HEALTHY LIVING
10/16/2013 08:52 am ET

Alexandra Ramos Committed To Tracking Calories And Lost 174 Pounds

Alexandra Ramos

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Name: Alexandra Ramos
Age: 24
Height: 5'8"
Before Weight: 320 pounds

How I Gained It: Growing up in a Puerto Rican household, eating large portions of food was the norm. We had fast food every night for dinner and went to buffets weekly throughout my childhood.

Breaking Point: It would have to be my 21st birthday. I weighed in at 320 pounds. I was all dolled up, but too embarrassed to be taken to the bars. I opted to just have dinner with my closest friends and one drink. After that night I decided to make those birthday pictures my "before" pictures, and that I would lose weight by the time my college graduation came. By this time, I had also developed sleep apnea and severe back pain, and I couldn't even walk to my classes without feeling like I was going to die.

How I Lost It: I rejoined SparkPeople for what seemed like the 10th time, but took advantage of their calorie and exercise trackers this time around. I religiously tracked my daily calories and made it my goal each day to stay within the allowance. I joined Planet Fitness and dedicated three to four hours a week to working out on the elliptical.

Over the first year I lost 80 pounds. I hit a setback though, when the holidays came, and gained more than 10 pounds. Wanting to lose the weight I gained quickly, I did research and decided to try a low-carb lifestyle. I lost 60 pounds in the next year. Even with the many setbacks I've had, I still haven't lost focus. Over the next year, I reevaluated my plan and returned to tracking calories and reincorporated whole grains. I started using my Biggest Loser Cardio Max and 30 Day Shred DVDs and Just Dance for Wii. Over the last year, 30 more pounds have come off. As of now, I am at a healthy weight for my height, but my ultimate goal would be to weigh 135 pounds one day.

I recently moved to Chicago to attend graduate school. I am hoping to live my young-adult life to the fullest and experience everything I didn't get to in my undergrad years. Wish me luck!

Current Weight: 146 pounds
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