Hi, My name is Jesse Velasquez and I have a tumultuous relationship with food. My favorite's are Pizza, Chipotle and Ice Cream. I eat at least one of these foods once a week. I intake about 2800 calories daily, most coming from meats(chicken, fish, grass fed beef, turkey, Quest Bars and protein powders or shakes.), fats (cheese and avocados) vegetables and complex carbs (oatmeal, brown rice)
When I was 8 years old, I was told I had high cholesterol. I believe my total was 215, this was as a result of poor food choices. I had peanut butter toast and bacon EVERY day for breakfast, salami and cheese after school nearly every day. My dinner's consisted of anything ranging from fast food to pizza. I would eat about a serving a day or 2 of vegetables and fruit. I had ice cream a few times a week for dessert. I probably drank about 5-12 sodas a week. I'm not talking about the diet ones either, full on high fructose corn syrup laced Mountain Dew, Pepsi or Coke. If it wasn't for athletics, I would have been an obese child. I played video games about 2 hours a day, watched TV about the same and read books or magazines about an hour daily as well. Needless to say, I either was moving a LOT or immobile for days on end. I was a decent athlete growing up too. However, I was somewhat deconditioned as well. I was missing phtyonutrients (lot's of vitamins and minerals), adequate protein and also dehydrated on most occasions.
All kidding aside, there is a ponch on that 12 year old in this picture.
I am also Hispanic, Scientific data shows that from a hereditary standpoint Hispanics have
- a 50% higher death rate from diabetes
- 24% more poorly controlled high blood pressure
- 23% more obesity than the average ethnic background
It's no secret that on my Father's side of the family, my family is fairly overweight and or obese. LOTS of relatives, cousin's and such are heavy, have passed away from cardiovascular diseases etc. My family is very well known for being successful restaurant owners as well. For over 50 years, my Grandmother's sister and their side of the tree have been synonymous with legendary Mexican cuisine. However, what's in most Mexican food?? Carbs, saturated fat, corn (highly modified), Sugars.... the list goes On. Moderation folks, dig in on occasion! (Believe me, I do)
Studies also show a decline in recreational and nonrecreational physical activity, as well as increased access to energy-dense, low-micronutrient, low-cost foods among the Mexican population. Food groups and isolated nutrient analyses have been used to describe diet-disease links. However, individuals and populations do not consume isolated nutrients or foods but different foods from different groups, in combinations, or patterns, which have important cultural and economic determinants. Population studies also have shown associations between different dietary patterns and diverse biochemical markers of obesity and chronic disease. There are major dietary patterns in the Mexican adult population and their association with being overweight or obese.
My family and I have THIS information hanging over our heads daily. When I wisened up and went from 60 pounds overweight in 2000 to a chiseled 165 pounds in 10 months, I wanted to showcase my education and lifestyle changes to other folks who NEED my help. I changed my entire mantra and misconceived thoughts about food. If that food didn't enhance my brain output or athletic performance, I didn't eat it. If I had a day where I rested and I was satisfied with how I felt and looked, I would order a pizza or eat a donut. You most certainly can do the same in moderation!
I tell folks, do NOT deprive yourself. Eat a balanced plate 80% of the time(the other 20% have a beer, treat, whatever your heart desires), protein and vegetables at EVERY meal, take about 10,000 steps daily and lift a weight, run, execute Yoga poses, olympic lift, do pilates, take a spin class, swing a kettlebell, do SOMETHING that you love to do!! If you STILL don't have the body you want after all of this, take inventory:
Am I eating enough protein?
Am I drinking my calories??(alcohol, soda etc.)
How many calories am I eating? Is my body in a constant surplus?
How much water am I in-taking?
How many servings of fruits and vegetables am I eating daily?
Am I sleeping 6-8 hours daily?
How stressed am I??
If you are on the negative side of all of these, I suggest you ask a fitness professional to guide you on your journey. I most certainly would consult a Financial adviser if I wanted to start a portfolio. I also would go to a mechanic to fix my car as well. Your knowledge just doesn't hold the same merit as someone who has spent thousands of hours in their specific field.
I'm almost 37 years old, My blood pressure is 98/53. My resting heart rate is 52 beats per minute, I'm 5'7 1/2 about 175 pounds, walk around 9% body fat, squat 390 pounds, deadlift 485 pounds, bench 315 pounds and can run a 5K in 21 minutes. Oh good for me and that's not supposed to impress anyone either. I earned the body above from years of exercising, telling my cravings NO and being disciplined.
Which is why I'm going to deliver the 4 most important psychological changes I made when I lost my weight 16 years ago.
- I had photos on my wall: Photos of myself at my lowest point(NEVER wanting that guy to return), photos of the person I wanted to look like and collages of how I was going to achieve my weight loss nirvana. Eat this much protein daily, move this much 6 days a week and what physique competitors did to get so big and lean. That leads me to....
- Gaining knowledge: I read countless of articles and books on how to look like a physique athlete. In order to get where YOU want to go, talk to someone who is where you want to be! If you want to look like Kate Hudson, read up on what she does to stay slim. If you want to look like Rich Froning, watch his You Tube videos and read some articles on his routine and food selection. What I will also say, READ UP ON HOW LONG IT TOOK THEM TO ACHIEVE THEIR LOOK. It will take you longer and you won't look quite like them. Genetically, you are built uniquely. You sure as heck can get close though and don't get discouraged if you slip up. Stay the course!
- When I had cravings, I ran: It was that simple. I would throw Linkin Park's "Hybrid Theory" on and run until I couldn't. If I was stressed, I ran. If you're stressed: workout, drink water, read a book, turn on your favorite band, call a person who can lift your spirits in a blink of an eye. Do the most therapeutic thing you know of. Garden, play scrabble, watch your favorite TV show (1 episode please! I advocate moving 🙂 ) Finally:
- I stopped listening to EVERYONE: I turned down the cake at Christmas, the alcohol at birthday parties and chips at social gatherings. I knew what chemicals were inside these items, what it did to my mind and body. If I had a shoot and wanted to go out, I would drink water and shoot the breeze. If it didn't contain nutrients or muscle building amino acids, I turned it down. You WILL get weird looks from other's. You're making a conscious effort to become healthier, living a more fruitful life and creating everlasting memories in the process. The people who are judging and or making fun of your new found adventures could be either envious or they are ignorant. They are used to the person who hung out and had drinks for happy hour, a social escape no less. Find like minded individuals who support your health and fitness. Don't turn away your friends and family completely, just ask that they respect your choices.
Changing is difficult, always has been and forever will be. We adapt, evolve and become upstanding human beings through knowledge, graciousness, ethical choices and inner strength. If food is your best friend and your comforting factor when stressed(who out there doesn't use it as a mechanism every now and then?), I suggest you use some of these methods above. Meditate, find a new hobby, talk to someone you can confide in when you're down and out. You don't have to go at it alone. Although,
You do have to go after something you want with reckless abandon
My name is Jesse Velasquez from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I empower and inspire other's with vision and education to reach their optimal fitness potential. Follow me on Twitter @JCVWellness, Snapchat @JCV24 or Instagram @ JCVWellness.