This plus-size model decided to turn her life around after an embarrassing incident on a flight.
Rosie Mercado weighed 410 pounds back in 2011, when a flight attendant on the plane from Las Vegas to New York told her: “Ma’am. You are not going to fit into one seat. You need to purchase another fare.”
This was one of a series of embarrassments the 35-year-old faced, others included being too big to fit on the rides at Disneyland – she had to hire a nanny to take her kids to the theme park – general mobility issues and hurtful comments from strangers, the New York Post reported.
It’s now three-and-a-half years after Mercado made the decision to tackle her bodyweight, and she’s shrunk from a size 34 to a 16-18 – by following a strict diet and exercise routine she has halved her weight.
The 5-foot-9 model now weighs 201 pounds, and only has 21 pounds left to shed before she hits her target of 180 pounds, and a size 14.
Mercado told the NY Post:
I now truly love myself and appreciate every single moment that I live and breathe. When I was larger, I just wasn’t leading the lifestyle I wanted. Now I couldn’t be happier.
She’s now signed with Manhattan-based True Model Management, but describes what it was like trying to find modelling work at her previous weight, saying: “They would contact me after seeing pictures of my face and upper body, neither of which were big, yet were shocked at my 65-inch hips. It was disheartening”.
At the time she says her main issue was comfort-eating:
I made some very poor choices, opting for fast food like McDonald’s burgers and supersize fries rather than fruits and vegetables. My health was low priority, and it was affecting everything I did, especially spending quality time with my kids.
That’s all changed now, and Mercado eats lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. She’s also started running, and hits the gym six days a week.
According to Mercado the best thing to come of the weight loss is the improvement in her relationship with her children, who she now takes to Disneyland without a nanny and goes walking with in the hills.
She says: “I’m proof that, if you follow your vision, your dreams can come true”.
Well done Rosie, the hard work has definitely paid off.