“I didn’t think my weight was a problem.”
At six feet tall, Carlos Orosco was used to being a ‘bigger person.’ When he moved out his parent’s home in his late 20s, he was free to choose any lifestyle he wanted. His weight starting increasing rapidly as he consumed food and alcohol to console himself after a hard day.
He was still able to perform his daily activities, and even participate in sports. With no one to hold him accountable, Orosco’s bad diet consisted of fried foods, sodas, bread, fast foods, and alcohol.
When Orosco turned 38, he began to suffer from serious medical issues, including a blood infection that caused severe swelling and ulcers in his legs.
He weighed 651 pounds.
The Doctor’s Ultimatum
“The symptoms only got worse from my weight, and I met with a surgeon to discuss a sleeve gastrectomy,” Orosco explained. For this sort of procedure, about 75% of the stomach is removed to restrict the amount of food a patient can eat.
During the consultation, the doctor warned him if he didn’t make some lifestyle changes, he will not live to see his 40s. This statement shocked Orosco and he became determined to fix his ailing health.
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The surgery was scheduled in December, six months later, but it came with a condition: Orosco had to lose 100 pounds on his own, or the surgeon would cancel the date.
His Lifestyle Overhaul
Orosco consulted with a dietitian who instructed him to replace the unhealthy foods he was consuming with fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. He began to exercise on a regular basis, starting with a three-mile walk daily.
“The first few months were really tough. I was constantly fighting urges and cried myself to sleep many nights.”
When December 2016 rolled around, Orosco had complete a full six months of eating well and exercising. He weighed 555 pounds, a mere five pounds over the goal of 550.
“I was disappointed about the last five pounds, but nonetheless went into surgery,” he said.
The procedure was a success and combined with Orosco’s hard work, his weight continued to drop, until it hit the 350-pound mark. He was still overweight but the numbers on the scale refused to move.
Fortunately, Orosco found a sport he loved: running.
“I ran my first 5K in honor of a friend who had recently passed away,” he said. “I felt so much love and support from the people cheering me on and other runners that I kept at it.”
This activity helped him build muscle and lose the remaining weight to reach his healthy weight range. Not only that, he has since completed 36 races and training for his first marathon in October.
Living His Best Life
Today, not only has Orosco lived to see his 40s, he is loving his new lifestyle. He is 42 years old and has lost a total of 450 pounds.
“I finally feel like I’m living my best life,” he said.
He wishes his story could inspire others facing a seemingly impossible weight loss goal. If he could change his toxic eating habits into the healthy lifestyle he loves today, so could anyone.
His Top Three Tips:
1. Seek help.
“People are there to help,” said Orosco.
No one likes to ask for help, especially when it comes to an embarrassing topic like weight. However, there is always someone who can help you. Weight loss is a difficult battle that should not be fought alone.
It’s best to have three kinds of support systems:
- Emotional support: You need people to encourage you when the going gets rough and to celebrate with you after each milestone.
Options: your partner, relatives, friends, coworkers, or fellow dieters.
- Practical support: These are the people you turn to for healthy recipes, exercise routines, and gym partners. Perhaps they could help you cook or take care of household chores so you don’t miss a workout on busy days.
Options: your partner, relatives, friends, coworkers, fellow dieters, or fellow sport or gym club members.
- Information sources: You also need a reliable source for health information, whether it’s about which foods to eat, what exercises to do, or how to stay emotionally healthy through this difficult period.
Options: health professionals (like registered dietitians or nutritionists), health organization websites, weight-loss groups, your local hospital’s weight-management program, and reputable books and magazines. 
2. Be patient.
Show compassion to yourself and your body. Don’t expect miraculous, overnight results. Forgive yourself if you fall short of your goals. If you continue to work hard every day, you will soon see results that could last the rest of your life.
As you take on such a large endeavor, it’s likely you will mess up and eat something you’re not supposed to, or skip a workout. Just keep moving forward. Expect a few slipups, and allow each mistake to strengthen your resolve. You’re one failure closer to your end goal. 
3. Don’t be discouraged.
On days when you fail, or when the numbers on the scale refuse to budge, don’t beat yourself up. You’ve been working hard, and whether or not you achieved the results you wanted yet, that’s still something to be proud of.
“Your current situation never has to be your final destination,” said Orosco.
Many people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to weight loss. Remember the goal is not to look like the models on the cover of fitness magazines who are often digitally enhanced. The goal is for you to feel healthy and good in your body, and to live a better life. 
- Social support in an Internet weight loss community https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060773/
- To Lose the Weight, Change How You Relate (to Food) https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201102/lose-the-weight-change-how-you-relate-food
- Dieting and restrained eating as prospective predictors of weight gain https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3759019/
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