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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