'I Lost 150 Pounds with SparkPeople!'*

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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Way to go Raul! Lots of golden nuggets in his journey. Report
Awesome! Thanks for sharing! Report
Yes, I am inspired! Report
Yes, Raul inspires me! :) Report
That's a huge victory!! You look wonderful! Your story is very motivating! Thank you for sharing your success! Report
You are an inspiration. I'm well on the way to my goal of losing 3 stone, which I hope to achieve by mid-summer. Thank you for telling your story and keep it up! Report
I just went onto Amazon and ordered a copy of that book - thanks! Report
keep up the good work.. what a change. you look great Report
I am sure that both you and your family are proud of you and all the work you have done. I don't even know you and I am happy for you. God Bless. Report
That is great and he eats a lot of food. Keep it up. Congratulations
Wow! So motivating and inspiring. What a cool dude. Report
Excellent testimony and great advice! I am re-re-reinspired! Thank you for sharing. Report
Awesome testimony....I am reading Dr. Shapiro's book Picture Perfect Weight Loss right now!! Just found it at a thrift store and had to get it....I know I will be a success story like you! Thanks for being such a GREAT encouragement! Report
WOW! Your bofore & after photos say it all! Thanks for sharing. Report
Awesome job! Thanks for sharing your inspirational story! Report
I know what you mean about "fast food", it seems to just call to you while driving by. Congratulations on your weight loss and thanks for the inspiration and great tips! Report
Awesome! Congratulations Mr. Robles....your success is very encouraging!
Continued Blessings to you! Report
CongratulationsI I have lost a lot of weight in the past, but the bad habits crept back in and I would always gain it back plus ten. Now that I am 52 it is time to stick with it and have a healthy and happy lifestyle going into my silver years. Report
wow...great story thanks for the inspiration. And thanks for sharing. Report
Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the good work. Report
Very Inspirational! Thank You! Report
You, your wife and your story are inspiring . . . and add some hope that I may experience similar success.

I'm down 50# and have another 50#+ to go.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble to share your story with everyone. Report
You look AMAZING! I bet your wife is so proud of you :) I agree Jillian Michaels is very inspirational....and thumb up for skinny cow ice cream! Mmm Report
Your before / after pictures are amazing! A transformation for sure!!! Report
Congrats! You are a big inspiration! Report
Awesome, congrats!!! You look great! Report
Congratulations on an amazing job well done! Report
Thanks it is very inspirational to read your path to health,it gives me hope for succes Report
I enjoyed reading your story. Report
Thank you for sharing your story! Very inspiring. Particularly because you are 53, you are proof that it's not only young people who can lose a lot of weight! Very inspiring! Report
Congrats on your weight loss may you get to ur goal and have fun doing it!!! Report
Your story is a story of victory and I cant wait till I can write my own story....keep on moving..... Report
OMG you are SO inspiring! Congrats on all of your success and hard work. You deserve it! Report
You give me hope!!!! Report
Thank you so much for sharing this inspirational story! Report
Amazing. Congrats! Report
Great Job !!! You look great. Report
How brave to go totally out of your comfort zone and change your life! You sound and look awesome!! Report
Fantastic, wonderful, congratulations, and good for you. You look great and at healthy lifestyle. Good job Report
Congratulations, Mr Raul, i am very happy and excited to actually see the before and after picture, it is quite amazing. I now know i can do it too, i joined Sparkpeople a week ago, and im already finding it helpful, you are quite an inspiration, and it tells i can do all exercise as i go along,(i dont like it before).
Thank you and congrats again, pls keep it up. Report
Fantastic! You look great & how inspirational! Report
congrats on your success and keep on spark'n Report
Amazing..well done you should be proud Report
Congratulations to you and all of your family. Having you around will be such a huge reward for them and you. You are truly a success when you put your family first. You should be so proud of yourself. Keep up the fantastic work. Report
WOW! Great transformation. I'm am very inspired by the choices you made along the way. Thanks for sharing. Report
Great Story! Congratulations on your success & thanks for sharing. Report
wow! you have inspired me, thank you for sharing keep going do not stop Report
wow! you have inspired me, thank you for sharing keep going do not stop Report
Fantastic! Report