I’m so grateful to have met this week’s inspiration through the San Francisco Marathon Ambassador team. Tricia brought so much enthusiasm and encouragement to the group and I know we were all grateful to have her there cheering us on. Tricia’s health journey is one that shows by example–it’s possible to turn things around and improve your health–like she says–it just takes time. I think you’ll be inspired by Tricia’s story and I hope you share it with others who may think it’s too hard or too late to turn their health around. Tricia shows it’s possible.
My Fit Family: Tell us a little about yourself.
Tricia: I live in the Bay Area just fifteen minutes outside of San Francisco. I work in Marketing for a Pharmaceutical company. I create advertising and collateral. I also am in charge of organizing various trade shows and advisory board meetings. Outside of my day job, I love to bake, travel, spend time with my loved ones and run! On any given Saturday you can spot me running with the SF Road Runners..
MFF: Have you always embraced a fit and healthy lifestyle?
Tricia: I was always chubby growing up. I didn’t let my weight stop me from joining the volleyball and basketball teams in school. When I got to college, I really didn’t take care of myself. Eating junk food and joining my friends to grab fast food late at night was my downfall. I was also a smoker and working out was the last thing I wanted to do. When I graduated from school, my priority wasn’t health but establishing my career and life.
Due to my inactivity, I developed high blood pressure and type two diabetes before the age of 30. I was prescribed many different types of blood pressure medications. In addition, I took medication for my diabetes and high cholesterol. It got tiring taking the medication. It was also scary to be in my thirties taking so many pills.
On April 19, 2011, I signed up for twenty sessions with a trainer. I was full of doubt that I could even survive the twenty sessions. My main goal was to get out of the 200 pound range. I didn’t think it was possible. I owe a lot to my trainers who were brave enough to take me on. Along the journey, I began to see myself in a different light and got my confidence back. I am amazed at all that I have accomplished .
MFF: What does typical workout look like for you?
Tricia: A typical workout is twice a week of working out with trainers doing TRX, weights, core and body exercises. If I am up to it I will do cardio after the trainer either the elliptical, treadmill or stairs. Sometimes I will run for one or two miles outside.
In addition to working with trainers, I try to run three times a week. Two short ones during the work week and one long one during Saturday. If I am training for a race, I focus more on running and track workouts.
I feel that strength training is a key in maintaining overall fitness and benefits my running.
MFF: : How do you make the time to workout?
Tricia: Working out has become something I have carved into my days. I put it on my calendar and block out the time . I am a morning person by nature . I have been known to rise up before the sun to get a run or workout in. If I don’t do the morning, then I am working out after work. It’s all about flexibility. I don’t beat myself up if I miss a day. I just get back up the next day and do it.
MFF: What is your favorite physical activity?
Tricia: I like to run. I am not a fast runner at all. Sometimes I do the run/walk. I believe that running is a gift. When I was overweight and unhealthy, I was told that I couldn’t run due to the risk on my health. It was one of my goals to start running when I got to a healthier weight. First on the treadmill and then outdoors after getting bored with the gym. It gave me a feeling of accomplishment and happiness. I discovered running is how I see the world around me and keeps my mind at peace. I train and participate in races because it gives me the opportunity to celebrate accomplishments and see how far I have come.
MFF: What is your favorite healthy meal or snack and of course we love hearing about favorite food indulgences–what’s your #1?
Tricia: My favorite healthy meal is Mediterranean Quinoa Salad from Skinnytaste.com. It’s so versatile and has the right amount of vegetables. The quinoa gives me the carbs I crave and a good alternative to eating rice. I usually throw in some shredded chicken or other type of protein to make it a complete meal. And my #1 food indulgence is Lumpia (Filipino Egg Rolls).
MFF: Who inspires you?
Tricia: I come from a very large extended family. I grew up with lots of cousins, aunts and uncles around me. They have been always been there for me whether I was 220 pounds or at my current weight. They constantly provide me with support, encouragement and love. They are my heart and I always have them in my mind while I am out on the roads running. You can often find them holding up signs or ringing cow bells during my races. All of them have special meaning to me. I would not be the person that I am without them in my life. They inspire me to keep dreaming and going after my goals. However crazy they may seem.
MFF: What one piece of advice would you give out to someone just starting out on their health/fitness journey?
Tricia: My advice it to be patient and gentle with yourself. It takes time. Focus on what you are doing right. Not the negative aspects.
Thank you for sharing your story, Tricia!
Never Give Up,