‘I Ate A Mostly Vegan Diet And Did Strength Training To Lose 45 Pounds After A Prediabetes Diagnosis’ “The first 10 pounds melted right off.” By Nelly Mayorga, as told to Emily Shiffer Oct 11, 2021
My name is Yanel Mayorga (@shewolf_getsfit), but everyone calls me Nelly. I am 30 years old, and I am from Long Beach, California. I am a full-time wedding and maternity photographer. After learning I was at risk of diabetes, I decided to eat a vegan diet overnight and strength train to weight loss. I lost 45 pounds in the process.
I have always been overweight and that’s pretty much been my biggest insecurity. In a nutshell, I associated my potential with my weight, and I used my weight as an excuse as to why I was living a mediocre life. My unhappiness with my weight was my life story because I let it be.
Back in 2016, I went to the doctor because I was dealing with insomnia. I found out I weighed 286 pounds that day, and was diagnosed with depression and high-blood pressure. My blood work came back indicating that I was prediabetic, which was a nightmare come true. Diabetes and heart disease run in my family, and I was really upset about it.
When I was a teenager, my uncle lived with us, and he passed from diabetes complications. It was one of the most difficult experiences to helplessly witness his body shut down while his spirit was very much alive and know it could have been prevented had he prioritized his health. That doctor’s visit made me reevaluate my priorities and make the first step. I literally went home, watched Unsupersize Me (a weight loss-focused series) on YouTube, did a bunch of research, and made the decision that I would put effort into making better choices.
I cleaned out my kitchen and fridge, went grocery shopping, and added healthier, more nutritious foods to my diet. The first 10 pounds melted right off.
I still eat mostly vegan, except this year I started experimenting with fish every now and then. I avoid added sugars, processed foods, and gluten. However, I am not restrictive. I choose to live healthy because it makes me feel good. I just eat what makes my body feel good because that’s really the ultimate goal.
Eventually I started going to the gym to do 30 minutes of walking on an incline on the treadmill.
Now, I do extensive workouts five to six times a week. I do 30 minutes of cardio, and then weight lift for 45 minutes. I really am having a lot of fun at the gym. I’m enjoying seeing how far I can push my body and how much stronger I am getting. The physical results aren’t bad either, but the gym is really a place where I’m proving to myself that I can push further than I think.
Weight loss has been a bonus in my fitness journey. I began with the goal to lose weight, but I have learned so much about myself, who I am, and what I can accomplish if I get out of my own way. It really is about treating yourself with the utmost respect, rooting for yourself harder than anyone, and allowing yourself to have whatever you want. Once you change your mindset, you can do everything.