a healthy cooking show on the Food Network! 
2. Girlfriends (like this girl, these girls, and these girls) and co-workers who were witness to the progress.  They motivated me through every step of my weight loss journey, whether it be by coming to work out with me or by simply noticing when I started shedding the pounds and the praise and compliments they showered on me.  I am blessed to have this support system!
3. Gym-Rat friends that I see every evening at the gym.  We hold each other accountable and have fun while working out, thus we’ve actually ended up going from just “gym” friends to real-life friends too! J
4. Online community, like the healthy living blogging circle.  I have been reading healthy living/healthy eating/running blogs for about two years.  It feels good to surround myself with like minded people; other people who are just as obsessed concerned with eating healthy, working out, and running!

I feed my mind the right things.
1. church – a weekly does of Pastor Joel always does the trick!
2. informational texts about health and wellness (I’m always brushing up on my favorite topic!)
3. reading healthy living blogs like Hungry Runner Girl, One Fit Foodie, Blonde Ponytail, Peanut Butter Fingers, and Bess Be Fit to name just a few of my favorites
4. collecting motivational quotes (especially fitness motivation) – along with collecting quotes in the binder I started in sixth grade, I also pin cool stuff on my “Inspire Me” and “Getting’ My Sweat On” Pinterest boards to look at when I need some “getup-and-go”.

I constantly try new things…
…so that I never get bored!!
1. When I hit my first plateau, I hit the gym hard everyday twice-a-day for a month.
2. When I hit my next plateau, I started running, a habit that I continue to enjoy to this day! 
...and set new goals!!
3. During this past fall and winter, I felt like I had lost that lovin’ feeling for running.  Such a shame, too, because I love to run in the cold!  I rekindled the romance by starting a RUNstreak.  This year for Lent, instead of cutting something out, I made a promise to run at least 2 miles a day.  I ran 46 days straight without missing a single day, which was exactly what I needed to jump-start my passion for running again!  This summer I decided to do the same thing and I’m calling it “Leti’s Summer RUNstreak.”  If I manage to make it though the whole summer (June, July and August) without missing a day of running I am going to reward my self with some new running shoes, a few new workout clothes, and *fingers crossed* a new Garmin. 
RUNstreak: as of tonight, 58 days and counting…
4. Now that I feel it’s time to kick it up another notch, I am itching to try CrossFit and WILL try my first session this week using this girl’s awesome workout plans!


For anyone out there reading this that is on a journey of their own, one thing is for sure, and PLEASE remember this:


Go ahead and mentally prepare for that.  Be ready and have a game plan for what you are going to do when that happens.  In these tough times you just have to remember that yes, eating healthy, working out, and staying motivated can be hard, but there are other things that are just as hard, like being unhappy in your own skin.


What did I do to continue through the tough times?  Honestly speaking, probably the biggest thing that inspired me to continue was my stubbornness. J I am the kind of person that has to finish what they start and will do whatever it takes to make it happen!  Aside from that, though, I would have to say that the support from family and friends were my biggest motivators when times got tough.  Find what works best for you and motivates you…and HANG IN THERE!!  You will succeed!!


And now for the grand finale…and the real reason you should hang in there?!?!  You should hang in there because you will feel such a true sense of accomplishment at knowing that you set a challenging goal, committed to doing whatever it took to reach it, stayed motivated and persevered through the tough times, and, above all, followed-through.  It’s the BEST feeling in the world!! 

What is the BEST PART about being in shape for me now? EVERYTHING!! 

·        I love the way I can run three miles without even really breathing hard. 

·        I love that I can lift weights at the gym with all the big boys and they leave me alone because they can tell I know what I’m doing. 

·        I love the way my arms look in sleeveless shirts and the way my legs look in a dress. 

·        I love that I can walk into a store, see something I like and try it on, and that it actually fits the way it’s supposed to. 

·        I love knowing that I finally have my mojo back!  I had really lost her there for a while!

·        I love the way my husband can wrap his arms all the way around me now when he hugs me. 

·        I love that I see my former students at the store and they are shocked and they compliment me tell me that I look younger than I did when I taught them years ago. 

·        I love that I can still eat what I want – in moderation, of course – and not feel guilty because I know that I will work it off anyway.

·        And above all else, I love that I am setting the example for my daughter of what healthy living looks like!

**DISCLAIMER: please keep in mind that my hubby’s an artist/photographer and always has me posing!!**

Hubby and I at the 2011 Blue Bell Fun Run.

4th of July celebration with our friends!

Me in San Antonio on the River Walk.

The bambina and I on the Galveston Ferry.

Our friend (a theater professor, can you tell?) and I striking a very dramatic pose!

My little one and I at the Astros Race for the Pennant last year.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself! J

So where am I now?

Get FINE in 2009

 Action Plan

Step 1

admitting I had a problem that I wanted to fix.   CHECK
Step 2
form an action plan to carry out that plan – CHECK
Step 3
get informed and acquire the knowledge that I would need to best tackle my problem – CHECK
Step 4
follow-through and WORKING MY BUTT OFF, no pun intended! – CHECK
Step 5
Continue to eat well and stay active to maintain the weight loss and live healthy from now on. – LIFE-LONG CONSTANT WORK IN PROGRESS…

Just in case you missed something:
PART ONE – to read about my Action Plan and see BEFORE pics, click here.
PART TWO – to read what I learned about getting healthy, click here.
PART THREE – to read about what I actually did to get healthy and drop the weight, click here.


  1. You look amazing!!!! Thanks so much for mentioning me with those other awesome bloggers :) Keep up the great work lady!

    1. Thanks to you Bess! I really enjoy your blog and wanted to make it known! So glad to have "met" you through blogging/twitter!

  2. You are a truly amazing woman! You are definitely on the top of my MOTIVATOR list and I'm grateful to have been a part of this entry in ANY way! I'm going to make you proud of me b/c I plan to make some serious changes in my life.........because of you!:) Thanks Leti!

    1. Kendy - girl, you darn near brought tears to my eyes!! Thank you sooo much for your kind words!! You are amazing and I truly value your friendship. I already am proud of you girlie - you are THE BOMB!! Anything I can do to help, let me know! :)

  3. GIRL!! I loved every single second of this post. You are incredible and I just emailed you:)

    1. OOOOMMMMGGGGG!!! You have no idea what an honor it is to have the author of MY FAVORITE BLOG of all time comment on my little ole' blog!!! :) Thanks, Janae, for your support and for taking the time to comment...and email me. I'm emailing you back fo' sho'!!