HOW IT STARTED
He immigrated to America in 2007 from Portugal, where over-serving family and friends with good meals was a sign of hospitality; bread, rice, potatoes, wine, you name it. It’s a tradition, but a dangerous one, and he first realized it when he saw how his older brother’s excess weight led to very poor blood circulation and severe varicose veins. THEN he noticed the same veins on his own legs! His back began to ache (and he was still too young for that). He was feeling more and more tired (can some of us relate? I hope NOT). Anyway, he had to face the cold hard truth: he was quickly becoming his brother.
THE WAKE-UP CALL
Although he (let’s call him Hugo) was able to move to the US, his wife had to stay in Portugal while her papers cleared. But as Hugo was setting up his life here waiting for her, he thought about how his wife was coming to the US for him, and yet he was unhealthy and inactive. He thought she didn’t deserve that; he then thought that to take care of her (and the kids they planned on having), he first needed to take care of himself.
Changing his diet 180 degrees seemed too intimidating to Hugo, so he decided to do it in small steps. Soda was the first to go. After 2 months of drinking water instead of coke, he lost more than 10 pounds. Next up: he cut the evening carbs. Then he swapped the rice and cheese for some lean protein and vegetables. Salmon and tuna and steamed vegetables were his new friends, and his body told him it was happy because he felt full without eating a ton.
Hugo supplemented some fitness routines to his new healthy diet. He started doing cardio on the elliptical machine so that he wouldn’t have to hurt his aching knees. He did feel out of place at the gym, but he stuck to it until he could go 45 min straight, 3 days a week. Eventually, he mustered enough confidence to begin lifting weights, and even came to prefer body-weight exercises such as pullups, dips, pushups and squats, which he certainly didn’t need the gym for, so he did them at home.
Hugo’s wife still hasn’t been allowed to immigrate to America yet. And though it’s killing him, he saw one upside: He had the time to fully transform his body. He’s proud that she will arrive to a new man, one whose extra weight will not jeopardize their future. In the meantime, he traveled to Portugal and surprised all his loved ones. They had NO idea he was losing weight!
WHAT’S YOUR STORY
You don’t have to be in the same exact situation as Hugo to find your inspiration to become a healthier person. But it is critically important to find a FOCUS point that serves as your motivation. So that naturally begs the question: What is your focus? What is your story? What is your goal? Live healthy = Live longer