Dear Vixen Army, My name is Christie Rodriguez. I have been attending Vixen classes for the last six months. As I sit here and write this, I am amazed at how much my life has changed in what is relatively a short period of time. Last June, I was working at a summer camp and I was asked to review some pictures that we had taken on one of our field trips. As I was sorting through them, I saw something that shocked me to the point that then and there I knew I had to make a change ASAP. That something was a picture of me. Many people have asked me to post on social media before and after pictures, but to be honest with you, I don’t have very many. I NEVER took pictures of myself, so coming across that picture was like having cold water thrown in my face. There was no denying it anymore. As it so happened, a long time friend of mine had just become a distributor for a weight management company that sold shakes as meal substitutes. I decided that I would try that out. I felt this would be an easy way to get started because all I had to worry about was lunch and snacks. Alongside this, I also wanted to start exercising. So I started going to the gym and walking. Throughout the course of my life, I had tried it all Yoga, spinning, Zumba…you name it, I tried it. Do not get me wrong, those are all great exercises, but I needed to find what was for me. As I started researching alternatives, I came across posts about the Liv event that Vixen had hosted. I was immediately drawn to it. I had danced all my life when I was younger and the idea of doing that for exercise to the music I loved seemed so perfect. So I decided to sign up for a class one Monday morning. As that day went by, I became more and more nervous. I had no idea what I was getting into. I came very close to not going but I decided that if I wanted to change my life, I needed to stop being so scared. So that night I went, in a horrific outfit , and not because I don’t have style lol, but because if I wasn’t good at it, I wanted people to think that I didn’t care. To make a long story short, that day was the day my life changed. I felt like I had found what had been missing and something told me that would help me reach my goals. It was like finding my home. I remember going home that day, and booking two more classes that week. Little by little, I started branching out, becoming a little more confident, wearing lipstick, but it was a gradual process. I had a lot of self-esteem to repair. It didn’t happen overnight. The more classes I went to, the better I felt and the more confident I became. I started going from two classes a week, to three to four and now I go six days a week, with one day where I do back to back classes. I started posting pictures of my journey on social media, pictures of myself (selfies!) and I felt empowered. A day that replays on my mind all the time, is one in which midway through class, Janet came to tell me to come stand in the front with her, that she saw me working hard and that SHE was going to help ME. And she has, so much! I will never be able to thank her enough for that. Since I started, I have lost 60lbs and 6 dress sizes. It has been by no means easy. The shakes that I was doing helped a great deal but as I continued to educate myself and learn about health, I realized that to see the results that I wanted I had to actually eat more! Who would have thought? So, I decided that I was going to do a three day, juice cleanse. One of the hardest things I have EVER done, but it helped lead the way to clean eating. One of my biggest issues is my stomach/ab area. While reading up on what helps with that, I learned that abs are actually made in the kitchen. Exercise helps of course, but what really does it is the types of foods you eat, things like almonds, oats, spinach, etc. So after my cleanse, I designed a meal plan for myself. The plan consisted of a smoothie in the morning, a protein with brown rice for lunch and protein with greens for dinner. My snacks are things like green apples, almonds and peanut butter. Every Sunday, I cook my food for the week, put it in containers and refrigerate. There are many simple, inexpensive foods that are healthy. The most recent thing I have done is cut out dairy (there is dairy in everything!) but it’s doable and the changes I have seen in my body have been literally from one day to another. I am by no means an expert, but this has been my journey up to now. Bottom line is there is no magic cure. Change takes time. I feel blessed every single day that I found the Vixen workout. I have a long road ahead of me still, but every day that passes, I feel closer to that finish line. The past six months with vixen workout have been the best I have had in a long time. I have met beautiful, amazing women (Janet, my amazing instructors, my vixen glam squad) who have encouraged me, I have set goals and stuck to them but most importantly I have found the person I thought I had lost. Thank you for taking time to read my story. Hope to see you in class! XOXO, Christie aka "@sassy_c_rodz"