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Lisette Davila will tell you herself that life hasn’t dealt her a really fair hand lately. After being unemployed for six months, and losing her hair at a young age, it’s easy to see how this mom’s stress levels caused her to tip the scales at over 175 pounds.
“When your mom’s side of the family is Sicilian and Puerto Rican, you know it’s in your DNA to eat too much,” says Lisette. “That, combined with stress, is basically a recipe for gaining weight.”
This past year has been tough for Lisette, especially when it comes to her weight. Unfortunately, for Lisette, troubles with weight is something this city girl has been struggling with her whole life.
Lisette was born and raised in the windy city of Chicago, where she grew up as an only child. Even at a young age, Lisette always remembers having issues with her body and with her weight.
“My childhood was pretty normal,” says Lisette. “But I can always remember struggling with weight, even at a very young age.”
Lisette was raised in what most would consider to be an average household, and was always surrounded by the love of two very happily-married parents.
Lisette’s parents showed her lots of love, especially when it came time to eat dinner. In many families, parents encourage their children to finish their meals completely, but Lisette’s parents took this practice very seriously.
“I literally could not get up from the table until I cleaned my entire plate,” recalls Lisette. “My parents wanted me to eat a lot because they thought I would be healthier that way. As their only child, they wanted to make sure I grew up to be healthy and strong. Eating was a big deal in my family, especially with my mom’s side, who were Puerto Rican and Sicilian.”
Lisette never left the dinner table hungry, but the daily practice of cleaning her plate certainly didn’t come without a price for her self-esteem.
“Even at a young age, I can remember not liking the way I looked in the mirror, and I believe this was always influenced, in part, by my eating habits,” says Lisette. “I have always been self-conscious, and when I was younger, I would always compare my body to the other kids in class.”
This negative self-image caused Lisette to fall under the pressures of being thin, as a child, and as a teenager in high school.
As a teenage girl, Lisette constantly struggled with weight issues, and always sought out the “quick” dieting fixes for her problems. This desperation for rapid weight loss got so bad that Lisette eventually resorted to starving herself.
Lisette began battling with anorexia during her senior year of high school. For Lisette, it was the best way to fit into her prom dress, but she battled with the condition for many years afterward.
“I was so desperate to lose weight that I struggled with anorexia for years,” says Lisette. “I hated my body, and I was just looking for a quick way to fix the problem.”
High school was a tying time for Lisette, but it was also the time in her life where she met the love of her life, and her husband of 13 years, Hector.
“Hector is the love of my life,” says Lisette. “I feel very fortunate to have married my high school sweetheart. We have been together for 23 years, and I couldn’t be happier. He is my best friend.”
Right after high school, Lisette got pregnant with her first child and decided to be a stay-at-home mom. She raised the couple’s daughter, Gigi, at home for a few years, until Lisette decided she was ready to go back to work.
When she went back to work, Lisette succeeded in business, and became a respected manager at a top company in Chicago. Her performance was so impressive that the company decided to offer Lisette a job across the country in Nevada, which was an opportunity her and her family just couldn’t pass up.
“The company I was working for offered me a promotion that I just couldn’t turn down,” says Lisette. “I uprooted my family from Chicago, and took them away from the only home we have ever known. It was a tough transition, but I felt really good about the future I had with this company.”
Lisette, along with her two kids, Nicholas and Gigi, and her husband, Hector, moved to a suburban neighborhood just outside of Las Vegas, called Henderson. Not only did the family leave the only home they had ever known in Chicago, but they also left behind close friends and family, including Lisette’s parents.
Unfortunately, for Lisette and her family, the move would not prove to be the change they were hoping for. After only six months at her new job in Las Vegas, Lisette was let go, and she officially became unemployed.
Due to the lagging economy, and because of the family’s quick move to Nevada, Lisette’s former home could not be sold or rented. With Lisette being unemployed, the family’s Chicago home went into foreclosure, and now the family is struggling to make ends meet.
“The stress of losing my job has really taken a toll on me,” says Lisette. “With my home going into foreclosure, and not being able to afford our current place, the stress literally caused my hair to fall out, and I’m still very young. Right now, I’m on Craig’s List every day, trying to sell items so we can afford to live. Our situation is very stressful, and it has taken a toll on me.”
This heart-wrenching stress certainly didn’t change Lisette’s eating habits for the better. After enduring an emotional rollercoaster, and dealing with the devastation of hair loss, Lisette quickly sank into depression, and coped with her emotions by eating more food.
“I have always been a chocolate fanatic, and for a while, junk food was the only thing I ate,” says Lisette. “I was so depressed, and food seemed to be my best option for comfort.”
Before she knew it, Lisette weighed over 200 pounds, and the numbers on the scale seemed to keep climbing. With little hope for her career, and with depression taking over her life, Lisette finally reached a fork in the road.
“After about two months of sinking into a bottomless pit, I said to myself, ‘this isn’t me,’” says Lisette. “I told myself, ‘alright, girl, it’s time to get up and move your butt,’ which is exactly what I started doing.”
With support from her family, and with help from her daughter, Lisette decided to turn her life around, and entered a contest that would bring her the much-needed boost she needed.
One day, Lisette and her daughter came across a contest hosted by The Doctors television show to win a red carpet makeover. Out of thousands of applicants, Lisette was selected by the producers to receive a red carpet makeover, complete with a trip to the Daytime Emmy awards, six months of meals from BistroMD, and a luscious new head of hair.
On June 19th, Lisette will rock her new look on the red carpet at the Daytime Emmy Awards, complete with a new makeover, and with new hope for a healthier life.
With help from BistroMD, Lisette is losing weight and achieving her lifetime goal of living healthy. After only a month of eating meals from BistroMD, Lisette has managed to lose over 12 pounds. Her designer dress to the Emmys has even needed alterations a few times.
“I love BistroMD because I can eat large portions and still lose weight,” says Lisette. “I’m learning about eating the right foods, and I know how to eat properly when my family and I go out to dinner.”
Since starting her journey to a healthy new life, Lisette is enjoying the one thing in life that matters to her most: quality time with family.
“The other night, me, my husband, and my kids went out to a Chinese restaurant,” says Lisette. “We went out to dinner and ate healthy, and an actual conversation was taking place. We were having so much fun, that we almost closed down the restaurant. It felt good to listen to my kids. Just my family being together brings me the most joy.”
To keep her on the right track, Lisette also has a few coaches in her corner, one of which is 12 years old, and who keeps an eye out for all things chocolate.
“My son, Nicholas, is one of my biggest motivators,” says Lisette. “He is always telling me, ‘mom, no chocolate, you are on a diet,’ or ‘run more miles.’ He is only twelve years old, but he keeps me on track.”
With six months of meals delivered to her door each week, Lisette won’t have trouble finding a few new favorite meals. In fact, one breakfast and one snack in particular leaves the red carpet ready mom giddy with anticipation.
“I love the chicken and mushroom crepes,” says Lisette. “I love crepes. Period. I like the chocolate fudge graham protein bar too. Give me chocolate, and I’m happy!”
Despite all of her hardships, Lisette’s life is starting to look brighter: with new hair, a new lifestyle, and a trip to the upcoming Daytime Emmys. Before her 40th birthday, though, there is one more thing that Lisette would to accomplish.
“I want to weigh 130 pounds for my 40th birthday. I haven’t weighed that much since high school,” says Lisette.
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