ALOHA, Ore. -- Weighing more than 500 pounds, 37-year-old Alicia Contreras knows the health risks she faces.
“I don’t want to die. I have a 16 year old son I want to see grow up and have his own kids, “said Contreras.
“At her weight, she is at risk for serious complications,” explained OHSU Dr. Albert DiPiero, who has been treating Alicia for Type 2 diabetes for five years.
This fall, Alicia began what might seem like an impossible weight loss journey by joining Curves in Aloha.
She also checks in monthly with Dr. DiPiero and has developed a following online with You Tube videos and a blog.
In the past month she has dropped eight pounds, largely she thinks, because she’s working out and has stopped drinking up to 10 sodas a day.
At Curves she does a 45 minute circuit work out and as part of the Curves Plus program she receives nutrition counseling.
“We’re trying to teach her out to eat in a healthy way. It’s not so much about the calories. It’s about the choices in food she makes,” said Alicia’s trainer Dannai Clayborn.
“I love the exercise but it’s also about the social ... before this I never talked to anyone. I never left my apartment.”
Her mom, Valerie Thomason, says for as long as she remembers Alicia found comfort in food,
“I prayed to God something could help her.”
Alicia feels she has found the help which will lead to success,
“I know I have a long way to go but I like where I’m at now and I know it will only get better.”