I am originally from Brazil, but the heat and sun of Florida took my heart away over ten years ago. Being a stay-at-home parent to a teenager, a pre-teen and a toddler can bring in some new challenges when it comes to working out and eating healthy. Our home is a multicultural place, a melting pot of Brazilian and Arabic backgrounds in America, with different languages and foods. And yes, we love food!
As a teen and as a young adult, I was always average size, but in my mind I felt huge. I chased the scale number of my early teen years and believed that I could only be thin if I over dieted and overdid cardio. I tried WW, Overeaters Anonymous, weight loss pills, you name it. It would not work for more than a few weeks, I would give up and regain the lost weight. I battled bulimia and chronic depression (triggered by prescription weight loss pills) in my early 20’s and thought I could never achieve the body I wanted. Yo-Yo dieting made me believe that I needed to settle for less to be able to enjoy life. Why bother dieting if it wouldn’t work? I didn’t think there was another way of achieving the body and confidence I wanted. This mind set would always keep me unhappy and unsatisfied deep inside.
Losing a baby when I was 5 months pregnant in 2011, (my second pregnancy, we went through multiple in-vitro treatments) was the wake-up call that I needed to force myself to change. Trying to make the sadness go away, I started working out. As long as I was tired and sweating, I would not feel the pain of the loss. Soon I realized that I needed way more than 1500 calories and something other than cardio madness to live well.
Through research, I found out that I could eat way more than that to lose the weight and look my best. I didn’t need hours in the gym on an empty stomach! Lifting heavier became a part of me. After discovering the EM2WL lifestyle, I got my CPT certification with NASM, became a Cathlete and looked better at almost 40 than in my 20’s! I could have my cake and eat it too!
After trying to put on muscle through a bulk (a bold move that taught me that the number on the scale does not matter at all), I found myself pregnant. It took me 18 months of eating and lifting to go back to my previous size. What I learned with EM2WL helped me go through this pregnancy without worrying about what would happen if I ate to support it. It gave me confidence to do what was best for my baby and for me, it taught me that I that I could do it.
No more settling for less than I deserve! Happiness in my own skin is something that I was only able to achieve after realizing that I could enjoy eating and working out without any extremes, in a mentally sane and moderate way, following the EM2WL lifestyle. I conquered binge eating, food was not the enemy anymore.
Now I can truly say that I am happy and confident with the body I have and how I look. I am able to enjoy life, family time and food. The number on the scale does not define me anymore. Lifting weights gave me confidence to face life in a different way. Working out at home is a good time saver for me, after all nothing beats working out in my pj’s! My garage became my girl cave, where I can just zone out and enjoy the iron. Most of my ideas and decisions happen when I’m lifting. It helps me connect to my mind, body and soul. Taking care of myself makes me a better person, a better mother and better wife.
One of my goals is to share my passion on being healthy and happy with my children and other people, especially moms who have the same struggles and youngsters who are still so lost in this journey of self discovery and self love. There is a better way other than hating and damaging your body thin.