“My mother always used to say weight loss is 5% diet and 95% determination,” said Ryan Tolentino, 42-year-old Naperville resident who works part-time as a front desk representative at Edward Health & Fitness Center in Naperville. “And she could not have been more right.”
Years of working in high-stress corporate America were starting to take a toll on Ryan. The once athletic guy found himself sitting through a long commute to the city, sitting at a desk all day, and coming home exhausted just to sit some more in front of the TV.
“My kids would ask if I wanted to go on a bike ride with them or shoot some hoops. I would tell them I was too tired but we would do those things on the weekend,” said Ryan. “When the weekend finally arrived, we were always running errands or I just wanted to take a nap. I rarely had the energy or motivation to go on that bike ride or play a game of basketball.”
Fast food and sugary coffee drinks were Ryan’s foods of choice. “My entire life I rarely ate vegetables. I never liked them much. If I ate a veggie, it was usually on a burger.”
Last January, Ryan was eating his bagel and sugary coffee drink when a co-worker said, “You are going to die, Ryan.” Ryan asked his co-worker to repeat what she said. “You are going to die if you keep eating like that.”
That tough love comment stayed with Ryan the rest of day and that night, he couldn’t sleep. Ryan turned on Netflix and watched the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. “That movie helped me hold a mirror up to my own life and realize that I’ve been making excuses for far too long and that it was time to make a change.”
Ryan chose a combination of juicing and exercise to help him lose weight. “I discovered we owned a treadmill at our house and began to work out regularly,” said Ryan. “After juicing for 60 days, I realized my pallet had changed and that I actually craved and preferred fruits and veggies more than processed foods or meats.”
Ryan stopped juicing but began eating vegetarian. “This was a big deal because I was a guy who loved meat, but I found other, more healthy ways to get my protein,” said Ryan.
For one year, Ryan continued his commitment to living healthier and lost an impressive 110 lbs! “I now jog with my kids who ride their bikes alongside me and I’m spending much more time with my family because I have the physical and mental energy thanks to my transformation.”
Ryan does not recommend people follow his exact approach to weight loss, however. “This method worked for me but may not be appropriate for another person. My mother was right when she said weight loss is 5% diet but 95% motivation. Find what motivates you and develop a plan that works with your goals.”
The dedicated teams at Edward Health & Fitness Centers offer a variety of classes, programs, and personal training experts to help keep you motivated and achieve those fitness goals.
According to Ryan, “I’m proof that it’s never too late to lose the weight. All you need is a little push in the right direction and a lot of determination to make your dreams come true.”