Just before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Daniela Aldana and her now thirteen-year-old son were hit with a double loss: Aldana lost her grandfather, and her son lost his father. Then the pandemic began, and isolation and grief compounded. Throughout this period, Aldana gained 70 pounds. After reflecting on the loss of two family members in their 50s, she recognized a need for change to avoid following in their footsteps. Though she and her son both attended counseling, Aldana sought other ways to improve her mental health and set a strong example for her son. Enter Rose Alvarado.
Having known one another for some time, Aldana explained that she had noticed a shift in Alvarado’s attitude. “She started becoming more open about her story and her struggles, and I felt like I could relate to her,” Aldana said, having been drawn to Alvarado’s mental health journey. Though she was hesitant to join The 15 Day Challenge, worrying that it would not work for her, Aldana not only shifted her lifestyle but found a “welcoming and encouraging” community with an energy she had never experienced before. “It was real people sharing their experiences. They also struggle. They also have bad days,” she said. “It does not matter how bad of a day someone is having. There is so much uplifting and encouragement.”
Along with exercising at the gym three times a week and walking more, Aldana kept her water close by, used the products in The 15 Day Challenge Kit, and limited easily accessible salty snacks like chips, realizing that working from home in close proximity to snacks was causing her to gain weight that she wasn’t working off. Beyond her physical effort, which helped her lose 3.8 pounds, Aldana used The 15 Day Challenge to develop a healthier mindset, practicing daily affirmations and gratitude. “In the last 15 days, I have learned that mindset truly matters,” she said, reminding herself consistently that she deserves grace. “There will and have been bad days, but for me, responding versus reacting is key. I’ve gained a new sense of purpose and look forward to tackling even the toughest days.”
Throughout her challenge, Aldana reminded herself that small steps matter. She used a checklist to see her progress one day at a time and strove to push past obstacles to reach her full potential. “It’s not easy,” she said. “You have to really push yourself to take those steps. Along the way, you’re making excuses not to do things, but you have to remind yourself why you’re doing it. Don’t let things become obstacles. You put them there, so move them out of the way.”
*Results achieved through one or more 15 Day Challenge cycles combined with sufficient water consumption, a low calorie, balanced diet, and regular physical activity.