Today’s newsletter was actually not written by me, but by a very inspirational young man whom I had the pleasure meeting in late 2014.
He is someone who truly transformed his life through fitness and I do not mean that the in typical Facebook way.
The reason I want to feature him is because I feel that his unbelievable  story could really inspire and help a lot of people out there.
Please note that I do not take credit for his transformation, he did that on his own. My job is it to make his story heard and to take him to next level in terms of physical development.

With that , I ll open the floor for the man who lost 100 lbs of fat: Ricardo!



The low point

I moved from the US to Mexico on October of 2013. I have always been prone to overeating for a variety of reasons, mostly personal and emotional. Plagued with the stress of a new investment banking job, combined with the awe of one of the most amazing culinary cities, I started feeding myself in unhealthy proportions. Come Christmas vacation I had already put on 20lb and continued the spiral downward in my home country of El Salvador (the beach, warm weather, vacation, and Latin American families are never a good combination for nutrition and well-being). Naturally, being the newest member of my team, I had to pay my dues and was unable to spend new years with my family. As an aside – having to work new years and January 1st sucks. New years day in Mexico City is a ghost town – a somber feeling in a city of 20 million.
Alone, and admittedly depressed; I had a 7-11 microwavable burrito (aka poison) for my new years meal (Maik here: that is truly sad if in all of Mexico City you only find a nuked burrito!).

I refused to stay up and celebrate 12am by myself, and so I decided to sleep. The following morning I woke up, looked in the mirror, and took the picture you see on the left, vowing to myself NEVER to go back. At that point measuring 5’10 I was weighing 243lb with a 43% body fat. It shocked me that at 25 years old, almost half my body weight was pure fat. Something clicked in my mind and I started to change. It was my decision; no one else convinced me to do so.
How I did itIn my experience, when dealing with unhealthy habits, it is essential to tackle one thing at a time. I could not fathom dealing with diet and exercise simultaneously, so I chose to tackle nutrition first. I started my journey with a fad diet, which I have to admit gave me a small push in the right direction – nothing is more motivating than seeing results. I am a very dynamic person and get bored easily so then I engaged in a series of diet programs that intrigued me (hormone diets, slow-carb, juice fasts, high protein diets, DNA diets, vegan diets, paleo, the list goes on) My secret was always keeping it fresh. As they say, hind sight is 20/20; and maybe my approach was not the most conventional or healthy for that matter. Also, the multimillion industry of diet and nutrition was so foreign to me that there were bound to be mistakes along the way. I was too impressionable. (Instagram, Facebook, and social media in general were of no help in this frenzy of information).
I wish I could sit here and tell you that my journey was easy – it is the single most difficult thing I have done in my life. That said, I recently got my blood work done and all my levels are spot on – in this regard I am blessed. However, my ambitions are nowhere near over. I now stand at 165lb with 18% body fat. Having small attainable goals is the key to success. If at the beginning of my journey someone had said “Ricky… you need to loose 80lb and 25% body fat” I would have been devastated. No one should ever exist under that kind of pressure.
As a continuation, and maybe on a somewhat unrelated note, I cannot stress enough the importance of taking care of your health and well being. Now, at age 26, I have stretch marks along my abdomen, loose skin, terrible mobility/elasticity, and poor bone structure.
I am working on all of these. Maybe my “tiger marks” will never disappear, however, they serve as a reminder of the nearly irreparable damage one can do to the body and a flag of caution to everyone out there that there are things we cannot come back from – thank God mine were only superficial.
On a more positive note, now I want to achieve less than 15% body fat, and build my muscle to increase my weight 10-20lb. (The phrase “increase my weight” is terrifying to me). This is something that I wish to accomplish in the following year, and hope to continue surprising myself with my hard work. The picture on the right (taken April 7th 2015) will now become the picture on the left. Challenge accepted!
Maik here: I have only known Ricky for a few months but I have no doubt that with his work ethic and overall healthy attitude he will achieve his goals.
Cliff notes:
1. Behavioral change takes time but is doable
2. Slip ups happen, do not beat yourself up.
3. Keep learning and pushing forward.
That being said, what are you waiting for?