Success Story: Sylvia Rodriguez

Sylvia Rodriguez was born in Mexico but raised in Oxnard, California. She has worked for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as a Spanish/English translator. She is currently employed at the Wynn Encore, where she has worked as a field-training officer for nine years. She was recently given the honor of being named ‘Employee of the Month”. 

LVAC: What was the ‘last straw’ that motivated you to change your diet and lifestyle?

Sylvia:  About 2 1/2 years ago, while I was at work, I noticed my left knee was getting very swollen. As the knee continued to swell, the pain got worse. It eventually got to the point where I was unable to stand or even walk on my left leg anymore. One day when I left work, I had to be put into a wheelchair and pushed to my vehicle. I immediately went to the hospital. At the hospital, I was told by the doctor that if I continued with my current lifestyle I would eventually lose mobility in my legs. My knees could no longer bear my weight. That’s when I finally decided to change my life and not live in pain anymore. I wanted to enjoy my life and my time with my family and friends. 

LVAC: What type of exercise and workout program has helped you to succeed with your weight loss and fitness goals? 

Sylvia:  I started taking group fitness cycling classes three times a week and sculpting classes two times a week. I would also take aqua aerobics classes. Every two weeks I started alternating my workout so that my body would not get used to the same routine. After a few months, I began implementing free weights into my workout as well as the elliptical machine and the treadmill.

LVAC: What type of foods did you eat before, and what specific changes have you made in your diet? 

Sylvia: I used to eat fast foods (McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, etc.) three times a week or sometimes the entire week depending on my work schedule. When I wasn’t eating fast foods, I would eat large portions of Mexican food (tortillas, enchiladas, rice, beans, etc.). For dessert, I would eat several types of traditional Mexican pastries like flan, tres leches cake, pan dulce, and cookies. My go to drinks were dark sodas, like Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper.Sylvia Rodriguez weight loss

Thanks to a good friend of mine who introduced me to a better diet, I began to slowly make healthier choices. He showed me how to portion control my meals and also showed me different alternatives, such as protein shakes, and appropriate supplements. We also varied my diet to find the foods that work the best for me. I incorporated a diet consisting of lean protein that was also low in processed carbohydrates. I also began consuming more vegetables, salads, and drinking more water. I stopped drinking sodas and sugar-laden fruit drinks. Another thing my friend showed me was how to read the nutrition labels on food so that I could know what was in the food I was eating. This was really helpful in learning to make better nutritional choices. I no longer eat fast food on a frequent basis.

“I’m currently the happiest I have been in my entire life. I feel like a much stronger person. I want to thank everyone who has been by my side in this journey. I appreciate you very much, and will never forget the positive influence you have been in my life.”

LVAC: What have been some of the positive changes you have experienced because of your weight loss? 
 Prior to my lifestyle change I used to wear a size 24 pants, XL shirt size, and I never wore dresses because of the way I felt my body looked. My attire consisted of only shirts, sweatpants, and regular pants in black, gray, or blue. There was no such as a thing as a bathing suit in my wardrobe and I never wore shorts.  Now that I am a size 10, my wardrobe has a variety of clothing in many different colors.  I even own a few bathing suits and dresses!

Because of my lifestyle change, I can walk for several hours and I have even begun to run. I have low cholesterol, low blood pressure, and no longer have any knee pain. Thanks to my new lifestyle, I am more disciplined and I enjoy trying new things. I have more confidence in myself and I have begun to set and accomplish goals, such as becoming a certified cycling instructor. I recently completed a certification as a personal trainer. My next goal is to transform my body to compete in fitness modeling.

Without the help of LVAC instructors and personal trainers who have educated me and motivated me to push my limits, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. They always answered any questions I had and were willing to help me, whether it was a nutrition question or just questions about how to use a machine. My favorite thing about LVAC is the smile at the reception desk that brightens my day.  I love the amazing variety of group fitness classes that LVAC offers, because I can always find some that will fit my schedule.  

“I’m currently the happiest I have been in my entire life.  I feel like a much stronger person. I want to thank everyone who has been by my side in this journey.  I appreciate you very much, and will never forget the positive influence you have been in my life.”