A day at the beach in 2012 set Christine Carlos on the path to a new life. Then 32, the mom weighed 225 pounds and struggled to keep up with her 8-year-old daughter.
“I was devastated because I wasn’t able to really play with Ysabella the way she wanted me to,” Carlos recalled to Muscle and Fitness. “I was out of breath, unfit, and uncomfortable.”
So she decided to make a change. She started out slowly by making small tweaks to her diet. Cutting out fried and fast food, she began consuming more vegetables and only a minimal amount of carbs. She lost 50 pounds in the first five months.
Carlos told POPSUGAR that a typical day of eating for her would consist of oatmeal and eggs for breakfast, salad with homemade vinaigrette for lunch and fish and vegetables for dinner.
In addition to changing her diet, the mom also began working out. She started with walking on her treadmill at home for 45 minutes a day for six days a week, and then progressed to jogging. She also incorporated Tabata workouts into her fitness plan.
One year later, Carlos had lost 100 pounds, but she decided she wasn’t going to stop there. In July 2013, she began training for a bikini competition, and the weight-lifting workouts she began to do leading up to competition helped her shed even more unwanted weight.
“I was nervous getting up onstage, but having my daughter there gave me strength. Win or lose, I felt I had achieved something,” she said.
After two years of doing bikini competitions, Carlos has since relaxed her diet. Now she focuses on eating “lots of proteins, green vegetables, complex carbs, and healthy fats,” she told POPSUGAR. She doesn’t deprive herself and even has the occasional cheat meal!
She’s gained 15 pounds back, but is still happy with her body and the progress that she’s made. Her advice to others hoping to lose weight is simple.
“Take it day by day,” she told POPSUGAR. “Don’t think about the long-term and just focus on what you need to do at the moment, because if you focus on how you want to look, you’ll easily get discouraged.”