How I Lost 30+ Pounds In 7 Months Or Less For The Third Time

In October 2013 history repeated itself within my life and I was determined to make a lasting, healthy lifestyle change. I had ballooned up to weighing over 200 pounds for the third time since 2008. Since I was 16 I’ve had struggles with maintaining a healthy weight, which was an unexpected struggle at first. Growing up I was one of the skinniest and shortest kids in my class year after year:

me 1998 communion
My First Communion in 1998. I was smaller than most kids my age.

My freshman and sophomore years of high school I was on the football team and was in the best shape I had been up to that point:

me 2005 close up
During my first two years in high school I was in perfect shape, and of course as a result took teenage bathroom selfies.

After a long stint in and out of psychiatric hospitals following a nervous breakdown I had when I had just turned 16 I had gained way too much weight due to being on so many meds – I went from weighing around 130 lbs. in February 2006 to about 185 lbs. in September 2006. Needless to say it was a big, uncomfortable change that I did not want or need:

me christmas 2006
I gained almost 50 pounds in 2006. I still took teenage selfies though. Good times.

When I was a freshman in college 2 years later, I weighed around 208 pounds. This is me right before my first semester at St. John’s:

Me at my Freshman Orientation in 2008 at St. John’s University. That shirt made me a minor celebrity that year.

Being a former high school athlete and given that my whole life I had the personality and energy of a super-charged dance battery I decided enough was enough. I went to the gym most days throughout the week and ran at least 2 miles a day on the treadmill. I started doing it on a whim in September 2008 and by March 2009 I was happily shocked to be down to 169 pounds! I made hardly any diet changes aside from drinking more water than soda:

before after 08- 09
A before/after comparison I made after my freshman year at St. John’s.

I got really lazy, really fast after this. I stopped hitting the gym entirely and got careless with my diet. By December of 2009 I weighed around 195 lbs. Standing at 5’8 my goal weight range was between 175-165 pounds. It felt like it was such a waste of time working so hard my entire freshman year to get back up to the weight I did not want to be:

me xmas 09 mariana
Me and a good friend of mine from high school in December 2009. All the progress I made losing weight the last school year had been erased.

I went to Europe for 4 months in 2010 on a study abroad program. I lost a bit of the extra poundage there and took long jogs regularly around Rome, Paris and Salamanca, Spain, but didn’t get to where I wanted to be. I started the trip weighing about 200 pounds and came back to New York at around 185. I felt great about it, especially considering that on my semester-long, memory -filled excursion across the Atlantic I had focused mainly on academics, sight seeing and partying my ass off. Weight loss was not my main focus and I still did pretty good, but I was still not within my goal range of weight, which left my perfectionist self a bit disappointed.

I weighed around 190-200 pounds during the next year and a half. In 2011 I had reached the heaviest weight I’ve ever been. In 2011 I topped out at 211 pounds.

me PR parade 2011
Me at the Puerto Rican Day Parade in 2011.

I didn’t have much time to go to the gym with my course load as a senior in college, so I decided a different approach: pescatarianism.

Pescatarianism is just like being a vegetarian except that seafood is not off limits. I started a pescatarian diet from May 2012, around the time that I had my graduation ceremony:

me mom stj grad 2012
My massive self and my mom on my college graduation day.

The results were amazing. By the time December 2012 rolled around I had shed a whopping 42 pounds with minimal exercise!

best pic of me ever
Me on stage with my band, Solitaire Revival in January 2013 at Sullivan Hall. I was on top of the world, and in perfect shape again.

I kept it going until around June 2013 when I started eating meat again every now and then. It was a bad move. By last October I was back at 206 pounds.

me november 2013
I lost the battle of the bulge again in October 2013. Never again!!

Since October 2013, I pulled it off again and am determined to make the third time the charm. I took a patient, realistic approach and gave pescatarianism a second try. I hit my goal weight range around the last week of May 2014, and just now stepped off my scale, weighing exactly 175 pounds. I couldn’t be happier that I stuck to my new year’s goal of losing the extra weight again!

Me a few weeks ago at Electric Daisy Carnival – New York. I hit my goal weight range a couple of days later.

The thing is, my new year’s goal is an open ended lifestyle mission, not just a number to reach. I wrote down in January of this year “Get in shape and stay there.” I got in shape. Now with my prior weight loss experiences to learn from I know the do’s and don’ts of how to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. I’m staying a pescatarian for the rest of my life. Say what you will about diet options and preferences; this is what has worked for me and will keep working as long as I stick with it.

The following is from a Facebook status I wrote a few weeks ago about my practices this time around to lose the extra poundage:

What I have done to lose the weight is this:

1. Lead an active lifestyle.

I take public transit everywhere, so I walk a lot more then someone who drives. I take long walks at any opportunity and do not hesitate to burst into a sprint to catch a train or bus. I don’t tally up distance on a daily basis, but I would estimate that I walk between 1-2 miles on average everyday.

2. A self-governing, strict but healthy diet.

I restarted my pescatarian diet in October. I only allow myself 3 meals throughout each month with meat as cheat days. Any other time I eat anything with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish, and anything else besides meat that is generally unprocessed and healthy. I try my best to avoid fast food and carbonated drinks although I do slip up occasionally. My true love has always been Wild Cherry Pepsi.


3. I weigh myself every 1-2 weeks at most.

I used to step on the scale everyday and found it to be counterproductive.

4. Exercise at your own pace, and have fun with it!

I do a few light sets of bicep and tricep exercises every day. I also play sports when given the chance and when I go to parties/clubs, I go mainly not to drink; I go to break shit down on the dance floor!! Lmao, I’m known to not stop dancing for an hour or more, my friends and especially my band mates can vouch for this. “Billie Jean is not my lover…”

Be patient and stay diligent. This is only phase 1, which was to get down to 175-165 lbs. I’m basically there and am very proud, but the challenge now is to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life. I’m taking that challenge head on, and so can you!

Best of luck, whoever sees this that is trying to lose weight. If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!! Try hard every day, stick to the plan and “I PROMISE you, yo!” It can be done. – RSM


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