Skinny Gene Spotlight- Erika and Rosalvina

By Barbara Gesell- Skinny Gene Accountability Ally

We’ve had the opportunity to work with an inspiring mother-daughter duo.  The mother, Rosalvina, was on a mission to not only create a healthy home for her family, but to also bring back one thing her daughter seemed to have lost – hope for a healthy future.

photo 1When we began, Erika was only 12 years old but had been diagnosed with a health condition that usually means heart disease and type 2 diabetes are just around the corner.  Rosalvina and Erika looked for someone to help them with weight loss, but their efforts just left them feeling more frustrated and discouraged. That was until she found the Skinny Gene Project through her local Copley YMCA.

Initially, Erika was hesitant to come to the Skinny Gene Project “Boost Your Metabolism” classes with her mother.  In the past, she felt like the doctors who were trying to get her to lose weight did not see who she was on the inside.  All they saw was an overweight preteen.

After her mother brought her a sample of the food provided at the first class, Erika had a feeling that this weight loss class would be different. So, despite her previous negative experiences, Erika changed her mind and decided to risk attending the Boost Your Metabolism class with her mother.

When asked what made her want to improve her health, Erika said, “What motivated me the most was seeing other kids being able to run around non-stop.  And me having to stop after 20 minutes and then I’ll be all tired out.”

Creating healthy habits is a family affair.  Rosalvina makes almost all their meals at home in order to provide healthy choices.  She also exercises 5-6 days per week and models good habits for her daughter.   Rosalvina teaches her daughter how to live a healthy lifestyle, simply leading by example -making Rosalvina the perfect “Mommy Mentor”.

Rosalvina and Erika’s hard work definitely paid off. Erika’s goal at the beginning of the program was to lose weight before she started 7th grade in the fall.  With Skinny Gene’s help and her mother’s support, Erika started exercising regularly and making small consistent changes to her diet.   She was able to exercise more without getting tired. By attending our Boost Your Metabolism classes and practicing what she learned at home, Erika started feeling more confident in her ability to have control over what she puts in her body. All of these small positive lifestyle changes led to big weight loss.

After being in our program for just 3 months, Erika and Rosalvina have become the first mother-daughter duo at Copley YMCA to become a member of the Skinny Gene 5% club.

The Skinny Gene 5% club is an honor given to recognize the people in the Boost Your Metabolism program who made significant positive lifestyle changes and lost 5% of their body weight.

Studies show that losing just 5% of your body weight can have significant long term health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease (e.g. lowers bad cholesterol and blood pressure) and preventing type 2 diabetes by at least 58% (i.e. 4+ years)

We are excited to announce that at the end of the 3 month period, Rosalvina lost 5.7% of her body weight and Erika lost 8.8%

After losing the weight Erika said, “I have all this energy stored up now!”

Rosalvina has helped Erika to start down the path to a healthy and happy future, and the mother-daughter team plan to continue working on their lifestyle changes with the Skinny Gene Project to continue on this path.

Although we, the Skinny Gene Project are happy about the weight that these two lost, we are more excited about what they gained- improved health and renewed hope for the future.

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