This article was written back in May, 2013 by Coach Santiago Marquez about losing his first 30 lbs of his incredible weight loss journey.
Lots of people have been asking me how I lost so much weight. They want the secret! And I know you might want it too! So sit back, grab some popcorn, I mean carrots and water, and take some notes if you need to.
Let me start by saying that my commitment to shed fat was a true lifestyle change. It was months after the doctor warned me of heart attacks that I decided to make the change. The road wasn’t easy and breaking away from my old habits was extremely difficult. If you’re looking to lose weight, you have to break from old habits in order to be successful.
You may have to give up some stuff you love that you know just isn’t good for you. That might mean soda, candy, donuts, greasy pizza and other high sugar and high fat foods. It could be being lazy, late night eating or drinking lots of beer. Whatever obstacle it is for you, you have to want the change! It will be extremely difficult, especially for the first 2 weeks, but I promise that you will be proud of yourself for making a change to improve yourself.
I’ll share with you a bit of my weight history. I grew up as a slim child until 10 years old when I began getting chubby after my little sister was born. I stayed chubby/fat until the summer before my senior year of high school when I dedicated myself to be a great football player. I turned out to be a solid 190 lbs full back and the MVP of my team. A year after high school I managed to put on some weight and got up to 235 lbs. Unhappy about it, I made my way back down to 193 by restricting my calories and starving myself. Fast forward a few years later to the age of 24 where I’m a Daddy to a 3 year old boy, I have an easy sit down job, I coach high school football and I had managed to eat my way up to a WAY-TOO-HUGE 300+ lbs!!
During my incline in weight, I didn’t realize how large I had gotten. I was so unhappy with my appearance, I avoided my reflection and stayed away from scales. I didn’t enjoy taking pictures and hated seeing the pictures I was in. Weight gain comments from friends and family only made me more unhappy with myself and depressed, which led to me eating more.
Playing with my 3 year old son was difficult and tiring. I couldn’t keep up with him and his youthful energy. On top of that, as a football coach I was being a hypocrite to the young men I was pushing to make themselves better. Being 300 lbs was without a doubt the most depressing time in my life. The limitations that my body put on me were so restricting. It turned me into someone I didn’t like. I had to make a change.
Most people wouldn’t guess that I lost my first 30 lbs just by making little changes with my eating habits. Even then, the word “diet” didn’t ring well with me because I had restricted myself in the past. When I began my commitment to change, I started by doing what I knew was good for me. I simply ate more foods I knew were good for me and I ate less food overall. Makes sense, right? So the two words that helped me most change my eating habits: Portion Control. It was difficult in the beginning because my stomach was accustomed to more food, so the hunger feeling was uncomfortable. And what made it even harder was the fact that there weren’t quick or visible results. But I decided to stay on the course because I knew it was better for me in the long run.
It’s always good to eat a healthy breakfast if you want to lose weight. Reason being is it starts up your metabolism for the day and protein helps keep you from getting hungry fast. For breakfast, I’d choose between a bowl of oatmeal, a banana or 2 eggs. For lunch, a 2-serving size chicken salad would do me good. Not an enormous salad drowning in ranch dressing, but lettuce and veggie-filled salad with enough dressing for flavor and a few croutons. Honestly, I'd make it real easy for myself by getting a salad bag with the ingredients ready to mix in. Even a 6-inch Subway sandwich isn’t bad. Just make sure to stay away from white breads and switch to something whole grain or whole wheat.
When I’m hungry during the day, I battle the hunger because I know my stomach is shrinking during this time. I’d even sometimes curb my appetite with sunflower seeds and chugging water. I eat fruit and veggies like bananas, apples or baby carrots for snacks. That surely wasn’t something the 300 lb Santi would eat! Eating fruit was a bit of a struggle for me
because I didn’t grow up eating fruit and I was used to sugary sweets, but I knew it was a better change for me. The carrots are good for my heart and lungs and apples are high in fiber, which is good for digestion and aids in weight loss. Bananas are now my favorite fruit for a few reasons. They are a great energy food, you can take them anywhere and they are very filling. I have two rules that I suggest you follow when eating a banana. Never make eye contact with a man while eating a banana and don’t eat it all in one bite. It just looks bad!
For dinner I would eat whatever was cooked at home, but I’d make sure to load up on the veggies portion of the meal instead of the main course. Drinking water before a meal has always helped me eat less and makes me feel fuller. Do your best not to eat late, your metabolism isn’t working so hard while you sleep and it surely won’t help you lose weight.
If you haven’t noticed yet, my weight loss plan(eating arrangement) isn’t a “strict diet”. It’s basically controlling your portions and staying away from foods that you know are bad for you. Switching from white bread to wheat makes a big difference and switching from whole milk to 1% helps too. Try staying away from added sugars as much as you can.
You can give yourself a “Cheat Day” in order to keep you from going insane. My Cheat Day used to be hot chicken wings on Thursdays, but instead of stuffing my belly with chicken and ranch, I made a deal with myself: I would eat a baby carrot for every chicken wing. Even though it’s a cheat day, don’t go too crazy on junky food. You can’t forget that you have important goals to accomplish. I mean that's only IF you want to lose weight and not set yourself back too far. It’s important to learn from the mistakes of others, like those who overdid it on cheat day to find themselves to have fallen back into their old ways.
After eating consistently healthy for a while, you will feel the difference in your body. You’ll feel more energized and even more alert throughout the day. Once you get to this point, eating unhealthy snacks and food will make you feel so sluggish or give you a headache, which will make you want to
stay away from bad food for good. Now-a-days I can’t even eat a sugary snack without my body feeling like I’ve got a hangover. Be consistent and then your cheat days will consist of much less unhealthy food.
I also suggest that you weigh yourself every 3 to 5 days. Make sure to not do it every day. For consistency purposes, it’s pretty important that you weigh yourself at the same part of the day. My weigh-in time is in the morning after my shower. If I forget to weigh myself after that, then I stay away from the scale until the next morning.
So there ya go! Believe it or not, that’s how I lost my first 30 lbs in about 3.5 months. There’s not much of a secret to it. And if there is a secret, it’s the commitment and dedication to make yourself better. Drink water. Stay away from unhealthy fast food and snacks. Control your portions. Set your goals and stay committed!
Make Yourself Better,
Santi Paz Marquez