By Liana Jacob
MEET the resilient mum who after comfort eating following the breakdown of her 13-year marriage re-discovered herself and lost TWO STONE SIX POUNDS resulting in her new stunning physique.
Business analyst, Alejandra Mace (39), from Florida, USA, and mum of an 11-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy, never had an issue with her weight growing up, weighing at 7st 12Ibs on her wedding day when she was 25.
Following her turbulent relationship with her partner, she began eating out regularly and indulging in junk food which resulted in her peak weight of 9st 4Ibs with 27 percent fat and UK dress size of 14.
In 2015, she decided to end her marriage and following the divorce proceedings, she channelled her sorrow at the gym and changed her lifestyle altogether.
She shed her weight and trimmed down to a svelte 8st 6Ibs and a UK dress size of 4 by 2016, bringing her body fat down to 17 percent, maintaining her body ever since.
“I blamed it to eating out often, but I realise now that living in an unhealthy relationship could have caused my sudden weight gain,” Alejandra said.
“He swore he loved me and wanted to work it out. We ‘tried’ from 2013 and 2014, then I found out he didn’t love me. I was lost, the whole situation was so painful; I was in denial. I didn’t feel anything.
“During 2015, the craziness of the marriage was in full effect, I wanted to end the marriage due to my husband’s attitude, but he would drag me back in saying he loved me.
“I stopped taking care of myself. Eventually we became friends, which led to the infamous divorce.
“I cried for months, the pain was out of this world. After eight months of pure hellish pain, I decided to channel all my sorrow at the gym.
“In May 2016, I walked into the gym, broken emotional and lost. I signed with a trainer and nutritionist.
“Now I eat healthy 24/7, I go to the gym six days a week, whether I’m sick, it’s raining, on holidays; I didn’t miss a single day.
“The pain was too much and the gym was a salvation – I ran, I cried while squatting – it was surreal. By November 2016, I lost 10 percent of my body fat.
“I was a weak and submissive woman; I would please my husband and take everything he said without questioning.
“I have now become stronger, sure of myself but most importantly, I found myself – one rep at a time. Taking care of myself and putting myself first is not a selfish act; it’s an act of self-love and self-care.
“I make time for my daily gym session; my self-esteem has grown and I became mentally stronger. I realised that it’s more than looking good in the mirror, it’s about moving forward, and rebuilding my life, and becoming a woman, I’ve never dreamt of.”
While Alejandra has made a leap in her recovery, she says that she is still working on healing herself but she is happy.
“I’ve worked hard to get out of the dark tunnel I was in. I have learnt many things; including the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. Setting boundaries and demanding respect is one of the valuable lessons I’ve learned through my healing journey,” she said.
“I stopped eating fast food, unhealthy food in general and drinking alcohol for the first year of my journey. I was happy to give up all that because my goals were bigger than eating French fries, and the pain I felt inside give me the strength to continue to fight for my convictions.”
Being a mother-of-two; balancing her exercise and diet routine with her everyday activities of being a mum was difficult for her, but with the help of her family she got through it.
“I have a really busy schedule and two little kids. My family agreed to help me with the kids, so I can make it to the gym early morning, I love early workout so it works for me,” Alejandra said.
“I got up every day at 5am to get to the gym. My mum would watch the kids and helped getting them ready for school. Once my family were onboard, it’s been an easy deal, I dance everyday day after I finished my workout routine.
“Even, when I want to skip the gym, I talked myself out of sleeping five more minutes, I think about how good I felt the day before, and with that, I am out of bed. Plus, I can’t miss my daily dance routine.
“People ask me if I am a personal trainer or what am I doing? People often tell me how much of an inspiration I am.
“My family and friends said, ‘you are the stronger person we’ve known, after everything you’ve been through, and you never gave up, you fought back, you are still standing strong – you will inspire many women to never give up on themselves’ – I couldn’t give up on myself, I have a daughter, I need to be a role model to her.
“Younger girls say that when they get married and have kids, they would love to look like me. Of ‘course I do get attention from guys of all ages too, sometimes they ask me if I am 25-30 years old.
“No matter what’s going on in your life; take time to love yourself. Painful situations in our life are there to change your life.
“Take advantage of these painful moments that hurt like hell but when you make it through, you will be stronger that you have ever been.
“Through all of these I found my purpose in life, I want to become a woman advocate, and a personal trainer. If I helped one woman or man to avoid being in an unhealthy, I’ve done my job.”
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