Name: R. Soto
Improvement: 15+ lbs Weight Loss
Time: 3 months
Program: 2016 Total Transformation Challenge
What was your biggest challenge / obstacle(s)?
My biggest challenge was the lack of ability to use my left hand and arm. I really thought it was going to prevent me from being able to participate in most of the exercises and thought I was setting myself up for failure. Believing in myself was a huge challenge, never believing that I could ever lose weight and get healthy. I have also struggled with food, I have many allergies and it became so much easier to just find the few things I wasn’t allergic to and continue to eat them although they were not necessarily good for me. About two weeks into the challenge I got sick and had some really bad stomach issues going on and could barely eat without getting sick and just was miserable, I had to slowly start reintroducing foods back into my diet and trying to figure out what triggers my issues and that has been extremely challenging in being able to eat right.
What motivated you to stay on the course?
My coworkers have been a huge motivation for me, they have encouraged me 100% from day 1. Our Trainer at the Employee Wellness Center also believed that I could accomplish this challenge even with my disability and that has also been a huge motivator. But most of all it’s what I feel. After so many years of being so heavy and thinking there was no hope, I finally feel that I can do this, I see the difference in my clothes and on the scale, I feel the difference in my life. I have so much energy and have really learned to look at life differently, I look at challenges now and know that I can do this, nothing will hold me back. The look my daughter gives me when she sees how hard I’ve been working to do this challenge, it’s a look of pride and that feels great. One day after a rough work out and finally getting up on the board with my team, a team member said we really needed to step up and do more to stay on the board, I said to my daughter “I don’t know how much more I can do or give”, she said “you can do it all mom. You are doing so good and I’m so proud of you and I know you can do it all.” That is what I think about every time and know that yes, I can do it all.
Did your diet change? If so, How? Please be detailed!
My diet has changed. It’s not as good as it should be but it is definitely getting better. I don’t keep any junk food in the house, I limit my soda intake to maybe 1 glass a week, I utilize portion control and when I want something to snack I’ll try to find something that is healthier, but on occasion when I want junk I will allow myself a small portion of whatever it is I really want. Mainly I’ve started to drink a lot of water, something that I have always hated, now it’s the first thing I reach for.
What advice could you give to others that want the same results?
My advice to anyone planning on starting the Total Transformation Challenge, as it will most likely always be “Don’t give up.” Do whatever it takes to stay on track. Some days you may want to cry from the pain, but don’t, it gets better. I never thought I would feel like this, but it’s like I’m now addicted to the gym and can’t see myself not going on a regular basis. Now I feel so much happier, healthier and just all around better, I look for things that I can do outdoors and look forward to being on the go, something I’ve never done.
How is this experience going to affect you going forward?
This experience has totally affected my life. I went from not being able to use my arm and hand to having it improve so much that I can use them now to do things I haven’t been able to do in over six years. I have such a different look on life, I’m happy and I’m energized and looking for the next challenge that will get me down to the goal weight I have wanted for so many years and now know that yes, I can get there.