“It’s not easy to take care of myself while also taking care of others, but if I don’t, who will?” Born with two heart conditions and a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, Yesenia is acutely aware of what could happen if self-care isn’t a priority. “As a mom of two I want to do everything I can to be around for my girls for a long time.”
With fond memories of her own childhood, Yesenia wants her kids to have the same experiences, with a little twist. “Growing up, food was always an important part of our traditions, from every day meals to extravagant Christmas dinners which often included homemade tamales. For as long as I can remember, I think of my mother in the kitchen. She was always cooking something amazing.”
Yesenia had a desire to start eating healthier, but wasn’t sure where to start. She joined a program which offered both a nutrition plan and boot camp style fitness program. She still enjoys her family’s traditions, and she is also learning to incorporate more vegetables in her cooking and taking time to prepare lunches and snacks for when she’s away from home.
This program also helped Yesenia realize she enjoyed high intensity training workouts and found a local gym that offered similar training. Since making these lifestyle changes (14 months ago), Yesenia lost 37 lbs. However, to Yesenia it’s about more than just weight loss, “I wanted to develop a healthier lifestyle that would be sustainable,” she explained.
While her kids are still sometimes hesitant about trying new foods, she knows that the example she is setting is important. Her oldest daughter Marissa, who is now eight, often helps prepare her own lunch and breakfast and enjoys making healthy smoothies in the morning.
“Each day my daughters challenge me, teach me, and inspire me to become better. As a family we’re all learning together.”
VSP recognizes that moms are often the chief medical officers of their households, on call 24/7, and the first line of defense when it comes to their family’s overall health, including eye health. This post is a part of our #WeSeeYouMom profile series designed to celebrate those who work tirelessly to raise strong and healthy families.