Let’s Talk About Losing 145 Pounds!!!

Meet Andrew.

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Yep, that’s him. That’s his before and after picture. Andrew has lost 145 pounds. No, you didn’t read that wrong. Andrew has lost 145 lbs !!! Or as one of my clients said when I told her about Andrew’s incredible body transformation. “It’s like he lost a whole human.”
Andrew is not a client of mine. I repeat, he is not a client of mine. He is just someone I know through my wife’s work. I train a group of ladies twice per week where my wife works (UCG in Gaithersburg, MD), and I had seen Andrew working out in the same facility where I train the UCG group.
First thing I noticed about Andrew is that he is a big dude. He’s not eff-ay-tee, he’s just a big dude. He’s 6’3’ and weighs in at 215 lbs, and that’s 215lbs of muscle! I am 5’11’, and 185 lbs, so he really looks big to me.

 
Andrew works out hard. He does weights, cardio conditioning, and is involved in UFC type training. Ok, he’s somewhat of a beast. What impresses me about Andrew the most is his weight loss. Because anyone can workout intensely, but if the diet’s not right, weight loss will be tough. I am so impressed with his weight loss that I asked him if I can interview him so I can share his story with anyone who reads my blog, and he obliged.

 
Andrew, what’s the most you ever weighed? “360lbs. I never weighed myself after that. I don’t think I went any higher.”

 
How old are you? “I am 31.”

 
How much weight have you lost? “145 lbs” WOW!!!

 
How were you built/shaped as a kid? “I wasn’t thin, but I wasn’t fat either. I was just a big kid. I would say I was thick.”

 
You played sports growing up? “Yep. I played basketball, wrestling, football, and soccer. Soccer was my favorite. I was really good at soccer, up until 7th grade, and then the kids started to outrun me because I got too big. So in high school I started playing football. I played tackle on both sides of the ball, and I wrestled in high school too.”

 
How much did you weigh in high school? “As a freshman I already weighed 275. I would say I was overweight, but I carried it well because I was an athlete. And I was always self-conscious about my weight. There was a big joke in my family because I was always breaking chairs. I broke so many plastic lawn chairs.” Thanks for the honesty Andrew.

 
How big were your friends compared to you? “My friends were always small guys. My best friend on the wrestling team weighed 115 lbs.” That’s funny.

 
Did you get teased about your weight? “I got teased and picked on. I even got into altercations. People tried to bully me so they could say they beat up the big guy. But me and my friends were usually pretty good in these altercations.”

 
Then you played football in college for JMU? “Yes, I played guard in college. I was a walk on. I played at around 325 lbs, and I was clocking about a 5.2 sec 40 yard dash. And I was the slowest lineman, for sure.” As a Hector side note. Most people have absolutely no idea how fast a college lineman, or an NFL lineman is. Those dudes are heavy, but they can haul ass! Literally.

 
How long did you play? “Sophomore year they found two tumors in my lower back, each the size of my fist, I had back surgery, and never played after that. And after that is when I went up to 360 lbs.”

 
So, Andrew, I have always had the belief that if someone doesn’t have a very strong reason, something they can hang on to, to lose weight, chances are they won’t lose weight. What was your reason to lose weight? “I was a very good athlete, but I knew my college football career ended abruptly, and I always regretted that. I always had that itch to compete, and I knew I wasn’t finished, and that led me to MMA (mixed martial arts). So I started to get in shape for MMA. Also, I wanted to be healthier, because being overweight is just uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be overweight anymore. It’s depressing. I had enough of being big all my life. It was either now or never.”

 
So how long ago did you start losing weight? “It’s been about a five-year process all together. I started going to the gym, and a big change for me was I started drinking only water. That was one of the first things I did.” Anyone who has trained with me, or asked my advice about weight loss knows that I strongly recommend to “drink water only”. If you’re trying to lose weight, put down the liquid calories. Andrew continued with the drinking water only topic. “Because for someone who weighs 360, to drink a can of soda is so easy. It’s not satisfying. I used to drink Gatorade, which is horrible. Once I switched to water only, just that alone was enough for me to start dropping weight.”

 
How much/many liquid calories were you drinking before your switch to water only? “Do you remember the Gatorade that used to come in the gallon jug? I would drink one of those a day when I was training  for football. Instead of drinking water, I was drinking Gatorade. I was basically replacing the calories I was burning. And I would probably drink a soda or two a day too. I wasn’t a beer drinker, but I did drink vodka. I think the college lifestyle played a part in my liquid calorie consumption.”

 
How was your diet when you were overweight? “In college I didn’t eat a lot of fast foods (fast food establishments), but I did eat subs and pasta, and way over-proportioned. A lot of cafeteria food. Burgers, fries, pizza, and cookies. Stuff like that. I would say I was easily consuming 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day.”

 
How many calories do you consume a day now, and how much do you weigh? “About 1,800 to 2,200 calories per day. And I weigh about 215, with about 11% body fat.”

 
How often do you workout? “I train about twice a day. I don’t think people need to do that to lose weight. That’s just what I do.”

 
What’s your goal weight? “I’m at the point now where I don’t look at the scale much. It’s more about how I look. I want to tighten up my core and stuff.”

 
What does your diet consist of? “I eat very similar every day. I wake up and have a protein shake. I eat a lot of egg whites. I use egg whites as snacks. I meal prep about 95% of my meals.”

 
So, 95% of the food you eat, you know exactly what you’re eating? Is that safe to say? “Yes. For sure. And If I do eat at a restaurant, it’s something like spinach and grilled fish, and I tell them specifically how to cook it.”

 
Do you eat fruit? “Yes, I eat fruit.”

 
Do you count carbs or calories? “I do more portion control than anything else. And I try to balance my macronutrients. I eat fruits and vegetables, and for my meats I do lean fish, lean turkey, and lean chicken. I eat a lot of vegetables. That’s about it.”

 
What has been the most difficult part of your diet? “I would say the meal prep. It takes a lot of planning and work. I dedicate much of my Sundays to cooking pretty much all my meals for the week, because I don’t have time during the week.” Below is his actual meal prep.

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So the meal prep is the time management part, how about the psychological aspect of the diet? “I think at first, it was a mental thing to learn to be hungry, but then when you start seeing the results, things fall into place. The hardest part was probably the first few weeks, but now I really don’t get that hungry. And sometimes, because I’m so busy, I have to remind myself to eat to keep the metabolism going.”

 
How about your self-esteem? How do you feel now compared to when you were overweight? “Believe it or not, I still have a fat-man complex (He shouldn’t, because he’s not overweight anymore and looks great), and I find myself sitting very gently in chairs sometimes. I’m still afraid I’m going to break a chair. But to have women approach me now when I’m out with friends, which never really happened before, is pretty cool (ladies, he’s single, tall, with muscles, educated, and employed!!). And physically I feel good when I run. And I tell you what else has changed. My back bothers me way less now. It may act up, but it has been night and day getting that weight off. It was the best cure ever for my back.”

 
Is there anything you would do when you plateaued during your weight loss journey to keep you going? “Yes. I remember that sometimes I would get frustrated because I had only lost 40 lbs and I had so much more to go. So I would pick up two 20 pound dumbbells and do stuff with them. Like walk up steps, or get on the treadmill, to remind myself of how much extra weight I was walking around with. It was a good visualization for me, to remember how far I had come. And for me, a lot of my weight gain was in the stomach area, so it would put direct pressure on my lower back.” Andrew continued “I just feel like a brand new person. Especially with shopping for clothes. I can shop in the regular section now. So like this shirt I am wearing, it’s just a regular Polo large. My biggest shirt ever was a 6X. That was a big and tall 6X.”

 
Do you allow yourself cheat meals? “Yes, I will have a cheat meal, like a burger or something. But I think a cheat day is too much. You have to be very careful because it can easily get out of control. And if I do have a really bad day, and eat poorly, I just get over it and get back on track.”

 
If you had someone sitting in front of you who wants to lose weight, and they have been through a lot, maybe physically and psychologically, what advice would you give them? “I would first and foremost say, start with just drinking water. I’m adamant about that. If they have been overweight their whole lives I would advise them to forgive themselves and get over it, find a reason to lose weight, and just take it day by day. Don’t look at the whole thing (weight loss goals), just take it meal by meal. Every workout, every meal, you’re progressing. Just take it a day at time.”

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That’s a great motto. What’s a motto? I don’t know. What’s a motto with you.

 

Thanks Andrew. You have officially gone from FEAST MODE, to BEAST MODE!!

It’s All About Balance

Ok, time for some Hector-isms regarding weight-loss, exercise, and the such. These are just some simple fitness and battle of the bulge tips to keep in mind. My clients hear the following from me over, and over, and over again.

1. Women, mujeres, muchachas, you cannot eat like a man unless you want to weigh what a man weighs. Why can’t you eat like a man ladies? Because on average, men are bigger/taller than women, and men carry more muscle mass than women. Being taller and carrying more muscle mass allows for more calorie consumption. So ladies, every time you sit down to eat with a man who is bigger than you, make sure your plate’s amount doesn’t match his.

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2. Women, you cannot drink  as many adult drinks as a man does for the same reasons I just stated above. If your male friend has 10 beers over the weekend, and you do to, you will pay the price more than he will, in the form of fat accumulation.

3. Women, lifting weights will not make you buff or bulky. To be buff or bulky you would have to be really, really strong. Like WAAAAYYYYYY stronger than you probably are right now. Very few women have the genetic predisposition to get bulky/buff. If it was that easy to be buff, you would see buff men everywhere, and that is simply not the case. Ladies, don’t be afraid of getting strong.

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And now for my compadres, the men.

4. Vigorous exercise helps circulation/blood flow to all parts of the human body. Good blood flow helps your friend downstairs stand at attention. Get it!!!

5. Men, if you’re not sure if you have gained weight in the form of eff-aye-tee in the last 10 years, there is a simple way to find out. Go find a pair of pants and a shirt that fit you well ten years ago and try them on. If they are super tight or don’t even fit, you have gained weight. The four things that don’t lie about weight gain are clothing, the mirror, the scale, and children. If a child says “you’ve gained weight”, you probably have. I once was told by a kid that I have big ears, and guess what, I have big ears. But that’s ok because guess what they say about men with big ears? They say we hear well. (Get your brain out the gutter).

6. Men, do you like how women look who workout? You like a nice firm and toned body?  Well guess what? Women like how men look who workout too. You don’t believe me, just ask a few of your female amigas.

7. Men, take advantage of the testosterone you produce naturally and do resistance training. Your body will thank you for it, and you might build some muscle too.

Now some Hector-isms for everyone.

8. Just because you can stomach it, doesn’t mean you should eat it. Think junk food.

9. Your stomach is not a garbage can.

10. Do you have a car? Do you take your car in for its maintenance and scheduled tune ups? Well, guess que? Your body is a much more complicated piece of machinery than a car, so give it its tune-ups too, in the form of exercise, and provide it with clean fuel/food while you’re at it. You can always replace a car, but the last time I checked, you get one body. Yep, just one. True Dat!!!

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11. You don’t run on batteries. If you’re constantly tired and addicted to caffeine, check your food quality and sleep amounts.

Sleep is the best meditation Dalai Lama quotes

12. And finally, I believe life is about balance. Go ahead, have fun, eat some pizza, drink some beer, stay up late, but make sure you balance it out by eating clean, drinking water, exercising, and getting your sleep.

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Diabetes Anyone?

The more I learn about the human body, not through school but just reading, the more it impresses me with its adaptability. Walk outside when it’s 100 degrees, and you will sweat to keep cool. Walk outside when it’s zero degrees  in shorts and a tank-top, and your body will eventually shake violently to keep you warm. Try to go more than 48 hours without sleep, and your brain will take over and you will start dozing off to encourage you to sleep. The body is constantly adapting to its external and internal environment.

I used to say that the body has not adapted to the excess food we consume, but I was wrong. It has adapted. The body, when given too much food, stores the excess as fat, and that is its adaptation. But give it excess food, over and over and over again, and it’s machinery of storing fat and releasing insulin to deal with the high glucose levels might start to malfunction and BAM!! type 2 diabetes might rear its ugly cara. So I downloaded “Sugar Nation” by Jeff O’Connell to learn more about type 2 diabetes, it’s manifestations, and if any solutions, other than medicine, are on the horizon. Here are some excerpts.

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“Beyond all science being presented at the ADA (American Diabetes Association) conference, type 2 diabetes really boils down to the sum total of a very long trail of personal choices, made over a lifetime. Whether you worked the treadmill for twenty minutes or turned on the television. Whether you stuck with your diet or ordered that fudge brownie with vanilla ice cream, promising yourself that you would repent later. The truth is, by the time you have or even flirt with type 2 diabetes, there’s probably a lot more out of whack with your life than just your blood sugar. That certainly was the case with me.” The author of this book developed pre-diabetic symptoms, and he was not overweight, so he was shocked when this happened. But looking back on his life, he realized that for many years he ate high carb, high fat (mostly bad fats), and highly processed foods. The irony of it is that he was a writer for several men’s health and fitness magazines. Because of his career, he had access to many respected nutritionists and doctors and he took it upon himself to learn as much as he could about type 2 diabetes.

“Diabetes, along with obesity, is looming as the biggest epidemic in human history” says Paul Zimmet, M.D., Ph.D., director of international research at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute of Australia.

“Those diabetics who are obese, but who are at least moderately fit, have a much lower death rate than diabetic patients who are normal weight but unfit”

If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic “If you can afford it, see a personal trainer once a week, or a nutritionist once a month”. The doctors the author talked to, and all the nutritionists he talked to ALL agree on the importance of learning to eat right and exercising to combat type 2 diabetes, and even prevent it.

“Insulin helps the body metabolize the sugar in the blood, which is called glucose. This blood sugar can come from diet, but the liver and kidneys can also produce it. What isn’t needed for energy can be stored in the muscle tissue and liver. This stored form is called glycogen. But because storage space is limited, at a certain point, the liver begins turning excess glucose into triglycerides, which often become fat. The human body has evolved such that it possesses a very low capacity to store carbs but a very high-capacity to store fat. This phenomenon is evident in buffet lines across the heartland”… “Thats in a relatively healthy person” says Jeff S. Volek, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. “Even before glycogen levels fill up, people with insulin resistance dispose of carbohydrates by converting the majority of them to fat.”

“Particularly if you don’t exercise, those excess carbs will cause blood sugar to spike and then crash, at which point the body bellies up for another round of sugar.”

How about some scare tactics (with pictures provided by me):

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“Cancer as it turns out, has a sweet tooth. Recent research shows that the consumption of high amounts of sugar and refined grains boosts the odds for cancers of the esophagus, kidneys, and pancreas.”

“High blood sugar can sour your mood. In a recent study, researchers found that people who drink two and a half cans of sugary soda daily are three times more likely to be depressed and anxious than those drinking less pop.”

“High blood glucose levels can break your heart. When researchers study large populations, elevated blood sugar levels correlate with a greatly increased risk of heart disease, the number one killer of Americans.”

“Your joints might ache and creak prematurely, too.  A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology linked insulin resistance with rheumatoid arthritis.”

“The kidney disease rate is 22 percent higher among diabetic men than among all men, and diabetes is the leading cause of irreversible kidney disease requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation.”

“Diabetes skyrockets the risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, as extra triglycerides produced from carbs overrun the organ.”

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“If passing on jelly doughnuts seems difficult, imagine living without eyesight. In fact, nothing causes more new cases of blindness among twenty to seventy-four-year olds than diabetes.”

The scary and alarming stats go on and on. From here on I will just talk in Hector terms. Basically, type 2 diabetes effs up the body really bad. But what get’s me is that its not a disease like cancer, where many times its diagnosis is a surprise and can’t be traced back or linked to anything in particular. Type 2 diabetes follows a well established trail of lifestyle choices (too much food, and not enough movement). “What you talkin-bout Willis?”

what you talking about willis.

Yes, that was pretty much the conclusion of the book. We just eat too much, especially carbs, and blood sugar skyrockets, day after day. Eventually our pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to keep up with the sugar levels, and we have to be given MORE insulin, think medicine, so we can function properly, somewhat.

I don’t know if I got the above paragraph correct, but I know I have been super-duper correct in what I preach now, and have been preaching for years: Put down the sodas and the rest of those sugar drinks,

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Pass on the big ass bucket of fries. No one needs a bucket of fries! Really America, a bucket? How does that go down? You are just hungry and decide “I know, I will have a bucket of fries.” Or even worse, “Oh, you’re hungry little Johnny, or little Juan in my case. Here why don’t you have a bucket of fries.” Stop, please. What’s better than a bucket of fries? How about a small serving of fries?

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Cut back on the pizza. Notice I didn’t say eliminate pizza. I just said cut back. Like no more than twice per week.

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Chill on the desserts. Unless your are in super-duper shape, six-pack abs, and you move everyday, you probably don’t need dessert. I just learned today that desserts is stressed spelled backwards.

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And M.Y.A. Yes, Move Your Ass!!!!! That means exercise.

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Do anything, I don’t care, just move. I also learned in the book that the more intense the exercise, the more your body can tolerate and process carbohydrates correctly.

And last but not least, there is one part of the book I didn’t quite agree with. When the author said that type 2 diabetes results from a lifetime of “personal” decisions (no exercise, too much food). True, but not. How about the 10-year-old boy with type 2 diabetes? He just ate and drank what his parents provided, for years. That young boy probably ate fast food day in day out, drank soda, and didn’t move much, and then developed diabetes. The effed up part is that those decisions were made for him, and not by him. Very few children under 10 or even 12 choose what they eat every day, and how much they are going to move. So when I see an overweight child, with regular soda in hand, of any race, I hate to think of their future health because I know chances are type 2 diabetes is on the horizon, with the rest of that very preventable disease’s complications.

And yes, some people are more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes because of genetics. And guess what I know, and didn’t have to read a book to learn? None of us can control our genetics, for better or worse, but many of us, except children, can control what we eat, how much we eat, and how much we move.

If you look like this, that’s Christiano Ronaldo,

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or like this. (Just some guy showing off at the local park doing pull ups)…

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and sprinting,

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You can probably eat a bunch of carbs here and there without any ill effects.

 

Do You Believe?

Hello everyone, can you believe that Julio Cuatro is right around the corner?

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Doesn’t it feel like it was just yesterday when you stepped on the scale and made your New Year’s weight loss resolution? Well, never fear if you haven’t lost any weight this year. You still have six months left. So why don’t you make a Cuatro de Julio re-solution, your solution again, and stick to the plan. In the name of World Cup Mania, repeat after me, or my typing, while pretending to play the drums on your desk. If you’re at work, your boss can chime in too.

I.

I believe.

I believe that.

I believe that I.

I believe that I will.

I believe that I will lose weight!! (Here’s where you scream!!)

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I believe that I will lose weight!!

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I believe that I will lose weight!! (Children can scream too).

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I believe that I will lose weight!! (Get animated).

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I believe that I will lose weight! (You can scream and cry, like a baby even).

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I have learned the following by observing others and myself: When you are trying to accomplish something challenging, like getting in shape, losing weight, you must believe that you can accomplish what it is you are trying to accomplish. The more concrete your belief, the more likely you are to accomplish your goals, any goals. The belief system has…

Put a man on the moon.

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Created pyramids with unexplainable construction methods.

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All around the world.

The Pyramid at Chichén Itzá (before 800 A.D.) Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

The belief system made Dr. Dre a billionaire because of a “little music fad” called rap, and convincing America that they need 300 dollar headphones. I know, I know, the sound quality of Beats headphones is a-m-a-z-i-n-g, but so is the price tag.

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The belief system told the guy on the far left, in the picture above, that he could leave N.W.A., go solo, and even make movies in the process.

And regardless of your political affiliation, or mine for that matter, the belief system, his belief system, led to Obama becoming president of the United States, twice even. Because before anyone could even fathom a black man becoming president of the good ol U.S. of A., he had to believe it strongly, very strongly, first.

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By the way, I know we say our president is black, and some people, just a few, may not like him because he is a bit…what’s the phrase?…oh yeah, sun touched, but he can also be described as white. This is his mama.

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And now, I’m really confused. My father is Mexican, my mother is Salvadoran, I was born in the U.S. of A., and served my country proudly. What does that make me? Oh, I know, it makes me American, just like everyone else born here.

And that is why when the we, the U.S., play Germany tomorrow, I will be chanting “I believe that we will win!”, along with the rest of America. Gooooooaaaaaaallllll!!!!!!!!

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Real Life Weight Loss

Hello everyone. When it comes to weight loss, I usually give advice along the lines of moving more, eating less, and drinking water, simple formula right? Well today, I will introduce you to a real life person, who attained real life weight loss results. Her name is Farah, and she is my wife’s cousin.

Farah came to visit us a few weeks ago. When I first saw her I thought “I didn’t know Farah had a twin sister. This girl looks just like Farah, except her face, and the rest of her body is thinner”.  Nope, Farah does not have a twin sister. Farah looked different because she had lost weight. Good job girl!!!!

For starters, Farah is a mother, and works full-time. So she does have a life other than working out and watching what she eats. This is her when she was about to burst and become a mommy a few years ago.

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Below, that is Farah before she began her weight loss journey.

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And below is the “Look at me, I look great, I am 36 years young, I have busted my butt working out, have been strict with my food intake, and I have lost 27 pounds! and counting” selfie. Look how much thinner her face looks, and look how much flatter her tummy is. Great job!!! To tell you the truth, in person, the results are that much more  impressive ad evident than these pictures illustrate.

after(1)Because Farah did not use my services to lose weight and tone up, I decided to interview her, so I could learn a thing or two and share her weight loss wisdom with my readers.

Interview:

1. What is the biggest change you made to help you lose weight? “My eating habits”. (She didn’t hesitate with this answer). She reduced her portion sizes, cut out processed sugar considerably, and “almost completely eliminated fast food”. And yes, although you can make healthy food choices at Subway, it is still considered fast food.

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2. When did you begin your weight loss? “After I had my baby, I did Weight Watchers for  3 months. I lost about 8-9 pounds”. She also said that Weight Watchers taught her about portion control, and she now uses saucers instead of plates, whenever possible, when she eats. (And when she gets angry, the saucers become flying saucers, just kidding. Farah is always happy just like my wife, her cousin. Maybe happiness runs in families like diabetes does. It’s just a thought).

3. Do you drink alcohol? “I drink less overall now. I really don’t drink beer, and just stick to mixed drinks. I sometimes have a glass of wine with dinner”.

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4. When did you begin exercising, and what do you do for exercise? “I began exercising last March, 2013. I go to the gym three times per week. I workout for 45 minutes to an hour and do weights and cardio. I also walk my baby in the stroller, for up to 2 hours sometimes”. The walking of the stroller outside is a seasonal thing because Farah resides in Canada. I believe she works out 4 to 5 hours per week. You go girl!!

5. I know you’re already busy as a mother, do you work too? “Yes, I have a full-time job”. This is very important because it means that she makes time for her workouts, despite her busy schedule. Technically, she has two full-time jobs because being a parent is a full-time job too. I speak from observation and not from experience.

6. Ok Farah, this is the million dollar question. Everyone who embarks on a weight loss journey needs a strong reason to do so. I always tell my clients that if their reason for weight loss is strong enough, it will fuel their weight-loss efforts. So, what was your main reason for wanting to lose weight? “I didn’t like how I looked in my clothes”. This answer was quick and serious, so I knew it was the truth. She said she also did it for health reasons, but it was mostly vanity. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Who doesn’t like to look the best they can look? Even back in the day folks were vain. The painting below is from the 1800’s.

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7. What has been the most challenging aspect of your weight-loss and fitness plan? “Creating a workout routine and sticking to it has been the toughest. The food changes have not been that tough”. This answer surprised me because most of my clients struggle more with food change/reduction than with exercise adherence.

8. What is your favorite form of exercise? “I like doing the elliptical machine and lifting weights”. Translation: She likes most forms of exercise except, in her words, “I do not like to run”. Amen.

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9. I have plenty of female clients, and many of them are working mothers just like you. What advice would you give to them if they are trying to lose weight and get fit? “Just stay active and eat clean”. I swear that this was her answer. It is great advice in just six words.

There you have it ladies, an interview with a young woman who took it upon herself to lose weight and tone her cuerpo. After our interview, I did give Farah some fitness advice and wrote her a workout routine in exchange for her allowing me to post her pictures and our conversation on my blog. Thanks again Farah, and I know you will inspire some women out there with your great results and sincere advice.

 

 

 

 

 

Waffle Tacos and Rappers

What should you do if you enjoy waffles, eggs, and sausage for breakfast, but you don’t want to cook your breakfast, or you just don’t have any time? No problem. Starting on March 27th, Taco Bell will start selling the Waffle Taco for breakfast, nationwide. taco-bell-breakfast-waffle

Those of you that know me well know that I rather not eat, than eat fast food. Better call it blast food instead of fast food, because that’s what it does to your rear end. Even if I have been working all day, training clients, doing boot-camps, and I have not eaten for hours, I rather wait and eat at home than eat fast food. Because I am not a fan of fast food, the Waffle Taco looks disgusting. It should be sold with toilet paper because it looks like you will need it a few hours after its consumption. I have a simple theory: If you eat grease you will poop grease. And if you are one of those folks that believes Mexican food gives you gas, the shits, and it’s fattening, you are correct in your assumption if Taco Bell is what you consider genuine Mexican Food. But aren’t those XXL Steak Nachos from Taco Bell so yummy?

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They might be yummy, but even if you share them with a friend, that’s still 600 calories a piece, and I guarantee you will be on the toilet complaining “Mexican food shreds my guts and butt every time!” Yes it does make your guts rumble, because it’s from Taco Bell. Just think about the quality or lack there of, of the meat and cheese they must be using to sell food for so cheap.

My fast food beef, pun very much intended, is with those of you trying to lose weight, who have the financial means to eat healthier, but you refuse to do so. Fast food is not going to help your weight loss efforts, no matter if you’re rich, poor, or anywhere in between. You will only lose weight on a fast food diet if you consume less than 2,000 calories a day total, from it and other foods. And please don’t believe that it is mostly those in poverty that eat fast food. That is B.S! How do I know? Because sometimes for shits and giggles I will sit by a McDonald’s drive through to see the types of cars that visit the golden arches. And guess what I see? Yep, you guessed right. I see cars that describe the opposite of poverty, driven by moms wearing expensive glasses, and teenagers in the front and back seats of those cars wearing Beats By Dre plugged into their i phone 7, 8, 9, or whatever number they are currently on. Aren’t those headphones like 300 bucks or something? Damn!! You go Dre.

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Above, that is Dr. Dre, yes, the Beats Headphones guy, wearing the blue L.A. Dodger hat, and that is Ice Cube on the far left wearing an N.W.A. jacket. This is the group that started gangster rap. The group came together around 1988. That’s so long ago that Drake the rapper was about 2 years old and Nicki Minaj was about 6. Does anyone know what N.W.A. stands for? Just kidding. If you don’t know what N.W.A. stands for, go check it out.

Do you want to know why I believe that anyone can lose weight? Because if Dr. Dre can go from producing songs for N.W.A in the late 1980’s, and selling albums with zero radio play, to currently convincing America and the world that adults and their children need 300 dollar headphones, anything is possible.

And if you think those dudes in the picture above look pissed, you should go listen to their music from back then. Facial expression and rap lyrics match to a T. After you go to Taco Bell today or tomorrow and you bust a grub and poop, go to You Tube and look up “Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A. The first rapper to rap on that song is Ice Cube. Yes that Ice Cube. The one from the “Friday” movies and Coors commercials. He was angry in his N.W.A. days, but he has chilled out considerably. I think success and money quenches anger flames, just a tad.

The first time I heard the N-word blaring out of my boombox speakers, it was from N.W.A. I couldn’t believe my ears and I had to rewind the cassette tape, yes cassette tape, over and over to make sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing.

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And sure enough I was hearing the N-Word. I was amazed by N.W.A.’s ability to express their inner city frustrations through beats and rap lyrics. I was even inspired. My boombox had the ability to record so I recorded myself rapping. My rap went something like this (try not to laugh, I was just a teenager) “My favorite cartoon is Scooby Doo, my favorite color is blue, watchagonna do?” After I played my rap back for my own self critique, I quit. LOL. Well I kept on writing raps that morphed into poems. Then those poems morphed into short stories. And now those short stories have morphed into a collection of stories from my teenage years that somehow is turning into a novel. It’s coming along great. My book is about 70% complete, so stay tuned. Thanks N.W.A. In a strange way you inspired me to write, and even blog.

Hopefully I can inspire my weight loss nation to cut back on fast food. But it has been a challenge to do so. I have learned that humans have a difficult time changing their habits, even if it is for health benefits. Unless they get a health scare, like diabetes, fatty liver disease, or some smoking related illness, most humans resist lifestyle change.

Oh, before I forget. I saw another food the other day that made me say WTF!

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What ever happened to the days of eating potato chips because they taste like potato chips? What’s next, Oreo cookie flavored hot dogs? Or how about Rocky Road flavored pizza? Don’t laugh, that’s the direction we are headed in.

Should You Eat Less Or Move More?

If you could only do one, eat less or exercise, which one would you pick for weight loss? Your answer should be to eat less.

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Remember, you cannot out walk, jog, run, sprint, or out weight-lift a bad diet. But you can counter inactivity with eating less. Of course, moving more and eating less is the optimal way to lose weight. But if you had to choose only one, eating less is the way to go.

The following is for all you 30 and over folks. You know when you get together with a group of friends over food and drink and the subject of weight loss comes up and someone inevitably says “Wasn’t it so much easier in your teens and twenties to stay thin?” as they devour their sixth chicken wing slathered in creamy high calorie sauce. Well was it really easier to stay thin in your youth? Things are changing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18% of 6-11 year olds in the U.S. are obese, not overweight, but obese. And 18.4% of 12-19 year olds are obese, again, not overweight, but obese. So what happened to our theory that when someone is younger it is so much easier to keep the weight off?  What is happening to 1/5 of our youth that they can’t keep the weight off? The following is my opinion. I don’t think it’s that our youth can’t keep the weight off as much as that as the years pass, they eat more and more and gain weight.

When you look back and remember a thinner you, you are probably remembering someone who ate less food, drank less sugar, and was more active. You were also in the process of gaining weight and didn’t really notice it because weight gain is gradual. No one wakes up one day and is like “Holy shit, I gained 50 pounds overnight!” It might feel like you gain weight overnight, but you don’t.

69% of people 20 and over in the U.S. are overweight. That’s almost 7 out of 10! And no matter how you slice that pie, our nation is gaining weight in all demographics. Little by little, the good old days of younger people being thin are disappearing. Why? Because as Americans, we eat more and more everyday. But because people aren’t very accurate/honest when it comes to food consumption, it is difficult to calculate how much more we are eating as a society now. Some estimates have the calorie increase as low as 500 per day now day in the 1970’s, and other estimates have us consuming as much as 1,000 additional calories per person, per day, now than in 1970. Who knows what the truth is, but what we do know is that collectively we do eat more.

And boy do we love sugar. Check out the following.

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And this is how you burn it off.

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Notice that in order to burn off those extra calories there was no mention of sitting in front of a TV, your tablet, or your Intelligent Phone. You gotta move! And Tweeting, texting, sexting (if you’re into that), Face Booking, and playing Call of Duty is not exercise. Walking the mall is not exercise either. That is life, and so is walking the dog and washing your car.

This one just blew my mind. Since I am not a sugar drinker myself, it really blew my mind. Like WTF!!!!!!!

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Really America! We are consuming almost 40 pounds of added sugar from sugar drinks per year, per person. Que La Chingada! That’s WTF in Spanish. If you are trying to lose weight and want to lose weight, p-u-t t-h-e s-u-g-a-r d-r-i-n-k-s d-o-w-n. If you’re thin, not diabetic or pre-diabetic, then you can probably enjoy your Coke with a smile.

And for those of you who are thinking “Sugar drinks are fine, they won’t affect my health”, think again. Check this out.

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Yep, sugar drinks mess with your health too. And if you are always drinking carbonated sugar drinks and your stomach is so jacked up that you’re always reaching for antacids, give those sugar drinks and your intestinal track a break.

So there you have it my Weight Loss Nation. If you want to lose weight you should focus on your eating habits and definitely replace sugar drinks with water. If you’re having a hard time putting the sugar drinks down, ask yourself the following question “What is more important, my health and weight loss or drinking sugar?” Your answer to that question will let you know how serious you are about your weight loss. And how serious you are about your weight loss will determine how much weight you lose.

And don’t let anyone convince you that because you like or enjoy something, like sugar, you are addicted to it. Man up, or woman up, and just admit that you like sugar so much that at times your rather have a soda than drink water. Once you have it in your head that you are the one that makes that soda drinking choice, and not some uncontrollable sugar hungry demon in your soul, it will be easier to let that sugar urge go. Be accountable for your health. You are in control of your body.

Two last things. Ladies, if you eat and drink like a man, you will weigh what a man weighs. And, I was talking to a woman once, I think she is in her forties. She has two kids and has always maintained a healthy weight. I asked her what she did to stay trim? She said “If I start to gain weight, I cut back on my food.” BRILLIANT!! No apps or fancy electric bracelets needed. She just cuts back on food.