Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fitness Inspiration: Laura Lam Ortiz (LLO as in JLO ;) ....

My next guest blogger is Laura whom I met through fitness sister Jeni Colon. Laura lives in Houston and has been one of my inspirations in fitness and life in general. Her positive attitude and never-ending motivation continues to inspire me each and everyday. She is also your typical, busy, a mom's-job-is-neverending woman who lives the daily grind of balancing entrepreneurship, mommyhood, wifey, household and fitness. Pretty much another SuperWoman! Read her story and get inspired ...
The Journey Back to Me
Many people often ask me how I lost the 70+ pounds that I gained when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had a friend recently comment to me, “I don’t know what’s more impressive:  the fact that you gained 70 pounds when you were pregnant or the fact that you lost 70 pounds!”  When I thought about the answer, I had to laugh out loud to myself because I honestly don’t know which one IS more impressive!  Hahahaha!  Seventy pounds is pretty “impressive”, either way you look at it!
I’m a 39 year old mother to a very active six year old little girl. I am a social media consultant to the fitness peeps, die-hard momma & wifey, writer, and fitness enthusiast with a passion for health, helping others, and all things good, positive, & funny! I gained over 70 pounds when I was pregnant with my daughter because I thought I could eat whatever the heck I wanted (primarily Haagen Dazs ice cream) and the weight would melt right off after I had the baby.  My pre-pregnancy weight was anywhere from 125 pounds to 130 pounds.  I topped out at 205 pounds when I was at my heaviest.  Yikes!  I wish I could say that my weight loss was immediate and an overnight success story, but my journey back to ME was a long and soulful journey. I finally lost all of the weight, but most of it was recently lost in the past three years. It was a rough road back (I used to be a gym rat in my 20's), but it was well worth every day at the gym and every drop of sweat, blood and tears as an older and wiser version of myself!
 
My turning point was when I realized that I let my life slip away from me after my soul mate grandmother passed away at the tender age of 98 three years ago, followed by other personal and family tragedies and losses.  I was ready to put all the darkness behind me, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I knew it all started with my health and my lifestyle.  For me, I had to hit ROCK BOTTOM before I realized that I needed to change.  My hope is that you don’t get to where I was before you consciously make the choice to become a healthier person for yourself.  I was slapped in the face with tragedy unexpectedly, and my life as I knew it no longer existed.  The old me died over three years ago.  It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, and I never thought I could be standing here today, and sharing with you that I am stronger, wiser, healthier and happier.  It was at that dark turning point that I knew I HAD to change or I would spiral further into this dark hole and lose myself forever. 
I found Cathy Savage Fitness on Facebook, and it actually took me over a year to join because honestly, I was intimidated by all the ripped girls in bikinis on her website!  HAHA!  I was also very skeptical about participating in an online training program.  I didn’t think an online program could fulfill the accountability factor for me.  I thought I needed someone physically in the gym with me everyday to push me.  I finally bit the bullet & joined Cathy Savage Fitness’s Lifestyle program in January 2010, and it was exactly what I needed, especially for the emotional support and the accountability factor.  I am kicking myself for not joining sooner!  In the few short months that I was with Cathy, the remaining last 20+ stubborn pounds have melted off, and I am in the best shape of my life!  After 39 years, I finally see some abs!  It is because her program focuses on health in all aspects of your life:  physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and financial.  I joined CSF thinking I would lose weight with the proper nutritional and exercise program, which I definitely have, but what I was unprepared for was the amazing sisterhood and unconditional love and support!  These women come from all walks of life, they have their own personal stories and challenges, they are from all over the world, but they are all there for me everyday, holding me accountable, motivating me, inspiring me, lifting me up, encouraging me, loving me, supporting me, and cheering me on.  The accountability is so amazing!  These women have totally got your back!  Cathy’s team and staff of coaches are the most incredible women ever! 
Cathy has totally created a magical organization where women and men, with different goals and in different stages of their lives, can all come together and strive to be the best person that they could possibly ever be!
It sounds almost ridiculous that losing weight could give you your life back, but it does!  What I didn’t realize at that time was that the physical aspect of my life was closely connected to the emotional, mental, social, and financial aspect of my life as well.  When you feel good about yourself, you have more confidence in everything that you do.  You don’t sweat the small stuff, and the stars do seem to “magically” align in the universe for you.  You have an extra bounce in your step, you have a sparkle in your eyes, you have a magnetic energy that others can feel and are attracted to, and you have a powerful aura about youYou have the “IT” factor!  If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself!  And then let me know how your life changes when you are a healthier and happier version of yourself!  :)
Stunning or what!?!  Congratulations Laura for all of your accomplishments!  I remember my first Cathy Savage Camp back in Boston February of 2006!  I can't wait to join CSF in 2012 and continue challenging my body, mind and soul.  Ladies, if you are interested in Cathy Savage Fitness, just let me know and I'll be happy to share with you my experiences or direct you to LLO for any questions.  And LLO is completely right; when you practice a clean eating lifestyle and incorporate exercise in your life, "you don’t sweat the small stuff ... you have an extra bounce in your step, you have a sparkle in your eyes, you have a magnetic energy that others can feel and are attracted to and you have a powerful aura about you."  I too realized this after I lost my 80+ pounds through my very own fitness journey.  Thank you, Laura!

Remember, this blog was created for you ... to motivate and to inspire for a healthier you :)) ...
Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly

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