After Her Fiancé Cheated on Her, She Ran Off 170 Pounds

Cristina Bautista as told to Andrew Dawson
Photo credit: Courtesy Christina Bucista
Photo credit: Courtesy Christina Bucista

From Prevention

Editor’s note: The below story discusses a suicide attempt.

Name: Cristina Bautista
Age: 30
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Hometown: Santa Paula, California

Start Weight: 307 pounds
End Weight: 135 pounds
Time Running: 4 years

I was supposed to get married on October 31, 2015. In late August, I got a call from my fiancé’s mistress, who I didn’t even know existed. She told me she was four months pregnant.

At first, I blamed myself. I weighed 307 pounds at the time, and I thought, He did it because I am overweight and I’m fat and I’m unattractive. That’s why he did it. In my mind, I was scared that I’d never find someone again. I had been bullied all my life into believing that I had to take whatever I was able to get, so I just decided to suck it up, forgive him, and help him raise the child.

Two weeks later, I got screenshots from the same woman that showed my fiancé saying he loved her. That was my breaking point. You can have emotionless sex with someone, but I had to walk away from this if he loved someone else.

With that came a horrible depression. I spiraled so deeply until I decided that I had had enough, and I tried to kill myself. I remember waking up, it was about early October that I did that, at the hospital and told myself that this is it. I have to change.

Related: ‘Revenge Body’ trainers list mistakes that hinder losing weight

I had always wanted to be a runner. I live in an mostly agricultural area, but I’d see runners out in the middle of nowhere, and it felt like seeing a unicorn to me. It took so much hard work and discipline to run. In the back of my mind, I thought about how I wanted to be that person one day and have someone see me out there and think, Wow, how did she do it?

The only reason I never attempted it before was because I was overweight. I was so scared of people judging me and seeing this big girl out in the middle of nowhere, pointing and laughing. It always held me back.

When I was released from the hospital, I decided to give it a go. I wanted to challenge myself, and running seemed like the best way to do that.

It’s not like I hadn’t tried to lose weight before; weight had always been a problem for me. Since I was 12, I had tried weight-loss clinics, shots, pills, and Weight Watchers. My mother even took me to this place where they puncture your ear with little magnets in order to suppress your appetite, but nothing ever happened.

The problem with those attempts was that I never believed in myself. I just accepted that I was fat and lacked motivation or care to change. This time, I had the drive to push past failure and become a new me.

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I remember my first run. I went to a canal, and I thought I was going to sprint and that it would all just come together naturally. But I failed horribly. My lungs felt like they were burning, but I kept reminding myself that I wasn’t going to give up this time. At first, that was to show my ex-fiancé that he was going to regret what he did.

For the first six months, that fueled me. In my mind though, I knew that wasn’t going to be enough. This enlightenment came after I sold everything I owned—car, furniture, TVs—and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand where I backpacked in Southeast Asia. While there, I ran every time I could.

When I returned to the States in April 2016, I had lost between 40 and 50 pounds. Then, my running really kicked in. I fully dedicated myself to running, and in the first 10 months after starting, I had lost 130 pounds. A year after that, I was down a total of 170 pounds to 135 pounds.

In that time and the years since, I have completed 5Ks to marathons. I now run 12 to 15 miles five times a week, 7 to 8 miles one day a week, and I take one active rest day each week. I don’t race as much anymore—I just run because it makes me happy.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without changing my diet. When I started, I just followed along with what I always did and ate whatever I wanted, which was two to three times more than the average person. I really didn’t care what I put in my body.

When I started losing weight, I wasn’t educated on nutrition. Little by little, I did my research and learned from trial and error. At first, I starved myself thinking that was the solution. That was incorrect—balance is most important for me.

What did work was giving into those cravings sometimes to make myself happy instead of being unsatisfied all week long. Yes, I eat my lean proteins, veggies, and complex carbs, but I don’t sweat it if I want to eat a cheeseburger in the middle of the week. I try to be very liberal with it so that I stuck with it. I still do today.

Running isn’t just about losing weight or keeping fit. It’s my way of keeping myself grounded. It’s helped me become a better woman, not just physically but mentally and spiritually.

It literally gave me a second chance at life. I hit rock-bottom, and running is what kept me going. It taught me discipline. It taught me self-love. It taught me love. It even taught me forgiveness. When I would go on runs, sometimes I won’t even turn on my music. I’ll just turn on something that has been bothering me for the day or something that’s going to help me grow. It’s me time.

To anyone starting or trying to start their own weight loss, the most important thing is believing in yourself. To walk into something believing that you’re going to succeed as opposed to believing that you’re going to fail. I did that for so many years of my life. I would start a diet, secretly knowing that I was going to fail, never fully believing in myself. Always tell yourself that no matter how many times you fall, you keep getting up until you get it right.

Also, don’t do it because you want to get validation from anybody else. Don’t do it because society has made you feel like a size zero or size 2 is what’s correct. Do it because you know you’re worth of more. Do it because you want to be healthy. Do it because you want to love yourself a little bit more. If you’re happy in your own skin, embrace it.

If you just want to lose weight to become a little healthier, then do it, but don’t ever feel like you have to do it to fit in. That’s what’s most important and it’s going to make your journey a lot easier.

When your lungs are burning and your legs feel like they’re going to give out, push yourself a little harder. I promise it’s going to be worth it.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and offers free, confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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