So part of the reason I’ve been silent recently is the fact I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired. Not for weight loss or living healthy, but putting things down in written form. But that doesn’t really help you, our readers. And then I had an idea. With my Google-Fu I searched high and hunted low. A number here, and a call there. Lo and behold I was able reach Luis Bruno and he was willing to take a few minutes to answer some questions for us.
The Life Ledger (Dave) : Mr Bruno, I would first like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for us. For those that haven’t read the Runner’s Worldarticle featuring your lifestyle changes, can you describe where you were in your life before your weight loss and what prompted the change?
Luis Bruno : My life was out of control and I couldn’t get a grip on it!!! I was sitting at 400 lbs. I was requiring 6 shots of insulin a day to control my diabetes. My weight also caused loss of feeling in my right foot, a damaged liver and sleep apnea. I also had the stress of running a restaurant and a new baby in my life.
Let me tell you, at that time the only thing in front of it all was my restaurant. I put it before my child, family or my health. I just did not care!
TLL : The article also said you were placed on an emergency diet of 800 calories a day. Can you describe what that consisted of? And what was it like eating that knowing what you could whip up in the kitchen?
LB : It was a liquid diet, and so I wished it had been a beer diet. Not!!! I had packs of powder meals to which you add 8oz of water to and BAM!!! You have a meal. It’s the truth!! It was bad… My choices for meals consisted of: chocolate, vanilla or strawberry shakes, chicken or tomato soup, and a vanilla or chocolate pudding for dessert. I came to enjoy them because of the chef that I am I was able to make some adjustments.
So of the things I ate, excuse me drank (HA-HA), for 5+ months were chicken soup and vanilla pudding. The soup I added more water to in order to stretch it out, as well as adding dried herbs, vegetables and spices. So it was very yummy. For the puddings I made them into a shake by adding extracts, fruit and non sugar syrups. I would do the diet again with no problem.
TLL : One of the things we like to look at here at TheLifeLedger are numbers. What metrics or methodologies did you use to keep track of your progress?
LB : I keep a log/journal on my workouts, food intake and feelings. I initially felt having a journal was a girly thing to do but I’ve come to discover that it works, and helps me a great deal!!! After I overcame the journal thing, I kept up recording in it since August of 2005. Some times I look back over past entries, because reading them makes me feel good about what I’ve been accomplishing.
TLL : Now that I’m so near my own goal, I’ll admit it’s hard to be motivated to lose those last few pounds to reach my target. How have your motivations and goals changed as you approached your goal weight?
LB : I give myself a 10 lb. window. I’m currently 205 and let myself go down to 200 and up to 210 to stay in that window frame of weight. And for exercise I set 6 month goals, so I’ll change my workout routine and not get bored and have that goal to reach for.
TLL : Have you reached your personal goals yet?
LB : Every day has a goal for me, with the challenge being not relapsing into old habits in a bad way. Let’s face it, Food is a drug for some. We need to have it every day to function but someone like me and others need more and can’t seem to stop! Now that I eat only 3 meals and 3 snacks a day I’m a happy camper.
TLL : What is your regular maintenance routine to keep the weight off?
LB : My routine for working out is 3 days of lifting weights and swimming, with the other 3 days of running. On my running days I might do some bricking (which means biking and some running one after the other). Then there is Tennis if I can get it in on the weekend as well as doing sports with my daughter. She’s into baseball, basketball, soccer & karate.
TLL : People usually have preconceived notions of what “good food” and stereotypical diet food consists of. Has the change in your lifestyle been an obstacle to you or more of an opportunity for bringing balance between “healthy” and “unhealthy” foods?
LB : My lifestyle has changed a whole lot, for the best of course, but there’s no obstacles in my diet. I just pay attention to what I put in my body. I guess I can say my life is finally in balance and it doesn’t get any better.
TLL : Any final advice and motivation you can provide our readers for healthy weight loss and exercise?
LB : Listen guys – Pay attention to your body, it does talk to you. Your body will let you know when its not feeling well or sad, in pain or just uncomfortable. Take the signs all in and realize when its telling you something.
If you are over-weight or have some health issues, you need to respect yourself and be strong. For you, family and friends. So take control of it, and do it right!! Get healthy, eat right, exercise…
Let me tell you it has taken me 36 years to face these issues and I’m winning this battle. I’m not going back to that uncontrollable lifestyle again!!!! Trust me, If you have a strong heart and mind you can do anything.