My Journey Began...

by Valerie Chavez

I first joined the Twitter World in 2017. Through this social media app, I  began to connect with an amazing team of educators who shared the same passion as I did at living a healthy lifestyle. The more I posted my healthy recipes and exercise regimens, the more grateful I became at being able to impact the lives of others knowing that I could make a positive impact by inspiring others to take care of themselves. Dr. Ryan Jackson, the founder of FitLeaders, inspired us to live better and lead better by taking care of ourselves in order to better serve others.

I have decided to share how my journey towards fitness and health began with the plan and vision to inspire others as well. I was raised in San Fernando Valley, CA for 18 years. As a child, I grew up with a father who had a home gym, making health and fitness a priority by following a healthy meal plan, drinking protein shakes and exercising on a daily basis. He would keep track of my mom’s weight and encourage her to work out to Jane Fonda exercise videos in the evenings. My mom had always struggled with her weight, for she loved food, and would always look for quick diet fads such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. I witnessed firsthand her struggle with weight due to crash diets and inconsistencies with following a healthy meal plan. She was a very carefree person who took short cuts by dieting and would go back to eating all the foods she enjoyed. Food brought her happiness. I began following my father’s footsteps and joined my first gym membership at the age of 16 at LA Fitness making it a priority to schedule “me time” during my junior year in high school, while balancing two jobs, and making time to get my workouts in. I moved to El Paso, TX a year after graduation. I met the man of my dreams, and we had our first child. My main focus was being a housewife and caring for my husband and my son. During the years, I began to slowly increase in weight with the birth of our 2ndson. I went from being a size 7 to a size 12. I began to suffer from lower back pain and found out I had one herniated disc that would require surgery.

After noticing an increase in weight, loss of energy, and not feeling good about myself. I began taking spinning classes at a locally owned gym. Within a matter of months, I had dropped from a size 12 to a 10. I would sit and admire all the weightlifters in the weight room waiting for the second spinning class to begin as I began to double up on spinning classes averaging 2 hours of exercise 4 times a week in the evenings. My love and passion for weightlifting came when I started personal training with my first trainer. Balancing spinning classes twice weekly followed with 3 days of weight training and following a specific meal plan made me realize the importance of being consistent as I dropped to a size 6 and eventually to a size 2, which I had never been in my life. My back pain ended up going away as I made time to exercise and strengthen my core. I began to feel good and look good. I no longer had a double chin, began to form muscles and abs, and had an increase in energy.

My love and passion helped and encourage my family to also make a lifestyle change as well. My husband began to meal prep along with me and began going to the gym. He dropped from a size 38 waist to a 34. My son went through personal training and after seeing results, became a personal trainer himself. Our Sunday ritual now consists of meal prepping as a family in order to prepare for the week. Sharing my success, my love and passion for self-care, and inspiring others towards living a healthy lifestyle is very rewarding. We must make time to do what makes us feel happy, whether it be yoga, cycling, running, weightlifting, swimming, etc. Helping others and encouraging healthy habits will lead others to live better and lead better. It is never too late to begin to make a difference. We all must begin somewhere and it takes baby steps to eventually see the progress. Striving for progress and not perfection is our main goal. Follow our FitLeaders as we each have our own unique success stories to share with the world. We love you all and care for you!

Remember nothing is impossible if you set your heart and mind into achieving your goal. Believe in yourself. Determination and drive will lead you towards success. Consistency is key!!! 


“Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.” – John Maxwell


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  • What an amazing story! Way to go Val! Thank you for sharing!


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