Today we’d like to introduce you to Gracie Villarreal.
Gracie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My weight loss journey started just over 2 years ago and it really started with a health scare. I remember that day the clinic at my work was having an Open House and offering free blood pressure checks so I decided to participate and get my mine checked. It was then, when they gave me my results, that I learned that my blood pressure was high. I was advised to have my blood pressure measured on a daily basis and make an appointment with my doctor. The following week, I was able to visit with my doctor and learned that not only was my blood pressure high but I also weighed my heaviest…195 pounds (which at 5’1” is pretty heavy)! My doctor gave me an ultimatum. The ultimatum was that I change my unhealthy lifestyle or will have to start taking blood pressure medication. I was shocked, scared, and disappointed in myself. I didn’t want to start taking blood pressure medication and was adamant to my doctor about it. So, my doctor gave me 3 months to start making changes to improve my health. He asked that I document my progress during this time and report my results to him at my next visit.
I immediately changed my eating habits and began getting physically active. I started by walking every day at the park and then participated in a fitness bootcamp called Pretty -N- Camo. At the end of bootcamp, I had lost about 8 pounds and my blood pressure had improved. When it was time to visit my doctor, he was pleased with my progress and advised that I continue with my changes. After that visit, I decided to become a member at a local workout studio called The HappyFit-Studio and enrolled in their Zumba, cycling, personal and group training classes. Within in a few months I started to see dramatic changes in my body. The training sessions along with following my personal trainer’s advice on nutrition helped me to lose more weight and body fat while gaining muscle mass. Nine months later, I visited my doctor and learned that I lost a total of 35 pounds! In addition, my blood pressure and blood work results were within normal range. I was absolutely thrilled with my results! I was able to prove to my doctor and myself that through hard work and a strong support system, you can reach your health and fitness goals.
Please tell us more about your weight loss journey. What’s the message or inspiration, what do you hope people take away from it?
I make it a priority to workout 3-5 times a week and rest on the other days. My main motivation is my health and family. I’m very thankful that with the continued help of The HappyFit-Studio, I have been able to maintain my weight loss these past 2 years. My goal going into year 3 of my journey is to continue to stay on track with being healthy and physically active.
My message to others who are starting their own weight loss journey is to embrace what will become your journey. Along with this, I’d like to share some of my learning experiences and hope they will be helpful for you too. #1 – Learn to be patient with yourself. Give yourself time as true change and transformation will not come immediate; #2 – Be persistent, consistent, and dedicated. No one, absolutely no one, is going to do the work for you, be prepared to acknowledge and accept this concept. Dedicate yourself to your weight loss goals and with time, you will be successful; and #3 – Nutrition is king when it comes to weight loss. Learn to listen to your body by how it reacts to the nourishment you give it. You will feel a big difference when you eat healthy consistently versus when you don’t eat healthy. There’s a complete correlation between the quality of food you eat and the quality of physical activity you put out during your workout sessions.
What I hope people will take away from my story is to surround yourself with those who truly want to see you succeed and remember that you will have to work hard but with time and dedication, you will start losing the weight. While I have learned about nutrition and physical fitness during my journey, I also learned about other important values. I learned to be patient with myself, persistent, consistent, and realistic about my weight loss goals. I also learned not to give up even when it feels like I’ve failed. And, I learned about self-discipline, self-control, and to love myself for who I have now become. I hope that my story will inspire others to make the changes needed to start living a healthy lifestyle. It’s not easy, but it will definitely be worth it! Remember to always talk with your doctor before you begin any diet or fitness program.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
A huge factor to my weight loss success is my support system. I thank God for his guidance, protection, and leading me to work with an amazing team. My husband (Adrian), daughter (Cecilia), family, and close friends have always been very supportive throughout my journey. I’m grateful to have them by my side, always cheering me on. My personal trainer (Abraham) and his wife (Maya), along with the rest of the staff and my workout peers at The HappyFit-Studio have all encouraged, challenged, and guided me to reach my health and fitness goals. I am thankful to each of them and blessed to have their continued support.
What can cities like ours do to encourage and help workout studios/gyms thrive?
I’ve noticed in recent years that more locally business-owned workout studios/gyms are opening around the Houston and surrounding area. I think that proves that there is a demand for these types of physical fitness places. It shows that people want to invest in a place located close to their homes with accommodating workout schedules that offer a personal and productive workout experience. I recommend to research the workout studio or gym of your interest and participate in their workout sessions before making a decision on enrollment or membership. Select a workout place that’s the right fit for you, where you feel comfortable and can get the support you need from a certified personal trainer to start your weight loss transformation. These are all reasons why I’m a member of The HappyFit-Studio. If you’re in the Southeast Houston/Pasadena area, come visit and workout with us at The HappyFit-Studio!
How or where can people find The Happy-Fit Studio? How can people support them?
The HappyFit-Studio is located at 7407 Spencer Hwy., Pasadena, TX 77505. You can support them by participating in their personal or group training sessions and becoming a member. Let them help you reach your health and fitness goals like they have helped me reach mine.
- Address: The HappyFit-Studio
7407 Spencer Hwy.
Pasadena, TX 77505
- Website: www.thehappyfitstudio.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_happy_fitness/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thehappyfitstudio/