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  • Writer's pictureChanging Lives

Maribel's Mission: Through Heartbreak and Failed Surgeries- She’s on-top Now, Down Nearly 100lbs!

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

Maribel Invernon grew up in a Spanish household eating a lot of Cuban and Spanish food. Absolutely everything revolved around food and to top it off obesity ran in the family. She didn't have any memories of herself ever having not been overweight and she thinks the first time she started dieting was probably around the age of 10 and it hadn’t stopped since.

In 2009, Maribel lost an uncle to obesity-related issues then went through a separation which ended in divorce while her son was a toddler. The stress and heartbreak was piling up, and the scale wasn't looking friendly either.

In 2011 she took charge and became a certified Life Coach through IPEC and the aforementioned reasons were enough, but she was tired of being unhappy and depressed so this was her way of doing something about it. This way she could help other women who had the same struggles, and in-turn it would fulfill her soul of the need to do good and not let her trauma define her.

After getting her coaching certification, she decided to open a small women’s wellness studio where she also became a certified Zumba instructor. She offered coaching services, massage therapy and a variety of fitness classes that she hired instructors for. Her mindset was "Wow, this was it, I’d help other women lose weight while I did it myself", but that wasn't what happened.

She was getting stronger and her body was changing but she wasn’t able to get the weight off. At 5’ 1/2 feet tall she was weighing between 190-200lb at the time. "Eventually I had to close the business and although I was in a much better place mentally, I felt like I had taken a few steps back. Now not only was I still overweight, I had a failed business and had to start all over. I gave up on coaching because I felt I wouldn’t be able to help others if I couldn’t even help myself. I went back to massage therapy and eventually changed careers and got into Insurance, which is what I’ve been doing now for the last 8-9 years. During this time I continued to gain weight, and at my highest I got to 210lbs"

In 2016 after having seen many of her family members get weight loss surgery and lose a significant amount of extra pounds, she decided she would give herself a year to do it on her own and if she couldn’t get the weight off, she'd get the gastric sleeve. During that year she hired a nutritionist to meal prep for her for three months. She joined bootcamp, she did the keto diet, she tried Isagenics and although these may work for some people none of them worked for her.

So like many others, she eventually gave up and gave in to surgery. But funny (or maybe not funny) enough, she actually had to gain 10lbs to even qualify for the surgery. "My weight the day I had surgery in June of 2017 was 220lbs. After being on liquids for about a month and then mushy foods for another, after about 4 months I was down to 170lbs which was about a 50lb weight loss. But although I was happy I lost weight I was disappointed because I couldn’t get myself to lose more. "

She was able to maintain that weight give or take 5lbs for a few years until Covid hit and she was stuck home for two years. She gained 15lbs back and was miserable, which is when she was introduced to Changing Lives Health & Wellness, a new program that had just released locally in Atlantic County, New Jersey. On one of her routine visits to the Wiser Insurance Agency, she saw that owners Bobby Fodera and Kenny Haring had both lost a ton of weight since she had last seen them. They began telling Maribel all about this amazing program they were doing and that same day introduced her to Mitchell. It was like fate and she was sold!

"Not only was I sold, I knew that this was something that I wanted to be a part of right away. I didn’t even have to think twice about it. I did my consult and paid my invoice and I got to losing. I was able to lose 60lbs in about 5 months. I went from a size 14/16 to a size 4! A SIZE 4!! I don’t think I was ever a size 4, not even as a child. I reached a goal I never thought would even be possible."

The best part of it all, aside from feeling amazing and having self-esteem for the first time in a very long time, is that now, as of August 2022, she gets to help others accomplish what she did as our newest coach at the CLHAW family. It truly is funny how life sometimes brings you full circle.

"Changing Lives has truly done that for me, changed my life in more ways than one! Now let it help you do the same."

-Maribel Invernon, Coach at Changing Lives Health & Wellness

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