It's a struggle to lose weight. There are many diets and tactics that make weight loss overwhelming. It's hard to decide where to begin. But permanent weight loss is a lifestyle. Mauricio Beckstrom understands this challenge. As a 370-pound man, he felt tired and old; not to mention he constantly sweated. But, with some motivation and determination, he set out to lose 100 pounds....and he did. Here is his story.
As told to Fara Rosenzweig
Sitting in a restaurant, a server walks by with a plate of nachos. Mauricio says, "See those nachos; I used to eat a whole plate of those in one sitting. That's 2,500 calories! I used to be fat."
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How did your weight-loss journey begin?
Mauricio Beckstrom: I was 370 pounds when I started this whole thing. Now, let me tell you two things: when you're fat, you don't like being told how to diet and you don't like pictures. You know you're fat; you don't want to look at pictures and be reminded. You don't want others to look at you, so you don't like being in pictures.
I was in San Francisco for work. I work in the hospitality industry so I travel a lot. My friend was taking pictures of us on the trip. When she got home from the trip, she posted the pictures on Facebook and tagged me. That was the first time I saw myself in months. It was by far the heaviest I have ever been. So that was the first eye-opener for me.
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The second eye-opener: I stayed about three blocks from the convention center in San Francisco (same trip). It was May. Springtime in San Francisco is gorgeous; it was about 70 degrees and sunny. I would walk into the convention center drenched in sweat, just from three blocks. And I thought, am I really that out of shape?
I also noticed I could feel my turkey wing. Do you know what a turkey wing is? It's when the fat from your lower hip and the fat from your rib cage touch. So instead of having a curve, your two flaps of fat touch each other. So there's a little crease. When you look at fat people and see a little line of sweat where the curve is, that's a turkey wing.
That was my final straw.
When I started this journey, my girlfriend and I sat down and calculated everything I was eating. It was close to 6,000 calories a day. Now, that sounds like a lot, but it was the choices I made. In the morning I ate a bowl of cereal with milk. Skim milk is 90 calories a cup. The cereal, cinnamon toast crunch (fatty and sugary) had 200 calories per ¾ cup. And I would throw in a banana to be healthy.
For lunch, I had a burrito from Chipotle; that's 1,300 calories! I'd eat that and think that's nothing. I'd still be hungry by dinner time. And I would shove more food in my mouth. The mistake I made: I didn't eat the right types of food and I didn't eat enough food throughout the day. I also did not portion out my food. If I saw a plate full of food, I ate the whole thing.
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