Family Status: In a Relationship
Occupation: State Case Registry Clerk
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Starting Weight: 374 pounds
Current Weight: 218 pounds
Current Waist Size: 48″
Magdalena’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I have lost 156 pounds in 15 months! I lost 104″ of fat from my bust, hips, stomach, thighs, calves, neck and arms. My dress size before I started was 32-34. Now I wear size 18’s. I just bought my first size 18 dress last week! It finally wasn’t a dress size that had 1XL, 2XL or size 20 anything on it. I’m still losing but up to this point this is what I have accomplished.
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I started to gain weight when two cousins (a male and a female) started molesting me when I was 5 years old. I didn’t know how to handle that. I was a child. I wanted to tell my parents but my cousins threatened to kill them and I thought they would do so. I started to eat and I started to notice how it comforted me. I didn’t know any other way for it to stop. After 5 years it finally stopped but at what cost? Molestation destroys everything and anything in you. I felt dirty and worthless. I felt like I was unlovable which in turn fed into my depression and I ate more and more. By 5th grade I was the largest girl in my class. I weight 187 pounds and I was only 10-11 years old. I started to get bigger and bigger in middle school and by the time I got to high school I weighed 250 pounds! I was so angry and hostile. I hated the life that had been handed to me. My addiction wasn’t with drugs, alcohol or gambling. It was with food and was just as bad as all those other addictions.
What made you decide to lose weight?
My oncologist made me understand that I needed to do something. I was diagnosed with stage 3a endometrial cancer on January 4, 2010. Two days before I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I lost any chance of having babies. I underwent 6 rounds of intense 8-hour chemotherapy drips every 3 weeks and 6 1/2 weeks of radiation. I was told I was in remission on December 7, 2010.
In January 2015, my oncologist had a heart-to-heart with me about my weight. He told me he wanted me to lose 50 pounds because he didn’t want all my treatments to be for nothing because I could possibly have a heart attack or a stroke. I told him I would lose the 50 pounds. I signed up to audition for ABC’s Extreme Weightloss and I got a call back from a producer in California. I was invited to attend the audition in Austin, Texas on February 14, 2015. It was a group audition and I was not as prepared as the other hopefuls. I didn’t even print out pictures of myself. Everyone had a story that would make you cringe. I was not the only sexual abuse survivor. I learned that obesity isn’t something that people choose to experience. When someone is as obese as I was, it’s because there was some sort of trauma involved, like the abuse I experienced.
The ABC producers stated that they would make all the callbacks before 8 p.m. that night and if I didn’t get a call it was safe to say I was not chosen to go any further. And I wasn’t. The call I was praying for never came. So I got angry and I went on an eating binge. Mind you, I was a severe diabetic. I was having constant yeast infections, blurred visions, severe thirst, you name it I had it. I was drinking up to six 44 ounce sodas and eating candy, cakes and fast food. I was spiraling out of control and one night I experienced a severe headache. It felt like someone had hit me in the head with a sledgehammer. It was so debilitating that I was praying for death. It was bad! A couple of weeks later it happened twice in one week. I knew I had to make drastic changes otherwise the next one would kill me.
So on March 16, 2015, I started my health journey in secret. I didn’t tell a soul. The reason I didn’t tell anyone was because I didn’t want to fail, yet again, and have to answer that question everyone asks when they know you are trying to lose weight, “So how’s your diet going?” and I had to reply, that I had failed again. So I told myself I would set four 50 pound weight loss goals instead of saying “I’m going to lose 200 pounds!” knowing I had tried that most of my life. So that first week I lost 13 pounds! The second week I lost 9 more pounds. WHAT? Yes! I lost 22 pounds in one week. I know, I know, it was mostly water weight but it was such incredible motivation and people started to notice my eating habits had changed and started to inquire. I wanted this more than I ever wanted anything in my life!
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I stopped drinking soda on March 15, 2015 and started drinking half my weight in water. When I first started I was drinking between 180 to 202 ounces of water. I’m down to at least 115 ounces of water a day. I have yet to touch soda but I still have my coffee. I can’t give that up 🙂 I gave up fast food and anything that has a shelf life longer than 7 days (minus my oatmeal). I started a high protein, low carb, moderate fat diet (I hate that word “diet”). I measured myself every month and took progress pics. Besides the eating habits, the other most important change was exercising. I was so afraid that people would be so mean and make fun of me. I didn’t want to exercise outside or at the gym since it was so intimidating. But you want to know something? I have yet to experience anyone in my wonderful community of San Antonio being mean but in fact, I’ve had people give me the thumbs up, honk at me and encourage me to continue what I was doing. I love that! My family, friends and community have been so supportive.
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
The most challenging was getting over my fears of being made fun of along with my eating and my exercising. When I first started, there were aisles in the grocery store I wouldn’t even go down because I didn’t think I would be strong enough to pass up what I had always walked by and grabbed. There were restaurants I wouldn’t go to because I was still learning what I needed to eat and what would be good for my body.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I started to see results after hitting my first weight loss goal of losing 50 pounds. I met my first goal 3 months after I started my health journey. I noticed my face was slimming down and I was finally able to wear my seatbelt the way the manufacturers and the law required. I was able to fit in jean shorts I hadn’t fit in for over 8 or 9 years. I was able to wear jeans I hadn’t been able to wear. They were still size 28’s but at least they weren’t stretchy pants size 32-34’s. It was amazing and helped motivate me more. I started my next 50 pound weight loss goal in June and I met that one in another 3 months. I actually I lost 101 pounds in 6 months. On October 10th, I started my 3rd 50 pound weight loss goal and that one took me 7 months to achieve. On May 23, 2016, I started my 4th and final weight loss goal. I’ve already lost 5 pounds and have 45 pounds to go in order to meet my goal.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took me 15 months to get to my current weight.
Did you have any issues with loose skin after losing the weight? If so, how did you deal with it?
Yes, I have real issues with loose skin right now but I knew that was going to happen. I have an apron stomach, loose skin between my thighs, massive batwings and hanging skin around my knees which I do not like but again, I had an idea that my body may not be ideal after losing all this weight but I do not regret my journey. I have embraced it. When I met my third 50 pound weight loss goal and started my 4th goal, I set up a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money so I can have the excess skin removal surgery and breast augmentation when I get to a point where I am content with where I’m at. It’s a slow process but I’m not giving up. I have emailed Ellen DeGeneres and Steve Harvey for help and I share my campaign every day and post on Ellen’s talk show Facebook page daily. One day someone will notice and all I can do is be patient and have faith.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
I have maintained my weight loss since I started my journey. I have yet to gain a pound back and the most important factors for keeping it off are to stay on track with my eating habits and move around at least 4 days out of the week, and also lift weights. That has been my saving grace.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
Reaching my goal motivates me. People telling me that my journey has inspired them to do something also keeps me going. I’ve never finished anything in my life. But when people message me about coming across My Health Journey Facebook page and how wonderful I’m doing, it’s humbling. I’m a cancer survivor, I’ve beat diabetes and I’m beating this obesity!
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
I have so much more energy! I have noticed that men are starting to see me and approach me. I have so much more confidence than I have ever had in my entire life. I went from existing to living!
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Take it one meal at a time, one snack at a time. If you eat something you shouldn’t, start all over on your next meal. Don’t throw away the whole day. Also, use an app that will show you what you eat daily. My favorite app in all the world is MyFitnessPal. I have been on that app for 453 days straight! Give yourself tools that will help make your journey go a bit smoother.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
I just recently learned about ShapeFit.com but from what I’ve read so far it will definitely help with continuing my health journey especially since it’s getting harder and harder to lose the weight. Before, it was falling off, but now I’m working hard for it to come off.
Magdalena’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Drink half your weight in water!
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Have one cheat meal per week or month, whatever you prefer.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Do your research! Try different things. Don’t allow someone to sell you the idea that you can lose weight if you follow a certain diet. Taylor it to fit you. You are unique.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Surround yourself with people who will be supportive.
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Take pictures of your weight loss journey and measure yourself so you’ll have visual aids of where you started and where you’re going.
Magdalena’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
I normally eat one package of oatmeal with a banana and a cup of coffee with a sweet cream, or egg whites with turkey bacon and slice of whole wheat toast, or a whole wheat pancake.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
I normally have tuna, egg whites, pickles, a teaspoon or two of spicy brown mustard, Roma tomatoes and broccoli slaw with a splash of Italian dressing.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
I eat chicken breast with veggies, lean pork with egg whites (breakfast for dinner), ground turkey breast in romaine lettuce leaves with avocado slices and shredded cheese.
What do you normally eat for snacks?
Peanuts, dark chocolate chips, fresh fruit, bananas, cucumbers, peanut butter, almond butter, Skinny Pop popcorn, Dannon Light & Fit yogurt, Greek yogurt.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I don’t take any supplements.
Magdalena’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training?
I usually use the circuit machines for my upper and lower body. I try to do a lot of exercise machines for my glutes and arms.
What do you do for cardio training?
CrossFit classes at a local community center along with swimming, running, treadmill and the elliptical machine. I’m currently training for a 10K and I’ve gotten my mile pace down to 13 minutes. When I ran my very first mile it took me 45 minutes! I currently can run 4 miles straight before I have to walk a bit.