Region 4 Winner: Elizabeth Ramirez

Diet Pills, Detox Teas, replacing full meals with shakes or starving… How many more salads do i have to eat today?
Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I’m 26yrs old. Yes I tried it all and i lost and gained weight and i was stuck in a Yo-yo that with time, took over me not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. I didn’t always struggle with weight problems,self-appearance etc, I would always give but not take my own advice. I tried to keep in a lot more than I could handle and lost myself along the way.
My life, I would say, was pretty happy and everything seemed to be going in the right path in life,we had a beautiful daughter,my husband had joined the military until my second pregnancy in 2010-2011.
My pregnancy was very traumatic, the kind of trauma that stays with you forever. I was 6 months pregnant when my son was diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease along with other abnormalities. After endless tests and ultrasounds, doctors gave me no hope, I had to wait to deliver him just to say goodbye or was given the option of late term abortion. I gave birth to my son at 38 weeks and was blessed to spend 2 days with him, holding him in my arms for the first and last time. To see his life slip away was traumatic. I felt like I had failed as a mother.
I also had a daughter that needed me, so I set my grief aside. I wanted her to  see me being strong. I bottled up a lot of feeling and emotions that, later on, caught up to me with depression and anxiety. Food was my comfort and liquor made me happy and a pretend smile made things “okay”. Before I realized, I was at my highest weight at 190lbs. I was miserable with myself and was struggling with infertility. I ate to eat and would cry afterward because I hated how I looked. I hated seeing myself in pictures or the mirror. I didn’t even want my husband to look at me or touch me. It wasn’t until 2014, when I reached out for medical help, was my doctor straight forward with me and suggested I make changes. I did and I lost 25lbs and I became pregnant. I strongly believe the changes and the several months on the NEM page, seeing so many wonderful successful stories that have inspired me day after day, helped. I just knew I had to put my excuses and self-pity aside. I stopped wishing and complaining and daydreaming of the what if’s and started acting on what I needed. April 2016 about 9month Postpartum I made a self-commitment to get healthy and to get active and find myself again.
This year I’ve met my goals, found myself and developed a love for running and here I am, expecting another blessing. It’s been a rough pregnancy but I can proudly say, these 12 weeks I have given it my all. It has surprisingly gone by fast and I’ve met goals I didn’t think would be possible. I’ve stepped out from my comfort zone and no longer eat for comfort and because I know I’ve been through worse in life and pulled through it, I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind and heart on. I know that I am worthy of being the best version of myself as a mother/wife/person. I am happy, healthy and motivated and eager to find and reach new goals!

Congrats to our Region 4f pot challenge winner, Elizabeth Ramirez for being an incredible inspiration and following through on our 12 week challenge! You have $220 extra shopping money this season and we hope you get something extra awesome for yourself! Our No Excuse Moms followed our official NEM program, where they used a fitness calendar, logged in their meals, participated online/in-person and overcame their excuses!
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