Former RSMAS administrator loses 100 pounds thanks to Wellness Center


Adrianne Rondon looked in the mirror and could not believe the reflection staring back at her. It was time to make a change. At 235 pounds, the 38 year-old mom of two did not want to set this example for her children.

“I felt paralyzed, I was an emotional eater, I lacked energy and confidence but I was too embarrassed to go to the gym because I felt so awful in gym clothes,” Rondon said.

Rondon, a former RSMAS administrator, realized she needed to change all that. In March 2008, she set a goal for herself, that by her birthday the following year on Feb. 15, she would be a size 8 and weigh 135 pounds.

Rondon took her first step toward her goal by making herself feel comfortable in her own skin. She took a trip to Lane Bryant, which she refers to as “the fat store” and purchased a pair of jeans that she felt comfortable in.

“I never ever wanted to step foot in a Lane Bryant [a plus size women’s store], but I swallowed my pride and went. I actually found jeans that I felt good in and that was the first step,” says Rondon.

Once Rondon changed how she felt about herself, she began to work on the physical appearance. Still too embarrassed to work out at a gym, she began to exercise at home on a treadmill and stationary bike.

In three months she dropped about 30 pounds and felt comfortable enough to become a member at the Wellness Center.

“The Wellness Center gave me so much motivation!” she said. “Norm [Parsons, the center’s director] and Al [Rose, assistant director of facilities] are great; they never missed an opportunity to encourage me and tell others what I was trying to do.”

Rondon’s husband, Sab Iodice, the budget director of the library, agreed to take care of the children during his lunch hour so his wife could devote an hour each day to working out. She began on the treadmill and quickly became familiar with every machine in the center.

Ashley Falcon, assistant director of the Wellness Center, said the right type of approach to help lose weight.

“The easiest way to lose weight and stay motivated is to pick activities that you enjoy doing and will stick with them,” she said.

Rondon quickly discovered her favorite machines were the Stairmaster and rowing machine.

“I try to burn about 10 calories a minute while I’m working out,” she said. “I usually think about what I ate and how many calories I need to burn in order to maintain my weight loss of five pounds a month.”

According to Falcon, healthy weight loss is typically one to two pounds a week. A pound is equivalent to 3500 calories, so in order to lose a pound a week, one must burn 500 calories more than they consume each day.

“There are two components to weight loss- nutrition and exercise,” Falcon said. “You have to decide how you want to make sure at the end of the day you are in the deficit column for caloric intake — you can eat less or work out more or do a little bit of both.”.

In addition to working out regularly, Rondon also had to make a huge change in her eating habits. She began eating for nutrition instead of for pleasure.

“Everyone wants some magic formula to lose weight,” she said. “It’s actually pretty simple: it’s intake and outtake; you have to burn off more than you put in.”

When her birthday came last Feb 15, Rondon’s waist had slimmed from a size 42 to a 28 and she weighed 135 pounds. People view her differently, and she has more energy and confidence to share with her kids.

“The other day they were recruiting people for a softball game at the gym and they asked me to play,” she said. “They never would have done that before. I was so excited.”