“It’s not my goal to stand out; it’s my goal to fit in. I didn’t want to be the ‘big guy’ anymore. Now, I feel so much better about myself! If my story can help others reach their goals, I want to share it.”
Carlos joined Yes Health in January, and his story continues to inspire his coaches and fellow Yes Health community members. In just six months, Carlos has lost nearly 100 pounds, but that’s not what he considers the most rewarding part of his journey.
He shares how the trauma of being obese affected him on so many levels: physical, emotional, and mental. He felt that he had to compensate for his size by bending over backward to please people, being funny, or finding other ways to be accepted by his peers and society. Fast forward just six months, and Carlos dreams of traveling next year, something he never felt comfortable doing before because of his heavier weight.
“I was a skinny kid in first and second grade, but since then have had huge weight fluctuations my entire life. I’d take the weight off for a couple of years but then gain it back.
This time, I think it’s going to be different. Before, I always tried to lose weight by doing things I didn’t enjoy, like eating foods and doing exercise I didn’t particularly like. Now, I’ve lost almost 100 pounds by being consistent with meals I enjoy eating and working out in a fun way.
I started my weight loss journey this time around back in January, just a week or so before beginning with Yes Health.
I had high blood pressure, prediabetes, and high cholesterol. Now, just about everything is back to normal levels, and I’ve stopped taking almost all of my medications!
My physical markers of progress are that I’ve lost 96.8 pounds since January. Not only have I had to buy new clothes, but weight loss has impacted my daily life in ways I couldn’t have even imagined.
A big turning point for me in deciding it was time to commit to my health was when I realized I had a hard time doing daily tasks. I could barely cut my own toenails or tie my shoes because my stomach got in the way; even the logistics of using the restroom were challenging. Now, I have free access to my whole body. Everyday tasks become significant problems when you’re dealing with severe obesity.
Mentally and emotionally, the sense of confidence and accomplishment I feel is incredible. I used to hate it when people took pictures of me, and now I don’t! I was done being the ‘big guy.’ When I was young, I got bullied, but I just felt like I became invisible as I got older. Like I had to compensate for my obesity in other ways. I tried to be really funny or bend over backward for everyone, just to have a seat at the table. I think a lot of big people feel this way.
Before joining Yes Health, my diet was garbage! I made poor choices and succumbed to peer pressure all the time. I’d run to fast food places on my lunch break and eat junk food constantly.
I’m Latino, and in some Latino cultures, it’s considered rude to decline food and throw food away. I had to work on this, and therapy helped. I’ve started gifting leftovers or extra food to neighbors and friends. Honestly, I’ve overhauled my diet and lifestyle completely!
What’s really worked for me using Yes Health is accountability. My coaches are so responsive and give encouragement and feedback for things you wouldn’t even think they would notice, like getting enough sleep! I also love the community within the app, and the group chat to connect with other participants.
You can talk about anything with your coaches and in the group, not just nutrition! We talked about dealing with loose skin once you lose weight…everyone becomes like your family, your community.
I also learned not to assume anything! I thought artificial sweeteners would help me but discovered that they could actually cause weight gain. But the coaches never forced anything. They would help me sort out all of the contradictory information out there and learn more about my options.
Now, I want to travel! I used to travel all the time. As a big person, the logistics of travel aren’t easy. I couldn’t fit into seats, and most countries don't accommodate a 300+ pound guy! I wasn’t able to walk for long or go upstairs without getting winded. At the end of this year, with the support of Yes Health and my family and friends, I will start planning trips for 2022!
The most important piece is knowing your ‘why’ and coming back to it every day! What drives you? I wanted to fit in, and I wanted to travel. I wanted people to sit next to me on an airplane without rolling their eyes.
Allow yourself bad days, and give yourself some grace. Acknowledge your hurdles, and don’t let them discourage you from achieving your goals. This is a long game, and if you recriminate yourself for every failure, nobody wins.
**As of this publication, Carlos has crossed the 100 pound weight loss goal and is enthusiastically pursuing his next fitness goal!