Family Status: Single
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Starting Weight: 307 pounds
Current Weight: 177 pounds
Current Waist Size: 32″
Daniel’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I have lost 130 pounds and kept it off! I was wearing a 3-4XL in shirts and a 44-46 in pants. I now wear a medium/small in shirts and a 30-32 in pants.
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I became overweight at the age of 10. It stemmed from depression. When I got up to my heaviest (307 pounds) I was disgusted with myself. I was tired of being big and being unsuccessful at trying to lose weight.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I was out of hope when I got to my heaviest. A friend of mine started a weight loss group at our church and I decided to give it a try. I lost about 30 pounds or so in a month and I felt slightly better with myself. However, after that I kind of got comfortable with myself. It wasn’t until several months later when I lost a dear friend of mine to obesity related issues that I really decided to take care of myself. She had a hernia the size of a football and, due to her weight, the doctors weren’t able to operate on her. Her kidneys began to fail and she passed away from congestive heart failure. She was only 49. It was at this moment that I woke up and wanted to make a change and a real difference in my life.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I cut out fast food, soda and any type of junk food. Nutrition made the biggest impact. I began to walk for exercise because that was all I was able to really do at my weight.
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
My family’s eating and drinking habits are unhealthy and growing up in that environment brought on several challenges. I had to be able to say “NO!” to things that I knew weren’t healthy for me. I was a broke college student and had very little money from my part-time job, so I couldn’t afford a gym membership and had very little food options.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
It wasn’t until six months into my journey when I really began to start seeing results. I had to get smaller clothing, still from the big and tall section, but nonetheless they were smaller sizes.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took me about a year and a half to reach my current weight.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
I have maintained my weight loss for about four years now. The most important factors for keeping it off is nutrition and fitness. It wasn’t a diet, it was a lifestyle change. I made significant changes in my life. I became a Zumba Instructor and that has been my way to maintain it over the course of time.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
I see pictures of myself from the past and that motivates me enough. I often think of my friend who I lost to obesity and it keeps me strong. Seeing the lives I’ve touched over these past five years really humbles me also.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
My life has changed dramatically! I had to buy a whole new wardrobe, from head to toe. I’m confident and I’m healthy and happy. I look in the mirror and I smile now. I can look at myself naked and not feel disgusted with myself. I feel energized and motivated to face each day. I’m mentally and spiritually stronger!
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Don’t give up! There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Have faith in a higher power and have faith in yourself. Take one day at a time and if you mess up, just get back up and keep walking.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit’s weight loss stories are very inspirational.
Daniel’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Have faith in God (or a higher power).
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Cut out fast food, sweets, junk food and sugary drinks.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Start walking 30-60 minutes a day (gradually build up your endurance).
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Get a strong support system. Having a team will motivate you and encourage you.
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Don’t ever give up!
Daniel’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Oatmeal with some fresh fruit and toast. Sometimes, I have an egg white English muffin sandwich.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
Ground turkey (with chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and zucchini) on a bed of brown rice. Or, just a simple chicken salad with fresh greens and salsa as a dressing.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
Turkey burgers with homemade sweet potato fries (baked).
What do you normally eat for snacks?
Fresh fruit, almonds (unsalted), celery with peanut butter.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I take multivitamins and fat burning supplements.
Daniel’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training (exercises, workouts)?
I lift weights a few times per week which include exercises like bench press, squats and lunges.
What do you do for cardio training (exercises, workouts)?
Running, cycling and dancing (hip-hop and of course Zumba).