Transformation Tuesday: Stacy M. Estrada
Weight loss is one struggle that many of us constantly have to deal with. In a new post titled, "Transformation Tuesday," we would like to introduce you to some amazing women who have transformed their bodies and their lives through forming healthy habits. Kicking off our first "Transformation Tuesday" post is the story of Work It Girl co-founder, Stacy Estrada.
Knowing Stacy for almost 10 years, I've come to see her as a strong and dedicated individual. Not many people can endure what she has, and still, she rises to succeed!
Growing up around a very loving family, who always reassured her that she was beautiful, Stacy never knew or felt like she was missing something...until reality hit. At a family get-together, a close relative walked right past her and loudly blurted, "You fat a$*," and laughed as she walked past her. Everyone in the room heard the heckle, and although Stacy's sister was quick to defend her, all Stacy could feel was embarrassment and shame. "I was just a kid and didn't know much about healthy eating or exercising. These were terms that were new to me, but I knew I wasn't at my best." Although she knew her family had her back, this was her turning point.
Stacy started her journey by walking everyday. Keeping in mind that she never really worked out, even walking became a challenge for her. Stacy's mom quickly joined her, taking notice how serious she was about losing weight. Her mother became a huge support system for her through this journey. Not only were they losing weight together, but the walks also gave them a quality time to bond.
In the beginning, they started by walking one mile, then two miles, and soon were walking three miles! Although they never ran, just walked, they were consistent and kept challenging themselves. Through the rain, wind, or heat, they were consistent with walking.
Stacy lost a majority of her weight by simply walking everyday. After a while, Stacy slowly started to change her diet by cutting out chips and soda too. She just didn't like that way those particular foods made her feel after eating them, so they were cut. After this, she started eating all her foods in smaller portions and lost most of her weight within a year. It took time, and there were weeks where she didn't lose any weight, but she stayed on her walking and didn't give up.
When asked how she stayed motivated to keep going and not give up, she said, "you need to fall in love with the process to see results."
During her journey, Stacy hit a plateau trying to lose her last 10 lbs ... however, her new daily process made her feel good so she continued until she saw more results. Everyday she struggled to make the right food choices and pushing herself to workout, but Stacy began to realize that healthy eating is a lifestyle and not a temporary fix.
One way Stacy stayed focused was by making a collage of pictures that represented her ideal body. This reminded her that she had a goal she was striving for. Another great benefit to her new lifestyle was the endorphins she got from working out. Eating right and working out made her feel more alert and sharp, helped her make better decisions, and ultimately gave her confidence in everyday life.
Stacy recalled, "when I would eat badly, I would feel sluggish and tired, and often avoided seeing people." Stacy rewarded herself by buying an outfit. Rewarding herself for staying on track was something she would look forward to. When she would slip up, she wouldn't buy herself anything.
Throughout her journey, Stacy has learned a lot about herself:
"I’ve learned that anything that is worth achieving will take time, dedication, and persistence. I compare losing weight to all goals in my life. I remember the struggle I had losing weight. It was very hard to wake up in the morning and force myself to work out, but it got easier with time. I also remember my driven mindset. When I fell, I would pick myself up again and keep going. It reminded me that anything is possible if you keep focused and don’t stop. It taught me not to quit."
Stacy has also learned that there is no fast way to a healthy body. She realized that there are no shortcuts, fad diets, or diet pills that will promise long term results. You get back what you put in. She says it's simple mathematics, "if you eat more than you burn, you will store the excess fat." Watch what you eat, don't overdue it, and stay active. "Anyone can do it if they really want it."
Stacy has lost a grand total of 65 pounds! She has a goal of 10 more pounds to lose before she reaches her ideal weight. "Goals are never finished...I keep working towards improvement." Her three golden rules for maintaining a healthy lifestyle are: be consistent with working out, always try to make the healthier choice, and make healthy eating part of your lifestyle.