My name is Jeanette Abarca (@thick.spice), and I’m 29. I am from El Monte, California, and I’m a stay-at-home mom. After the death of my mother and a tough pregnancy, I decided to start taking care of my health by practicing intermittent fasting, counting calories, Hip Hop Abs workouts at home, and running.


I lost my mom to breast cancer on January 30, 2016. I was extremely depressed, and when I became pregnant three months later, it was a struggle. I almost had a miscarriage at 13 weeks, and I went into preterm labor at 28 weeks, so I was on bed rest until I gave birth at 37 weeks. After giving birth, I was still dealing with depression and I missed my mom a lot.

I turned to food for comfort. I would eat a family pack of Oreos in two nights by myself. At my heaviest, I weighed 302 pounds. I had gained so much weight that I knew I needed to make a change. I thought of my mom and what would she think of me. That’s when I decided to start my journey, on January 1, 2018.

It was tough for me to control my portions, so I started counting calories. I used MyFitnessPal to track everything.

By doing this, I could eat what I wanted. But tracking my intake motivated me to make healthy choices and stick to my calorie goals. I would also fast from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Now, I am still counting calories, but I fast from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. I also started tracking my macros. On Sunday nights I meal prep for the week, which makes things so much easier.

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Here’s what I eat in a day.

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    I did a lot of walking and dance classes, like Zumba and Hip Hop Abs. I didn’t join a gym until I lost my first 20 pounds.

    Now, I wake up and do virtual training on Facebook Live at 6 a.m. during the week. I also started running. I try to run 10 miles a week (if not more). My goal is to run 500 miles by the end of the year, and I have 357 miles down since June.

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    These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight loss results.

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    • I wrote down my goals. I write them down right away when I come up with them, and both monthly and weekly. When I accomplish them, I have new goals ready to go. You can track your mile, or reps, or whatever it is you’re focusing on. Having goals on paper makes them even more real and meaningful.
    • I took progress photos. Take pictures of yourself a lot! It really helps me see the difference that a scale won’t tell me.
    • I started to believe in myself. I never gave up and I believe in myself. “Eres chingona!” means “you’re a badass!” I would tell myself that and remind myself that this is the beginning for a better me.

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      I have lost 122 pounds in less than three years.

      I won’t lie, this journey has been hard. It’s hard when you have little support, little sleep, and feel sore all the time. But it’s worth every pound. Life is beautiful! Run with the wind and chase the views. You deserve it.

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