Name: Papa Joe Aviance
Family Status: Single
Occupation: Self Employed
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 240 pounds!
Starting Weight: 450 pounds
Current Weight: 210 pounds
Papa Joe’s Weight Loss Story!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
Growing up was a mostly happy childhood for me. The painful part of my childhood was physical abuse inflicted upon my mother and myself, resulting in their divorce when I was only 6 years old. My needs as a child were always met but the divorce was hard for me and that is when I started eating. Kids at any age can be mean and I was definitely teased. I learned at a very young age that being funny and picking on myself before anyone else could pick on me was a good way of deflecting my weight gain. The more stress and agitation I had in my life, the more I ate. It was almost as if I was trying to fill that hole of pain with food. Obviously I wasn’t prepared to deal with my emotions at the time. An example of how I was treated at such a large size is when I went to an amusement park one day and one of the attendants yelled out (to the entire holding area mind you), “Hold up! This guy is too fat for the ride! Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to get off. You’re just too big for the ride.” I was mortified. It’s one thing to be taken aside, but to have the attention of the entire crowd on my size and me was unbearable. I felt ashamed.
What made you decide to lose weight?
The most painful part of being overweight was the way that I felt people looked at me with judgment. I knew that I had to lose weight but really the turning point for me was when I saw myself in my first music video, Lula featuring Papa Joe Aviance “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”. I could not believe that it was me in that video. It finally hit me that to be happy and successful in my new profession that I had to do whatever it took to get this weight off of me once and for all. The video was getting a lot of hits on YouTube and I was more embarrassed about how many people were seeing the way I looked. When the song went to Billboard, it was the final straw. I thought to myself, “What is the easiest form of exercise that I can start off with and enjoy?” That’s when I decided to start walking. My friends and family were happy that I was taking steps towards a healthier me and have always been supportive.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
The most important changes I made to lose weight were my eating habits and exercise routine. Before, I just ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted but now I maintain a healthy diet. I also never exercised before so walking at least 5 miles per day is a big change.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
I think the most challenging thing about losing weight is really not giving into temptation. It’s easier to go to the drive thru at McDonald’s than it is to cook a meal, and it’s easier to just sit on the couch than walk every day but I push myself because I know that what I’m doing works and it keeps the weight off.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
It probably took a few months before I noticed myself really changing.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
2 1/2 years.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
I’m still losing! Like I said earlier, I have a really healthy diet and I walk at least 5 miles every day, rain or shine.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I don’t use food as a crutch anymore and I’m learning how to enjoy eating healthier. I can now view food as something to enjoy and not something to dread. I can be smart about my choices instead of indulging in every impulse that I have. I’m more confident, energetic, focused and my outlook on life is positive regardless of my situation. I’m a whole new person! I’m enjoying the new me and the effect that my weight loss has had on my goals and ambitions. I’m more creative with my work and more focused on my business. I’m still looking for that special someone to share this journey with but for right now I get more time to explore more of whom I am. It’s sad to say that people treat me differently now, but there isn’t that judgment in their eyes when they look at me now. The advice that I have for others is to take weight loss one day at a time and to really start focusing on what and why they are eating. If they are stress eating, try to eat something healthy instead of junk food. Above all else, I say get out and walk to a beat!
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit.com has been with me along my entire weight loss journey. Their exercise guides and workout routines have really broadened what I could do in my path for a healthier lifestyle.
Papa Joe’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Quality of food vs. quantity of food.
Weight loss tip #2:
Just get out and do something. Anything that involves exercise.
Weight loss tip #3:
Patience. The results will come.
Weight loss tip #4:
Find ways to make healthier food taste great!
Weight loss tip #5:
Drink a lot of water
Papa Joe’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
Oatmeal, yogurt and fruit (apples, pineapples, watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew). If I want to mix things up a bit, I may throw in a wheat muffin, 2 eggs or whole grain cereal.
I have a lot of grilled chicken sandwiches on whole wheat, salad with fat-free balsamic dressing and an unsweetened ice tea.
I will have an 8 ounce portion of chicken, steak or fish with a vegetable (usually broccoli, cauliflower or corn).
Snacks or Mini Meals:
The snack foods that I eat now are a handful of peanuts or baked chips, fruit, 2 pieces of beef jerky, sticks of celery, carrots, cauliflower, a serving size of wheat thins or trail mix and plenty of water.
Papa Joe’s Weight Loss Workouts!
I lift 24 pound dumbbells for arms and carry 35 pounds in my backpack when I go hiking.
I walk at least 5 miles every day.