Battles through health complications to maintain her new shape
Though she hasn’t been able to enjoy all of the fruits of her relentless work over the past two years, Gina Cazenave of Luling nonetheless stands as an inspiration for those who want to change their lives for the better.
Cazenave has lost 200 pounds over the past two years, after making the decision to fully commit to a healthier life. At her heaviest, she was 340 pounds, but through consistent diet, exercise and the willpower to break bad habits she recognized in herself, she’s completely transformed herself.
“People have come up to me and told me I’ve inspired them,” Cazenave said. “And I do want to inspire others to be healthier … I got tired of feeling stuck in my body. I wanted to be able to do things like other people, to move better and feel better in general.”
Cazenave said that all her life, she’s struggled with her weight and tried to address it with diet after diet over the years, but nothing stuck. But this time she fully bought in, and the results have been obvious. She is in the gym virtually every morning, and sometimes goes twice in a day.
“From the time I’ve known her, she always comes in and gives 100 percent. The amount of progress she’s made … she’s like a completely different person, so happy and healthy,” said Siana Bennett, a trainer at the Anytime Fitness gym in Luling. “She always gives her all and encourages and inspires others to do it, too … so, it’s truly just amazing to see how hard she’s worked and how it’s all come together for her.”
A big motivator for Cazenave was the desire to be able to live without medication she needed before losing the weight and to be able to be healthier to enjoy life for years to come with her family —“I wanted to be there for my nieces and nephews,” she said.
But since dropping the weight, Cazenave has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid problems, which has burdened her with fatigue despite her healthier lifestyle — and also has required her to be back on medication to address those issues.
“(Doctors) tell me the fibromyalgia actually came from the weight loss, that my body was so stressed out from that,” Cazenave said. “I can’t wrap my mind around it. You think you’re doing good for yourself and … how does that result in something negative? My main goal was to get off medication and now I’m back on … it’s a lifelong battle. I still hope to one day be able to get off of medicine.”
She’s also dealt with body image issues.
“(To say we’re) proud is really an understatement, because it’s beyond that. It’s just amazing what she’s done.”- Siana Bennett, Anytime Fitness trainer
“For a long time, I still saw myself as being 340 pounds, as being big,” she said. “It’s like, if someone loses their leg, for example, they can still feel that leg. I’ve had to tell myself over and over that it’s not there.”
Despite those issues, and despite not having a mountain to keep climbing in terms of losing weight, she’s kept herself motivated to maintain—and many have noticed.
“We’re all so proud of her,” Bennett said. “We feel like we’ve watched her over the last few years go through this journey … proud is really an understatement, because it’s beyond that. It’s just amazing what she’s done.”
Cazenave said among the greatest keys to it all have been focusing on the small victories that come with making consistently healthy choices, and effectively recommitting one’s self every day to the cause.
“You’ve gotta write down your goals,” she said. “Keep fighting and find more goals to achieve. You can’t obsess over the numbers, because you never know what causes the scale to read an extra pound or two … staying consistent is the key to everything.”
Gina’s weight loss advice
- Write down your goals
- Don’t obsess over the scale number every day, as results can be inconsistent based on many factors.
- Recommit yourself every day to your ultimate goal.
- Credit yourself for small victories and enjoy them as they come.
- If the impulse to snack or binge eat arises, take a short walk.
- Consistency is the key.