Doris Rodriguez thought she’d never reach her goal. She attempted to lose weight many times before but always fell prey to the one major obstacle in her life: herself. Finally, at her heaviest weight of 205 pounds, Doris had finally had enough and decided to prove to herself that she was capable of anything she set her mind to.

Doris before and after

SM: What was your biggest motivation for losing the weight?

DR: My biggest motivation was my daughter; I wanted to be healthy for her and of course for myself.

SM: How long did it take you to reach your goal? Any plateaus?

DR: It took me over two years to reach my goal and I had many plateaus. I often went over a month without losing a single pound, even though I was working out six days a week.

SM: How strong was your support system while trying to lose the weight?

DR: My husband and my daughter have both been very supportive, encouraging me and praising me even when I felt like giving up. But, I didn’t expect anyone in our home to go on a diet because I needed to lose weight. I have to admit, I still had snacks for my daughter and husband in the house but it was my responsibility to not eat them. I felt if I wanted to be successful in my journey, I would have to learn to live in the real world, where I would have temptation all around me.

SM: What was your biggest obstacle and how did you learn to overcome it?

DR: My biggest obstacle was myself. Whenever I thought about the amount of weight I had to lose, I got discouraged and I felt like it was going to be impossible. I thought I could never be strong enough to follow through and actually stick to a healthy lifestyle. But, what ultimately helped me overcome it was setting mini goals of losing 5-10 pounds at a time.

Showing some sexy for Valentine’s Day!

SM: Please describe in detail exactly what your diet was like and exactly what type of workouts you did, how often, for how long, etc.

DR: I’ve tried and failed so many times in the past, but this time since I changed my habits slowly, and I was able to stick with it. I was terribly addicted to soda, so I stopped drinking it, and switched to water, water and more water. Then, I started portion control and I completely changed my eating habits. No more fried foods, although I’ve also have found by having a “cheat meal” every now and then, I kept myself from feeling deprived and binging. Finally, I started exercising, walking/speed walking, eventually I moved onto more intense workouts, such as HIIT cardio. I repeated the program Insanity for four rounds which was six days a week for over eight months straight. Finally, I’ve incorporated lifting weights, which has helped lean me out tremendously and tone up my body. I now weigh 128 pounds and although my journey is not over, my focus is no longer on what the scale says and more about how I feel. It’s taken me a long time to lose the weight, but I’m happy because after over two years, I’m still focused and going strong.

SM: What kept you motivated and positive during the hard times?

DR: I always kept a picture of me at my heaviest, which was 205 pounds on my entertainment center. It was a constant reminder to me of how I really look; it kept me from giving up and going back to my old way of eating.

SM: What is the best part about losing the weight?

DR: The best part has definitely been the difference in my overall health. My asthma has improved immensely, and the pain I always felt in my knees is completely gone. Of course, looking great for my husband is also a plus too!

Finally confident enough to sport a bikini

SM: What is the best lesson this journey has taught you?

DR: The best lesson I learned is that I’m a lot stronger than I gave myself credit for.

SM: Anything you would have done differently?

DR: I wish I never would have let my weight get so out of control.

SM: What advice would you give to other moms out there looking to lose weight but feeling discouraged?

DR: Try different exercises, and try to find something that’s doable for you. Also, make small changes, because for some people like me, doing too much at one time can be overwhelming. It might be a bit of a cliché but, stick with it and keep putting one foot in front of the other. The results will come in time, and it’s OK if you make mistakes. As long as you don’t take a slip up or bad day as an excuse to throw in the towel, you can and should start the next day fresh.  I truly believe in paying it forward, so I really hope my experiences help at least one person out there.

Like so many of our reader’s, Doris’ greatest obstacle was the doubt she had in herself. Weight loss is a journey; it’s time consuming, difficult, and most times completely life changing, but it is a journey worth embarking upon. Have faith not only in who you are but who you can become, and nothing will stand in the way of you reaching your goals.