December 09, 2015 10:23 AM

Courtesy Eve Guzman

Eve Guzman was featured in PEOPLE’s 2015 Half Their Size Issue after dropping from 277 lbs. to 138 lbs. by dramatically decreasing her portion sizes, and sticking to a high protein, low-fat, moderate carb diet. Since her weight loss, the genetic toxicology research assistant and mom of two, 33, has coached people all over the country on how to lose weight, helping them lose a combined 2,950 lbs. since the issue was released. In the next phase of her journey to health, Guzman is preparing to compete in a figure competition, and is sharing her preparations in an exclusive PEOPLE blog. You can also follow along with her journey on Instagram.

Over the past 10 years, I conquered obesity after having been overweight all my life. I toggled between a size 14 and 20 as a teenager. Then I gained 85 lbs. during my first pregnancy – and the weight stuck with me. After crying in retail store dressing rooms, not able to find a pair of jeans that weren’t the pull-on type, I decided that I was finally sick and tired of being overweight.

I’m a biology major and medical laboratory scientist. I knew there was science behind losing weight, and I knew I could do it. I just needed to find the courage to actually go for it.

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I bought a Tae Bo video and started working out at home. I found creative ways to cook healthy foods and journaled everything I ate. I researched how to create a healthy weight loss diet for myself with low-fat meals and good nutrition.

It took me about 16 months to lose the weight. Six months after I did, I got pregnant with my second child. I gained 35 lbs. during the second pregnancy, but this time I lost all the weight in three months, and even lost additional weight, bringing my total weight loss to 141 lbs. I lost half my body weight and was featured in PEOPLE magazine’s Half Their Size annual issue in January 2015. I was finally “a girl who went for it.”

I was slowly approaching my one year anniversary of being in the magazine. I had become a sports nutritionist and started coaching people on nutrition plans, and helped my clients lose a combined 2,950 lbs. I toyed with the idea of doing a competition for several months. It wasn’t until it got closer to my friend Ebony’s annual vision board event that I knew it was time to make a decision.

On December 1 I announced my decision to participate in a figure competition in 2016 on Instagram and Facebook. I keep asking myself, “What have I gotten myself into?” – but it’s too late to turn back now! It’s on social media, so that makes it official.

RELATED: Two Half Their Size Winners Drop the Denial to Drop 255 Lbs.

I am working with Jennifer Sturges, a former National Physique Committee national judge, show promoter and figure competitor. She is also the owner of Anytime Fitness, a contest prep nutritionist, personal trainer and posing coach. She has 15 years of amazing experience.

Courtesy Eve Guzman

I am going to show the world you can go from being obese, to average, to fit, to a figure competitor. It’s time to go for it again!

Eve Guzman

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