After realizing that he needed to make a change, Alan began learning about nutrition and exercise. Read on to learn how he lost 68 lbs!
Name: Alan “Rev” Velasquez
Weight: 345 lbs
Weight: 277 lbs
Why I Got Started
I was 37 years old, weighed 345 lbs, drinking every other night, smoking pot from the time I woke up till the time I went to bed. I had four bad disks in my back and was getting ready to have back surgery. Due to my back, I was also taking large amounts of painkillers. My blood pressure was near stroke level and twice I was hospitalized for it.
I play in a band and whenever we play shows someone will take photos and videos of us so when can post them on our site. Every time I’d see the videos or photos I would be embarrassed of myself. I wouldn’t post any of the pics of me that weren’t headshots and none of the videos made it up except for one that was really to dark to really see me.
It was to the point I didn’t even want to play shows anymore. I didn’t like the way I looked plus I couldn’t move around on stage like I wanted to and I would be breathing heavy and you could here it every time I was on the mic. I was in a state of depression at this point. I didn’t enjoy life at all. At times I didn’t really want to be alive.
I was drinking more and was taking more of the painkillers than prescribed just for an escape from my depressed hell. The last show we played before my surgery I had taken so many painkillers that, to this day, I’m surprised that it didn’t kill me. I had hit the proverbial rock bottom. I knew that where I was, I was either going to make some changes or die young.
Two weeks before my surgery date I had decided that I didn’t want to be depressed anymore and I damn sure didn’t want to die young so I was going to do something about it. I was going to get clean and sober and I was going to lose this fat!
After my surgery I weaned myself of the painkillers even though the doctors wanted to give me the whole pharmacy. They said “Don’t be macho about the pain”. They didn’t understand how bad I needed to change. I started physical therapy 6 weeks after the surgery and was slowly getting better after PT was over. I wanted to change my life around.
I knew that if I didn’t do something about my weight I was going to be a disabled person. Everyone told me that I should file for disability including my doctors. I didn’t want to be disabled. I wanted to be healthy and vital. If I was considered disabled I would probably be even more depressed and fall deeper into drugs and alcohol.
“SCREW THIS” I told myself. I quit the painkillers; I knew I could quit the pot and the booze as well. From that day on I had made up my mind. Nothing was going to hold me down. Not booze, not drugs, not the people around me (that’s a whole other story) and not the 100 lbs of lard hanging on my body!
How I Did It
At first I was just dieting a little bit. Making some slow gains but not real clean and healthy foods. Then at the right moment I metMountainMan.I read his article here on BodySpace and was really inspired. He was a musician like me and was just as hairy! That’s when I joined BodySpace.
It couldn’t have come at a better time. I started getting real information from the articles and real encouragement from the members here. I started to make better diet choices and stepped up my game on my work outs and exercise routines. My eating had become and is still today, part of my routine and lifestyle.
I eat to be healthy, not just an indulgence. I do a whole body workout every other day and throw in a couple of cardio days in the week. I stay consistent and have reaped huge rewards for my hard work. The more gains I make the easier it is to stay consistent.
Another thing that has helped me greatly is my progress pics. I can see through my pics the changes I have made. It keeps me motivated and also keeps me accountable to myself and others who support me and find encouragement through my transformation.
* Protein Powder
My meals change day by day but this sample is pretty standard for at least a few of days out of the week.
o 2 eggs
o 1 piece of whole grain toast
o 1 glass of 1% milk
Approx. 340 calories
o 1 cup of brown rice
o 5 oz chicken breast
o 3/4 cup of mixed veggies
Approx. 400 calories
o 1 scoop Protein shake
o 1/2 cup of low fat cottage cheese
Approx. 280 calories
o 2 scoop Protein shake
o 8 oz of orange juice
Approx. 310 calories
o 1 cup of pinto beans
o 5 oz chicken breast
o Chili powder
o Hot sauce
o 1/2 cup of mixed veggies
Approx. 390 calories
o 1/2 cup of low fat cottage cheese
Approx. 80 calories
My workouts are a little different than most. I have some limitations as what I can do cause of my back and because of the equipment I own but here’s what I do and use. I have two 30 lb dumbbells and a total gym that I got for free. Don’t laugh, it was free!
I kind of made up my own exercises on the total gym but I’ll do my best to explain. This is the order I do things in.
* 10 dumbbell bicep concentration curls each arm
* 10 overhead triceps extensions each arm
* Then I get on the TG (Total Gym) lying on my back at the maximum setting I do a pull-up motion into a push down motion 10 reps.
* Then I’ll roll over on my stomach and do a pull-up motion into a pull down motion for 10 reps
* Then I’ll sit on the TG bench facing the wall and do a pulling motion kind of like rowing I guess for 10 reps
* Then I sit on the bench sideways and with my furthest arm I’ll pull the cable across my chest for 10 reps
* Then switch sides for another 10 reps.
* Then I’ll do incline dumbbell chest flys for 10 reps
* Then incline dumbbell chest presses for 10 reps
* Then I’ll do body weight squats for 15 reps.
* Then back on the TG where I’ll lay upside down on my back and hold my legs elevated and pull my self up (as blood rushes to my head) for 10 reps
I repeat this circuit three times. It takes one hour to do all the exercise three times. I also incorporate crunches for the abs in two of the exercises.
Some would laugh at my routine but it’s done me well. After I achieve my weight loss goals I will start lifting to achieve more muscle gain. Right now it’s all about the fat loss although I have gained a little muscle mass along the way. It’s hard to try and do both.
Suggestions For Others
The most important thing to achieving your goals is consistency. Workout every day that you are supposed to whether you want to or not! If you just don’t feel like it, do it anyway! You’ll feel better for it afterwards. Stay consistent with your diet.
The very few times I’ve cheated (3 times I think) it set me back not just physically but mentally. It screws up your groove! Find people who have similar goals as you to share your progress with and to encourage each other.
I personally don’t have anyone in my real life that cares like my friends from the internet (MM, Rage, Markuswolf, BMUC, Mrs H, Dwperry, D70726, timpl235, jimhat, dduronio, tommygunn, trainpaingain, charlieTango, fastltd76, rockwild, bliss, sorry if I missed anyone) so it has become an invaluable tool for me. Don’t let the people around you bring you down.
A lot of your friends and family don’t really want to see you do better than them. Those are some harsh words but after talking with a lot of people with similar goals I have seen that it’s true for a lot more people than just me. You’ll here “You don’t need to lose any weight” or “Why care what other people think” or “You got to reward yourself once in a while” and on and on.
You know that YOU WANT to lose weight or gain muscle, it’s not about what other people think it’s about what you think and how you feel, and as far as rewarding yourself, you don’t need to do it with food. The rewards are being healthy and looking better.
Just so everyone knows, since I have changed my life style I no longer have to take blood pressure medicine, haven’t had heart burn (not even once) and don’t have to pay extra money for plus sizes anymore. If that’s not great reasons to change your life I don’t know what is!