Name: Giuseppe Mangiafico
Before Weight: 360 to 370 pounds
How I Gained It: I have been a big guy most of my life. I’ve been on many diets and tried many weight-loss fads. I always attributed my weight to my love of food, or to poor choices, like eating fast food instead of healthier alternatives. Being a general contractor and managing multiple projects and many employees doesn’t leave much time to eat healthy or exercise. I used that as an excuse to eat fast food and almost never be active. At my heaviest I weighed between 360 and 370 pounds.
Breaking Point: That all changed on January 1, 2011, when I decided to make a “New You Resolution” instead of a New Year’s resolution. I stepped on a digital scale at a loading dock at one of our projects and saw that large number. I decided to stop with the excuses and make a life change.
How I Lost It: Since then, I have “lived” at the gym six to seven days a week. I make a point to be as active as I can be, by taking the stairs instead of escalators or elevators, or walking to the store instead of driving. I also completely overhauled my eating habits. I eat a high-protein diet and six to seven small meals a day. My meals include things like protein shakes, egg-white omelets, chicken breast, salad, steamed vegetables, sweet potatoes and tuna. I also drink one to two gallons of water a day and take high-quality supplements and vitamins. I make sure I purchase good quality products because I am pretty much what I eat! I do allow myself one cheat meal a week where I eat whatever I want. It keeps me sane, so I don’t fall off the wagon.
I believe that 70 percent of my success has been from committing to my strict diet and the remaining 30 percent to working out extremely hard. Losing all of that weight wasn’t easy! I like all of the positive attention I receive from friends now. Hearing compliments of how good I look beats the taste of a cheeseburger or pizza any day. I’ve been lucky to have the support of my family and girlfriend, who is a fitness instructor. She makes sure I keep on track! I carry pictures of myself from my heavier days with me to to remind me that I have put so much work and sacrifice into losing this weight that I don’t want to throw it away.