Carlos Orosco was 38 years old when a doctor told him he needed to drop more than half of his body weight or he wouldn’t live to see 40.
The news was a harsh wake-up call for the severely overweight man from Saginaw, Michigan. Carlos had grown up heavy, but since he is six feet tall he always just considered himself a “bigger” person. He thought as long as he could continue to move and play sports he was fine.
After Carlos moved out of the family home in his 20s his weight truly got out of control. He comforted himself with unhealthy foods and alcohol, and at his heaviest, he’d ballooned up to 651 pounds. He began having pain and swelling in his legs, and after he was hospitalized with a serious blood infection he knew it was time to put the brakes on his unhealthy lifestyle for good.
“The symptoms only got worse from my weight, and I met with a surgeon to discuss a sleeve gastrectomy,” Carlos explained. During this surgical procedure, about 75% of the stomach is removed, limiting the amount of food that can be consumed. It was during this consultation that Carlos’s doctor dropped the truth bomb about his weight and how it was almost certainly going to end his life far too soon.
The doctor told him that Carlos had to lose 100 pounds before they’d perform the surgery. He got started that very day, starting with daily three-mile walks and ditching the fried and processed foods and alcohol he’d been indulging in for years. He worked with a dietitian to help him learn to replace unhealthy foods with vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins.
“The first few months were really tough. I was constantly fighting urges and cried myself to sleep many nights,” he admitted. After working hard for six months Carlos was down 95 pounds, so his doctor allowed him to have the surgery. He continued to drop the pounds after surgery, but around 350 his weight loss plateaued. That’s when he discovered running.
“I ran my first 5K in honor of a friend who had recently passed away,” he said. “I felt so much love and support from the people cheering me on and other runners that I kept at it.”
Carlos has run 36 races since beginning his journey to wellness. He’s currently training for his first marathon in the fall, and all of his hard work has culminated in a jaw-dropping 450-pound weight loss. Today, at age 42, Carlos is more fit and active than he has ever been in his entire life.
“I finally feel like I’m living my best life,” he said.
Carlos says he has three tips to those who are in the same boat he was in just a few years ago.
- Get Help. “People are there to help,” he says.
- Be Patient. Don’t expect the weight to come off immediately. Slow and steady wins the race!
- Don’t Get Discouraged. “Your current situation never has to be your final destination.”
This is just the first step in a long journey, but in the end, it’s worth all of the blood, sweat, and tears! Carlos is now living his best life thanks to a few harsh words from a well-meaning physician.
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