FFFC: Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
PC: My name is Patti Murillo- Casa. I was born and have lived in New York City for most of my life. I’ve been married to a wonderful and supportive man for almost 16 years. My husband and I are both retired from the NYC Police Department.
I am a Cervical Cancer and Obesity survivor. These were difficult journeys — each one of them with their own hurdles, but I was able to come out on the other side.
It took me awhile to realize that health is my wealth and without it not too many things mattered. Today I am healthier, stronger, fit, and happier than I have ever been.
I’m a Certified Spinning® Instructor, a Licensed Zumba® Fitness Instructor and I’m working on getting other fitness certifications.
I share my story not to get glorified because I’m sure I am not the only one that had gone through what I have. I share it to offer encouragement to those who need it. To demonstrate that with determination, consistency, patience and focus you can achieve anything you set your mind to do.
Nothing is guaranteed in life, but you have to give yourself the best odds possible for the best quality of life that you can live.
FFFC: How did you get started with your fitness lifestyle?
PC: I was morbidly obese – I was tipping the scale at 238 pounds on a 5’3″ frame. Consequences began to appear and I was diagnosed with Diabetes type 2, High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure.
My doctor was trying to control all these illnesses with oral medications, but I did not change my lifestyle. So it came the time that the diabetes medications were not working and he told me that the next course of action was to start insulin injections. The thought of injecting insulin scared me and I really did not want to go there.
I knew that it was up to me to change this course of action. I should have done it from the beginning, yet I didn’t. I was sabotaging my already fragile health. So it was there and then that I made a commitment to myself– I was determined that I was going to make a U-turn to a healthier lifestyle – that no matter how long it took me, and how many times I fall, I was going to get myself to the finish line.
It is overwhelming to start a new lifestyle. You have people telling you different things to do contradicting the process. You have to choose what works for you. Always be determined, patient, consistent and focused.
My journey started on July of 2011 – it started slow, but I believe that step by step we will always travel far.
It took me 14 months from the start to lose 113 pounds. I reversed all my illnesses and I don’t take any kind of medications.
FFFC: What made you continue in this lifestyle?
PC: Besides the obvious reasons of being healthier – I really fell in love with fitness. I love the way that it makes me feel. I feel empowered, unstoppable, like I can conquer the world.
Some people call me obsessive – I like to see it as committed to my health, and this is part of what I have do. It has become part of my daily routine like brushing my teeth or taking a shower.
I workout every day and I love it. Yes!! I have been told to give my body a break during the week – but I do what works for me. I have been doing this for more than 2 years now, and I feel great. I do listen to my body and when it asks for rest I do rest.
FFFC: What are some of your established healthy eating habits?
PC: At the beginning of my journey I had to really learn about sensible eating, portion control and counting my calories.
I eat six times a day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack). I do indulge at times, but I don’t OVER indulge, I don’t drink my calories and I do not skip any of my meals even if I am not hungry.
I drink my water all the time and I journal my meals and my activities. I use the app LOSE IT – it is easy and it really keeps me accountable and keeps me on track.
FFFC: What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner?
PC: The following is a sample of one of my daily food:
Breakfast: 1/2 cup of Oatmeal cooked topped with cinnamon and 1 tablespoon chopped almonds. 1/2 banana, and 8oz of fat free milk
Midmorning Snack: 1 stick light cheese, baby carrots or a yogurt.
Lunch: Tuna salad in 1/2 whole wheat pita pocket with lettuce, tomatoes, red cabbage or any other kind of veggie. Sugar Free Jello-O cup.
Mid afternoon Snack: 4-6 ounces strawberries, 10 cashews
Before Dinner Snack – 10 peanuts in the shell (20 individual peanuts)
Dinner: Fish, or Chicken, 1/2 of a sweet potato with a salad with lots of veggie like fresh asparagus, green beans. Sugar Free Jello-O cup.
FFFC: What is your favorite fitness activity?
PC: I really can’t say I have an ultimate favorite. I enjoy almost all fitness activities, but the most is running – something I did not like to do before. I have ran 15 official 5K’s to date, and my goal is to run 113 of them – one for each pound I originally lost.
FFFC: What do you do now to maintain your physique?
PC: I work out every day, I Zumba®, I Spin®, I run, I weight lift, I take different exercise classes, I train with a trainer once a week, and I try my best to keep on track with my food. There are struggles at time, and I have my off days, but it gets easier. It is part of my daily routine like brushing my teeth. I do it without thinking.
I have maintained my weight loss for 2 years now – so it can be done!!! I’m living proof.
FFFC: How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
PC: I’m not going to lie and tell you it was easy. You have to dig deep, become determined, and don’t lose sight of your goal.
I surrounded myself with positive people, read weight loss blogs, read success stories and always got inspired and I really aspire to inspire one day.
I joined a weight loss group at my gym. It was great because we motivated one another and shared our ups and downs as well as our milestones. We kept each other accountable and offer support to one another.
FFFC: What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own fitness lifestyle but unsure of how to begin?
PC: Don’t get overwhelmed. It is amazing the amount of information that is out there. Sometimes you have to do some trial and error. Not everything works for everyone but DON’T GIVE UP.
It is a process that requires patience. Remember we didn’t get this way overnight and we are not going to reverse it overnight. If you become overwhelmed I would focus on the nutrition part first. You are changing bad habits and that is very hard to do. Remember — small changes make big differences.
FFFC: What do you think is the biggest misconception about this lifestyle?
PC: The fact that people think you cannot eat or that you have to starve to lose weight. News Flash: You have to eat. Food is our fuel. It is the kind and amount of food that you eat that I think is the problem.
Also people think that they can eat enormous amount of food because they work out, but if you constantly do it – it doesn’t work that way. You will see consequences for sure. I have proven that theory myself. LOL
FFFC: Who are some of your fitness inspirations?
PC: My great mentors and teachers – without them I wouldn’t be where I am now. They have offered me a wealth of knowledge and information. They keep me motivated and have inspired me to continue on this path.
They have been my personal GPS and have been instrumental in guiding me to reach a better place. They all have my most sincere admiration and gratitude.
FFFC: How can readers learn more about you and your fit life? (i.e. Blog, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?
PC: can go to my blog where I try to keep my readers updated about what’s going on with me, as well as offer some information on workouts, nutrition, and motivation.
Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl. www.heavygirltohealthygirl.com
Face book: www.facebook.com/heavygirltohealthygirl