Success Story: Frances

Published:  09/28/2016

a before and after weight loss photo

Frances (21) came to me on a mission in August, seeking help with weight loss. Over the past two years, she'd gained 55 pounds and yearned to feel healthier and more energized.

A full-time student and newly married, Frances faced unique challenges. Fitness and healthy eating were completely new territory for Frances.  She had no experience with exercise programs or weight loss diets, and her limited knowledge of nutrition made navigating healthy choices on her own difficult. This, combined with her lack of cooking experience, often led her to rely on eating out.

But that's where my story with Frances begins!

Through personalized nutrition counseling and a tailored exercise program, we embarked on a journey to transform her health and lifestyle.

Success Story: Frances

Frances' initial weight in August was168.4 pounds. At the end of her program mid January she had lost 33.6 pounds and 28 inches and body fat. Frances also gained muscle and strength. She initially could only do 20 push ups and now she can do 40!

I asked her what drove her to be so diligent with her program and she said, “If I want to lose the weight, I have to eat less and do more cardio at some point, I might as well do it now."

I am immensely proud of her and have the utmost respect for her. She has 100% done everything I have suggested. 100%! Not “sort of". 100%! It’s hard to stick to a program, especially when choosing and cooking healthy food PLUS exercising is completely new to you. But she has worked hard, stuck to it despite obstacles and now she is reaping the rewards.

Frances and I had a progress meeting 12 weeks into her program. She had lost 26.2 pounds, 16.75 inches and 5.7% body fat. Here is what she told me that day,  "It's been 3 months since I started my weight loss program with Maria. Today, I see obvious changes on my body. Both physically and emotionally. Physically: When I first came to Maria, I could only do 20 pushups. Now I can do 40 push-ups! I know it's all from the weight training I'm doing with Maria and my body is getting stronger.  I used to take antibiotics for my acne on a daily basis, but because I am eating such healthy foods and my skin improved so much, my doctor stopped my antibiotic. I am definitely healthier than before and it shows everywhere!

Emotionally: "It is very hard to stay emotionally healthy too when you have so much to do: I am a full time senior college student with an on-campus job, I am applying to graduate schools and preparing for my GMAT tests. Maria helped me and reduced my stress by suggesting that I preplan quick, easy, delicious, and healthy meals. (See below for two days food journals). She gave me many specific things to prepare, I love her recipes, and it is working! I always have healthy foods that I like to take with me to school or to work and they are ready when I get home and am hungry. When I am stressed and I really want to eat chocolates, she told me that I can have low calorie hot chocolate and healthy snacks like gone-bananas, nuts, etc. I have lost over 22 pounds with her and think she is amazing!!!!!"

Before the initial meeting with Frances, I suggested that she journal her food and any exercise. At our first nutrition counseling session I showed her that she was eating more calories a day than her body needed. We discussed what foods to order at restaurants so that she and her husband could continue to go out to eat. She decided she would try to eat out fewer meals and practice cooking and improve her skills. During initial training sessions I instructed her on a cardio and stretching program she could do at her local gym and instructed her on basic weight training techniques.

In her first month she has gone to the gym every day and burns 500-600 calories and follows her cardio with stretching. She sees me for weight training twice a week and I teach her new exercises and vary her programs. I teach her new recipes and ways of prepping healthy food and she now eats breakfast, lunch and dinner at home except for twice a week. She logs all her food and exercise in an online journal and has been working on meeting the nutritional goals that we have set. She has increased her intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains significantly.

Frances recently wrote a review for me: “I contacted Maria to help me lose 55 pounds. At that time, I knew nothing about how to lose weight and how to eat healthy. I always enjoyed dining out with my husband and my friends. I didn't exercise and I didn't cook at home. Before I met with her, I worried that I may not be able to make changes. What if I still wanted to eat unhealthy foods and not exercise as much as she'd like me to?

I worried for nothing! Maria discussed all my concerns one by one. During our first meeting, Maria changed my perspective of how to eat healthier, how to avoid emotional eating and showed me how small easy changes could add up to big results.

It's been a wonderful experience working with her. Maria is very helpful and kind, most importantly, she is very knowledgeable, and she is willing to help me with anything I need. She never uses methods such as fad diets. It's always healthy and positive with her!

Under her help I developed my interest in cooking and exercising. Maria has not only helped me realize that cooking can be fun but also taught me what to order when I go to restaurants. I used to hate going to the gym and now I enjoy working out both in the gym on my own and with her. I look forward to working out with her and attending her nutrition sessions! It's never boring when I am with her!

I'm seeing improvements in my health by exercising and eating according to Maria's guidelines. I am losing two or three pounds a week. My body fat has decreased, and I am much stronger. I used to have some red stretch marks on my thighs, and now these stretch marks are disappearing gradually. I used to sleep at least 10 hours but still feel tired. Now, I am more energetic. I used to have acne and now my skin looks better.

Although I still have a way to go in order to achieve my total goal, I believe working with her is the most unforgettable experience. I will keep you updated on my results!"

Are you curious what Frances eats to see these results? Here is a sample day from the journal that she logs in every day. This is 1400 calories and a whopping 32 grams fiber. And in addition, she did 523 calories worth of elliptical trainer.

Frances' Menu

Sample Menu #1

Homemade Drink - Honey and Lemon In Hot Water, 10 oz
Organic Valley 0% - Milk, 8 fluid ounce
Organic Valley - Grade A Extra-large Eggs, 1 egg
Kelloggs - Miniwheats Original Frosted, 21 biscuits (54g)
Apple - - Gala, 3.5 ounce
Cauliflower 3 cup
Steak  3 oz
Extra Fancy Premium Medium Grain Rice, 0.25 cup, uncooked
Pea Shoots 2 oz
Sweet Potato, 5 ounce
Costco Rotisserie Chicken Breast, 3 oz
Pea Shoots
Danon - Light & Fit Greek Yogurt- Strawberry Ph1967, 1 container 5.3 oz = (150g)
Almond - Almond, 0.33 ounce

Sample Menu #2.  Here is a day that Frances went out to a Steak House for lunch. She asked them to bring her only 3 ounces of filet steak.

Breakfast Calories












Honey and Lemon In Hot Water 25 0 0 0 0 0  
Organic 0% - Milk, 8 fluid ounce 89 12 0 8 123 12  
Gala Apple, 3.38 oz 50 14 0 0 0 11  
Organic Extra-large Egg, 1 egg 70 0 5 7 80 0  
Kelloggs Miniwheats Frosted 190 46 1 5 0 11  
  424 72 6 20 203 34  
Filet Mignon, 3 oz 162 0 6 24 51 0  
Mashed Potatoes, 0.5 cup 134 21 5 2 6 1  
Brussel Sprouts, 2  Cup (88g) 76 16 1 6 44 4  
Shrimp Sautéed In Butter - 0.5 oz 25 0 0 3 24 0  
  397 37 12 35 125 5  
Sweet Potato, 5 ounce 121 29 0 2 78 6  
Costco - Chicken Breast, 3 oz 120 1 3 22 380 0  
 Edamame, 0.75 cup 150 14 5 12 45 2  
  391 44 8 36 503 8  
Danon Light & Fit Greek - Cherry 80 9 0 12 45 8  
Kiwifruit, 2 kiwifruit 110 26 0 2 0 20  
  190 35 0 14 45 28

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