After tracking my own food intake for the past 2 years, I’ve come to believe that I’ve got some decent will power and a strong head game when it comes to nutrition, but I haven’t met anybody with the amount of drive that my client, Marianna has. This woman’s work ethic and commitment to consistency throughout our nutrition program is something that I believe may be unparalleled. Every time I begin a new coaching group, I use Marianna as an example of what to strive for! For the past year, I have watched Marianna fight for her nutrition as if her life depended on it and today I get to share her story with you.
SFM: Tell us a little bit about yourself, Marianna.
Marianna: I am 41 years old. I’ve been married for 19 years and we have two kids. A 14-year-old girl, so my stress level is pretty high as you can imagine, and a 10-year-old boy. When my son was born I opened a home daycare.
SFM: You’ve been on quite the weight loss journey! Was there a turning point in your life (maybe a specific event or moment) that motivated you to get a hold of your health? If so, can you share a little bit about your past and what got you to move forward?
Marianna: My whole life I had issues with weight, I was always overweight. I have tried everything, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Herbalife, etc. I would lose 20 lbs, gain 30 lbs. In 1999 I got married. I had my daughter in 2003 and obviously gained weight from pregnancy that I never lost. Right before I turned 30 I started to have terrible joint pains, mostly my toes, ankles, knees, fingers, and wrist. At times it was difficult to walk. A few months later I was diagnosed with Lupus. I tried all the natural supplements, nothing was working so I was forced to start Prednisone (steroids) and I ballooned. I always knew I wanted more kids. The doctors were against it, as it was dangerous for me and the baby, but I decided to take a risk. Had one miscarriage, then got pregnant again. The pregnancy was very high risk, but I had a healthy baby boy. I thank God and count my blessings every day. But being pregnant and on steroids, I weighed in at 315 lbs.
Going through these pictures brought up a lot of great, fun memories. But also memories of how miserable I was. I barely have any pictures of me on family vacations and if I do they are of me always hiding behind somebody or just face shots.My weight loss journey started in January of 2013, with mostly limiting my sugar and carbs. I started walking on the weekends, then after few weeks added weekday evenings. Over the next few months, my joints started feeling better, but I was still on Prednisone. As I started slowly losing the weight I was able to adjust my meds. And eventually get off the prednisone. From 2013 to around beginning 2015 I went from 315 to 180. I was really enjoying new me, I felt great, I enjoyed exercising. I tried different classes, a few Bootcamps, and even CrossFit. Then I had a set back, a tear in my shoulder rotator cuff which took me out from exercising, as I was not able to lift my arm. And on top of that I developed adrenal gland problems and hormonal issues. Mentally it set me back drastically. I didn’t want to try anymore. I gained 73 lbs., I was 253 lbs.
But after a year of physical therapy and hormonal treatments, slowly but surely I started coming back. In January of 2017 I joined Orange Theory and started paying attention to what I ate. Between January and end of April I lost 10 lbs, then one of the moms at the daycare (Vanessa) introduced me to Stay Fit Mom, so I joined the May 2017 group.
Marianna: I didn’t think I would be able to do it, all the counting scared me, and in the beginning annoyed me. But after almost a year I can say that I have become more or less a pro in meeting the numbers. I had my ups and downs (still do) and I had my moments where I was ready to quit (not as much now, but still do). But then I think, “Then what? I quit and I go back to being uncomfortable and miserable?” I look at my mom , who is in a wheelchair now, who is in pain every single day. Taking crazy amount of meds for heart problems, high blood pressure and diabetes. And has to get dialysis 3 times a week. I don’t want to let myself go down that route.
SFM: What are the biggest challenges you face with counting macros?
Marianna: Being consistent is important for making a progress. It’s not always easy, but you have to be determined and persistent in reaching any types of goals. I would say the biggest challenge after a year is still explaining to all the friends and family why I have to plan, why I need to know exactly what goes in my body, and why I choose not have a little piece of something to try.
SFM: How has this transformation changed you on the inside?
Marianna: I’ve enjoyed watching my body change and feel stronger at the gym overall. I like being a part of this group. It teaches me accountability and provides the support when I need it. On my worst days all I have to do is look at the progress other women have made and I know it’s possible.
SFM: What advice do you have for women who are facing obesity?
Marianna: Obesity is not just a physical disorder, it’s also mental, it plays with our minds and our emotions. There is no medicine for it. We have to treat it ourselves. One day at a time.
As Marianna nears her 1 year journey mark with Stay Fit Mom, I am so honored to watch her grow and thrive! I have no doubt that she has permanently changed the trajectory of her life as well as the life of her family by prioritizing her health and making a permanent lifestyle change! Congratulations on all of your success so far, Marianna, and thank you for inspiring us all!
Marianna’s case is one that is featured in The Stay Fit Mom Guide to Counting Macros on Your Own.
Interested in one-on-one individualized macro coaching?