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Before...& After! Stay Strong & Focused, you CAN achieve success!

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The most important little man in my life...Ivey :)

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My success weightloss story is featured in the May 2010 Issue of SELF Magazine pg. 36!!

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_FITNESS*DIVA_ is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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My Journey has only just begun!

Sparkpeople has had such an amazing impact on my life and will for many years to come. I have met some wonderful people here who are now my friends and I continue to everyday. We all have similar stories and its great how we all can come together and share our experiences, struggles and accomplishments with one another.

~*~*~*~SPREAD THE SPARK!!~*~*~*~

As I was reading the book.."Born to Run", this part of the book stuck with me..."Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed." Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the sl...owest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesnt matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle--when the sun comes up, you'd better be running!" -Born to Run!

~*~*~My Experiences, Struggles & Accomplishments!~*~*

I'm 28yrs old, born and raised in Chicago. I am hispanic and in my family its all about food, LOTS of food! Nothing beat family gatherings, yummy mexican dishes and delicious desserts. Growing up as a kid, I was very thin.. never had to worry about my weight at all. I could eat just about anything and never gained weight. I guess this was because I was very active as a kid and played soccer with my dad. I didnt think it was going to be an issue in the future, but I was in for a big surprise. I was a cheerleader in h.s. and was very active so I didnt worry much that the future would be any different then what it was at that time. I started gaining weight little by little after I graduated. I wasnt so active anymore, the daily cheerleading practices were soon to be over and I didnt think much about weight or even talked about it. Well, I met a very special someone in 2003 and I was at a normal weight.. about 140lbs. A couple of years past and before I knew it.. a few pounds gained, here and there..turned into 50 unwanted pounds! You know when your in love, your so comfortable in your own skin that you don't really pay attention to your weight. If your partner is happy, then everythings great, right? This mainly happened because I was making poor food choices and didnt pay attention to ANY nutrition labels. I worked for my boyfriends..parents Thai resturant, everything I wanted was just a hand-reach away, I didn't have to think twice about eating anything. I would eat evertime I was hungry..and I was hungry all the time. Not to mention, on the way home from work I would stop at a fast-food joint to grab a greesy cheeseburger, some french fries and a supersized coke. When the evening came around, I would eat left over Thai food in the frig...I was clogging my arteries, what was a thinking, right?! I tried dieting, but when you hear the word "Diet", it makes you wanna eat more, atleast for me it did. It hard to control your eating when you've been eating horribly all your life. I was a food addicted to food and didnt even know it and an emotional eater as well. I have been eating horribly all these years and I didn't notice the way it was affecting my body. I tried exercising from time to time, but after a week or two that was it, I went right back to my old ways. I tried again...got a gym membership and after a few months, I stopped going!

December 2006 I weighed my heaviest ever, 187lbs and my BF was near 46%!! My weight was out of control and so
were my eating habits. I was so afraid that my boyfriend was going to leave me, but I figured if he was happy, then I was too. He stuck by me through thick and thin and was my BIGGEST support system. I consider myself very lucky, why?? When I was at my heaviest I happen to have met a girl who happened to be going to school to be a Dietician. She and I got along right from the start and she too was overweight and decided to change her life around. She was going to school to pursue a career in helping others and I told her that I have been looking to lose the weight, could she help me? She was as excited as I was and I couldnt wait to start. She knew a lot about nutrition and exercise, I was ready to finally be doing this! I woke up the next morning knowing that, this would be the day I'd make the commitment to myself and the day that would change my life, forever! I wanted to lose the unwanted weight and completely change my life around. February 16, 2007 is a day I will never forget. I wanted my cheerleader body back, but most of all, I wanted to be healthy and fit into my size 7 jeans, again! The 2nd step was getting a gym membership and commiting to workout 6 days a week. I had so many mixed emotions at this time. I didnt know whether to be happy, scared, or confused..it was everything all at once. I just knew that something needed to be done..today! I called a few gyms and settled with the best gym for me. Being a member of David Barton gym was very exciting, though it did have its downfalls..but it was all about the motivation. I saw beautiful bodies everywhere, was I going to fit in here? It was very intimidating to see all these gorgeous men and women in their sexy workout gear, I was covered up in my sweats and a sweater. I wanted to walk out, but they made you feel at home. The trainers were very nice and so was the entire staff. I decided to get two personal trainers, I got a female for my lower body and a male for my upper body. I went 6 days a week and met with my trainers 3 days a week. Although I was excited to finally committing myself to something, everyday was a struggle for me. The first few months I wanted to give up, seriously! My body would ache and ACHE to the point of no return! I would cry myself to sleep sometimes because my body was in serious pain; pain so I thought at the time.. lol, but I didnt quit! I gave it 110% everytime I hit the gym. I could barely walk up and down my stairs, the workouts were that intense! Nothing was going to keep me from quitting, my mind was already made up andI was determined to get back to a healthy-normal weight.

In March of 07' I decided to attend the Arnold Classic is Columbus, OH. (The Biggest Fitness Expo in the world) I couldnt believe what I was seeing. Thousands of people attended the expo to see these famous fitness competitors, body builders, etc. I was blown away by their physiques, OMG! I didnt know whether to cry in happiness or cry because of jealousy. I was so inspired by all the success of others and I knew that if they could do it, I could do it! I got a chance to meet some amazing people, but Jen Hendershott was one gal to remember. She's the queen of fitness next to Jackie Warner lol. I was so happy that I attended the expo because it really changed my life! The drive home.. I was in my own little world. I sat in the back seat and starting thinking, I can really do this! I started set set some goals, it like I was still there. I believe the expo helped prepare me for the future and really opened by eyes to a whole other world. I would like to one day become a famous fitness competitor, that is one of my goals. Months flew by and Jan/Feb of 2008 I had lost alittle over 50 pounds and have kept it off! I am so close to my fitness goals! I WILL say that I love every minute of working out, but I wanted more! I was never a runner and I was alittle scared to even start. So I decideed to give it a try. I would warm up on the treadmill for about 5 minutes or so, but never thought I'd get past 1 mile. Its all about baby steps right? After a few weeks on the treadmill I took my feet to the outside pavement. I was a smoker since h.s. so did'nt think I was going to last more than a mile. I put it all in gods hands and kept on. What a rush I got from running! I didnt think I was ever going to love running, but I did. It was March 2008 and I decided to sign up for my 1st real run, The Shamrock Shuffle 8k! I knew it wasnt going to be easy, but I trained for this..though I was still so nervous, but excited! I was really running, I had a bib #, my running gear and I felt like a "real rode runner!" I was actually going to be running the same paths as the Elite runners, so it was an emotional day for me. Its was a rough 5 miles, but I did it and finished! After my 1st running experience, I was hooked! I didnt want my running days to end.. I was pumped that I had actually found something I loved and could be really good at.
Since then I have ran many 8k, 10k's, 3 Half Marathons and on Oct 12, 2008 I completed my 1st Marathon! I said to myself...if I can run a marathon, why not a Triathlon, right? September 27, 2009 I did just that! I completed the 20th Anniversary Danskin Triathlon. What a feeling, let me tell you!! I cannot believe how far I have come in such little time. Keep your eye on the prize, never give up and you WILL overcome any obstacle! Since running, I've quit smoking...kicked the habit right in the butt, Woohoo! and so very glad I did. My life is so much more important to me now than it ever was, if I can accomplish all and everything I have done, believe me..you can also do the same.

Since losing this weight I decided that helping others is what I really makes me happy and because of that, I have pursued a career in Personal Training. I know it takes time to get where you want to be so what other way to start my career, then applying at Curves. I loved the whole concept, "30 mintues/ 3 days a week" and burning up to 500 calories in just one workout. I started working for Curves in Sept of 2007 as a fitness trainer and love what I do. Nothing is more rewarding then helping others the way others have helped me. I'm also a Weight Management Coach and will have been teaching a Weight Management classes at Curves. In the next few months, I look forward to getting my Personal Training Cert. and looking to further my career. I am on my way to getting my dream job!

Nutrition is 80% of your diet & the other 20%...is exercise. I cook all my meals and eat clean 7 days a week, I dont consider what I do a diet, its a a lifestyle change. Exercise and nutrition go hand-and-hand. There is NO MAGIC PILL, so train hard and eat right and you will see results. God gave me two hands, one for helping myself and the other for helping others. I am 100% focused and dedicated to everything I do and I want to give back by helping those in need. I am not a professional, but I have learned a lot over the years and I will continue to follow my dreams and make them reality!

A few of of Fav's :)

"Life is not about finding yourself, its about creating yourself"
"Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail"
"Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body"
& my personal Fav, No desserts= Hot Mini Skirts!

I was in the SPOTLIGHT!!
Its such an HONOR to be acknowledged for all your hard work. Sparkpeople made me Spark Motivator of the Day 3/29/09. Thank you to all my Spark friends, You are all an inspiration to me!

Received Sparkpeople Motivator Award 7/9/08!
A VERY special thank you to those who nominated me! You all inspire me to keep doing my best...Mucho Amor :)

*Runs Accomplished*

Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8k! 3-30-08 (1:17:11)
Run for the Zoo 10k! 6-1-08 (1:11:22 )
She's Got Sole 8k! 06-22-08 (53:25:00)
Fleet Feet Women's 10k! 06-20-08 (1:13:32) knee injury*
Chicago Distance Classic Half Marathon! 08-10-08 (2:48:41)
Nike+ Human Race 10k! 08-31-08 (1:15:39)
Chicago Marathon! 10-12-08 (6:42:06)
Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8k! 03/29/09 (1:00:03)
Illinois Half Marathon 04/11/09 My 26th Bday!
Run To Remember 5k (CPD Memorial) 05/2/09
Chicago Rock 'N Roll 1/2 Marathon 08/2/09
20th Anniversary Danskin Triathlon! 09/27/09 (2:08:05)
Run for Chocolate 15k 11/1/09 (2:00:51)
Rock 'N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon 12/6/09 (2:52:38)
ING Miami 1/2 Marathon 1/31/10 (3:30:52)
The Shamrock Shuffle 8k 3/21/10 (57:24)
Go! St. Louis 1/2 Marathon 4/11/10 (3:22:21)
RnR Seattle Marathon 6/24/10 (
Chicago Marathon 10/10/10
Shamrock Shuffle 8k 4/10/11 (00:58:00)

~One of the many *Highlights* in 2008!~

In a little over 6 months I went from running my first 8k on March 30, 2008 to running my 1st Marathon on October 11, 2008! It always blows my mind how this can actually happen to someone, god gave me the strength and the will the race!!

Stay Strong and Stay Focused!!

**************26.2 BABY*****************

I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened.
Wilma Rudolph (1st American woman runner to win three gold medals at a single Olympics)

facebook.com (my email: adrianagarcia411@yahoo.com)

*Fitness & Nutrition tips*
I want to share this with all of you! (Ms. Jackie Warner helped me with this one.) In May of 2008 I got a chance to meet her and words cannot express how much she's inspired me! She is such an amazing women and I would love to follow in her fitness/business footsteps one day. I love ya Ms. Warner!!


1.Eat Low Glycemic, low refined sugar meals.

2. "Everything done in moderation."

3. Every weekend is a cheat weekend. But Mon- Fri be strict with your nutrition.

4. Have a protein shake for breakfast

5. Be careful of high sugar content in canned foods

6. Flavor foods naturally

7. Fresh salsa is the best low fat food flavoring

8. Don't Skip meals. It puts your body into starvation mode and increases the chances that more of the calories from your next meal will be stored as fat.

9. Don't drink diet soda- it can trigger a craving for carbohydrates.

10. If you are eating out, start with the veggies portion of your meal, then move to meat, then finally the starches.

11. Eat "The Good", "The Bad", then "The Ugly" foods. The trick is to make yourself full on the GOOD foods so you will eat less of the UGLY foods.

Working out....

12. "Crunches are a waste of time"

13. Lifting weights with exercises that target the big muscle groups (chest, back, legs, & butt) is the way to get better abs.

14. The only way to truly get shredded is to have a pretty balanced diet with a nice balance of cardio, but most importantly, weight lifting.

15. Cardio is over-rated -resistance training your big muscle groups is what speeds metabolism.

16. If you can't afford a personal trainer, educate yourself on fitness. Buy magazines, a book, dvd's, etc.

17. The plyometric jump squat and lunges are great for your butt.

18. Fitness is about the "Three F's"...Function, Form and Fatigue. It's about performing the right function back-to-back with perfect form to complete fatigue.

19. For great shoulders and arms.... Do the push-up/punch combo. Start by doing as many push-ups in a row as you can. Then stand up, grab a couple of soup cans and punch one arm out, then the other, for one minute.

20. It's not about how much time you spend in the gym. It's about getting the most bang for your buck.

21. Swimming is a great total body exercise.

22. Simplicity is key. Do not over-think your fitness routine or your diet.

23. Less Medication, More Motivation.

24. High intensity training can lessen the need for sleep aids and anit-depressants medications.

Some quick tips that I use to eat healthier include:

*Eat out less (I try to keep it to once a week)
*Do your food shopping for the entire week on Sundays.
*Cook large meals on Sundays and Wednesdays to save time and have meals to eat all week.
*Stock up on fruit to satisfy the sweet cravings .
*Completely cut out sugary drinks (soda, ice tea, etc.)

This is a sample of what I eat on a regular day...

#1. 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1Tbsp. Flax oil mix together and enjoy. 1/2 cup protein powder, add water & mix in a glass.

#2. 1/2 cup Cottage Cheese, 1/2 cup of berries, handful almonds & 1 cup green tea.

#3. 4 0z. Jenny-O Turkey Burger, 2 cups (Any veggies), Lettuce Wraps, 2tbsp Hummus.

#4. 2 Tbsp Nutella, 1 tbs Sugar-free Strawberry Jam, 100 calorie Thomas Wheat Bagel, 1 Cup green tea

#5. 4 oz. Grilled Salmon, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup streamed asparagus, 1 cup green tea.

#6. 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 3 ice cubes, 1 glass H20 or fat-free milk and mix in blender.

Substitution is key as well! Don't give up, be consistant and DON'T SKIP A MEAL!

Member Since: 10/19/2007

Fitness Minutes: 1,445

My Goals:
-Eat Clean, eliminate processed foods & sugars!
-Add complex carbs and extra protein to EVERY meal.
-Stick to my daily workouts weekly, no excuses!
-Set daily & weekly goals, challenge myself!
-Surround myself w/ positive people!
-Stay 100% focused & motivated!
-7/8 hrs of sleep!

*Accomplished Goals!*
-Ran my 1st Half Marathon!
-Ran my 1st Chicago Marathon!
-Completed my 1st Triathlon! 9/27/09
-Limited my Alcohol intake! 6-2-08
-Quit Smoking!
Sept 2008!
-Completed Jillian Micheals "30 Day Shred!" 8/7/08
-Featured in "Fitness Magazine" Feb 2010 Issue & SELF Magazine May 2010 Issue!

*Long Term Goals*
-135-140lbs, Toned!
-BF% 19-22..
-Sz. 5 Skinny Jeans
-Get my Personal Training Certification!
-Get a degree in Health/Fitness
-Qualify for the Boston Marathon before I'm 35!
-Complete a 1/2 Ironman Triathlon!

My Program:
-Clean Eating,
(Lean Protein, Fresh Veggies & Fruits)
-Take all vitamins and supplements, daily!
-Make my WEEKLY meal plan mid week (Wednesdays)
-H20 w/every meal, a must!

*Weekly Regimen*
-Cardio 5/6x a week

-Core/Resistance training- 3/4x a week

-Yoga 2x a week

Your diet should consist of..

*Running Season*
-Keep Hydrated!

Personal Information:
-My Interests
Clean eating, cooking delicious & healthy meals,running, core/resistance training, yoga, pilates, cycling, swimming, the beach, singing, song writing, reading, coffee shops/cafe's, taking the train/bus around the city
(sight-seeing), hanging out w/friends, annual festivals and fairs, amusement parks, the theatre, being a neat freak, SHOPPING, pampering myself, long road trips, the internet, networking.

Other Information:
-Tosca Reno's
The Eat Clean Diet, The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook & The Eat Clean Diet Wokout.
-CHI Running
-Hal Higdon books
-Born to Run

-30 Day Shred!
-One-on-One w/ Jackie Warner!

*Workout Musts*
-Pink Ipod Nano
-Garmin HR monitor
-Weight Lifting Gloves
-Resistance Band
-10-15lb. Dumbells
-Workout Journal
-Stability & Bosu Ball
-Yoga Mat, Strap & Blocks
-Hydration Belt
-My Newton running shoes..best shoes ever!
-Injinji Socks, a must..when running!

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