Fit Latina in the Making: We’re Burning my Big Clothes

So I’ve officially reached the 18 pound loss…almost halfway to my 1st goal!  I’ve also had a lot of fun moments recently with clothes that I have in my closet. Many items that were just a little snug are either fitting just right or are actually now loose and it’s AWESOME.

This fashionista could care less what the scale says every morning! I’m much more interested in the clothing and shoes I see in my future.  I know that the number on the scale is an indicator of what some of the clothes will look like but the actual fit of some pieces is what truly motivates me. I want to be able to wear anything in the store that I like – within reason of course.  I am almost 40 and don’t plan on dressing like a 20 year old. I won’t be one of those women – regardless of how hot I get (ha!).

So imagine my giggles when Ray is talking about going shopping when I reach the next 20 pounds. I chuckled because I know I have pieces of clothing in my closet now that will finally fit again.  I happened to mention this to him and he immediately asked:

“When we reach this next target, can we burn your bigger clothes?”

No.  We will not burn them.  I don’t believe in such waste.  However, I will get them out of my House and donate them to a women’s shelter or salvation army.

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Doesn’t even need a handshake. It will get done.

Fit Latina in the Making: Help me Support Some Incredible Families

So today I’m adding one more incentive to my fitness journey, and I’m hoping you’ll join in too. You see, one of the things I am most proud of is my professional career. I made a conscious decision years ago to focus on bettering my community- geographical and cultural. I’ve worked in the non-profit sector since 2002, and I have never once pursued a for-profit position.

Do I have anything against the for-profit sector.  Of course not!  There are so many incredible corporate partners and foundations that help nonprofits provide services to the population they serve through donations of time and money. It’s simply incredible to have seen the paradigm shift from when I first started working. To have large corporations setting aside VTO (volunteer time off) so their employees can do something they love is just the coolest thing to be a part of when hosting them at my work.

So what do I do? I’m a proud proud member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. I started as a volunteer almost 20 years ago while still in college, but I joined the staff in 2012. It’s been the most challenging (emotionally and intellectually) position I’ve had and absolutely the most rewarding. I don’t think I’ve ever been more happy professionally.

But why?

Well if you’ve never been to a Ronald McDonald House, then let this be your first introduction. With almost 400 Houses around the world, Ronald McDonald Houses strive to do two main things: keeping families together and keeping them close to the hospital where their child is receiving treatment. RMH provides them a ‘home away from home’ while they seek out the best care for their child. Some of our families are with us short-term and some are with us a lifetime.

So how will I marry this fitness journey with the medical journey of our families?

I’ve had several wake up calls to remind me of how lucky I am to be “healthy.” I’ve lost friends to terrible illnesses and have others who are battling diabetes and other auto immune diseases.  Me? I’m a fatty with bad ankles.  Not the worse thing in the world when you look at the potential of what my body could be doing today if my genetics played out differently. I’ve been lucky, and I’ve taken it for granted.

My RMH kiddos don’t have a choice, and my friends don’t have a choice.  I have CHOICES and TOOLS to help me get in the best shape of my life. This year, I finally also have the DRIVE.  It’s go time!

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I’m in this to win it and I have the best supportive team and friends ever to make this happen!

I have an initial goal of losing 40 pounds by my 40th birthday. Well, when I stepped on the scale yesterday, I realized my pace is going much faster than it ever has because I’m finally doing all the right things.  So I WILL HIT this target in my 39th year of life.

39 years of being healthy that I have taken for granted!

My kiddos at RMH have fought so much harder than I ever have, so I thank them for giving me the strength and humor from which to push through the soreness. It’s nothing compared to what they battle each and every day.

So how can you help?

We are currently raising funds to refurbish one of our older Houses (we have 5 in the Chicagoland area), and it is the House that first introduced me to this beautiful work I get to be part of every day.

I have a personal fundraising goal of $2500 but I would like to quickly surpass that goal just as I’ll do with my initial 40 pound weight-loss target. I’m already close to reaching a 10 pound loss and it’s only been 1.5 weeks since I first spoke with Ray (and 4 days of actual workouts).

I will crush this fitness journey…can you help me crush my fundraising goal too? Your donation would not only show your belief in my drive but it will also support the thousands of families who need us most during the most challenging times of their lives.

So if my journey isn’t enough for you…how about a picture of one of the families you would be helping today by making a donation here?

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Last day of CHEMO!!!!

Also, let me be completely transparent.  I’d like to earn my title back as top individual fundraiser from my colleague Ben who crushed me last year and is currently light-years ahead of me! Can I count on you to help me crush him?!  Know that this is a friendly but heated competition we have done for the past of couple of years. I love my Benny but I hate losing to him.

Mother’s Day: Last Minute Gift Idea

My entire professional career has been in the non-profit sector. Each position I’ve held since graduating has always felt like the right fit. I think part of the reason why they’ve all felt right is because I was doing something meaningful. My roles (as varied as they have been) have not only fulfilled me intellectually but also emotionally.

I currently work at an incredible agency – Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland Northwest Indiana. I started as a volunteer in 1997/1998 and joined the team officially in 2012. The families we support are incredible, inspiring, and loving. The fact that I get to be a small part of their health stories is mind-blowing and humbling.

Why is this work so important to me? When I was born at 31 weeks, I had to spend 6 weeks in the NICU at Cook County Hospital. My mother was new to the country, didn’t speak much English and had very limited resources. My father had to work so he wasn’t able to navigate her across the city daily so she could spend time with me. It wasn’t until recently that I learned of the guilt my mother felt for the time she felt we lost. You see, the first Ronald McDonald House in Chicago wasn’t built until I was already 3 months old. Had their been one, my mother might have had the chance to stay close so that she didn’t have to miss out on time spent with me due to travel and economic ability. She would have been able to walk over to the hospital whenever she wanted to see me.

My mother was strong and did the best she could. She would have much less guilt had she had the incredible resource of the Ronald McDonald House, but it simply was not an option for her. Thankfully, her reality is no longer the only reality for other families like ours. There are now over 350 Ronald McDonald Houses around the WORLD!

No one wants to spend their Mother’s Day at a hospital, but there are many families who will this coming weekend. With your support, RMH can continue to provide a safe, warm and comforting place for these families to shower their moms with all the love they deserve.

We have a really fun event called Pulling for the House on August 1st.  Our goal is to raise enough funds to offset the costs of operating one room for each night of the year. That’s one room that a family is able to use to stay together and close while their child is undergoing medical treatment.  That’s a total goal of  $18,250.

Since we’ve launched our campaign a week ago, we’ve already surpassed our goal of $5,000.  Please consider making a donation on behalf of your mother this weekend.  Help us reach our next target!  You can find more information here.

The Lurie Luchadores thank you in advance!

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