Jose Sanchez says he packed on pounds simply because he didn’t know how to eat right. “My family would eat fast food almost every day, and there was always something available for me to snack on,” he says. (Search: Healthy snacks) “As a child I was thin, but as soon as I hit my teenage years, I steadily put on weight.” Poor eating habits eventually added up to 300 pounds.
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The Turning Point
“My wife loves taking pictures, and when I saw the photos of me I couldn’t believe I was the person that I saw,” he says. “I had always avoided taking pictures so that I wouldn’t see the truth.” Finally fed up with being overweight, Jose took control of his eating habits.
Jose began trimming his portion sizes. “I realized I was eating two to two-and-a-half times as much as I should have been eating,” he says. He also learned to cook, so he could make his favourite foods at home, like pizza, instead of relying on fast food.
But the real key to Jose’s success has been running. At first Jose couldn’t run for 30 seconds without becoming winded, but he gradually built up miles, hitting the pavement five or six days a week. Craving a challenge, Jose, his brother, and a friend planned on running 27 miles on Jose’s 27th birthday this past August. The trio woke up at 4 AM for their self-initiated ultra-run and finished around 10 AM. His wife, father, and brother’s girlfriend cheered them on throughout and handed out gels, water, and snacks. Now Jose has his sights set on his first sanctioned long-distance race, the Las Vegas Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon in January 2013. (Video: Half-Marathon Training 101) In addition to running, Jose also does strength-training circuits and body-weight exercises at a local park. These days, he weighs in at 202 pounds.
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To stay focused, Jose and his friends started a blog (thechefit.blogspot.com), where he writes about working out. “We all try to hold each other accountable for getting out and exercising a couple of days a week,” he says. “Some of our followers have also started working out, so that motivates me to lead by example.”
In addition to building endurance, Jose says he’s noticing muscles that he’s never seen before. He also loves that he can no longer fit into his old, size-42 clothing. “There was one point a few months ago that I went into the closet and tried on almost all of the clothes that I had, and nothing fit because they were too big,” he says. “It was really one of the best feelings that I’ve had in a long time.” Best of all, he’s inspired his parents, cousin, and other people around him to start exercising as well.
Push yourself. Nobody’s going to lose weight for you, Jose says. “If there’s something you don’t want to do, you should probably do it anyway.”
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