About the Fluff

headshotBienvenidos! I’m Mariana, an island-born, U.S.-raised Puerto Rican mother of 2 Mexiricans and married to the coolest [Mexican, obviously] dude ever. I’m blessed with a healthy family, a great group of friends and a passion for writing angsty blog posts.

If you’re wondering where I came up with Project Unfluff, I will start with definition of fluffy: excess distractions from a healthful, active life. Yes, it’s rather broad and I mean it to be because since I started my journey to a healthier life in 2012, I’ve learned that physical fluff isn’t the only thing that weighs me down. Unhealthy relationships with things that take the place of dealing with problems, struggles and anxiety are all “fluff” too. These relationships can be with food, alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle and/or people that do nothing to empower or support me.

My mind and my heart have been at odds with my physical body ever since I was a child. I developed an unhealthy relationship with food as a way to deal with my more uncomfortable emotions at a very young age. For example: I have lost count of the times I binge ate my way through loneliness, anxiety and just plain boredom. And this behavior began as young as elementary school-age. I have a knack for re-locating a lot from a very you age and having to re-establish my home and make new friends meant I reached for food as much as I could to deal with the constant change. If you’re wondering what I mean, there’s a graphic for that:

If it ain't broke don't fix it.

Bottom line, like so many of us, I have lived a life in which emotional eating is not only a thing, it’s a long-running joke. My career in admissions has led to a lot of team “eating of our feelings” and when you go out with your friends, isn’t it almost always at a bar or restaurant or coffee shop where you’re there to bond and comfort over food and drink? Not to mention the added layer of my family’s heritage. Being Latina means there is always food and you are always expected to eat it.

I love my body immensely, it has blessed me with a happy and fulfilling life and for the most part, I am relatively healthy. I’ve been through two low-risk, healthy pregnancies and deliveries and my partner and I have no major illnesses. But our less healthy habits come from some where, mainly from how we grew up and we can’t pass the worst of these on to our kids.

Project Unfluff is about paying my body back for all the years of abuse and neglect I have put her through. It’s about getting my body to a point where she feels healthy, strong and clean. I don’t have a set goal weight in mind because I might be happy stopping at a weight that doesn’t satisfy doctors, personal trainers or the general public but I frankly don’t care.

So just to give you a visual of where I came from and where I am now:


My infamous “please don’t take my picture” face


Dipping my feet into the cool waters of a waterfall in El Yunque rain forest, Puerto Rico (where I am from). This might be my #1 least favorite picture as it is the least happy I have ever been in my own skin. December 2009


At my highest weight ever, my wedding day was a mixed bag of emotions. I look back now and remember the absolute joy of getting married while also feeling as though I was uncomfortable in my own skin.


Another picture that makes me cringe instead of fill me with joy as this is my daughter’s first Easter.


Me on March 23, 2012, 23.6 lbs down!
Celebrating one of my first weight lost milestones at 23 lbs down and counting
photo (14)
The hubs and I heading to a wedding, I’m down 34 lbs.


My second pregnancy (August 2013- April 2014) in which I only gained 20 lbs total (I gained 35 with my first) and lost all of it by 6 weeks postpartum. I adored this pregnancy because I felt wonderful throughout.
July, 2014, -43 lbs, At my lowest weight since my freshmen year of college after completing a postpartum DietBet!
July, 2014, Down 43 lbs (thanks exclusive breastfeeding!), At my lowest weight since my freshmen year of college
July, 2014, "Living the dream!" As my partner would say
Proud mother of 2


Back up in weight about 25 lbs but did the Color Run in Milwaukee anyway


My current before and after. Gained back 30 of my 43 lb loss after a stressful (and hopefully my last) relocation from Chicago to Milwaukee. But the thing is, I’ve left the “I’m only here to talk about weight-loss” story behind now that I’m older, wiser, more confident and frankly giving less thought to my appearance and instead focusing more on my happiness and how to make my body feel good. Stay with me though! I’m bound to learn a thing or two and I’m always open to learning what I can from you too.

❤ M.


9 thoughts on “About the Fluff

  1. Congratulations! That is such an amazing accomplishment and you look lovely in all of the pictures, but the way, but especially in this new one where you look really happy and proud of yourself! Keep it up 🙂

  2. You look great keep up the good work!!! I need someone like to keep me motivated. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. You have an awesome smile and the most beautiful skin, I wish I was so lucky. Congratulations on starting your journey to a healthier life. I’ll be reading.

  4. […] no secret that I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. I have flashbacks of my childhood that involve yearly back-to-school shopping trips in which I […]

  5. Absolutely brilliant! About 6 months ago, I also started on my journey and blogging about it! I love your sense of humor (don;t we all have it 😉 ) and the persistence to keep it up!! Great work!

  6. I just came across your blog while exploring #safit. Although we are at different points in our lives I very much relate to your story: my eating habits are closely linked to my emotions. Consider me a new follower – I’ll be cheering for you!!

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