When she was at 395 pounds,
The University of Central Florida grad student, who has struggled with her weight all her life, has shed 120 lbs after discovering yoga, sharing her journey on her Instagram account. She regularly posts photos of her impressive yoga skills, including splits, arm balances and flexibility.
Recently, she shared a photo from the beginning of her journey to now, captioning the Instagram post, “Thankful for where I am. Always remember where I started. I'll forever post this because no matter how many times I fall off track...it always reminds me how far I've come. | I've lost 120ish lbs and have a ways to go.”
Maria explained her motivation to lose weight in a recent interview with People Magazine.
“I think it hit me when I actually got on the scale and I was almost 400 lbs. and I was like, this is crazy, I need to do something about it,” she said of the revelation she had in 2014. “I’ve always been active. I’ve always tried to lose weight; nothing would stick. I was at the point when I realized, ‘Oh my god, I weigh this much.’ I had to do something about it.”
Yoga came surprisingly natural to Maria, who says she expected to be “horrible," and instead found it "fun." After incorporating that into her life, she added TRX, cardio, weight lifting and Zumba to aid her on her weight loss journey.
Diet is equally important to Maria, who recently penned an e-book, Healthy Living: Tips, Tricks and Recipes to Eating Healthy. She eats small portions every 2-3 hours and regularly shares photos of foods like chicken kabobs, salads, and protein waffles with her 72,000 followers.
She also offered a crucial piece of advice during the interview. "There will be days where I don’t go to the gym, I don’t eat healthy," Maria says. "And then the next day I wake up and say, ‘What are you doing? Get back on track.’ I think that knowing you can fall a million times and still get up and do something about it, that’s the big key.”