'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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Nice work, Raul! You look fantastic! The before and after photos are like two different people! Keep on! Report
Nice work, Raul! You look fantastic! The before and after photos are like two different people! Keep on! Report
YES, he absolutely inspires me!

GO RAUL! Report
Excellent, Raul! What a wonderful inspiration to all of us here at SP. Report
Congratulations!!! Your story was so motivational, what an awesome occomplishment.. I wish you continued success. Report
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!! Report
WHAT A STORY!!! Congratulations and thanks for sharing!!! Report
Congratulations!!!! Im so Inspired!!!! Report
Wonderful news! Congratulations on your achievement! Report
Mr. Robles you are an inspiration! Keep up the great work Report
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! :) Report
Thank you for the great blog . hints on meal planning . keep up the great job looking great Report
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. Report
Way to go....this has motivated my even more Report
What a wonderful job you have done! BIG TIME CONGRATS!!! Enjoy the fit and healthy new you! Report
You have done a great job! Congratulations to your new healthy lifestyle! Report
Keep up the good work! Report
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. Report
That's amazing good job! Report
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! Report
Truly an inspiration. You look amazing. Report
my question is, did you have the bariatric surgery? i never did see anywhere that you said you chose not to have it..... Report
great job .... BUT did you have the bariatric band surgery done??? Report
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!) Report
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! Report
Awesome, what an inspiration, congratulations, you should be very proud, you look great! Report
you're awesome! Report
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!!! Report
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! Report
Wow, what an inspiring story! I needed the inspiration! Thanks for sharing! Report
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!
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! Report
You are very inspiring. Thank you for the blog. Report
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! Report
Congratulations!!! You look great! My personal mantra is "Never give up...never surrender"!!! Report
Awesome! Report
Absolutely PRODIGOUS! Now keep it off and Life life with gusto! Report
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. Report
You are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your blog. Keep on sparking! Report
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! :) Report
Congratulations and God Bless you and your wife. Report
Yahoo for your new you. The pictures reflect the difference. Congradulations. Report
Wonderful! I'm inspired. Report
What an inspiring blog ! Great job!!! God Bless you!!! Report
Wow...so inspiring Report
WOW! Congratulations-I am sure that you are so proud of yourself! You really inspires me-thanks for sharing and Spark On! Report
Congratulations! Your wife must be so proud of you and so happy for you too! Report
Wonderful!!! You should be grinning from ear to ear every day for all you have done for yourself!

Keep up the amazing work.

rumbamel Report
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. Report
Congratulations!!! What a great inspiration and good advice. You look great! Report
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