Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo Health series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Leo Quintero is 25, 5′10″, and currently weighs 180 pounds. But in 2010, he weighed 310 pounds. This is the story of his weight-loss journey.
The Turning Point
I decided to begin my weight loss journey after my son was born in January 2010. I knew that I had to change my eating habits and my daily routine in order to make myself available for his future. I was at my heaviest when he was born, and I had always envisioned myself playing soccer, football, and baseball with my child, but at that heavy weight it was hard for me to even move around. I wanted and needed to change.
In order to lose weight, I needed something to help me have energy. So, I started drinking a low-calorie energy drink that helped me get up in the mornings and do a mile walk, which eventually turned into two, then three miles, and progressed into jogging, then running. I began to include more fruits and vegetables into my meals and was conscious of my calories in versus calories out. I would use light weights in the afternoon, whether it was for 10 minutes or an hour — the point was to do something.
I was scared to weigh myself after I initially began my journey. Everyone would tell me I looked great, but I had not noticed the change. One day I woke up and decided that I would weigh in — and I realized that I had lost 60 pounds. This gave me more motivation and gave me hope. In just a month and a half, I had lost 60 pounds. I began to reflect on where I started and where I was. It was then that I began to see the real change. Before losing weight, I would be tired after walking a mile and now, I was running three miles before going to work and school.
Leo before his weight loss (left) and after (right). (Photos courtesy of Leo Quintero)
Being active with my son is the most gratifying part of weight loss. We have done several 5K races together; we go for walks along the lake; and he recently joined the local T-ball team, so we have been practicing together. He sees me when I work out and is able to do 15 push-ups. He even helps me monitor my eating by reminding me that “vegetables are good and we eat them every day.”
I believe that clean eating is good eating. Adding higher weights when lifting to increase muscle mass has been my primary focus in the last few months. However, I do still go for my daily walks and runs. I occasionally indulge in pie, cake, or ice cream because I do not like to restrict my eating too much, but I am always conscious of not overdoing it.
Exercise has always been difficult to include in my routine. When I began, I was going to school for my undergrad, working, and caring for my son, but I never let any of that keep me from exercising. If I have a few minutes to do some exercise, I go for a walk, lift some weights, do sit-ups or jumping jacks, or even walk in place. I think the biggest excuse people make is telling themselves they don’t have time — however, we find the time to sit down and watch a whole season of a TV show on Netflix. I understand that people get tired after a long day, but we are resilient beings, and if we are ready for change we will make it happen.
Do what you love and love what you do. If you love nature, then walk through a forest preserve, a park, or at the beach. If you love new things, look up some free videos online and learn basic yoga, jiu-jitsu, or boxing. Find the thing you love and stick to it, then you’ll realize that it is not something you NEED to do; it’s something you WANT to do.