Member Spotlight: Mario R.

My journey to weight loss started in January 2015.  I was tired of being tired and having no energy. I was full of excuses and I had no one to blame but myself.  It all boiled down to me being lazy. I had given up on myself. I then decided it was time to do something.

I started by buying an elliptical because I was embarrassed to step into a gym.  I started out slowly, doing 30 minutes on the elliptical. I progressed to 45 minutes and then an hour a day. Then my co-worker told me about the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. It took some courage, but I finally joined in March 2015.

My biggest challenge was being embarrassed and afraid. I thought I would be the biggest person in the gym. I finally told myself that we all have to start somewhere. Everything related to working out was hard for me. I could hardly run or even do more than five pushups. It was difficult to change my eating habits, like stopping eating fast food for dinner. Now my challenge is maintaining the weight loss. It’s been four years since I lost the weight, and it’s an everyday struggle to keep it off.

There were many days where I wanted to give up. However, I knew that slow and steady would win the race. I started out with private training sessions to learn the correct form. There were days when I did not see any progress in the mirror, and the physical and emotional pain was taking a toll on my body. I wanted to quit but I wouldn’t allow myself. I knew that I was making the right choice. There were days that I fell off the wagon but the most important thing was that I kept going and working out. Even if it meant walking around the track. My motivation was to get up every morning and do something.

I hit numerous plateaus on my journey. It meant that it was time to switch things up. That’s when my co-workers told me about Becky’s total strength class at 5:30 am on Thursday mornings. If you need motivation, take Becky’s class. She brings enthusiasm and energy that keeps you motivated while working out. Thank you, Becky!

The advice that I would give to people on losing weight is to just start. Surround yourself with people who will push you and guide you. The biggest barrier is the person in the mirror looking right back at you. You are your biggest critic. You will have setbacks but just keep moving forward and you will accomplish your goals. If you can encourage friends, family, or co-workers to work out with you it makes working out a lot easier.