It all started when Dolores took a bath. When the towel wouldn't fit around her body, she knew she needed to change her lifestyle in order to turn her life around — for her family's sake. From there, she downloaded an app and simply got started on her weight-loss journey. She didn't follow any trends or make any extreme changes in her diet. Instead, she lost weight the old-fashioned way: by moving more and eating healthier foods.
POPSUGAR: When did you start your weight-loss journey? What made you decide to?
Dolores Velez: After a particularly emotional evening, I decided to take a bath to help myself feel better. When I got out of the bath, my towel wouldn't fully wrap around me, and that's when I took a good look at myself and really broke down. That's when I knew I needed to get healthy for myself and for my children. I didn't want to try diet pills or fad diets that would only produce short-term results, so in January 2015, my daughter downloaded Lose It! on my phone to help me eat healthier and stay on track. Lose It! became the main part of my journey, helping me eat right and exercise every day.
PS: What was your starting weight?
DV: 309 pounds.
PS: How much weight have you lost so far?
DV: 160 pounds.
PS: How did you do it? Did you follow a specific diet?
DV: After downloading the Lose It! app, I found it easier to keep track of my daily food intake and to become more aware of the kinds of foods I was eating. I realized that salt contributed to weight gain, so I cut all salt from my diet and never used sugar, because my mother had been a diabetic. I also cut out carbs like pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread and instead have started eating more fish, greens, and tons of salad.
"After my last checkup, my numbers are perfect and I'm no longer on any medications."
PS: Did you do a specific workout type or schedule?
DV: When I first started my journey, I couldn't exercise because of my weight. But once I started using Lose It! and lost some weight, I was able to start walking every day. Now I also use small weights, an easy fitness bar and bands, and walk four to five miles a day.
PS: What are some nonscale victories you've experienced?
DV: Because of my weight, I suffered from many health problems like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, and high blood pressure. But after my last checkup, my numbers are perfect and I'm no longer on any medications. I also went from a size 24 to a size six and love shopping for new outfits in the regular size section.
PS: How do you stay motivated?
DV: The Lose It! app helps me stay on track by helping me monitor my calorie intake. Their award system and acknowledgments are also a big part of what keeps me on track.
PS: What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
"Love yourself at the start of your journey or you will never stick to completing it."
DV: I have yogurt and coffee for breakfast, and then my morning routine consists of walking for three to five miles. I have fish and veggies with a small salad for lunch and salad for dinner. I make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day and eat snacks like celery and sugar-free jello or jello pudding.
PS: Any advice or tips for people on their own journey?
DV: Love yourself at the start of your journey or you will never stick to completing it. It is a lifestyle change, so get rid of the word "diet" and start with attainable goals. When you hit a plateau, call a friend and talk it out. Don't ever give up on yourself.
PS: Anything else you want to share?
DV: My doctor has said to me that I'm an example for all senior citizens sitting around saying they can't do anything. But I really want to be an example for anyone who feels like they can't do something.