Are you living a healthy life? Could you be a little healthier? Where do you start and how do you begin to live a healthy life?
In This Podcast
In this podcast episode, Veronica shares her journey towards healthy living and her struggles with living a life that wasn’t healthy.
Bad habits that needed to be kicked
Working out and eating right is not something I wanted to do every day. I would rather eat what I want when I want and not feel guilty about doing it.
I absolutely love to eat! Like next level love to eat. Italian, American, Mexican you name it and I’m eating it. I don’t discriminate.
But I have also been on so many yo-yo diets. It was out of control, to a point where I just gave up altogether and would binge eat anything and everything until my belly hurt.
I would do this for a while until I couldn’t fit into my clothes and then I would go back to depriving myself of carbs and all of the other yummy food. This wouldn’t last long, and I would eventually cheat and cheat hard! Looking back, eating was a sense of relief from emotions.
How did it impact my life?
Well, I started to feel really unhealthy, I would feel the shakes, and get out of breath easily. Walking up the steps was hard. I was in a session one day and I remember squatting down and ripping my pants!
It got so bad that none of my clothes fit. I was in denial and whenever I went shopping, I refused to buy a size bigger. I tucked in my fat and insecurities and continued on with my day.
But feelings of insecurity took over so much that I would avoid being physically intimate with my husband. Anytime he would walk into the closet I would immediately start an argument just so he didn’t see me undress.
This impacted my relationships in so many ways. I wasn’t communicating what I was feeling with my husband and avoiding him at all costs. I was short with my children and there was no way in hell I was going to be seen out in public. So I made every excuse to stay inside.
3 steps to resolve this issue
I changed my mindset but I also had to lean in and acknowledge my insecurities. Once I identified them I learned how to challenge them.
Step 1: I knew there was no way in hell I could do this alone.
I needed a professional trainer. I was tired of doing all of these things that didn’t work. The phone call was humbling and definitely needed. She asked me to take pictures of everything I ate. I didn’t realize I was eating and drinking so badly. I was able to identify a lot of my unhealthy habits.
Step 2: I had to want this, which meant I had to do as instructed.
I had to go to the gym! I had to face the women I was most insecure around. Every time I stepped into the gym, I had to challenge all of my own insecurities. I did this by constantly telling myself that if I wanted to live healthy then I had to do the work. I wanted my life back, so I had to do the uncomfortable and challenging things.
Step 3: I had to be disciplined and motivated on my own
As I started to slim down my husband started to say: Who are you losing this weight for? You know I love you just the way you are? I don’t know why your trainer doesn’t let you eat bacon, it’s good for you. I didn’t feel supported and to be honest, I wanted to eat that bacon! But it also felt good to have self-control and discipline. I had more energy and felt confident.
Step 4: Celebrate the small victories
Each time I said no, there was something about feeling that level of pride and sense of self. I ate but I didn’t overindulge and I didn’t have to stick to this crazy diet. I learned that if I’m hungry, I can eat. There were times I screwed up. But I celebrated my small victories. I had to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
So what is your intent for today? Write it down. Until next time, keep pushing forward.
Meet Veronica Cisneros
I’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.
So I started Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.
Thanks for listening!
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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
[VERONICA]: Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a family of podcasts that change the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Imperfect Thriving, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
I get it. Being a mom is hard, especially when you are feeling stressed and disconnected. We exhaust ourselves trying to create the perfect life for our family. You deserve to enjoy your family without the stress perfectionism brings. On this podcast, I teach you how to identify who you are outside of all of the roles you play. If you are ready to be challenged, then girl, pull up a chair, grab a pen and paper because it’s about to go down.
Hey, I’m Veronica Cisneros, a licensed marriage and family therapist on a mission to create a community of bad ass women who want to learn how to become empowered and unapologetic. Welcome to our girl games.
Working out and eating right is not something I want to do every day. I would rather eat whatever the hell I want when I want and not feel guilty about it. I literally have the discipline of a two-year-old. You put onion rings, ketchup, lunch in front of me and it’s on like donkey kong. I can’t help myself. Or can I? I don’t know. Debatable the minute you take those onion rings away from me. Get ready because I’m yelling and screaming like a two-year-old. I absolutely love to eat like next level. Love to eat Italian, American, Mexican, you name it and I’m eating it. I don’t discriminate at all, especially when it comes to food. I’ve been on so many yo-yo diets, it’s been out of control to a point where I just gave up altogether.
And there was this one time in my life, and I remember it because it was this one time in my life that I gave myself permission to eat whatever the hell I wanted. And I did it for an entire month. And I learned so much during that month. I just decided, “You know what, I’m going to go ahead and eat without restricting myself from being able to go out to a restaurant, without having to eat a damn salad. I’m going to just go for it.” And so, I remember feeling hungry and doing just that. I would pull up to The Hat. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there, but if you order the pastrami fries, holy molly, make sure you share, because I did this thing where, well, I’m doing this whole month of eating whatever the hell I want. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
And I ordered it, parked and ate, and now looking back, I realize eating was a sense of relief. Whatever emotion I was experiencing was gone the minute I took a bite into those juicy and creamy green enchiladas. Yes, I know I went from pastrami fries, to green enchiladas. Like I said, I love to eat. Okay, now I’m hungry. I would do this for a while until I couldn’t fit in my clothes and then I’ll go back to depriving myself, deprive myself from carbs and all of the other yummy food. And this wouldn’t last long because I would eventually just cheat and cheat hard. And I did this for a while, like just going back and forth, back and forth. And that entire month I ate so much that my stomach hurt, like literally hurt.
And there would be times where I would sit down and I don’t know, I don’t think it was anxiety. It wasn’t anxiety but I would just feel kind of like the shakes. And it was like, “What the hell is wrong with me?” And I noticed I was out of breath. I noticed, you know, walking up the stairs, my office is on the top, the second floor and walking up the stairs I remember being out of breath and like literally having to catch my breath. And if a client was waiting for me, I had to like come up with some excuse or like, “Oh my God, I just ran,” even though I knew I didn’t run, but I would do that just because I didn’t want anybody to know that walking up the steps was something hard. And then, I can’t believe I’m going to admit this. And then I realized I had an unwanted talent.
I could sit down and tuck my phone underneath my belly. That phone wasn’t going anywhere. Like literally between my thigh and my belly. I’m not going to go into exactly how I discovered this talent, I’ll leave the rest of your imagination. However, when sitting down and I needed my hands, I could literally tuck my phone in between the fat on my belly and the fat on my thighs and have that proper phone placement to where it wouldn’t fall in the water there. I give you another clue. I know it’s disgusting, but that’s exactly what was going down and when I discovered it. Well, it didn’t stop there. A little more embarrassing. I would also have to tuck in my belly fat, wear girdles and loose clothing. I remember being in session one day, for those of you that don’t know, I’m a therapist, and you know, we’re sitting across from each other, me and a client.
And I remember going to sit down and I remember sitting down and then ripping my pants. Like not just a small tear. I’d like to say it as a small tear, but I’d be lying to you. I literally ripped my pants and I prayed. I prayed to God, “Please, please, please, dear Lord, make sure she didn’t hear it.” And we just went about the conversation and we talked and I challenged her and we did all of the things that we do in therapy, walked her out, and of course I let her walk in front of me, didn’t let her stand behind me, walked her out and then walked into my office and ran to the bathroom. Well, when I ran to the bathroom, I noticed there is a big ass whole, like really big one you can’t miss.
And if you’re standing behind me, you could totally see it. And so, I literally, you guys are going to laugh, I literally took a picture and sent it to one of my best friends, Alma, and I sent it to her because her and I had just had a conversation. The day before we had just had a conversation about how we are out of control. Like she was telling about the amount of weight she had gained and I was telling her about like me not fitting in my clothes, but wearing them anyway and just really sucking it in and not breathing. And we were just going over that. And so, I had to send her a picture. And so, I sent her this picture and she’s dying of laughter. And then I rushed back to my office. Well, my client was waiting for me and it was too late for me to cancel and so I had to go about my day and don’t get me wrong. I was able to hide it. I was able to hide it. However, each time I sat down, guess what happened? My pants ripped even more.
And that’s the way it went with my day. It got so bad. So, all of this got so bad. I wish I could tell you, “You know what I learned from that experience and the next day, my ass went to the gym and I was eating salads and I was drinking the green juices and I was doing all of the things.” I wish I could tell you I did that. However, I didn’t. It got so bad none of my clothes fit. And I was in denial because whenever I went shopping, I refused to buy a size bigger. I refuse to buy a size bigger. Women back me up on this. When you’ve gained weight, and I want you to be honest, when you’ve gained weight and you know you’ve gained weight, when you go to the store, what usually happens the minute you try on a size bigger? What usually happens?
And I want to hear it because this is what happens for me. If I actually purchase a size bigger, well, then I don’t know how it works, but for me, and I don’t know if this is the way it works for you, but for me, the minute I buy a size bigger, I’ve just given myself permission to go ahead and add more weight on. And so, I don’t want to do that. And that’s why I stick to the pants that don’t fit me because I’m trying to go out and do something about it without doing something about it.
Because I refuses to buy a size bigger, all I would do is I would tuck in my fat, my insecurities and continue on my day. And that’s how I lived. I knew this was a problem. My eating habits we’re completely unhealthy and so was my life. And I had to address this. I was breathing harder, it was hard for me to catch my breath, playing with my kids. I felt disgusted. I would eat until my stomach hurt. Even if I wasn’t hungry, I would just eat and eat until I couldn’t do it anymore. I felt it in my face. Like you know, when you gain weight and can feel it? Well for me, I felt it in my face and it just, I felt it in my hands and I just felt it all over. And these feelings of insecurity took over so much so that I would completely avoid being physically intimate with my husband.
You know, he doesn’t know this, but anytime we would get ready to go somewhere and we were both being in the closet together, I would do whatever the hell I could to create an argument so he could get the hell out. And I could be by myself changing. And it got to a point where even if my kids walked into the closet, I would yell at them to leave. “Don’t you know how to knock?” I will do whatever the hell possible to go ahead and hide the weight that I had gained. Obviously, it’s evident in, I mean, my clothes aren’t fitting me. However, for me, hiding behind my clothes was my only form of security. And so that’s what I did. It was like this for a long time, so much so that my husband knew not to be in the closet with me. He knew he knew not to be in the closet with me.
And in addition to that, it gets better or worse, however, you want to go out and take this or frame it. When my kids would walk in the room, he would say, “Your mom’s getting ready, leave her alone.” And he would say that to protect them. He would say that to protect them from me yelling and losing it on them. Hear this. I was avoiding and I was taking it out on my family. It impacted my relationship with my husband in so many ways. I wasn’t communicating what I was feeling and avoiding him at all costs and so with my children. And there was no way in hell I was going to be seen out in public like this. So, I made every excuse to stay inside. Don’t get me started on pictures because pictures are proof that you gained weight.
And so, guess what? Unless I was able to go ahead and take a picture with somebody with me, it wasn’t happening. And if somebody was taking a picture with me, then I asked another girl to go out and take it and I asked her to go ahead and position it from the top, like looking at us from either like the top of our chest up or angling it in a way to make us look thin. And we all did this, I had breath like, you know, when you’re taking the picture and you suck it in. Well, I did that a lot and sometimes I was afraid I was going to pass out if I’m being completely honest. And so that’s the way it would happen. Like that’s the way I was living my life and it was ridiculous because I was a slave. I was a slave of my insecurities.
I was a slave to this feeling of being completely out of control. And I was doing it to myself. Listen to when I say that. I was doing it to myself. So ladies, if you’re in this predicament right now, get a pen and paper because it’s about to go down and we’re going to make some changes because we want to, because doing this for the rest of our lives is not healthy and avoiding everyone at all costs because you don’t want them to see you naked, especially your husband, come on, that’s not healthy. At some point you want to go out and be intimate with your husband during daylight. Unless you’re going to completely imprison both of you and do it only at night with the lights off. That’s not a way of living. It’s not. So here we go. Get a pen and paper.
Here are three steps to resolve this issue. I not only had to change my mindset, but I also had to lean in and acknowledge my insecurities. I use this word a lot, ‘lean’ followed by the second word ‘in.’ Lean in. And I’m going to be constantly telling you to lean in and showing you how. Once I identified my insecurities, I knew I had to challenge them. So here we go. Step one. I knew there was no way in hell I could do this alone. I needed a professional. I needed a trainer and why couldn’t I do it alone? Well, for obvious reasons, I was on the damn yo-yo diet and you put Atkins, keto, whatever the hell. I was fasting, I was doing all of those things, detoxing and I was miserable. And so, here’s the way the phone call went, girl.
“I don’t know what to do I’m at the point where I can’t even fit into my damn jeans, the last pair of jeans that I have, and I have to wear these over and over again, because this is all I got. And I’m tired of wearing loose clothing and I’m tired of not feeling like myself. And also, I’m tired of starving myself. I’m tired of doing all of these things that aren’t working.” And so, she told me, “All right, well, I want you to keep track of everything you’re eating.” And I was like, “Okay, wait a minute. It’s like everything, everything?” She’s like, “Yeah, everything.” I was like, “Oh damn, well, here we go.” So, I started to keep track of everything I was eating and I realized, Holy crap, I was drinking at least four Moscow Mules a week. Four Moscow Mules a week was my drink. That was my go-to. With the sugar rim, it was on.
And in addition to that, we were going out a lot; burgers, enchiladas, did I say enchiladas, onion rings, you name it. I was constantly eating all of this unhealthy food and I realized, “This is the reason I’m tired most days because I’m eating like crap.” So, I did a complete inventory of what I was doing and I was able to identify a lot of my unhealthy habits. Step two, I had to want this. I had to want this change, which meant I had to do as instructed, which meant, oh, I had to go to the gym. I had to face those women who I’m most insecure around. You know, the ones in those little cute outfits, the ones that have no makeup on, but their hair and their bodies are on point? Well, yeah, them.
You know, they could do any workout at any level and they look awesome. They look amazing. And here I am with my yoga pants and tee shirt afraid to move and of course, with the sweatshirt on top and this hair bun, and I’m feeling so insecure. Every time I stepped into the gym, I had to change and challenge all of my own insecurities. I did this by constantly telling myself, “Girl, if you want to live healthy, then do the damn work. You will get there. This part sucks.” You will get there, this part sucks. And then I would put on my RuPaul music and say, “Girl, you better work.” And that’s what I did. I worked. And I didn’t realize by doing that, I was also practicing self-validation and I was my own damn cheerleader. I realized after going to the gym over and over and over again, all of these people are in pain and most of them don’t want to be here.
And everyone in here is fighting for something that they want. I wanted my life back. And so, because I wanted my life back, I had to do the uncomfortable things, which involved doing all of these moves that I didn’t feel confident in doing and challenging any time I felt judged by people I didn’t know, because I would also do that. I would be at the gym and I would do these army thingies, or these leggy thingies and that would feel so insecure because I’d have to play the damn video over and over and over again because I didn’t get it right the first time. And I felt awkward and felt uncomfortable and it was just so annoying. And here I am standing next to this other lady who is totally in it, she’s not referring to her notes, she’s able to do all of these moves by herself.
And I remember thinking, I bet you anything she’s probably wondering why I’m here. And she probably thinks I don’t belong here. And that’s when I realized who the hell cares? Who the hell cares and she ain’t even looking at you? She doesn’t care about you. She’s too busy working on herself, which you need to be doing. So, get back to work. It takes me to step three. This one’s a big one. As I started to slim down, my husband started to become suspicious. A couple of questions he would ask me is, “Who are you losing this weight for? You know, I love you just the way you are. Why are you losing all of this weight? Just stay the way you are. You don’t have to do everything your trainer says. Bacon’s good for you.” On and on, I didn’t feel supported and to be honest, I wanted to eat that bacon. All of the bacon.
I remember there was a time he purposely made strawberry cream cheese, French toast for dinner. There I was sitting with my chicken and green beans. Well, his ass and the kids were eating strawberry cream cheese, French toast for dinner. I secretly wished he choked on one of them damn strawberries. He didn’t, but I was jealous. And at the same time, it felt so good to have a sense of self control and discipline. I started to notice that I had more energy and I felt more confident. And in addition to that, my husband realized that I wasn’t going to constantly explain myself to him anymore. I was doing this for me. And it didn’t matter if he agreed with this or he felt insecure. Like none of that mattered. And the reason why it didn’t matter is because if it did, if I allowed it to impact me, then I would resent him and I realized that early on. So instead I stayed focused and I listened to whatever my trainer asked me to do. And that’s where I was at.
Step four. I celebrated my small victories. And if there were setbacks, then there were setbacks. This was a battle because I had to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Before I would just binge and say, “Screw it, I’ll start on Monday.” And I couldn’t do that to myself. I wouldn’t do that to myself. And so, I didn’t. And each time I said no, each time we went to a barbecue and you know, everybody’s eating tacos and rice and beans and there I am with my chicken and whatever the hell Coleslaw salad they have. You know, I was munching on it and I’m not going to lie. I really did hate it. It sucked. However, at the same time, like there was something about feeling that level of that level of pride, that sense of success. Because I didn’t leave the party feeling completely guilty because I had like eight tacos, you know, with a whole bunch of sour cream and, you know, rice and beans and chips and salsa. And I could go on.
I didn’t have that. I went ahead and I ate, however, I didn’t overindulge. And I would reward myself and I wouldn’t reward myself with food. I wouldn’t. And I realized I didn’t have to stick to this crazy diet. Like I could literally eat whatever the hell I want as long as I wasn’t basing everything I wanted to eat off of my emotions. And so instead I learned that if I’m hungry, I can eat. However, it’s going to be portion control and I’m going to be disciplined and I’m not going to just act on urges and impulses. This time I knew the consequences and although there were times that I would say, “Screw it,” because there were times, I’m not going to lie to you and say, “I did this, and it was amazing.” Hell no. There were times that I did screw up, there were times that there were setbacks. And I knew what I was doing.
I knew whenever I got back into that mindset, it was a form of self-sabotage and I wasn’t going to do that anymore. And those were the steps. Those were the steps that helped me get to where I’m am today. And I’m going to tell you right now, I wish I could say that I’m working out six times a week. I’m not, that’s my goal. I am working out four times a week though. And in addition to that, I am still celebrating my small victories because my small victories are victories and steps towards the healthy life I really want to live. And so, ladies, I’m going to end this by asking you, what is your intent for today? And I really want you to think about it. I want you to think about it. What is my intent for today?
And I want you right now to go ahead and list it. If you’re driving, of course, do this after, and if you’re working out girl, get it. But for those that aren’t, I want you to write down what is my intent for today in my pursuit to healthy living? What is my intent for me? My intent today is to get dressed and go to the gym with my husband. It’s a Saturday. So, he and I get to work out together and absolutely love working out with him because I’m going to tell you right now, he is sexy. And I love being able to go ahead and do my own reps and watch him at the corner of my eye, check them out. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do today. I want to hear from you guys. So, as you’re writing down what your intent is, once you actually follow through with it, send me an email. Until then, bye.
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