Most people look for a little weight-loss motivation around them. We meet many interesting people who have succeeded in their weight loss goals and maintain good health. Today we’re so excited to share a true weight loss success story, hope it inspires many people out there. Patti Murillo-Casa (@pattiny1) is a true success story of a cervical cancer and obesity survivor.
She has managed to battle out her cervical cancer along with her obesity problems. She should be applauded for her transformation which included lots of hard work along with good nutrition.
We decided to ask some questions to Patti through email so that we could learn how she managed to achieve her weight loss goals.
And finally, we would like to thank Patti for doing this interview and sharing her weight loss journey. We hope Patti’s weight loss success story inspires you to become fitter, healthier and a confident person.
Here is our email interview.
First, if you can tell us something about you, and who inspired you the most to accomplish your goal?
I’m cervical cancer and obesity survivor. I call myself a “survivor” because I went through these two journeys and I came out on the other side.
I was diagnosed with stage IIB cervical cancer at the end of 2008. An unexpected turn to my plans as I retired from the NYPD after 20 years of service. With God’s grace, my wonderful doctors, the support of my husband, family and friends–I was able to conquer this horrible disease.
I was given a second shot at life, and even though I was grateful and trying to pay it forward by being an advocate of cervical cancer, I never really took time to mourn what I had lost or weigh the fact that what I’ve had gone through was not a walk in the park.
I began sabotaging my already shaky health by overeating and not taking good care of myself. I tipped the scale at 238 pounds. On a small frame of 5’3″ this is an unhealthy weight, and according to the BMI chart I was morbidly obese.
Unfortunately, this fact brought me consequences, and I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These are pretty dangerous illnesses which can lead to ultimately your demise.
I had to go into battle again. I often say “no battle is fought alone”, so I needed some help. I had been lucky to be surrounded by amazing people who have become my warriors. They have been my strength, my rock, my motivation, my inspiration. I also have been lucky to have had great mentors and teachers.
One of my mentors who have been with me from almost the very beginning of my weight loss journey has inspired me the most. Her name is Ketsy Santiago–she is my trainer and teacher. Ketsy has believed in me from day one, and at times more than I have believed in myself. She has helped me exceed my own expectations. I feel more than blessed to have found her, and to continue on my journey with her guidance, knowledge and teachings.
What Make You Think Harder to Lose Weight?
My doctor was trying to control my illnesses with medications. I was taking up to 5 different medications for my diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure.
There was a point that my doctor told me that my diabetes medications were not quite doing the job anymore and that the next course of action would be to start insulin injections, if my lifestyle did not change. My mother (RIP) had been a diabetic for 40 years and I saw her inject herself with insulin morning and night every day of those years. It seemed like a life sentence. I did not want to go there if I had an absolute control of the outcome.
At that particular time I made the determination and commitment to get healthier. I knew it was not going to be easy because I was about 100 pounds overweight. I was determined that no matter how long it took me, no matter how many times I will fall, I was going to continue the journey until the end. After all, I should have been capitalizing on my second shot at life.
How You Got Motivated, and Reached Your Goal?
That’s the most frequently asked question. Yes – there are external motivations that you can use, like reading weight loss stories, walking this journey with a support group or a friend to keep each other accountable, but the biggest motivation has to come from within you. Know the why you are doing it. Visualize your goal, never lose sight of it. Motivation is hard, very hard, but you have to dig deep and see yourself at your ultimate goal.
I know I wanted to get healthier – but why??? Because I wanted to enjoy my life. I wanted to have peace of mind, to be the best I can be. I had abused my body for too long. I had worked hard, I have paid my dues, it was time for me to relax and enjoy all my days to come. Nothing is guaranteed in this life, but I know I will have given myself the best odds by being as healthy as I can be.
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What were The Biggest Obstacles During Your Journey?
Weight loss is a difficult journey, small and big obstacles are going to be there. You are changing a lifestyle–breaking bad habits, and creating new one and that’s not easy. You have to be determined, patient, consistent and focused.
One of the biggest obstacles for me was running. When I first started running even though I had lost about 50 pounds at the time, I couldn’t run more than five minutes. It use to frustrate me to no end.
My trainer, Ketsy, used to tell me – “have patience, build endurance one minute at a time.” It took a little while, but it can be done. I have run twelve 5K’s already with my best time being 28:10 and I plan to run a 10K soon, and ultimately a half marathon (13.1 miles).
What process did you followed to lose weight? Do you believe that right diet plays important role to stay Fit?
Yes, I do believe that the right diet or program is crucial to staying fit. There are so many diet and exercise programs out there–you have to find the one that will work with your lifestyle. This journey is not one size fits all. With the right program, you will stick to it, and if you stick to it–you will see results.
After a long research, I choose the Jenny Craig program to help me with my weight loss journey. This particular program worked for ME. The program taught me about portion control and healthy lifestyle changes. I never felt deprived of anything, which is important because that will help you stick to the program.
I was religious to my daily 1,500 calories intake that consisted of six small meals (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and snack). To this day I still follow the same concept of the six small meals a day. It keeps my metabolism going all the time. I don’t skip any meals and I don’t over indulge.
After a while it becomes a lifestyle. You don’t have to think about it– you just do it. It becomes part of your routine like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
It took me 14 months to lose 113 pounds. I have kept 101 pounds off for a year and a half now. I was able to reverse all of my illnesses and I do not take any kind of medications.
Any Advice to Other People Who are Trying to Lose Weight?
Don’t Give Up!!! Search for help, surround yourself with positive people. We all want to see and get results right away. It will never happen overnight. You are creating new habits, a new lifestyle and it takes a while. You have to be determined and consistent. You don’t have to see the finish line to know that you will get there.
The most important thing is to know that when you get to the finish line, it is NOT the end. This is a lifestyle for all your days to come. You cannot go back to old habits because they will lead you right where you started from.