I would like to share my story of how I lost over 80 lbs and changed the path of my life to a much more healthier lifestyle. My story has been featured in both Health Magazine (July/Aug 2011 issue) and SHAPE magazine (January 2011 issue) inspiring men and women to transform their physique. It’s been a complete joy to be able to inspire and motivate a broad group of people to a healthier lifestyle.
Name: Mitchie De Leon
City: Long Beach (raised and LOVE the LBC)
Ethnicity: Filipina/Puerto Rican
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Occupation: Event planner and fitness role model
Current Weight: 135
Current Dress Size (8,10,12, etc): 4
Weight at Heaviest: 215
Dress Size at Heaviest (8,10,12,etc) 14-16
My light bulb moment happened in two separate events. My first light bulb moment was in the end of summer of 2001. After returning from a vacation to Hawaii and printing the photos from that trip, I was horrified looking at my pictures and seeing how much weight I had gained. I was overweight and to see it in a picture triggered a reality check. I soon began to journey through a path to making better food choices and incorporating exercise. By 2004 I had lost 55 lbs and reached my ideal goal weight of 160. I stayed between 150-160 for four years after. My second light bulb moment happened after experiencing the loss of my mom. Her death brought me to a place where I realized that in order for me to live life abundantly, I needed to be physically fit as well as mentally fit. My mom passed away from health related ailments. She suffered a massive heart attack and a stroke. My mom had diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure mainly caused by poor healthy living.
Although I had loss quite a bit of weight, I would consider myself a casual gym goer. I would do about an hour of cardio/weight lifting and nothing more. After realizing that my health can be improved even further and to prevent myself from possibly having health issues like my mom, I committed my efforts to living a completely healthy lifestyle in all that I do with the intention to maximize my potential when it came to fitness.
In 2009, I began to train extensively for 2-3 hours, 5-6 times a week. I shed an additional 30 lbs and remained at a weight of 130 with alot more muscle. At this point, I decided to challenge myself and try a fitness competition. March of this year, I stepped on stage for the first time in a bikini in public and competed in the bikini division of a local NPC show. I had never worn a bikini before. The feeling of accomplishment was rewarding and I loved every moment of it.
Personally, the biggest obstacle to change was how to handle social eating. I found it difficult to socialize with friends and go out to eat with them because eating was such a social experience. My friends would typically order several appetizers to share and we’d eat all of it in the past. I found myself opting out of sharing and picking alternatives for myself. It wasn’t exactly fun all the time but I knew that the more I controlled what I ate and didn’t allow external influence in, I can achieve my weight loss goals.
My diet and exercise before consisted of frozen dinners, drive through meals, diners and high in salt content foods made at home. Mostly deep fried foods. Exercise was not something I incorporated into my daily living.
I have learned to incorporate and appreciate vegetables in most of my dishes. I eat salad all the time and protein from fish, chicken, egg whites and turkey. I occassionally have beef but not often. My main source of carbs are from brown rice, quinoa or oatmeal. I exercise 5-6 days a week and stay active as much as possible.
“My journey will be a life-long adventure…”
My journey will be a life-long adventure. In regards to weight loss, it took me two years. I have kept off the weight for 5 years. My mentality has changed significantly. The joy of accomplishing such a big task of losing 80 lbs has proven that anything is possible when you apply yourself to commit to getting towards your goal. I have taken the mentality across all areas of my life including my career. I take bigger risks and I challenge myself often to try things I think I can’t do to prove myself wrong. I like proving myself wrong. Also, with what I have learned in my weight loss journey I certainly don’t keep to myself. My passion is to share my journey as a source of inspiration and encouragement to those that want to live a healthier lifestyle. So much so, that I make time to meet with people and talk about ways they too can get in shape.