Monday, September 15, 2014

The Journey to self improvement

weight loss

My name is Frank Lopez and I had been obese since early childhood up until I age 40.  For all of that time I lived in crippling depression while struggling with social anxiety. I was bullied throughout all my school hood years and was withdrawn and full of hatred toward life and everything it denied me.  It didn't help that my family moved around so many times throughout my childhood.  I attended 8 different schools before I got to high school.

8 years old

Starting from the 11th grade and on I was able to lose weight on 4 separate occasions but on 3 of these occasions I managed to gain the weight back faster than I had lost it but this last time I kept it off!

weight loss 1990

At age 19 I started smoking, drinking and using marijuana (which was my escape from reality).  I also drank a lot of soda and ate a lot of fast food during this period as well.  Even though this way of life made my depression and anxiety worse it kept me going through out my twenties.  When I got to my 30s I started slowing down and I quit smoking cigarettes which sky rocketed my appetite making me gain over 60 pounds within a 2 to 3 month period putting me over 270lb at 5’9  I cut down on the drinking and marijuana use as well but food binges continued.  I was so miserable that I felt I couldn’t live with myself anymore.

The year was 2004 and this is when things started to turn around.

In that summer of 2004 I started a daily routine of walking, (you have to start somewhere.) At first it was just 4 laps around a track 5 days a week.  I increased it to 8 and then 12 laps and 2 months later I started running a little bit and gradually ran more as the weeks went by.  I lost 40 of the 60 pounds I had gained after quitting smoking and even though I was running 8 of the 12 laps I remained between 230 - 240 pounds but my confidence had started slowly going up and by Summer of 2007 I stopped using marijuana completely.

Around this same period I developed constant migraine headaches that would not go away so I went to see a doctor and was told that I could have diabetes.  I was told to come back the next morning on an empty stomach in order that my blood sugar levels could be accurately measured. I did not go back for frankly. I was too damn scared. I knew I would test positive for diabetes and that the medication I would be prescribed had lots of adverse side effects that I had seen family members suffer through.  At this point I started eating less and tried running more which made the migraines go away but from time to time they kept coming back. Through the 90s and 2000s I was also plagued with severe insomnia.  I was once again, miserable.

before weightloss

During this period I started listening to self-help hypnosis CD’s to help boost my confidence.  At first I didn't notice any significant improvement but they were at least helping me sleep so I kept them playing overnight as I slept.

Life stayed that way up until the beginning of 2013 when I decided to enter “The Biggest Loser” contest at work.  Starting out at 226 pounds and by the time the contest ended in Mid-April I was at 192 pounds and had won the contest but the weight loss did not end there.  By August 17th 2013 I reached my goal weight of 170 pounds but decided to drop another 5 pounds as a cushion and since then I have been hovering at 160/170lbs and felt much more in control than my previous attempts at losing weight.  A co-worker, who once was a professional athlete, coached me on proper eating and revised my exercise routine to something which was totally different than what I have previous known and believed about weight loss and exercise.

weight loss

I quit eating sugar, corn and potato products, stopped cooking with vegetable oils, and stopped eating foods with trans-fat, artificial colors and flavoring.  I began cooking exclusively with lard and raw butter and started taking extra virgin coconut oil. I started taking whole food vitamins, kelp, ayuvedic herbs, Cod Liver oil, and Magnesium and other supplements (all on which I will fully detail thoughout this blog)

To my surprise it's been a smooth ride.  I went from a size 42 to a size 32 waist.  I am in no way a medical professional nor a nutritionist but I do however, feel a lot better after going through all the lifestyle changes.  Back problems have almost completely gone away, I'm more positive and energetic, and food tastes so much better.  I've learned to only eat when I'm hungry and don't count my calories or worry about my cholesterol intake.  I bought me a bike as well and started hitting the nearby trails.  My confidence level is at its highest ever and slowly my shyness and social anxiety is starting to fall away

So now in 2014 I'm where I need to be weight wise but still have “Man Boobs” and a belly which has been hard to get rid of.  Shyness is slowly going away and confidence has also improved but still not quite there.

As I've been struggling with this part of the plan and have decided to document the rest of the journey through this blog to motivate myself and to be of as much help to others who are also going through this uphill battle.  I will post pictures, videos, and tips along the way.


Get a Flat stomach
Lose the Man Boobs
Fix Posture
Improve Confidence

Remember stay confident and believe in yourself