Bienvenidos! 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:
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 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.