INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It's the second week of the new year and maybe you're already falling off the healthy lifestyle wagon you promised yourself you'd stay on in 2018. The Martinez family is giving some real life motivation. Ryan and Ashley dropped more than 250 pounds combined the old-fashioned way.
Young, in love and gaining weight, the two met in high school and fell in love. They soon became blinded by love and calories.
"We got together, moved in together after we graduated and got engaged and we got comfortable like everybody does and just blew up. I was 230 pounds when we got married and he was 430 pounds," Ashley said.
The couple struggled to get pregnant. They quickly blamed their unhealthy lifestyle for their fertility struggles. So they started hitting the gym. Both dropped about 30 pounds. In 2015, they welcomed their daughter Madeline. But still severely overweight, her life became a rebirth for them. September 2016, the couple started their journey at the Faith East Community Center, working out five days a week and eating a clean diet.
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"In eight months, eight or nine months Ryan loss 200 pounds and I lost 60 pounds so we are sitting at 230 and 134 between the two of us," Ashley said.
Ryan says they stuck to the basics and the weight started to fall off.
"There was no programs along the way, no pills, no wraps, it's just good old fashion exercise and dieting," Ryan said.
Ryan and Ashley say they couldn't do it without each another. They remember the days of not being able to fit in a booth at a restaurant. For Ryan, his goals aren't measured by pounds loss, but by the moments he gained.
"My daughter was the reason I did all of this. One of my biggest goals was to be able to ride amusement park rides with her because there's always that one parent that has to do the videotaping. This past summer, we went to Indiana Beach and I was able to ride on one of the kiddy coasters with her and that was one of my big milestones to hit," Ryan said.
They want to show others, yes, it's hard work but so worth it. And if you fall down, get back up and keep going even after a cheat meal.
"But still eat the cool food when you can. Eat it on the weekends. Eat it for sure. Treat yourself."
The couple says eating treat meals on the weekends has kept the journey exciting. Then, Monday through Friday, it’s right back to the routine.
If it's not smothered in buttered, doused in seasoning or salt, popcorn makes for a great snack. If air-popped, the light, low-calorie snack can be a good source of fiber, without the cholesterol. Plus, it's considered a whole grain!
Calories per stalk: 6
Since celery is mostly water, the fibrous plant has been known to offer many health benefits.
A great source of calcium and vitamins, cottage cheese is a go-to snack for many looking to maintain their weight. High in protein (28 grams in 1 cup of low-fat) it's recommended highly by nutritionists and athletes. The calcium-packed snack will help you feel full as it is "associated with metabolic processes that reduce fat accumulation and accelerate fat loss," according to Authority Nutrition.
Calories per cup: 85
The fruit is low in saturated fat, is a great source of antioxidants and dietary fiber -- and thus, can be a healthy snack for those looking to maintain or even lose weight.
With only 52 calories in half of the fruit, the citrus makes for a refreshing breakfast or snack. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, the fruit is known to boost metabolism and lower insulin levels -- thus, actually burning fat!
Chicken and other lean meats
Calories in 3 oz of skinless chicken: 142 calories
A healthy source of protein, chicken helps fill you up while giving you energy. Fried chicken doesn't count!