Family Status: Single
Occupation: Higher Education
Hometown: New York
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 100 pounds!
Starting Weight: 253 pounds
Current Weight: 153 pounds
Maritza’s Weight Loss Story!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
Being extremely overweight is not something new to me. All my life, I had some serious issues with my weight and it has been a constant struggle. I was raised in a typical Hispanic low income family where we didn’t have much but for some reason everyone in my family struggled with being overweight. We didn’t have those luxuries of eating out, getting fast food or splurging for candy so I constantly ask myself, “How the heck did we all get so heavy?” As a typical Hispanic family, I remember being served large portions of rice and beans and being told that I had to finish eating everything on my plate. Although growing up I was very athletic, my weight continued to increase. I think it was around age 13 that I knew that my weight could no longer be seen as “baby fat”. I dealt with the teasing and the name calling in stride as I took everything as a joke as well as the fact that I was very rebellious and headstrong. By high school, I was weighing 200 pounds and started my first bouts of dieting. I tried every crash diet available and lots of those over the counter diet pills that supposedly curbs one’s appetite. Yes, they did work but I was unhealthy, sick for the majority of the time and unhappy. I became anemic. I started having heart palpitations because a lot of the products I was using were loaded with an unhealthy amount of caffeine. I did not have the energy to do anything. All I wanted to do was sleep. One thing that these crash diets never mention is that once you stop using the product, you quickly gain the weight back plus some, which I did.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I just never realized how heavy I was and no one really told me that I was gaining weight or maybe I was just in denial. I enjoyed eating out, I partied a lot and smoked cigarettes. I had borderline cholesterol problems, high blood pressure and I felt unhappy with myself. One day, I just woke up feeling so sluggish, breathing heavy and unhappy that I decided enough was enough and changed my whole lifestyle. First, I stopped smoking cold turkey. Next I did the hardest thing imaginable for me, I weighed myself. I cried for days when I read the scale that said I weighed 253 pounds. After a few days of crying and eating for comfort, I gathered myself together and mentally and emotionally shook myself out of the stupor I was in and decided I was not going to be like the typical person who quits smoking and gains a lot more weight. I was going to be different! I was determined to be different!
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
In 2009, I set a goal for myself to lose 40 pounds by the end of year by eating healthy and exercising. I cut from my diet: bread, rice, beans, red meat, and became very conscious of the nutritional value of the foods I was eating. I decided to join a gym and exercised for 20 minutes twice a week. I slowly increased my exercise routine to 3-4 times a week after a few months. I noticed a difference in my appearance and in my stamina. At the gym, I met great people who were very encouraging. YES! Slowly and with lots of determination, by the end of the year, I weighed 204 pounds (size 14).
What was most challenging about losing weight?
All my hard work was paying off but then for the next 6 months I lost nothing. No matter what I did, what I ate and how much I exercised, I could not lose any more weight. I didn’t let the fact that I was not losing any more weight deter me. I continued going to the gym religiously and joined cardio classes. I realized that in my goal to lose weight, I was actually enjoying exercising and my body was craving it. My determination to lose weight and get myself into shape was noticed by Reno “;The Body”. One day, he took me aside and spoke to me very honestly about my efforts. He congratulated me on my success but also pointed out that my body needed a change and that I hit a plateau in my weight loss mission. He was very honest and candid about me needing to “;shock” my body and change my routine. I started thinking about getting a personal trainer. I knew that I needed someone who would not let me get away with any nonsense but in the same time was understanding and patient and I knew that the right person that met those qualifications was/is…RENO! Reno has a great personality which is very open, honest and mixed in is a genuine passion to promote healthy living and a healthy body. I knew that if anyone could help me in my mission to lose weight and get into shape, it would be him. I felt he really understood my struggle. So, I began my training session with Reno.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
Although other people saw the results in me pretty quickly, I didn’t see a change in myself until November 2011 when I glanced in the mirror and did a second take because I didn’t recognize my own reflection.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
I started my weight goal journey in 2009 and lost the weight slowly but surely.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
Throughout my training with Reno, I kept thinking to myself, “What the hell did I get myself into?” After surviving the first session, I realized that Reno was very understanding with me as well as being patient, encouraging and when it called for it, a little tough. Just what I needed. He has helped me realize that I was unconsciously giving myself limitations of what I can and cannot do without even trying. Throughout my training sessions, he kept the sessions intense but fun. He listened to me whine about my aches and pains, but challenged me to try new intense workout routines. I have to honestly say that I consider him a great personal trainer as well as a great person and an awesome friend. It was during my training session with Reno that he recommended that I try a nutritional supplement. As my trainer and as a friend, I knew that he would not recommend anything that would cause me harm or that was unhealthy. I was sold when he said that the products he was recommending were all natural and that he too uses them. I started using the products twice a day. I quickly noticed a few things. I had a lot more energy, it curbed my appetite, I was losing weight and I was not feeling any side effects. Remember, I tried everything and used every product before trying this new supplement. I was training with Reno once a week, taking the products twice a day and doing some cardio during the week. By the summer 2011, I was down to 184 pounds. WOW! I remember being so proud of myself because it was the first time that I was doing something for myself that made me feel great!
Enjoying the results of my weight loss and how my body was really toning, I decided to increase my training sessions with Reno to twice a week. He makes the training sessions challenging, helping me develop and tone my body, but in the same aspect really listening to my needs and the “problem areas” that I wanted to focus on. I also started adding a few more dietary supplements to my regimen. By November 2011, I lost an additional 13 pounds and I was down to 171 pounds.
Now, I can honestly say that I have so much energy and my body is really taking a different shape, one that I never experienced before. I look forward to continuing my experiences with training and in life. Overall, my heartfelt gratitude goes to my fabulous trainer and great friend, Reno!
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I have more energy. I feel healthier and stronger. I have more of a positive outlook to life and I feel great!
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
I use ShapeFit’s fitness tips and exercises to really shape my eating habits and workout routines.
Maritza’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Have a support group.
Weight loss tip #2:
Don’t weigh yourself constantly.
Weight loss tip #3:
Have a reward day (or cheat day).
Weight loss tip #4:
Read articles (ShapeFit.com) that can give you great ideas.
Weight loss tip #5:
Maritza’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
A bowl of high fiber, multigrain cereal, lots of strawberries, and low-fat milk on top. Or, I have scrambled egg whites, a whole wheat roll, fresh fruit salad, and a cup of low-fat milk.
My lunch varies between delicious meals like a turkey avocado whole wheat wrap, spinach salad with strawberries, chicken salad, Greek chopped pita salad or a grilled Swiss cheese with turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread.
Dinner choices are a peanut butter and chicken stir fry, whole wheat pasta in garlic and oil, lemon butter pasta with broccoli or garlic chicken with brown rice and black beans.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Nuts, healthy bars, apple and cheese, yogurt, veggies.
Maritza’s Weight Loss Workouts!
I started off once a week with a trainer then graduated to twice a week. We target all areas including my arms, legs, back, stomach, etc.
5 times a week for an 1-2 hours of intense cardio workouts, usually classes such as 1/2 abs class, 1/2 kettlebell class, 1 hour of PlyoFit, 1 hour of total body sculpting. Or, I might mix up the classes with 45 minutes to 1 hour on the treadmill doing different intensity levels or 45 minutes on the bike.