By Dayana Romero

I knew my opportunity to study at TLC was going to change my life but I never imagined just how many areas of my life would be impacted!

I have learned the value of working hard, living with many girls, and accepting peoples’ differences.  I have learned and am still learning how to live in a rural area.  It’s been pleasant for me to be surrounded by beautiful nature.  As a person I have grown so much in my character, faith and leadership, especially in the area of perseverance.

One another thing that has drastically changed in my life since being here at TLC for over one year, that I didn’t anticipate, is my physical health.

Before I came to TLC my life consisted of eating dinner…very late, like at nine o’clock, or drinking Coca-Cola instead of water.  I used to work and then go home and eat and lay in my bed.  In my free time I used to watch T.V. and eat chips and cookies. At home, I cooked fried foods to eat.  The reality is, is that I didn’t know how my food and lifestyle choices were affecting me.  I didn’t notice how over weight I was getting even though people use to make jokes about it.

I thought I was fine, but I wasn’t.

When I came to TLC I started to learn about the importance of being healthy and the importance of exercising; not just to lose weight but also to be healthy!  I learned how it is important to take care of yourself. I didn’t know that my physical health was impacting me in a negative way.

I started exercising twice per week to some workout videos the staff members at TLC used.  When I exercised I started to feel the desire to be in good shape.  I was tired of being overweight.  I didn’t feel comfortable that way anymore.  In my first quarter at TLC I exercised a few days a week.  One of my roommates used to exercise every day and she invited me and my classmates to join her. So I started to do it every day. It wasn’t easy at first to get up at 5am, it was challenging to get my body in the habit but now this is a part of my life, a part of me. I am making new healthy lifestyle choices.

I have been exercising for over one year now and I haven’t stopped.  It’s incredible to see my before and after pictures. I have lost 20lbs and feel great.  I drink more water and I eat more vegetables as well. The food at TLC is very balanced and their healthy menu helps keep me on track with my goals.  I feel more confident, I walk with a smile on my face and I am enjoying life more!

TLC has changed me a lot and I am so grateful! I hope others are encouraged by my progress and perseverance. If I can do it, they can do it!