The Quintanas, Week 15: Find Your Real Friends

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

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We see your sideways glances. Credit: David Quintana

When you attempt, with some difficulty, to change something in your life, you find out who your real friends are.

As people around us found out about our participation in the Healthy Families Challenge, we occasionally saw the raise of an eyebrow and heard more than one snicker. Yes, some folks actually laughed in our faces. They were not too harsh verbally -- David, my hubby, is a big, scary guy, after all -- but the smirks were easy to spot.

As you begin to share with people that you are just sick of feeling the way you do, or looking the way that you do, people's true sentiments about you quickly surface. There are those in the "I Am Rooting for You" Camp, and then there are those in the "Ha Ha, Snicker, Laugh" Camp.

I didn't realize how many among our friends and family would actually fall into the first camp. The support that we have received is incredible.

Fact is -- and they all knew this -- David and I are notorious for trying to lose weight and giving up when the going gets tough. So, of course, there were a few well-deserved utterances to the effect of, "Let's see how long this lasts." But, as time has passed, we have received a whole lot of backup, and sincere congratulations for what we've accomplished.

For New Year's Eve, a few weeks ago, we visited our old church, and our pastor proudly introduced us as "The Famous Quintanas" on the "AOL Reality Show." I smiled wider than my waist used to be. There are people who know us and are actually following us! The best part: Those old friends and acquaintances who had not seen us in a few years were blown away by how great we looked and obviously felt.

There were also a few of what my Healthy Families contender, Gary Drevitch, has called the playa hatas. They know who they are. No comment.

One of the things I realized is that both camps make you want to work harder to attain the goal. You do not want to disappoint those who so strongly believe in you and what you are doing. And you are dying to prove wrong the ones who are waiting for you to fall on your face.

That last night of 2010, glowing with the success of our old year's resolutions, was actually one of our driving points to jump back into the flow after the slightly lax weeks around the holidays. There is nothing like looking into a room of people that you know support you 100 percent (well, almost!) and are just waiting to sing your praises, not only to others but to you.

Out of that New Year's Eve celebration came something besides good vibes: my daughter Elizabeth's new workout partner, Timmy, a.k.a. Alien Glen. He decided that since her thumb is not healing as quickly as she would like it to, he would go to the gym with her everyday after school to work on her running time. There's nothing wrong with her legs, after all. He is holding her accountable.

In fact, we are all holding each other accountable, so for those few who are waiting to see us go back to the way we were, don't hold your breath. Because it's not going to happen.

We feel unbelievably good. It's not just the way we look -- although the eight inches and 40 pounds David has lost look pretty good off him -- but also the knowing that there are people we have encouraged, like my parents. They have learned the heart-healthy way to eat through the things we've shared from our sessions with our nutritionist, Su-Nui Escobar. Knowing that we have set an example for our children that they will hopefully pass to their children. We hope that they will continue to appreciate their bodies and take care of them by eating the right foods and staying active. These are the real accomplishments we see every day.

Although I am not actively losing weight -- I hit a plateau over the holidays -- the fact that I can run for about 20 minutes straight with passing out is another major accomplishment!

So, to those of you who thought the Quintanas couldn't hang, here we are, three months later, not as strong yet as we would like to be, but definitely not quitting.

Who's the rest of the competition? Check out all the challengers' latest updates here.



How is the Quintana family doing? Check in on their progress!

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