Janet Garcia’s Amazing Weight Loss & Lifestyle Transformation
“…I decided to start somewhere with hope, belief and a big smile on my face, because I knew this was going to be a ride!”
INTERVIEW & PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS BY BEN YOSEF
BEN YOSEF: Wow, where do we even start? Congratulations to you on your tremendous success in your health, fitness, wellness and competition journey. How are you feeling today?
JANET GARCIA: Greetings! Thank you so much! I am feeling brilliant, happy and Blessed, EVERYDAY!
BEN: Love it! So, take us back to the beginning. What were you and your level of health and fitness like growing up?
JANET: My fitness and level of health was not the absolute best at all. I was always an unhealthy, overweight person as a child. When I was about 13 to 16 years old, some days for breakfast was a bag of chips and candy. I also worked two full-time jobs. Breakfast was a sandwich, chips, soda and dinner was a burger and fries, six days a week. Insane right?
As time passed, I started growing a hunchback and having other health issues like hair shedding and dark spots around my neck and face. I brought all of this to my family’s attention, and they were concerned for me. As a result, I proceeded to get checked. All I can remember is going through a lot of blood work and doctor’s appointments and playing the waiting game to see if everything was normal.
Results came in and everything was okay, thank goodness. Doctors said I was just obese and on the borderline to get diabetes if I didn’t take care of my health. They advised I change my lifestyle, see a nutritionist, start riding a bike, go on walks etc… Unfortunately, I did not pay attention until life really hit me with so much at 18 years old. I said, “enough is enough.” I hated how I felt. I hated how I looked. I would try and hide my face and wear oversized clothes to hide all the extra weight I was carrying. I was stuffing my face with food due to stress, anxiety, depression, trauma and having to step up and deal with a lot of responsibilities at a young age. I realized I was dealing with my emotions by eating and I was only causing more suffering to myself and my body. I felt so fatigued, unhappy, insecure and had zero motivation for life.
BEN: Wow, Janet. What were the first steps you took when you decided to begin your journey towards better health?
JANET: the first step I took before I started my journey was writing three goals down and recording myself saying those goals and why I wanted to achieve them. One of them was to be healthier and be the best version of myself. I had no clue how or what I was going to do to drop all the weight or be healthy. And at the time I was working for fast food restaurants.
I started cutting all soda, bread and sweets. I started drinking a lot more water and eating a lot of vegetables, grains and started eating healthier overall. I made it a goal to start jogging at the track three times a week for 20-30 minutes and also started doing Tabata bootcamp classes. I noticed what was helping me a lot was being involved with groups and Fitness Teachers because they push me on another level. I’m a very spontaneous person and go with the flow.
Through this journey I’ve never had a “plan down” and starting off I was never strict on myself and I’m positive this is why I’m so successful and determined in all I do! Although I didn’t know where to start or how I was going to do it, I decided to start somewhere with hope, belief and a big smile on my face because I knew this was going to be a ride!
BEN: I absolutely love this. And I am so proud of you. What a phenomenal story and journey you have been on so far. What was your heaviest weight and how long did it take you to lose it? Also, what is your health, fitness and nutrition regimen like today?
JANET: Thank you so much. My heaviest weight was 200.3lbs and it took me about four years to lose the weight. I had my ups and downs on this journey, but I never let myself gain all the weight back. 2022 is when I pushed myself and got to my lowest number which was 125lbs, loosing a total of 75lbs.
Right now, I workout five days a week. Three days I focus on strength training and two days cardio. I’m focusing on building muscle so that requires to get out of my comfort zone. [laughs] Nutrition-wise I’m eating everything like grains, carbs, fruits and vegetables. I’m keeping my calorie intake at about 1,700.
BEN: So very cool and inspiring. What lead you to the stage and competing?
JANET: Interesting story. So, my mom was the one who lead me to stage. She was my biggest supporter and fan. Her and my stepfather, Jose Luis Salazar, have competed with IPL in the past. My mom placed top 3 Inspiration and Transformation back in 2019. And my stepdad also competed and earned his Sports Model Pro Card. By seeing them do it, I knew I could do it too and face my fears. It’s so inspiring for parents to be an example for kids.
I was always so shy and “hidden.” I was afraid of people and standing in front of an audience. Little did I know, competing and going on stage was going to change my life for even better physically and more mentally. From my first show to my third show, I’ve gained SO MUCH CONFIDENCE and personal growth. I LOVE that I can be myself on stage and I really feel like a Young Beautiful Princess on stage. I’m secure with myself that whatever happens I can accept and trust myself. I know my strengths and weaknesses well and have a positive view of myself.
BEN: Powerful stuff! And I am so happy to hear that you have gained so much through competing, the stage, the challenge and the journey of it all. That is really the idea and what it’s all about! It has been so great chatting with you and learning about your background and story. I know this is just the beginning for you and I can’t wait to see what you will accomplish. When will we see you back on the IPL stage? And Any final thoughts for INSPIRE Magazine?
JANET: Thank you, Ben! Yes, for sure this is just the beginning for me. I will be returning to stage in the fall and I’m super excited to see what I bring next! It’s been such an honor to be part of this issue of INSPIRE Magazine. It has been one of my dreams come true for this day to come to have the opportunity to share, uplift, inspire and motivate young people and ALL to go out there and give it all you got and never GIVE UP, no matter the challenges you have to face! BELIEVE in YOURSELF and remember, “It is not a race, it’s a journey.” Enjoy the moment, be present, confident and SHINE! INSPIRE
About the interviewer:
No matter what your goals are, small habitual changes can lead to big improvements. This article dives deeper into the meaning of small changes in day-to-day living.