Published June 14, 2012

80 Pounds Lost - How Paul Beat The Odds

by Helen M. Ryan
before and after weight loss

Once a couch potato, Paul Cortez is a shining example of weight loss success. Always cheery and full of energy, Paul brings life and smiles to those around him at the gym. Starting at 285 pounds, Paul is now down to 205, having lost 80 pounds. Here Paul shares with us, in his own words, what got him started with weight loss and what keeps him going. He boxes, he takes Spinning classes and wants to be able to keep up with grandchildren. What more can you ask for? (A transcript of the video follows below).

(From the video:)

At 285 pounds, I felt that was a lot of weight to carry. I went to the doctor's one day and the doctor explained that if I didn't make some changes in my life, my health would deteriorate. I'm at age 62 now. It was a struggle to start. It was a year and a half ago actually that I started working out. But coming in at the beginning…it was a struggle for me to come in.

The first thing I did was I got a trainer, who put me on a diet and routine, and that was hard to do because I was used to eating my chocolates every night, and my cookies and popcorn. So it took a couple of months to get into the routine.

Then I started Spinning classes. I started a class with Helen, and I really didn't enjoy it in the beginning because I had to get used to it. It was something new to me. Eventually, over the months, I started enjoying that routine. It was a lot of fun to be in her class. Then, from that point on, I started coming into Spinning classes regularly, and my trainer kept me working with weights.

Over the months, I started gradually seeing some results. Then with the results— I would say there were some walls that I hit. Eventually, once I hit the walls and came back and started the routines again, I started to see the weight loss.

I was losing about a pound or two pounds a week. When I started to see those results over the months—I started enjoying that. I felt the energy starting to come, and I felt I could spend more time with my grandchildren. That was the big thing. That was my motivation. I wanted to be around for my grandchildren.

I started from 285, and gradually over the months came down to 265-245-220. It was a lot. It's journey. Here I am right now. I'm talking to you 205 pounds. My goal is to get to 200 pounds. Once I get to that goal, I'll set another goal to get down to down to 190 to maybe 185, where I feel comfortable, and then maintain that for the rest of my life.

I have a lot of energy and I enjoy coming in to the gym now. I look forward to coming in the morning. I get up early, have my breakfast, and make sure that I am in Spinning class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Then I do kick boxing or boxing in the afternoon. I work with my trainer twice a week, and we do boxing and cardio. I just want to burn those calories, that's all. I'm not a boxer. I just enjoy hitting the bags and hitting the mitts, because it's burning calories. That's what I do.