Published on February 24th, 2013 | by Nathaniel


The Inspirational Story Behind Stephanie’s 124lb Weight Loss

Stephanie Ortega

If someone would have told me I could experience the quality of life I am now, I would have lost the weight a long time ago! But then again, if someone had told me that in a year from now, I would lose 124 pounds, I wouldn’t believe them. It has been one year, two months and 28 days since I started my weight loss journey. A year ago, I was tipping the scales at 287 pounds. Looking back, I couldn’t believe how big I was.

My weight has always been a problem for me. I’ve tried diet pills, shakes, Weight Watchers, starvation, cleanses, and home remedies. I needed to find the secret to losing weight. Little did I know, the secret to losing weight had been inside me the whole time. I just needed something to wake me up and help me realize my true potential.

On November 27th, 2011, I had an emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder. I had been experiencing excruciating pain caused by gallstones. I will never forget the moment before I went under. I kept thinking about how the doctor told me the dangers of the procedure and how my weight increased the likelihood of complications during surgery. All I could think about was my daughter. I couldn’t imagine missing all her special moments. I couldn’t imagine her growing up without a mom. At that instance, I promised God that if He would get me through the surgery, things would be different. I promised I would change my relationship with food.

After the surgery, my life began. I got home and got rid of everything toxic in my house. I cut out fast-food, sugar, and soda (to this day, I only drink water). I only ate veggies, grains and lean meat. I counted my calories and stayed consistent because I knew only I could put the work in. I bought books and began educating myself about health and fitness; I was determined to do it right. Because of my insecurities, I didn’t jump right into the gym. I hired a personal trainer who helped jump-start my fitness. Months later, I joined a kick boxing gym and the rest is history. I had found something I loved to do.

Confessions of an emotional eater: I have always struggled with my weight. As far back as I can remember, food has always been a coping mechanism and it’s something I would turn to when I needed reassurance. As a former foster youth, food was the only consistent thing in my life. Because of that, I built a relationship with it. Being an emotional eater has been one of the toughest obstacles I have faced and continue to face. Every day is a struggle but I have learned to love myself. If I said this journey has been easy, I would be lying. It’s been tough but I’ve realized my worth and it’s more than the junk I used to put into my body. Yes, eating healthy is more expensive than not but I am worth it! I believe that you will do whatever it takes to reach your goals if you truly want them.

Today, I am the happiest I have ever been. I am so eager about living life and just soaking up the moment. I am currently addicted to Crossfit! (If you have never tried it, you must) I am challenged physically, emotionally and mentally every day but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Crossfit has really made me tackle my insecurities head on. When I started Crossfit, I was introduced to a new way of eating called the Paleo Diet (I hate saying diet because it truly is a lifestyle.)

My journey isn’t over yet. I plan to do a lot more damage! My current goal is to participate in the Crossfit Games as a legitimate competitor. I am no longer obsessed about the number on the scale; only the small victories that will get me closer to my ultimate goal! If I could give somebody one piece of advice to help them begin their weight loss goal, it would be that no excuse that you can come up with is better then the benefits of living a healthy life. Once you experience living healthy then you will wonder how you were ever any other way.

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