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.
Tae Bo is an aerobic exercise routine created by Billy Blanks in 1976, but didn’t really become popular until the 1990s. During the 1990s, it was the first successful “cardio-boxing” routine to take over commercially with over 1.5 million copies of Blanks’ DVDs sold.
The combination of dance and mixture of martial arts and boxing took the world by surprise. After the craze of Tae Bo; health and fitness clubs started offering cardio-kickboxing classes (similar to Tae Bo) to their members. Cardio kickboxing has been extremely popular ever since, because with its mix of intense cardio and fun moves, it’s hard not to see results. An hour of Tae Bo or cardio-kickboxing will burn between 600 and 800 calories. Check below to see the benefits of these two aerobic programs. (more…)