Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Weight Loss Story

I have been promising myself and many others that I would write this post for far too long. So, without further is the story of my very own Weight Loss Journey.

Growing up, I was raised as a vegetarian by my parents, who had joint-custody over me. When I lived with my mom and my step-dad, I ate nutritious vegetarian food and was always involved in activities that kept me moving. When I lived with my dad, I ate vegan and raw foods because my dad was a vegan transitioning into raw foodism. I was rarely sick, and I was never overweight. 
During the school year, when I lived with my dad, I longed to eat what the other kids were eating. I wanted nachos and pizza, ice cream and cheese. My dad explained to me again and again why we didn't eat those foods, but I was too young to understand or appreciate his school of thought. When I lived with my mom during summers and Christmas vacations, I was allowed to eat some of those things- pizza with veggies, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even poptarts! I associated my carefree summers with the types of food that weren't good for me, but that tasted so good. 

Eventually, when I turned 13, I moved to Texas to live with my mom and step-dad for good. I was still a vegetarian and my mom cooked healthy food for our family to eat. It wasn't until I started high school that I started going overboard on eating junk food when I was home alone after school. I would eat half a bag of Milano cookies in one sitting and follow it with a can of coke and some Doritos... Luckily, I had the metabolism of a teenager and was also enrolled in a dance class and on the track team. Despite these unhealthy after-school eating habits, I still didn't gain weight. 

When I turned 18 I moved to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University. My eating habits and junk food binges followed me, but because I still worked out and would sometimes skip meals due to being too busy to make it to the dining hall, I still didn't gain weight.

You're probably wondering where I'm going with all of this...Don't worry! I promise I have a point with all of this!

I was active and healthy through my first two years of college. Eventually, when I turned 20- I made the decision to try eating meat for the very first time in my life. I'm not gonna lie- Texas barbecue smells really good- even to a vegetarian! I spent a few months sampling different types of meat (I liked bratwurst but I didn't like turkey!). I decided never to eat any meat from a fast food restaurant, and I have kept that promise to myself. I tapered off eating meat after I had tried the majority of the things I was curious about, and went back to being a vegetarian. Despite my foray into omnivorous behaviors, I remained the same size and shape, and life went on...
I went on road trips with friends,
(I'm on the far right)
I spent the summer working at a camp,
And I had a great time!
That's me and my boyfriend! in 2006!

My boyfriend and I started dating in October of 2006. As we spent more and more time together, I spent less and less time working out. I spent even less time grocery shopping and cooking for myself! The majority of our evenings were spent watching movies and ordering pizza...and all of those pizzas started adding up! I noticed that I had gained a little bit of weight, but I didn't mind much- I still fit into all of my clothes!
In December, we went to Las Vegas. It was at that point that some of my clothes started getting too tight. I hid under winter coats and vowed to work out once the new year started.
Vegas 2006!

Then, the following January, I turned 21. My promises to myself about working out fell through and I started going out to bars and clubs with my friends far too often. My already mediocre eating habits deteriorated into late night snackfests and mid-morning buffets. I gained the weight slowly, but there was no denying that it was there, and that I wasn't doing a thing about it. 
I tried hiding under baggy dresses:
But there was no denying that my body was filling out, along with my face:
Soon, I was avoiding taking pictures, and deleting most of the pictures I was in, along with de-tagging myself on Facebook. When I finally weighed myself, I found that I had gained thirty pounds.
I felt horrible about the way I looked. I hated my body and I was angry with myself for letting myself gain weight. I was insecure, depressed, and even jealous of every girl I saw who was thinner than me. And, I didn't know what to do about it. A few months later, my boyfriend and I were going home to Dallas to spend Christmas with my parents and sister. I was embarrassed to go home. I didn't want my family to see me this way. 
This is my mom and I during that Christmas holiday, 2008. 

After that visit with my family, I decided enough is enough. I decided to quit drinking for 30 days, start working out 4 times a week, and to start eating nourishing, healthy meals. That New Years Eve, my boyfriend and I were sipping sparkling apple cider out of champagne flutes! The following week, I started working out.
For an entire month, I worked out 4 times a week, ate a huge salad for dinner every weekday, and tried to stay positive. At the end of the month, I found that I had already lost 10 pounds!

This was the result that I so desperately needed to see. I felt so powerful- that I finally had control over my life again! I am also so grateful for my wonderful boyfriend who consistently told me how I beautiful I am to him, and told me how much he loves me. I don't think I would have had such great results without his support! 

I continued working out 4 times a week, an I also starting reading blogs! Some of the first bloggers I read that were so inspirational to me were:
Carrots 'N' Cake
Chocolate Covered Katie
Eat, Live, Run
Healthy Tipping Point
Oh She Glows
The Fitnessista
Inner Workings of a College Graduate

I honestly think that without these amazing ladies, I would not have been so successful! Through February and March, I continued to lose weight and lost another 10 pounds. I also posted my first Operation Beautiful note!
 Finally, by June, I was back to my previous weight. My body had changed a little bit as it matured, but I don't think I have ever looked better! I did a lot of things to celebrate...
I wore my first bikini in public:
I hung out with friends dressed as bears:
I went on grad school interviews:
 And I spent time with my family:
My sister, my mom, and I.

I have maintained my weight loss for almost one year now, and I have learned so much about myself through this entire journey. I am now so much more interested in my health than I ever was, and I hope I can help you spark an interest in yours as well! I look forward to continuously bettering myself and becoming a better person as I continue this journey...

Of course, some things never change ;)



  1. Congrats on the weight loss journey. :) What a great story! We have a LOT in common.

  2. Sonia, this is an amazing!!!! post!!!!! First, your bravery for showing pics of yourself that you probably dont want to post, amazing. You are such an inspiration to those struggling with any kind of body/weight issues. Love how you get serious, starting taking care of yourself, and look at you now!!! Sexy, smoking hot intelligent amazing woman! Not that you werent those things when you were heavier, but I can see how radiant you feel now!

    And i answered the bra question on my site, I'd say a D cup is max. Honestly girl, I like Target cheapie 16.99 sports bras. not that that's "cheap" but compared to a nike or whatever, that's what i do.

  3. thanks for telling us your story! I've always wondered what it would be like to grow up vegetarian. I think after a while I'd start to wonder about other foods as well and being so restrictive would be really hard when you are young.

    so glad you loved yourself enough to create some healthy habits for yourself! And you're beauitful :)

    congrats on rutgers!

  4. Faith @ LovelyAsChargedApril 9, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    I loved this post! We have a lot in common :) You're such a strong woman and I really find you inspirational - I can tell you're extremely happy and healthy ;)Wonderful wonderful wonderful post!

  5. Sonia - you are amazing. Seriously, you look fantastic. I had no idea you'd had any weight issues in the past! So glad you are at a place where you are happy. You are an inspiration.

  6. Sonia, thanks for taking the time to do this!
    It never fails to inspire me when someone decides that enough is enough, and they want to take control and do something about the way they look.
    Keep up the good work, girl!

  7. I meant to comment on this when you posted it but I guess I forgot. You look great... I hope I can lose my extra weight and maintain it too! :) Thanks for the inspiration and story of weight loss without crazy diets!

  8. Great post - snaps for you girl!


  9. What an amazing weight loss journey :) I'm glad you were able to find so much about yourself through this journey! You are a strong and beautiful woman - can't wait to keep reading :) xoxo

  10. Sonia, you are an awesome blossom!!!!

  11. It won't let me comment on your accent vlog but I never hear people say kar-a-mel or daaa-tuh like you do;) i love hearing everybody's different accents!

  12. Wow, YOU ARE STRONG to have gone through all of that! It's so great that you are now really healthy and confident!

  13. It actually means a lot for me to read this, particularly right now. I have never had good eating habits; I grew up on very "southern" style (i.e., LOTS AND LOTS and very fattening) food, and I struggled with bouts of anorexia through middle school and high school. I had a super high metabolism so I was particularly thin. And I loved the attention I got from it. Ohhh, college. I gained 30 pounds, maybe more, and I've been fighting it ever since then, and I'm fighting it like a beast right now but still having problems eating right because I've never really known how, or had it "modeled" for me (lol). But you look fabulous darling, and now I'm extra proud of you for it!


  14. What a great story! So inspirational. That's great that you were able to feel good again, and you look fantastic! Thank you for sharing. :)

  15. Congrats! That is so awesome. I too had to go the "long way" to get where I am today...happy and healthy! Very inspirational story!

  16. that last picture is so EPIC! lol hahaha i couldnt stop laughing