Q. Where are you from?
A: I was born and raised in Northern California (Calaveras County) but have lived in Minnesota with my husband and son for the last 5 years.
Q. How long have you been married?
A: Michael and I have been married for 6 years and together for 9 years.
Q. Do you and your husband exercise together?
A: Now that we are living our new, healthy lifestyle, yes my husband and I work out together on the weekends. During the week being busy with work and juggling our son’s schedule, we work out on our own.
Q. Were you athletic in your teens?
A: No. I played soccer a few years when I was in middle school and high school but by no means was I athletic. I always had to play defender or goalie because I wasn’t able to do all the running that the other positions required.
Q. You lost a dramatic amount of weight without a help of a trainer, how did you do it?
A: Once I realized that it had to be a lifestyle change and not a “diet” and that weight loss was really just simple math. Calories in versus calories out. I figured I should write down everything I ate and kept a log. My husband once told me (and I am not sure where he got it or if he made it up on his own) but he told me, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” That is so true. I dropped my calorie intake down to 1,200 calories a day and started doing a lot of cardio work 4-5 days a week.
Q. Where there times that you didn't think you could make it to your goal?
A: There were times that I wished my progress was further along but never did I think I couldn’t do it.
Q. What helped you stay motivated?
A: There were a couple things that kept me motivated….the first being my family and most of all, my son. We went on vacation in 2005 and I was having such a hard time keeping up with him. I was only 23 years old and I couldn't even keep up with my 3 year old son. It was then I realized that I wanted to be the fun, healthy and hip mom for my son. I did not want to be the fat and frumpy mom that is inactive and doesn’t have the energy to go out and play with their child.
The second was all my small victories along the way. Small victories like the first time I dropped a pant size, the first time I went from doing the elliptical machine because I couldn’t run to getting on the treadmill and starting to jog, to being able to run a mile and so on…I continue to have those small victories to this day and know that I will never lose my motivation again.
Q. Did you always have a battle with your weight?
A: Yes, once I hit 5th-6th grade I began to get “chubby” and it all went downhill from there. Middle school and high school, I just got heavier.
Q. What was the hardest thing to give up during your weight loss journey?
A: All my sweets! I am a huge brownie lover but had told myself that when I was initially trying to drop the weight, I could not cheat or eat any of that stuff at all. I told myself that once I dropped the weight and got my new lifestyle under control, then I could have those treats from time to time but that it had to be just that…..a treat! Not something I ate on a daily basis as I had previously.
Q. Who has been at your side from day one through all of this?
A: My husband has been a huge support for me. It is so hard to try and live a healthy lifestyle when you don’t have the support at home. You want your partner to be willing to support the healthy eating so that it makes the journey easier and he has definitely been my support throughout.
Q. What does your exercise schedule look like now?
A: I work out typically 5 to 6 days a week. I like to do quick, intense cardio session by doing speed intervals and then on to weight training. I try to focus on certain muscle group
Q. What is your favorite cheat meal?
A: That’s hard….I don’t have a cheat meal so to speak….but I do love a great brownie every now and again. If I had to choose one type of meal that isn’t the best to eat but I do love, I’d have to go with any kind of pasta dishes! I love Olive Garden!
Q. Do people turn to you for weight loss advice? What do you tell them?
A: People close to me know my story and know how I did it. People that find out I was heavy and then lost weight, do tend to ask how I did it but I wouldn’t say they are asking for advice. Although I would love to go into personal training/nutrition some day so I could help those individuals struggling like I did for so many years.
Q. What do you think is one of the biggest contributors to the obesity crisis in North America?
A: I think there are a few things that do it. The lack of nutrition taught to kid along with the lack of exercise that a lot of kids don’t get due to watching TV, playing video games, etc. also the portion sizes that people receive and consume when they go out to eat. It seems like portions keep getting larger and larger along with our society.
Q. What advice do you have for our readers who are struggling with their weight loss?
Great words of advice Marinda! This is the thing that people need to realize, it is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change that has to remain with you forever, not just until the weight is gone. Congrats on your success! ~Angelique