(Alejandra’s Story – Written By: Alejandra)
I was born Alejandra Ponce on September 2, 1980 in Managua, Nicaragua. My family moved to Miami in 1987. Just my parents and my two brothers because of the Sandinistas who were drafting my father and older brother into their army. My sister and I stayed behind living with my maternal grandparents until my parents made a life here. It took them about 14 months and before you knew it we were going to make our way into the U.S.A. too. But we didn’t get Visas and had to cross the Mexican and Texas border. Needless to say, that was an adventure with problems that I like to save for talks!
For the most part I grew up in a stable environment with a happy and loving family. I however like the majority of my family are of obese nature. I was always a big girl and throughout the years, this made me have self-acceptance issues, eating disorders, confidence issues and everything that comes with that.
I was blessed to find a man like my husband. He has always seen beyond my looks and into the person I am inside. It has been a long journey to be were I am today. Not only physically, but emotionally. The emotional part being the hardest of both because I still struggle with this on a daily basis. From the physical aspect, I’ve gone from weighing 428 pounds (my highest recorded weight) and after eleven plus years now I currently am proud to say that I am currently a little below the 200’s and still working hard to achieve my personal weight goal! I am the person that is so proud of this that I don’t care whether you asked me my current weight or not, if I see the chance to bring it up I will! I am proud of it! I want the whole world to know! It has not been easy. Many overweight people will tell you this and I have been fortunate to have a support not only in my husband, but my family as well. Though this has been EXTREMELY hard it has not been the hardest part of my journey.
The emotional aspect of this journey has been the toughest. I have a hard time accepting who I am now, being comfortable in my own skin (and all the excess skin left), I like to consider myself a confident person, at least that is what I portray. But I am not a shy woman. I just have a hard time with self acceptance, seeing my worth, what I have to offer, etc. I remember that about a year ago I said that I would be so happy once I reach 200 pounds. Well, the day came and I was not! I then said to myself, okay then… 190 pounds and I go there and nothing. Now it is 180 pounds and I am almost there but honestly…. NOTHING! And then it clicked on me. I asked myself, would I be happier at 150? 140? 130? 120? 100????? The answer to that is that I don’t know! I still see Alejandra the 420 something pound girl. I love myself, that is not the issue, it is deeper than that and I continuously am working towards bettering my self esteem and seeing what I’m really worth. Little by little I have come to see that it goes beyond a self image. The people that matter most and those who really care see ME. Not the outer me, but the inner me and that is what I need to work on. I need to see the real me. Beyond the woman I stare at in the mirror every morning.
Lately, I have also been motivated to spend more time with loved ones. Not only my husband and son, but family too. Life is short. I want to love to be loved. I want to show love, compassion and I want to leave a mark in this world. They will all remember Alejandra, the great mother and wife, the good friend who was always there to listen to me, the sister who cared and took off from her hectic schedule to spend time with me, the daughter that helped in every way possible, the co-worker who was always so positive and smiling and let nothing get to her. That is what people will remember. They will never make mention that they remember Alejandra, the girl who always had a bow in her hair, the one who looked so well put together. No that is not what they will remember. I am working to make sure of that because all that is worthless shit that doesn’t mean anything.
This leads me to my current way of life. The minimalist way and more on that in a separate page, but I want to tell you the reasons behind that decision that I have made and my husband couldn’t be happier to embrace. By living with the things we only need (not really want) then we will have more time to live and enjoy this life! Look into it and see if it is right for your family. Life is not all about money and what we have.
I know this might sound a little sappy, but I am blessed. I am happy. I am truly in a place where I need to be emotionally. God has better things for me and this I know. I am doing the best I can to make it there! Staying healthy for myself, but for my husband and son as well. But first, myself! If I don’t take care of me, they won’t have me around long.
(Francisco’s Story-Written By: Francisco Martinez)