My story is a familiar one.  I have always struggled with my weight.   I was teased because of my size and given nick-names like “Twinkie” and “Gorda” (which means fat in Spanish).  It wasn’t until I became a mother, that I realized how important leading a healthy lifestyle was.  I remember the day it hit me… I was arguing with my then 3 year old daughter Gabriella to eat her chicken nuggets and French fries.  I had to stop myself and think about what I was saying.  At that moment I realized that I was teaching my daughter to eat things that she didn’t even like!  Foods that in the future could give her the same hardships that I endured as a child… it was time for change.  

One day while looking for a recipe, my husband found a posting on the Food Network website for a casting call which called for the worst cooks in America.   I was a nightmare in the kitchen, so we decided to take a chance and went to the casting… it turned out to be the first step of one of the most influential experiences of my life.  In October 2008, I was cast and filmed the first season of the now hit series, “Worst Cooks in America”.  It was a challenging time for me because at home I rarely got dressed or left the house… let alone cook. (I later realized that I was suffering from post partum depression) The experience of taping a reality TV show forced me to find myself again.  I was in seclusion from my family and the world for 11 days, and in those 11 days… momma got her groove back!  

I fell in love with the culinary arts and as of Dec. 03, 2011 I will be a student at Johnson and Wales University’s Adult Continuing Education Program.  Worst Cooks, also inspired me to take back my health as well.  I learned to cook, and with just the basics I can now make almost any recipe healthier.   Finally in November of 2010 that inspiration (along with the support of family, friends, coaches, trainers and sponsors) took me 26.2 miles to the finish line of the ING NYC Marathon!

2011 has been a year of rest and regeneration.  I have let my fitness get away from me and unfortunately I have “found” a nice chunk of the 60 lbs I lost while training for NY.  I initially felt that it was ok for me to do this… after all I had worked so hard, why not take a break?  Well, that break has only led me on a path of self destruction and I’m ready to take the reins once again.  I want to prove to myself and the world that it isn’t how many times you’ve fallen off the wagon… it’s about the times that you had the courage to get back on!  

Today I am back in marathon training and also have started Tae Kwon Do classes with my 6 yr old daughter Gabriella.  I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to share an interest in a sport with your child.  We push each other to keep going, and to be at our best.  She inspires me just as much as I do her.

Life is like a marathon; you have hills that slow you down, but it’s making it through those rough patches that make the finish line so much sweeter.  



  • February 2012 the Sedona ½ Marathon
  • April 2012 the Oklahoma City ½ Marathon 
  • October 2012 the Chicago FULL Marathon


  • Obtain my yellow belt
  • Complete 3 complete miles 2 times a week


  • Complete 3 days of Tae Kwon Do a week
  • Create 3 healthy hybrid recipes


  • Eat well and stay focused on smaller portion sizes
  • Get at least 8 hrs of sleep