Friday, March 1, 2013


After losing over 150 pounds and becoming a extreme weight loss success story, people consistently talk about my physical and health changes.  Obviously these were the main reasons why I wanted to lose the weight.  However, someone recently asked me, "How did your life change after you lost all the weight?" Well besides those 2 obvious benefits, I decided to give him some non-scale victories that I became aware of after the weight loss.  I am sure there is more, so feel free to add any to the comments section if you have lost weight also.

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  • Airplane Rides - Now, I can sit comfortably in any seat and the seat belt fits fine.  I no longer have to ask for the seat belt extender.   I am no longer self-conscious about being too heavy for the plane.   Seriously, that used to be one of my thoughts.
  • Road Rage - When I was overweight and behind the wheel, my middle finger was out the window quite a bit when I was going to and from work. (I know, I know, stupid.)  Nowadays, my attitude is more like "whatever dude, cut me off, I don't care".  Now some of that may be a result of maturity but I truly believe I am just a more relaxed person due to my lifestyle changes. 
    • For example, I got into an accident in January and it was the other person's fault, he wrecked the back of my car.  Who knows if he was texting while driving or if his brakes truly didn't work as expected.  Regardless, I got out of my car and I just talked to the guy as if we were best friends.  I was uninjured, I was alive and I was still capable of running my marathon that was scheduled the following week.  He was shocked I was not upset.
  • Stadium Seats - I can now go and enjoy any sporting event or concert and sit in whatever seat I want.  Now I can just enjoy the entertainment without being uncomfortable.  Old or new stadium, it no longer matters because my fat no longer leans over the seating rails and is not bothering anyone else.
  • Public Transportation - I still prefer to sit alone, but if someone wants to sit next to me, I don't have to suck it all in.
  • Going Out to Eat - I can sit wherever I want now.  My big stomach is gone, it no longer limits where I can go and eat my food.  Previously I didn't want to sit in booths because the sitting room was tight.  When I was 355 lbs, I also was afraid to sit in some chairs because I thought they would break.
  • Water Parks - I still can't swim, but at least I am no longer embarrassed about being in the water.
  • Buying Clothes - I can shop wherever I want for clothes.  Stores like Target were out of the question previously.  At 355 pounds, I could only go to Big & Tall stores.  Ever try to buy clothes there?  Very expensive and your choices are limited.  Good bye Big & Tall stores, it wasn't you, it was me.
  • More Compliments - After losing all the weight, one of things I had to get used to and learn how to respond to were compliments.  When I was overweight, I honestly rarely heard them.  I think the closest one that I heard about looks was, "You know Fred if you lose 50 lbs, you would be cute."  Uh, thanks. I think?
  • Walk to Work or Store - My train drops me off a mile from work. Some people take a bus to get to my building; I choose to walk since I am in shape.  It saves me money every day, but also gives me a quick pick me up before I start the day.  If I want to walk to a store that is near my house, I can walk instead of taking the car.  At 355 pounds, I would never of thought of that.
  • Running - This was my biggest unexpected victory that turned into a love.  Being obese, do you think I would be able to enjoy and love running?  I don't think so.  After the weight loss I was able to run my first marathon in 2011, ran my second one in January 2013 and will be running my third one later in September.  I have also signed up for my first ultra-marathon (50 miles) in October. 
    • At the start of the weight loss journey, I never expected running would be a staple in my life.  Nowadays, I look forward to my long runs on the weekend.  I still think about that once in a while that just 7 years ago, I would have laughed at someone who would have told me I would be running this long on the weekends.
    • Marathons are important to me, but my biggest running victory was...being able to run with my son.  We have done 3 races together (most so far for him is a 2k).  The kid has done more running before his 7th birthday than I did during my first 15 years.  After that, I only did mile runs/walks in high school because I was forced.  Most of the time I faked a injury so I could perform it by myself with the teacher at a later time away from the rest of the class.
 
So yes, lose the weight for health reasons.  However, after reading this you will realize there will be so many other benefits you get from making such a dramatic lifestyle change.
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EDIT: My new book about life after weight loss has been released. http://amzn.to/1w6v7uP

By: Fred Lechuga

78 comments :

  1. My husband sent me your story, and I am so glad! You are very inspiring and it is so remarkable how much you have accomplished. My biggest question is what finally made you change? Was it gradual lifestyle changes or did you wake up one day and decide to change your life? That is the hardest part for me, making the necessary lifestyle changes and sticking to them. How were you able to stick with it?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment and thank your husband for sending you my story. In regards to what was the "final trigger" to get me going...I would have to say it was my son being born. I knew at that point, I HAD to lose the weight if I wanted to keep living and to be a main part of his life. However, on top of that I was really just tired of being tired. I was so fed up of shopping for clothes at big & tall stores. Tired of having to keep buying new pant belts. I think my biggest one was 56 inches which means 4 more inches I was going to be 5 feet around. I remember thinking about that and I was embarrassed. If you are having trouble sticking with them, you HAVE to ALWAYS remind yourself why you are doing it, then eventually you realize you are doing it for yourself and then you truly love life so MUCH MORE after you make the changes. Basically you have to want the "reward" more than your current "pleasure". That is it. People eat "bad food" for the quick satisfaction. It really doesn't add value to their life, it is just something that makes them feel good NOW. What would happen if they thought about their goals before they ate the food and how much better they would feel in X number of years and for the rest of their life? I still think about my goals before I eat any food. The hardest part is starting, but you need to start, it will be worth it and before you know it the lifestyle changes are just part of your routine, like taking a shower. Feel free to contact me via email if you need some more information. Best of luck and thanks again for stopping by.

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  2. This is a wonderful list to read, not because you "look better", but because the joy you now have in life is immediately recognizable. As you said, your son's birth was the catalyst for the changes you made and it's inspiring to see how you've become the dad he needs. I'm so happy for your family!

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    1. Hi Pneu. Sorry, I thought I responded to this but I guess it didn't save. Absolutely, my son's birth ignited the engine for me to get started and I have not lost my momentum since then. I take a lot of pride in being a good Dad, so I am glad I will be around for a while now. Thank you for reading and for your comment.

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  3. Great posts! You really are an inspiration. About 9 years ago, I finally did something about my obesity problem. I changed my diet and started running as well. I love running not only because my body is the best looking it has ever been - even better than when I was in my 20s (I'm 50 now) but because I feel really good. I always get the runner's high, too, so there's incentive for you! LOL! Thanks for sharing your story, Fred.

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    1. Thanks CoSuDu! LOL, the runner's high is what I love about running. :-) However, I just simply love running because you get to enjoy the outdoors and see different places. Now when we go on vacation I love looking for places that will have good areas to run in. I love signing up for races for the challenge. There is just so much to enjoy about it and it adds a lot of excitement to your life. Thanks for reading the posts and for the comment, I appreciate it!

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  4. I love all the points you have shared here because they are all so true. I can relate. I too never would have thought about running ever but now it's a big love of mine :)

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    1. Thank you for the message! Yes, it was one of those things I NEVER expected to be part of my life but I am so glad it is now. I absolutely love it. By the way, congrats on your big weight loss! Bravo! Keep up the great work and best of luck with your next steps.

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  5. Great article, Fred. Congratulations on not only the weight loss, but also for unleashing your abilities in creating your reality--a.k.a. realizing your visions. This was a major creative act on your part, in the medium of life. I've lost 60 pounds over the years, and the only thing I miss is the shelf that my stomach formed, which was good for resting a bowl or plate on when I was watching TV. I've since learned other eating techniques. The rest is all a boon. Good blog, keep it going! --JimmyB

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    1. Hey thanks Jimmy! Not sure why I didnt originally get a notification on this comment, but thanks for the nice words. Funny commnet about the shelf...I see people using that for their tablets and smartphones on while sitting on the train.

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  6. Replies
    1. You are such an inspiration! I have about 150 pounds to lose. You make me have hope. Thank you!

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    2. You are such an inspiration! I have about 150 pounds to lose. You make me have hope. Thank you!

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