At five-foot-six, Edwin Velez weighed 300 pounds when he holidayed in the Bahamas last November.
When the 26-year-old from Albertville, Alabama, saw his holiday snaps, he said quickly realized his overweight body needed a drastic lifestyle change.
Making a vow that he would be in better shape for his next planned vacation the following March, Edwin Velez set himself the seemingly impossible task of losing 100 lbs in those four short months, a goal he not only reached, but exceeded.
“I woke up one morning and I was like: <<I’m going to do this. I’m going to do this now>>,” he told Good Morning America.
Cutting out white carbohydrates, Edwin Velez also changed his diet. He avoided sugar, anything carbonated, and all food which were colored white – including potatoes, white bread, pasta and rice; slowly introducing whole grain variations, instead.
“Being Hispanic made it extremely difficult because rice and beans and tortillas and breads and pastas are big part of our food,” he explained.
“Being the holidays, right around Christmas, I made my own meals and went and bought my own food, like grilled chicken and fish, so my family would have their food and I had my food.”
Of his rapid weight loss, he added that “drinking nothing but water was, like, the first 10 to 15 pounds and that came off probably within the first two to three weeks”.
“I would also go to the local track and start walking in the morning, and go that afternoon, every day,” he said.
“I went to the track because [I was too] self-conscious to go to the gym… so I just would go to the track by myself and I started there until I felt comfortable enough to go to the gym.”
Edwin Velez said he slowly began to jog as the pounds started dropping off and then, once was comfortable to enter the gym, added weightlifting to his workout.
“Adding the cardio to it – which, to me, unless you sweat, it’s not a workout – on a daily basis really helped with the weight loss, as well as watching what I ate.”
It has been six months since he reached his original goal, and now, Edwin Velez weighs 155 lbs, maintaining his healthy lifestyle.
“It’s not a diet, but it’s more of a lifestyle change,” he said.
“My body is used to eating healthy so I choose healthy choices.”