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October Wellness Hero October Wellness Hero

Stronger in Body and Mind

“Getting healthy not only helped me physically, but mentally, too. I saw that my life and fitness journey  go hand-in-hand.” – Laura De Castro Molero

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Laura De Castro Molero R.T(R): Radiology Tech, Ambulatory Surgery Center, Berthelsen Main Campus

October 2023

In February 2022, Laura wanted to turn her life around and try things she’d never done before. This determination sent her on a journey that would strengthen her body and mind – and make her an inspiration to everyone around her.

How did you get started with your wellness journey?

It was sparked by a weight-loss competition at work, but it wasn’t until February that I decided I wanted to start working out. I thought of joining a gym but knew that if I were to do so when I had never really used a gym, it would be difficult. The gym offered two personal training sessions, so I took advantage of that, which turned into six months of training.

What did you learn during your personal training sessions?

My personal trainer gave me a workout plan that told me exactly what to do and how to do it. He also gave me a list of foods I should eat, but he told me to not be too strict and allow a day I could eat whatever I wanted. When I was discouraged by not seeing the scale change, he coached me through those feelings and explained how important it was to take body measurements and pay attention to how my clothes fit. I learned it takes patience to see change.

What changes did you see in yourself?

Of course, I saw physical changes. I had to buy new scrubs for work because my old scrubs were too big. But I found that working out and eating healthier not only helped me physically, but mentally, too. It helped me with emotional strength, to push away any negative feelings or anxiety I was experiencing.

I saw that my life and fitness journey go hand-in-hand. It took time and consistency to build muscle in the gym. In the same way, it took time and consistency to build emotional strength. I was being kinder and more patient with myself, understanding that change doesn’t happen overnight.

How do you stay motivated?

I set small goals. The first was to win the weight loss competition at work, which I did. I lost 26 pounds and I put the money I won from the competition toward my personal training. Now my goal is to stay consistent and keep losing weight. For the first time in my life, I’m happy with the way I look, but I know I still need to lose more weight for my health.

I also stay motivated by motivating others, like my friends, family, and coworkers. When they saw me sticking to it and saw the changes I was making, they wanted to do the same. Seeing them motivated also motivated me to keep going.

What is your current fitness routine?

I’m no longer using a personal trainer, so I have to be more disciplined. I do a lot of weight training and combine that with a little bit of cardio. I try to work out five days a week, but I listen to my body. If my body is telling me to take a rest day, I take a rest day.

What’s your advice to others who are on their own wellness journey?

My advice for getting started with exercise is to start slow. Don’t try to work out six days a week at the beginning. Just start with 30 minutes or even 15 minutes. Try to incorporate something small every day, and once you start seeing that 15 or 30 minutes isn’t that much, then start increasing it. Your body will want to keep increasing the time and the days.

Also, listen to your body. If you’re craving a burger and fries, have a burger and fries. Don’t restrict too much because that can be harmful to the progress you want to make.

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