“You must be the change you want to see in the world” said Mahatma Gandhi. We often see this motivational quote on bumper stickers, bookmarks, social media, everywhere. But do we really follow it? Sometimes we tend to speak our minds but forget to act on it. This is how I was living my whole life and my eyes only opened up when I found myself in the midst of a divorce from a marriage that only lasted 6 months, but gave me enough headache for a lifetime. Aside from that, a job that I hated, and financial trouble.
Joy came in the form of alcohol and food. But not just any food; burgers, pizza, fried chicken, candy, and all kinds of sweets. You know, junk food. I’ve always been a beer lover, so I was binge drinking more than ever. I was going out to breweries during the week, going to sleep late, and going to work the next morning with a hangover. I wasn’t able to focus at work, so I would just drink some coffee and go on with my day. I didn’t realize how much damage I was doing to my body and, even though I would give people advice on their financial and personal lives, I was not paying attention to myself. The worst part is that I actually thought I was happy.
I came to my senses in November of 2016. I was feeling fat, my skin was horrible, and I had cystic acne. Despite the fact that I have an Esthetician license, I could not get rid of the cystic acne no matter how hard I tried. I have been working in the banking industry since I was 19 years old and I thought that it was normal to feel stressed out all the time. I didn’t realize that stress, besides my horrible eating habits, played a big role in my bad skin situation. One day while working, a customer came in and told me he wanted to open a business account. I asked him what type of business, and he said he was opening a wellness center. I immediately started asking him all types of questions. I’ve always had a strong curiosity for Ayurveda and other holistic treatments and thought that a very interesting conversation would arise from this meeting. I was right, but not in the way that I expected. Instead of a conversation about Holistic topics, he started a consultation right there, at my office. I never had to leave my desk for him to be able to change my life. His name is Paulo Garcia.
Paulo is a health coach. He sparked in me the will to change, and with that, came the will to help other people change! Paulo told me that in order to see change, I had to embody change. This was only possible by changing what I fed my body. One of the foods my body did not react well to was meat and he added that to the elimination list. I thought I could never do that. It would be impossible, my family has a BBQ every single Sunday. How was I supposed to do this? Plus, after my divorce, I moved back home to my parents’ house. I would have to smell my mom’s delicious food every day so I thought that there was no way I would be able to do it. Well, on Thanksgiving of last year, I ate my last carnivore meal. After I finished that plate, I told myself that was it. Paulo had mentioned I could eat fish, so I still include it sparingly in my diet but I have been attempting at slowly letting go of some eating habits because my desire is to become vegan. I really want to become vegan but I’m not going to lie, cheese and eggs are my two favorite foods and I’m just not ready to give them up yet. I’m sharing this because I want everyone to know that change does not happen overnight. It takes time and the longer it takes, as long as you’re taking all steps in the right direction, the deeper the roots will be.
By making smarter choices, my skin improved 100% and I lost 23 lbs. I pulled from within me the willpower to change my diet and made time for pilates and yoga. I took a stance and made way for change to get to where I am now. Everyone still asks me to this day if I took any weight loss drugs, and I can proudly say NO! I still drink a glass of wine or have a beer here and there because it’s all about balance, but now that I’ve created a commitment and see the changes I enjoy my new lifestyle because I see that it’s an act of self love. It feels gratifying when someone asks: “wow, how did you lose so much weight?” or gives me a compliment like; “wow, your skin looks amazing!” It makes me not want to ever give up! I’m still not at the weight I want to be but I’m getting there, through diet and exercise, I get closer and closer every day!
All I can tell you is, do not look for perfection, look for improvement. When you stop thinking: “it will take too long to lose all this weight”, or ‘’I will have to spend hundreds of dollars on skin care products to get rid of this acne”, think again. It all starts from the inside. Instead of spending time listening to your doubts, act on your hopes. The sooner you start taking care of yourself, the quicker you will start to see changes.
Below are my "before and after" pictures.