“I’m not sure what changed, or where I found the strength to start, but in May 2007 I went on a diet.”
In 2006, Alisa Gonzalez watched her mother succomb to congestive heart failure, one week after her 73rd birthday. Like her mother, Alisa struggled with obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and she was also a borderline diabetic. Eight months after her mother died, Alisa simply got tired of heading down the same path. Now, she’s 67 pounds thinner, and helping others find the strength to get healthy.
Like many people who come from a family that seems to be genetically predisposed to obesity, Alisa says being overweight was just the norm, “Every female person, on my mom’s side of the family, is overweight in varying degrees,” she explained. “Although I didn’t like being overweight, it didn’t bother me – it’s just who I was.” Instead of trying to offset her unlucky genes, Alisa did the opposite. “I loved eating junk food, fried and high-fat foods,” she admitted. “I was never an “over-eater”, however, I made very poor food choices and I NEVER exercised. I wanted to eat whatever I felt like eating, even if it meant that I was going to be fat.”
“I have tons of energy and my digestion issues have vanished. Now, I eat for health.”
Alisa started her weight loss journey by following the Bob Greene Best Life Plan. By eating 5-6 small meals each day including foods high in fiber and protein, she was able to stave off hunger pangs. She also cut out diet soda, which she admits to drinking a lot of. In addition to eating smaller meals, Alisa learned to eat foods that were good for her body. After suffering with stomach and digestion issues, she consulted with a doctor and holistic nutritionist who encouraged her to eliminate gluten, dairy and animal protein from her diet. “It’s absolutely amazing how wonderful I feel,” she said. “Now I eat lots of beans, lentils, quinoa, fruits, nuts, nut butters, and tons of vegetables.”
Feeling more in control of what she was putting in her body, Alisa focused on exercise. “I could barely walk 15 minutes each day, but I did,” she said. “After about one month, I started going to the gym and working out with a personal trainer (Patty) three times a week.” After losing 30 pounds in three months, Alisa discovered Cardio Barre. “Cardio Barre is a high-energy, no impact, fat-burning, muscle-sculpting exercise done at a ballet barre,” she explained. “Cardio Barre changed my life in so many ways.”
After losing a substantial amount of weight two other times in her life, only to gain it back, Alisa knew this time had to be different. “What I realized this time, was that if I was going to keep the weight off I would have to make this a complete permanent lifestyle change – no more going back,” she said. “There were no more eventuallys, eventually was NOW.”
Alisa was so transformed by her Cardio Barre experience, she left the real estate field after 30 years to purchase her own Cardio Barre franchise in Beverly Hills. She likes knowing she has already set an example for her four children, and now she can share her personal journey as a way to help and inspire others to lose weight. “The easy part is losing the weight, the hard part is coming to terms with the fact that you can’t go back to your old habits if you want to make a permanent positive change.”