'I Lost 150 Pounds with SparkPeople!'*


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  196 comments   :  50,120 Views

Meet Raul Robles, a loving husband and father who has lost 150 pounds with SparkPeople! Find out how he stays motivated on his journey to healthy living.   

What is your age?: 53
How long have you been a SparkPeople member? How did you find SparkPeople?: I have been a member for over two and a half years (since December 2009). I was introduced to SparkPeople.com by a person I was taking a pre-bariatric surgery health class with. We were discussing the concept of tracking calories and this person suggested your site. I was intrigued by the name and signed up later that evening. THE BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE!
What is your favorite feature on SparkPeople?: I love the food tracker, the fitness tracker, and most of all, the community support the site offers. The vast majority of your members are extremely positive and helpful!

How much weight have you lost?: 150 pounds! I would like to lose another 10-15 pounds, but am more concerned with building up muscle and working away the flab I still have.
How long did it take to lose the weight?: Approximately 14 months
What was your ''light bulb'' moment that made you decide to lose weight?: The moment I decided to lose weight was when my wife told me she was scared that I was on the road to an early death. My wife has always supported me, and never badgered me about the weight that I slowly put on. When she shared that fear with me, I knew that I needed to make a change. I want to be with my wife for many more years, and I want to see my daughter and son grow up, marry and provide us with grandchildren!
What was your biggest obstacle while trying to lose weight?: The biggest obstacle was realizing that I had to change my eating habits. I had grown to be quite dependent on fast foods for a huge majority of my meals. I drank two liters or more of diet soda every day. I ''hated'' vegetables, fruits, and water. When I started the pre-bariatric surgery health classes, I was challenged to eat more vegetables and fruits, drink more water, and move more. I never run away from a challenge, so I decided to accept my instructor's challenge and eat at least forty servings of fruits and vegetables per week, drink at least 40 cups of water per week, and walk for at least 30 minutes every other day. I lost half a pound after the first week, a little over five pounds in the second week, and (the week I discovered SparkPeople.com) a whopping nine pounds in the third week! These results pushed me to eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water, and move more frequently. I had discovered the secret to weight loss!

What does your weekly exercise schedule look like?: I have become an exercise fanatic! I work out at a local gym five days a week and have two rest days. Monday through Thursday, I work out on various cardio machines at my local gym. Saturday is dedicated to weight training and a long run. I do at-home strength training on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Finally, on my rest days on Friday and Sunday, I will usually either take a walk, or walk in place while watching television.
 What is your favorite way to exercise?: I love to run! I have also started Tabata training, which is an extremely intense form of cardio. In a nutshell, it involves eight circuits of all-out cardio work for 40 seconds, followed by a 10-second recovery period after each circuit. It kicks my rear end and burns a lot of calories!
Do you have any personal fitness goals coming up?: I would love to take part in a half marathon. I have nothing scheduled on the horizon, but I continue to train for it on a weekly basis.
What does a typical day of food look like for you? How does this compare to the way you ate before your transformation?: I admit that I am a creature of habit. I don't get bored with my meals, so I have no problem with eating the same kind of food day in and day out. With that being said, here is my typical day of meals:
Breakfast: A homemade breakfast burrito made with fat-free refried beans, soy chorizo (spicy meat), a pinch of cheese and some salsa on a whole wheat tortilla. I also have two cups of coffee and a protein bar.

Morning Snack: Carrots, turkey, ham and light string cheese

Lunch: Six-inch Subway Veggie Delight sandwich, mustard only. I eat a ton of veggies and fruits on the side, including carrots, broccoli, jicama, orange, pear (or a peach or nectarine), sliced pineapple, and grapes (when in season). I will also have some turkey, ham, low-fat yogurt and a fruit topping. I also have a small bowl of salsa to dip my veggies into!

Afternoon Snack: Apple

Workout Recovery Snack: Banana, peanut butter and a whey protein drink

Dinner: Soup, salad and a sandwich. I also have a baked potato with salsa and a fruit. I sometimes substitute a greens dish, Brussels sprouts, or an ear of corn for the salad and sandwich.

Snack: Popcorn and/or a Skinny Cow ice cream product
See more about what I eat on a typical workday here.
What I currently eat on a regular basis is mostly homemade products. Before my transformation, my meals would consist of fast food products or pre-packaged meals. There is no comparison for eating healthy! Also, you will note that I consume a lot of food. However, I also burn a ton of calories! I try to stick within the calorie range that SparkPeople has provided for me. 
What is your favorite healthy food?: I love greens! I like to steam or sautee them with onions, mushrooms, green peppers, jalapeno peppers and bok choy. I find this rather funny, as I never even knew that greens existed prior to my transformation!
What is your favorite treat food?: I love the Skinny Cow low-fat ice cream treats—they're less than 150 calories!
Who is your biggest inspiration?: I love Jillian Michaels. I find her no-nonsense approach to weight loss to be quite appealing. My ''bible'' for my weight loss is a book by Dr. Howard M. Shapiro titled Picture Perfect Weight Loss. The book offers pictorial comparisons of a multitude of food choices that have similar calorie content. This book literally saved my life!
Do you have a personal mantra/saying/quote that you live by that you’d like to share?: I have two: "Keep moving, people!" and "Just do!"
Does Raul inspire you? What's your healthy living mantra?

*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program. 

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  • 146
    YES, he absolutely inspires me!

    GO RAUL! - 6/20/2012   12:11:46 AM
  • AUGUSTA777
    Excellent, Raul! What a wonderful inspiration to all of us here at SP. - 6/19/2012   10:50:47 PM
    Congratulations!!! Your story was so motivational, what an awesome occomplishment.. I wish you continued success. - 6/19/2012   6:20:49 PM
  • 143
    I want to lose about 185 pounds. I have been considering surgery myself, but have joined SparkPeople almost 7 weeks ago and have lost 25 pounds so far. Now, I am hopeful that I can do it without the surgery and am feeling quite motivated. Thank you for sharing your story and helping me believe in the possibilities for myself. Take care. You look great, by the way!! - 6/19/2012   2:29:39 PM
  • 142
    WHAT A STORY!!! Congratulations and thanks for sharing!!! - 6/18/2012   10:53:43 PM
  • 141
    Congratulations!!!! Im so Inspired!!!! - 6/18/2012   7:39:30 PM
  • 140
    Wonderful news! Congratulations on your achievement! - 6/18/2012   5:37:48 PM
  • 139
    Mr. Robles you are an inspiration! Keep up the great work - 6/18/2012   4:36:58 PM
    Thanks for sharing your story. I am only two months into my journey, but I hope to achieve the same success!! Sharing your story lets me see it is possible! :) - 6/18/2012   3:46:48 PM
  • 137
    Thank you for the great blog . hints on meal planning . keep up the great job looking great - 6/18/2012   11:43:11 AM
    You rock Raul...thanks for some great tips. Never give up, now if only I can get there but with motivation like this, it helps. - 6/18/2012   11:25:58 AM
  • 135
    Way to go....this has motivated my even more - 6/18/2012   11:15:36 AM
  • 134
    What a wonderful job you have done! BIG TIME CONGRATS!!! Enjoy the fit and healthy new you! - 6/18/2012   10:57:42 AM
  • 133
    You have done a great job! Congratulations to your new healthy lifestyle! - 6/18/2012   8:24:06 AM
  • 132
    Keep up the good work! - 6/18/2012   12:29:05 AM
    Congratulations! You look GREAT! And you give me hope that I too can start exercising. Every day my body says not today, I see you did it ... So will I. - 6/17/2012   9:43:17 PM
  • 130
    That's amazing good job! - 6/17/2012   4:31:05 PM
  • 129
    Great job! Your story was so inspirational and I wish you all the best in getting to your goal. It just shows me that "there is still hope" for me! - 6/17/2012   2:40:21 PM
  • 128
    Truly an inspiration. You look amazing. - 6/17/2012   1:00:30 PM
  • 127
    my question is, did you have the bariatric surgery? i never did see anywhere that you said you chose not to have it..... - 6/17/2012   9:05:21 AM
  • 126
    great job .... BUT did you have the bariatric band surgery done??? - 6/17/2012   8:33:34 AM
  • 125
    Happy Father's Day!! You look terrific and I am sure your wife and children are very proud of you!! Keep up the great work! You are a wonderful model for all of us. (...and kudos to your wife for having the courage to say something to you that made all the difference in the world!) - 6/17/2012   7:17:16 AM
    Raul: Just looking at you there holding your sign - What an inspiration! I'm so glad that you were able to listen to your wife's concerns, and then go on to achieve these wonderful results. God bless you BOTH! - 6/16/2012   11:05:00 PM
  • 123
    Awesome, what an inspiration, congratulations, you should be very proud, you look great! - 6/16/2012   8:11:43 PM
    you're awesome! - 6/16/2012   7:20:44 PM
  • 121
    Congratulations!!! So inspiring!

    I stole my mantra from somewhere "Nothing tastes as good as skinny FEELS".
    It is posted on my fiancee's cookie jar!!! - 6/16/2012   4:53:14 PM
  • 120
    Congratulations on your success! Thank you for sharing the book that inspired you. I joined SP but both my husband and I are working on improving our health and weight loss. I am always interested to learn more from the male point of view because I believe this quest is different for men. At least I know in our case that my husband takes a more skeptical view. He's coming along though as we are both seeing success and feeling more energetic. There are so many benefits of being healthier! To your continued success! - 6/16/2012   4:12:18 PM
  • PBROWN85
    Wow, what an inspiring story! I needed the inspiration! Thanks for sharing! - 6/16/2012   3:26:53 PM
  • 118
    Yo are surely an inspiration to a lot of people, including me. You have really gotten the guts todo this and I hope I can to it too!
    - 6/16/2012   3:19:01 PM
  • 117
    Raul, you have inspired me tremendously! Thank you. Stories like yours help me want to "keep my eyes on the prize" and keep going to reach my goal of losing 47 pounds!

    Congratulations on your huge success! You look marvelous! I know you MUST feel better too! - 6/16/2012   2:48:39 PM
  • 116
    You are very inspiring. Thank you for the blog. - 6/16/2012   2:35:39 PM
  • 115
    Raul has been inspiring me for almost two years! I'm so happy he is here as a guest blogger sharing his journey. You rock, Raul! - 6/16/2012   1:43:56 PM
  • 114
    Congratulations!!! You look great! My personal mantra is "Never give up...never surrender"!!! - 6/16/2012   10:09:32 AM
  • 113
    Awesome! - 6/16/2012   9:40:12 AM
  • 112
    Absolutely PRODIGOUS! Now keep it off and Life life with gusto! - 6/16/2012   8:59:12 AM
  • 111
    How wonderful to lose that belly fat. Do watch on YOUTUBE, the HBO Documentary "The WEIGHT of the Nation" as this four part series has wonderful information on the effects of obesity on heart disease beginning as early as childhood. - 6/16/2012   8:25:41 AM
  • 110
    You are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your blog. Keep on sparking! - 6/16/2012   6:26:24 AM
  • 109
    I have a similar goal and we are peers, both married and fathers.
    I started to follow the sparkpeople on 4/5/2012 and up to now I lost 30% of my excess weight.
    Best wishes to maintain your new style of life and keep moving! :) - 6/16/2012   2:17:02 AM
  • 108
    Congratulations and God Bless you and your wife. - 6/16/2012   12:39:20 AM
  • 107
    Yahoo for your new you. The pictures reflect the difference. Congradulations. - 6/16/2012   12:31:12 AM
  • 106
    Wonderful! I'm inspired. - 6/16/2012   12:09:22 AM
  • 105
    What an inspiring blog ! Great job!!! God Bless you!!! - 6/15/2012   10:49:11 PM
  • EASON59
    Wow...so inspiring - 6/15/2012   10:22:34 PM
  • 103
    WOW! Congratulations-I am sure that you are so proud of yourself! You really inspires me-thanks for sharing and Spark On! - 6/15/2012   9:36:17 PM
  • 102
    Congratulations! Your wife must be so proud of you and so happy for you too! - 6/15/2012   9:02:30 PM
  • 101
    Wonderful!!! You should be grinning from ear to ear every day for all you have done for yourself!

    Keep up the amazing work.

    rumbamel - 6/15/2012   8:43:47 PM
  • 100
    You have done a great! job keep up the good work, only hope that I can do as well as you have. Thanks for sharing your story. - 6/15/2012   8:10:19 PM
  • AYLEA56
    Congratulations!!! What a great inspiration and good advice. You look great! - 6/15/2012   8:09:59 PM
  • CLEO27
    Congrats, you did awesome, you are an inspiration to all. - 6/15/2012   7:46:23 PM
  • 97
    Wow Raul, you look great and I bet you feel so much better
    too....I made notes on your meal ideas and snacks...thanks
    for the inspiration....
    darlene - 6/15/2012   7:18:03 PM

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