When David Diaz was a child, a debilitating asthma attack sidelined him from strenuous activity for a brief period. Once the asthma was controlled, he was reluctant to resume his normal level of play, fearing another attack. This downward spiral of fitness, combined with a reliance on sugary soft drinks and fast food, only compounded his weight gain. Though it’s taken David many years to learn how to eat well and take care of himself, now he’s committed, accountable and has 100 fewer pounds on his frame to show for it.
After a modicum of weight loss success in college, David soon fell back into old patterns. “It wasn’t long before I treated food the way some people treat cigarettes or alcohol, namely as a way to feel better,” he admitted. “From there I just got worse and ballooned to my maximum weight of 280.”
During this time, David felt so uncomfortable in his own skin that he rarely allowed himself to be photographed. When he saw a photo that had been taken without his knowledge, he was dumbfounded. ” To them it was just a photo of me, but to actually see myself in that way, my gut as wide as it was, my face all puffy; I couldn’t believe I’d allowed myself to get that fat.” That was the turning point.
After a floundering start on his weight loss journey, David met a man who would guide him to his current success, Lifestyle Coach, Luke Sniewski. “Luke posted that he wanted to help someone lose 75+ pounds as part of a project,” David explained. “Knowing it would take a commitment to something outside of myself, and that I needed some serious help, I volunteered myself for the project. With Luke’s guidance I’ve dropped 100 pounds in a little under 6 months.”
After starting on a diet where fatty foods and beverages were methodically eliminated, he now eats primarily healthy fat, proteins and leafy greens. For exercise, he switches it up by running and doing strength training exercises. He bikes to work whenever he can.
David admits his biggest struggle has been dealing with the social aspect of dieting. “Just saying ‘no’ to temptation is one thing; being rude by saying ‘no’ to someone who’s being polite and offering you something is a wholly different challenge entirely,” he said. “Not everyone takes it well, but you just have to keep repeating yourself.”
A fun upside to his weight loss is gaining back a whole wardrobe he hasn’t been able to fit into in years, including the quirky t-shirt collection of his college days. David is so inspired by his weight loss and the good space his head is in, he’s currently a contributor to the website, LEAF Lifestyle, where he writes about his journey.
“When you feel you’re ready to lose weight, make sure you’re prepared,” David cautions. “Devise a plan ahead of time. It’s going to be difficult; you’re going to be stressed and there will be moments when you’re going to want to give up. Be ready by trusting someone else to keep you honest, by removing temptations from your home environment, and by remembering that eventually it will get easier. Habits good and bad are built through repetition.”