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Articles by ProSource
| Jan 9, 2012
Gloria Fernandez Sheds 85 Lbs Thanks To Family, Fitness-Training and Her Faith
Perilously overweight and fighting depression and chronic illness, Gloria Fernandez had a choice: Give up and allow her health to continue deteriorating -- or fight back. She chose the latter, learning how to eat, train and supplement on her way to losing 85 pounds. Here's the inspiring story of how she transformed her physique and her life.
Being a single parent with two teenage girls is daunting enough when you're healthy -- but when you're overweight and dealing with the chronic pains and fatigue the condition brings, it can become monumentally challenging.
Such was the predicament facing 37-year-old Gloria Fernandez. At least seventy pounds overweight from a medical perspective, she found herself on that all-too-common loop of despair. "I was fat because I was unhappy and unhappy because I was fat," she says.
While there were many warnings along the way, including numerous trips to the doctor's office because of chest pains, high cholesterol, complications from her asthma and regular bouts of colds and other illnesses, it was a simple snapshot that finally triggered a meaningful response.
"I remember one day taking a photo with my two teenage daughters and I didn't recognize myself," she recalls. "I'd become a fat, sloppy shadow of myself. A lot of the time, my best friend was food, and that wasn't even a good friendship."
A single mother at the time, she was facing worries about her two girls starting high school. And up to that point, her doctor's similar prescription for all of her maladies -- "You need to lose weight," he'd tell her -- hadn't prompted her into action.
"I think in this health journey at one point or another we all fall off the wagon," Fernandez says. "It's during the holidays that staying healthy is the hardest for me. But I just forgave myself and kept going. I really want to see my teen girls go to college and get married one day."
The picture, though, provided a rallying point, and her increased involvement at church gave her the strength she had been lacking. "It was then that I made a vow to myself, that I would shed 85 pounds and take control of my life," Fernandez says. "One day I woke up with a determination to find the person I had once known. She was inside me somewhere."
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At that point, in January 2009, 5'7" Fernandez was nearest her highest weight of 230 pounds, "at a pants size of 19/20 and feeling dizzy and fatigued whenever I went up a flight of stairs," she says. It was a far cry from her younger years, when she played softball, basketball and ran track.
The directive was clear:
. The roadmap to get there wasn't as distinct, however, as she had to delve into the world of fitness and learn how to best achieve her goals.
RELATED: Read here for HOW NEW MOM TAMMY STEWART LOST 40 POUNDS IN 4 MONTHS
"Some of my training I have created myself, but most of it has been from workout DVDs like Billy Blanks' Tae Bo and the TurboFire series from Beach Body," she says.
On Jan. 2, 2009, Fernandez got out of bed at 5:30 a.m., meditated, and did cardio for 10 minutes. She did the same for the first two weeks. "I remember I was in so much pain that I would cry while working out," she admits.
But she kept it up, rising alone in the early morning darkness and slowly
building up her stamina
and confidence. "The disadvantage of not being able to afford going to a gym became one of my greatest advantages," she says. "Realizing that I can reach my goal at home made
more special to me and inspired me to keep going ... yes, I lost all the weight at home, no gym! I am very proud of that."
Like many who undertake a new workout regimen, the first change she noticed was the way her clothes fit. "I felt like I was melting away," she says. After three months, she started augmenting her training and diet with
, including a multivitamin,
and fish oil. (These days, her favorites are
NytroWhey Ultra Elite
ProSource's Vital Women's Multivitamin
. Like many fitness enthusiasts, she's looking forward to trying
BioQuest's breakthrough new weight-loss formulation Zycor
really helped me curb junk food cravings," she explains. "I also felt stronger.
help me control my appetite and
boost my energy
all day long."
With those supplemental allies in hand, she eliminated that fast food from her and her family's diet, replacing it with chicken, tuna, veggies, fruits, yogurt, protein shakes, whole-wheat pasta, white eggs and nuts. "I went from seeing food as a reward to seeing it as a form of energy that would sustain me through my day," she says. "With that in mind, I stopped drinking soda, cut out processed food, and began to eat more cleanly. I even began keeping track of everything from how much water I was drinking to how much sodium I was taking in each day."
The exception to her low-carb 1,300-calorie-per-day regimen was a "cheat day" on Sundays, a critical component of any long-term successful dieting strategy according to many experts because it quashes craving issues and assists in keeping your body from shifting into starvation mode and hoarding calories as fat.
RELATED: Read here for FROM MODEL TO MAMA AND BACK
A part of her plan she'd recommend to others was a log. "I would write down everything, from what I ate to how I was feeling to general information on fitness that I review every now and then," Fernandez says. "At times people thought I was a little extreme, but I didn't care because it was working and to this day it's still working."
Now married, working as a health aide at a New York City middle school, and enjoying life with her daughters and husband in her new 145-pound body, Fernandez has come a long way in three years since seeing herself in that destiny-changing photo. "I'm physically different from the way I was, and I'm emotionally different as well," she explains. "I can exercise for hours, but I think the biggest change for me has been the emotional one. I'm able to make decisions and follow through with them even if it hurts or it feels scary to me, and I've learned that change can be a good thing and an opportunity to grow. Having faith and a goal in mind was the best motivational strategy for me. I am a better mom, wife, sister, and daughter. I am a more positive person."
She also wants to help others who now find themselves where she was not so long ago. "I became an independent Beach Body coach so that I can stay motivated and help as many people as I can," she says. "I have found a love for this lifestyle and for helping people. I share my transformation with everyone around me. It's hard for me to see people overweight. At times all I want to do is give them a big hug and tell them they, too, can do this."
Check out Gloria on
Or at the Beach Body coaching site:
Gloria Fernandez's Weight-Loss Workout Plan
Free Weight Workouts Two Times Per Week
Cardio (using DVDs) Four Times Per Week
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All rights reserved. Healthy weight management and substantial weight loss are best achieved by making lifestyle changes, such as lowering caloric intake and increasing exercise activity. Clinical evidence indicates that when used in combination with a sensible diet and exercise, the key ingredients in this product can support your weight loss program. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight-loss program. Read and follow all label instructions before using. Endorsers used this product in conjunction with diet and exercise and were remunerated for their appearance. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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