‘I Could Still Eat My Favorite Mexican Dishes On The Keto Diet—And I Lost 120 Pounds’

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

From Women’s Health

My name is Cynthia Alonso (@mexi_ketogirl), and I am 31. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, and currently work for Amazon Prime as a delivery driver. After developing sleep apnea and not having my period for years, I decided to make lifestyle changes to lose weight. I started eating keto and got a new, more active job, which helped me lose 120 pounds.

I had plenty of struggles before my weight loss journey started. My legs used to get so swollen and I used to have to buy shoes two sizes bigger than the length I needed in order for them to be comfortably wide enough. I used to run out of breath just walking up a flight of stairs.

I was also tired all the time and never knew why, and I used to snore horribly. So I finally made the decision after years of feeling fatigued to go to my doctors, and I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2018. I had to sleep with a CPAP machine in order to breath properly.

My weight held me back from taking part in a lot of outdoor activities.

I remember a time time in July 2018 when my aunt came to visit me and we went on a hike. I couldn’t make it up the mountain. I cried on my way back down because I felt like a failure. My aunt tried to console me, and it made me feel worse.

I recall times I felt ashamed of myself because my nephews would wonder why I wasn’t able to do active activities with them, and I couldn’t bring myself to tell them it was because of my weight.

At my annual doctor’s visit in February 2019, my physician told me I was 360 pounds, and I could not believe what I had heard.

I was 30 years old, and it was the heaviest I had ever been. She expressed her concerns about my health and that I needed to make a change. I told her I wanted children and hadn’t had my menstrual cycle in three to four years, and she advised me to meet up with an ob-gyn. I knew my weight could be part of this problem.

After that doctor’s visit, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much weight I had gained. I started looking at pictures of myself. I knew I had to make a change but didn’t know how or where to start.

I started doing research for weight loss surgery, but my insurance wouldn’t cover it. During this time, my grandpa was getting very ill, and I took a trip in March 2019 to visit him and my family. We were having a family barbecue and I was serving my wife a plate of food, and my grandpa said, “You’re going to eat again? You need to stop eating so much and start taking care of yourself. This is not healthy for you. You have gotten too big.”

I remember being very angry at him, thinking, how dare he?! Who does he think he is? But when I returned from my trip, I was thinking about what he said to me—and I knew he was right. No one else had ever had the nerve to tell me to my face to stop and make a change.

I knew then and there that I had to start. I lost my grandpa on May 20, 2019, and I am forever grateful that he pushed me to start my weight loss journey.

I decided to start the keto diet after a lot of research.

I wrote to a friend on Instagram because I saw she got gastric bypass surgery, and I was curious about costs and procedures. She told me her mother had complications with a weight loss surgery, and she suggested that I look into keto first instead. She began telling me about her journey with keto and sent me info on how to start.

On April 1, 2019, I started my keto journey. As a Mexican woman, I love my traditional homemade meals, and I was able to tweak many of those recipes and make them keto-friendly. I am also a cheese lover and could still have it on the keto diet.

Here’s what I eat in a day now.

  • Breakfast: Breakfast quesadilla (low-carb tortilla wrap, eggs, cheese, veggies, bacon) and whipped coffee.

  • Lunch: Chicken Caesar salad (Costco has the best ones!).

  • Snacks: Almonds, nuts, cheese sticks, cucumbers, beef jerky, kale chips.

  • Dinner: Protein (chicken, beef, pork) and veggies, such as cauliflower, asparagus, or broccoli. I love cauliflower rice with Mexican dishes.

  • Dessert: Quest Cookies, keto ice cream bars

After starting the keto diet, I lost around 30 pounds by June 2019. (I hadn’t started getting into exercise at that point.) The thing was, I wasn’t happy at my computer job at the time, which involved sitting for eight hours a day. I decided I needed something different. One of my nieces told me about her part-time job at Amazon as a delivery driver, and I decided to try it out.

As a delivery driver, I’m on my feet all day—and this completely changed my life.

I do so much cardio with my job that I don’t need to go to the gym. And on my days off, I go on a lot of hikes. I also love to dance and hang out with my nephews, which keeps me active.

A big factor in my successful weight loss journey was that I made changes I knew could *last.*

I made changes that I can apply for the long run and that are realistic for my life. For example, I dropped sugary drinks. I am a sugar-free type of gal now. This is a change I knew I could apply for the long run versus giving up, say, cheese. And if I do slip up (and eat what I am craving), I make sure to jump right back in and remind myself that it will be okay!

Ultimately, I tried not to be so hard on myself. Change takes time. I try to take it day by day. I also don’t worry so much about what the scale says because there are a lot of off scale victories that you should be proud of.

In a little over a year, I have lost 120 pounds.

I made a change in my life because I deserve to be happy and healthy and live my life to the fullest. I didn’t want weight to stop me from becoming the person I want to be.

I have gained so much confidence that I never knew was inside of me. The best part of all of this is that I no longer need my CPAP machine. I am also able to fit in a roller coaster seat, and I no longer need an extender on an airplane seat.

I have shown others, but also myself, that anything is possible. Embarking on this journey was the best decision I ever made, and I hope I can inspire others to make a change today.

You Might Also Like