Heather Martinez spent many years adapting to her weight gain instead of addressing it. Heavy since elementary school, she remembers not being able to participate in sports or other activities. She admits she would eat her lunch and then eat what was left of her friend’s lunch too. After school she chose fattening snacks like cookies, chips and candy. Her weight struggle progressed through junior high and high school, eventually reaching 326 pounds.
Today, Heather is 185 thinner and has maintained the loss for several years. She wants her story to inspire others saying, “You can begin to live healthier at any point in your life. You have the power to change at any moment.”
More from Heather in her own words –
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? There were multiple factors that led me to gain weight: Eating the wrong foods, eating large quantities of food at one time, not eating vegetables and fruits and constant snacking on unhealthy options.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I knew I needed to make a change when I began choking in my sleep. Another turning point was when I could no longer fit into a restaurant booth or a movie theater seat. The final straw came when I visited my favorite clothing store and realized I could not fit into the biggest size they offered.
How did you lose the weight? I started walking around my parent’s pool. I was so obese that I could only walk for 3 minutes and I would be out of breath. Other tactics I used included cutting out all fast food and sweets, keeping a food journal and scheduling workouts in a calendar.
What diet and exercise methods did you employ? I incorporated healthy options into my diet such as baked chicken and fish, protein shakes, nuts, avocados fruits and vegetables. At first, my exercise routine included walking and lifting weights, but as I began to lose more weight, I added boot camps, boxing, Turbo kick and body combat classes to my program.
“Weight loss is an inside job.”
Did you have any “ah ha” moments? I knew I had to lose my mental weight before I could lose the physical weight. I started working on my thinking and behaving like a fit person. I acted as if I was already an athlete and had already reached my goal weight. I realized that relying on dieting alone was a cover-up for what really causes someone to become obese.
Biggest struggle in your journey? I was still craving sweets whenever I was upset or bored. I had to learn to rely on my positive habits rather than eating emotionally to satisfy my cravings.
Biggest Triumph? I have had many triumphs along the way–the biggest has been keeping off the 185 pounds and inspiring and motivating other woman to fulfill their highest fitness and potential.
Current/future goals? One of my current goals is to expand my “Die Fat or Live Fit” workshops which focus on changing your mindset to master your weight loss. Another goal I am working toward is to expand Camp Miss Fit across all 50 states. I would also love to travel around the country and speak to women about becoming the fit and powerful women they are meant to be!
Advice you’d give to other people struggling to lose weight?
1) Always keep in mind that losing weight is a more of a mental process than a physical one
2) Remember that you can begin to live healthier at any point in your life. You have the power to change at any moment.
3) Losing weight is a lifelong journey and not a destination. You have to wholeheartedly believe that you are worth it and say to yourself “yes I can do this.”