Name: Maritza Rodriguez
Weight Before: 152 lbs.
Weight After: 115 lbs.
Weight Lost: 37 lbs.
Size Before: 11 or Large
Size Now: 1, X-Small or Small
Why I Decided To Change My Body
Before I moved to the U.S., I wasn't that heavy. If I remember, I was 135 pounds. When I got here, however, I was eating too much junk food and was not an active person at all. When I came home after work, I went straight to bed and took a nap, watched T.V. or sat at my computer. While I was dealing with some emotional issues, I decided to change my body.
I was going thru a depression in my life and I was so homesick that I wanted to do something to make me feel better about myself, so I made a decision to lose weight, tone my body, and change my eating habits to a healthier diet. I started in September 2003.
How I Did It
I began doing exercise (lots of cardio, abs routines and weightlifting) like 5 days per week. And I followed the South Beach Diet. I was so committed because I so wanted a change that could boost my self-esteem; I wanted to look in the mirror and love what I saw!
I didn't let anything be an excuse for even missing a single day in the gym - not rain, snow, windy days, winter, working late, feeling sleepy, nor being late at night. In my mind, I was always focused and nothing was going to stop me! And my husband, whom I love so much, decided to do this with me and we both lost a lot of weight and bodyfat. I lost those 37 pounds in just 5 months.
First, we were using the gym in the clubhouse were we lived; then when we got our own place we ran outside, jump roped while listening to some metal music, did exercise videos, and we bought a weight bench. Now we live in a townhome with 4 floors so we run up and down the stairs (and take no elevators in any building).
Right now we have full membership in a gym at work. So we go after work, and on school nights I go during my lunch break. I also like to do some other activities outside the gym that can keep me active, such as walking my dog in the park, jogging when it is nice outside, hiking, and I absolutely love indoor rock climbing! It is so great that I end up with lots of energy and feel positive when I reach the top.
I have a healthy diet right now and I don't miss a meal. I always eat my good carbs, lots of vegetables and fruits, non-fat or low-fat food, and lots of water. And when I eat in a restaurant, I always go for the healthier and non-greasy foods. Yes, I have my cheat days but I don't really like to do that a lot because eating right makes me feel great, so healthy, and gives me tons of energy to keep on going.
I feel so great that I am going after my dream of being a fashion designer, so I am back in college taking evening classes 2-3 days per week. I am also working as a model doing fashion shows and photo shoots for fashion photographers in the Maryland/Virginia/Washington D.C. area.
However, I am interested in doing some fitness photo shoots and appear in fitness magazines and share my story with tons of people so they can realize that you can make it! At first, you feel like you're scarifying a lot, but then you'll be so glad you made that change in your life and you won't go back!
And this is my reason to stick with my healthier lifestyle, it makes me happy! And people out there who think that exercise is only to lose weight need to understand that the main purpose is to feel good, feel healthier and to change your lifestyle for good!
Weekly Exercise Routine
- Five days a week, 30-50 minutes each session
- Arch Trainer, Treadmill, and/or Elliptical Trainer
- Crunches On A Ball: 4 sets x 20 reps (or until failure)
- Oblique Crunches: 4 x 30 seconds (or until failure)
- Reverse Crunches: 4 x 20 reps (or until failure)
- Hyperextensions: 4 x 20 (or until failure)
Day 1: Legs & Glutes
- Hack Squat: 5 sets x 10-15 reps
- Leg Press: 5 x 8-10
- Dumbbell Step-Ups: 5 x 10-15
- One-Legged Squats: 3 x 10-15
- Leg Curls: 4 x 8-10
- Donkey Kick: 4 x 10-15
- Seated Calf Raises: 5 x 12
Day 2: Chest & Shoulders
- Incline DB Press: 5 sets x 10-15 reps
- Machine Flyes: 4 x 10-15
- Military Press: 3 x 10-15
- Bent-Over Lat Raises: 2 x 10
- Lat Raises: 2 x 10
- Front Raises: 2 x 10
- Upright Rows: 5 x 8-10
Day 3: Back & Arms
- Bent-Over DB Row: 5 sets x 10-15 reps
- Cable Pulldowns: 4 x 10-12
- Cable Pushdowns: 5 x 10-15
- DB Seated Triceps Extensions: 4 x 10-12
- Alternate DB Curls: 4 x 10-15
- Concentration Curls: 4 x 10-12
Sample Meal Plan
- 3 egg whites cheese omelette
- Homemade fruit salad with chunks of honeydew melon, banana, berries, pineapple and grapes topped with fat-free yogurt & granola
- Coffee with skim milk
- Fat Free Yogurt - 4 oz
- Tuna Salad (about 5 oz of tuna, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper) with raspberry vinaigrette
- Fat Free Yogurt or Pudding
- A bottle of water or Diet Ice T Snapple
- Power Bar after the gym or Soy Protein shake
- Grilled Chicken or Salmon
- Mixed Vegetables or Broccoli
Throughout the day, drink lots of water!
Thanks for the opportunity of sharing my story!