My life as a child was normal until about the age of 9, when my parents divorced and we were forced to move into my great grandparents house. I started to gain weight around the age of 9 and by my senior year I was a size 18 and in the 180’s.
By the time I graduated college, my weight had reached roughly 220 pounds. I tried many diets including Weight Watchers, Medifast, Atkins, and Low Carb diets. I can recall “trying to diet” and then my motivation dwindle when the results I wanted were not happening fast enough.
At the age of 30, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and lived on and off prednisone for 2 years and by my mid-30’s I topped the scale at 299 pounds.
I would love to say there was a single event in my life that was the cause of my weight gain, like my thyroid, but that is not the case. It was a series of choices I made from eating too much fast food, eating out too much, drinking too much soda and lattes, late night gas station stops for ice cream and pop and lets face it inactivity.
By the age of 37, I was working in corporate America traveling all the time. An Alaska Airline agent questioned me if I could fit in 1 seat on a flight. She actually sent an airline agent to double check to ensure I could or I would have to pay for 2 seats! That was the turning point in my life, I knew if I wanted to keep my job I had to do something about my weight. So, I researched bariatric surgery in Tijuana and 3 weeks later my mother and I were on a flight. On September 26th, 2013, I reclaimed my health and had the Gastric Sleeve at the Obesity Control Center (OCC) with Dr. Ariel Ortiz.
In the spring of 2015, I founded Bari-Fit as an avenue to start providing education on nutrition and fitness to bariatric clients. In 2016, after obtaining my second certification in Sport Nutrition, I left my position as a Vice President of Client Development at Citibank where I had worked for the past 10 years to advocate for proper nutrition and fitness in the bariatric community…this was one of the happiest days of my life shipping back all my stuff to corporate!
On September 3rd, 2016 I married the love of my life and became a step-mother. I can remember looking in the mirror on my wedding day and thinking “you look amazing today!”
So if you see me, please do not hesitate to come up and say hello and share your journey with me. I am inspired by all the stories and pictures I see on a daily basis and blessed to be looked upon as a leading nutrition and fitness coach in the bariatric community!