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Computer Programmer Becomes a Male Model after 60 Pound Weight Loss

stefan pintoThe week of June 15 is Men’s Health Week at DietsInReview.com, just in time to celebrate the special men in your life. Stefan Pinto joins as a Men’s Health guest blogger. Stefan is a fitness model who was was once 60 pounds overweight. His motivation to lose weight manifested by doing something different and persevering through informed dieting and exercise. Stefan Pinto advocates weight loss with a combination of proper nutrition and effective, daily exercise. Read his weight loss story, “Whole Foods Changed My Life.”

In 2001, I weighed close to 250 pounds, that’s a size 38 waist. The odd thing was, I didn’t know I was overweight and buying new clothes was a luxury I happily indulged in. Working as a web designer for the now defunct Merrill Lynch easily supported the mundane weekend habit of shopping mall excursions.

The price of ignorance was paid with my health. I suffered from mysterious allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and debilitating migraines. All side effects from a diet laden with high sodium, high fat and countless preservatives. I also never exercised and didn’t see the need to.

So, it was by pure coincidence and I suppose, good fortune, that I wandered into a gym and my life changed completely. To avoid sounding hackneyed, my life went from being a prisoner of helplessness to one of freedom and adventure. It didn’t happen overnight, however.

In the span of three years, I lost over 60 pounds. Initially,it seemed impossible, but the more I persevered, the less difficult it seemed. Frankly, losing weight, and keeping it off requires daily effort. It requires vigilance and it requires a whole lot of work. In a society of shoppers, accustomed to instant gratification, a diet and exercise plan that is not instant is quite simply the road less traveled and, on that road, it is tempting to lose faith.

popular dietsThe gamut of popular diets and instant weight loss schemes are large; from candy bars, to shakes to devices and drugs. Yet, so many people remain dissatisfied and disappointed with these so called “instant diets.” Why is this? And, how is it that these schemes remain popular despite their dubious claims? Perhaps the fault rests not with the intention of dieting but with the claim of instantaneous results?

I often use plants as a metaphor for perseverance. Plants require constant care, dedication and patience. Plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, and even weeds, rarely, if ever,  flourish instantly. Same goes for human beings. Skills, prowess, mastery, careers and savoir faire all take time. How could the daunting act of changing one’s appearance possibly manifest itself instantly?

Please don’t give up. Know that in order to realize the benefits, we must first realize that diets ARE work.

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June 17th, 2009