Last year a little before summer began to fade, I asked my husband to snap a few shots of me in a bikini while at my in-laws pool. I had recently flown in back from Brazil, meaning I was eating like there was no tomorrow and we were on our way back from the perfect weekend getaway. When I looked at the camera monitor to see how the photos were coming out, I nearly had a breakdown. I saw something I’d been avoiding for months.

It was a version of myself I did not care for.  Far beyond my ideal weight, I couldn’t help but feel very, very angry for the lack of respect for my own well-being. Oh yes, I cried. I also jumped in the pool, clothes-on because I’m dramatic like that. Now, before anyone starts making assumptions, I’m not talking about a serious case of obesity, an eating disorder, peer or media pressure. This is about me, an average size girl who lost track of her continuously terrible eating habits.  And if you don’t believe me, I put on belly weight only, and some face. Easy to sneak-in.


Weeks before the failed swimwear photoshoot, I was diagnosed with gastritis, an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. The doctors strongly encouraged a change of my dietary habits before things got worse. So I did.

Once I was done crying, logical thinking led me take action. I made the switch from a carb-heavy diet to a healthier, smarter calorie intake. Stayed away from most sugar and dairy products and enjoyed smaller portions. Hiring a personal trainer was crucial for my success. Again, not saying this is for everyone but it was the only option for me. I’m the kind of gal who hates the gym with all my heart. I hate it! Someone has to drag me there. Jennifer Mirzabegian, my beautiful personal trainer kicked my butt and showed me how a real workout should feel like. Burning! From the time that Jen and I had our first session to this very moment, I’ve lost precisely 22 pounds and it’s been just over a year.  And it’s been hard, but it feels good. Not to mention, I work with my image so staying healthy and fit literally pays off.

Jen did not pay me to write this. She’s just been amazing and this is my way of saying thank you for the incredible work.  And I mean, I’m just sharing exactly what I did in the process. I definitely won’t sit here and preach to anyone on what to do or not to do. What I will say is it’s important to keep in check with yourself. Know your body and be kind to it. I’m glad the photshoot turned me in but it would have been a lot easier if I was paying attention to the signs my body was sending me years ago and made better choices then. Maybe I could have avoided the gastritis? I don’t know. Also, all that crying could have been avoided. Is it just me or is it really difficult to admit something unsatisfactory about your own body when you are in complete control to change it?

( personal trainer )

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