Francisca’s inspiring weight loss journey has seen her lose over 4 and half stone (30kg) in 18months.
We had a chat with her to find out how she lost all that weight, and why she’s now changed career to become a fitness instructor.
How much did you lose in total and how long did it take?
I lost more than 30kg in 1 1/2 years. Rome was not built in a day. It's not a sprint but a marathon. My weight dropped from 102kg to 63kg and my dress size dropped from 24 to a size 6. I have managed to maintain my weight for the past 3 years and all that is done through health eating and exercising.
It takes a long time to adapt to the change but once you have that mindset, anyone can do. Perseverance and determination is key.
What made you decide to join the gym? Was there a turning point?
I started my loss weight journey in 2011 and one day I had a wakeup call. I started having difficulty doing simple things like going up the stairs, I was getting out of breath and always feeling tired.
Secondly, I come from a family with diabetes. I went to see my GP and was told I was overweight and high risk of a heart attack and of course diabetes. He then gave me a referral to see a dietitian. For me that was a wakeup call. I felt sad and reality kicked in.
So, I decided to take things into my own hands and refused to be a prisoner to food or even to be controlled by it. The reason I gained so much weight was just eating too much and finding comfort in cakes (anything sweet) especially when I was low or just hungry at any time. I used to drink lots of tea using full cream milk and 4 teaspoons of sugar. You can just imagine the amount of sugar that was going into my body. Water was never something I drunk. I lived on fizzy drinks as my thirst quencher.
How do you stay motivated to keep at your gym routine?
There is no point after all that hard work to go back to old bad habits. I stay focused and have my eyes on my health. You are your own reflection you see in the mirror. I much am happier and more content with my body size now.
What type of workouts do you do?
I joined Fitness First 17 months ago, I wanted to change my body shape to build muscle and maintain it. Now I exercise five times a week. I do high intensity exercise and weightlifting which I love a lot, especially Les Mills Body Pump.
Other than the weight loss, have you experienced any other positive changes?
With the passion that I have, I am now in the process of becoming a Les Mills Body Pump instructor. I have just done my module training and presently doing Team Teaching to get certified.
Do you have any advice for other people who are in a similar situation?
Nothing can change if you are not determined to take that first step. Make that first step and never look back.