It's been a few weeks since we had some success stories to share, so I'm so happy to bring you two exceptional stories this week, in two parts!!
This is really turning out to be a favorite segment of mine on this blog and I hope you are enjoying it too and feeling inspired by your peers.
Today we are hearing from Mr. Eugene Sato.
Eugene has graduated from our study 21 lbs lighter!! We are so proud of the achievements he has made and those he continues to strive for! He has fully embraced a healthier lifestyle of greater fitness and healthy eating. From my own experiences with Eugene over these two years, i have seen him use the program to its fullest - interacting on Facebook with our challenges (see pictures below) and asking us for advice and direction on his own findings - it has been such a joy seeing him reach his goals.
I had a chance to "sit" down with Eugene before he left the program, to ask him some questions about how he has achieved his weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes! Please read on to hear Eugene's journey...how he was sick of being overweight and not as fit as he knew he could be and how he revamped his health for the longterm! Congrats again Eugene, you are an inspiration to us all!!
Meet Mr. Eugene Sato!
Age: 25 years old
Graduate Student: UCSD
Hobbies: Judo/martial arts (and I'm sure a lot more!)
My interview with Eugene...
1. What made you initially want to join the SMART study?
I think at that point, I was finally sick of being overweight and out-of-shape. San Diego is quite an active town and I wanted to be able to participate in those activities and the extra weight was holding me back (it hurt my endurance, and definitely wouldn't help my joints in the long run). Although I'm not a natural athlete, I felt that I had hit a point where a lack of physical fitness was holding me back from being better at the activities that I liked to do (martial arts, recreational sports, etc.). At the time, I was hoping the SMART study would be an opportunity to push me in the right direction and help me set a goal that I could work towards.
2. How has ThreeTwoMe helped you achieve your weight loss (or healthy lifestyle) goals?
The first aspect was the goal setting at the beginning of the program and the accountability that came with the weekly weigh-ins and the reminders from the e-mails and apps. These little reminders, contests, and suggestions for living a healthier lifestyle made me more conscious about it throughout the day, so at the end of the day I would remember to fit in some exercise or when I'm at the grocery store I'd remember to buy (or not buy!) the proper foods that would help me towards my goals.
The other major part was being able to have a sounding board off of which I could throw ideas or new trends that I had been discovering on my own on the internet. Being able to post an article that talked about new foods (chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, etc) or workouts (HIIT, Tabata,...) on facebook/e-mail and get another perspective from Christina was extremely important in deciding what was best for me.
3. What is the one thing you are most proud of that you've experienced or accomplished during this journey?
Reaching one of my goals of getting below 160lbs for the first time since junior high, and just the general increase in physical endurance that I experienced when I'm in full training mode.
4. What has been your greatest "barrier" or "challenge" to reaching your weight loss goals and how are you working to overcome it?
Overeating. I don't necessarily eat junk food, but I will still overeat on healthier foods as well. I just like to eat and that's something that I've just had to be conscious about and every once in a while say "do I really need to get that extra plate?" Getting exercise during the busy times of the year is also another challenge, and even if I'm not exercising as intensely or as much, I still try to make sure that I get some activity in by staying active in martial arts classes or walking/biking to school.
5. What was your "ah ha" moment (if you had one) in changing your behaviors?
I'm not sure I had an "ah ha" moment, although realizing that I was below 165 lbs was major proof that what I was doing was working!
6. What is your advice to others?
Be diligent and smart. Not everything will work for you, but every little bit counts. Find what works best for you and maximize that, but continue being open enough to try some of the little things that ThreeTwoMe might suggest. It adds up over time. In the end, I think the transition is definitely worth it, I feel a lot better not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well.
I asked Eugene for a before picture as well, the change is truly evident. He looks fitter, stronger and even happier (didn't know that was possible!). Thanks Eugene for sharing this. I also shared a few other pictures from our Facebook Challenges that helped encourage Eugene along the way, I love the Olympics ones!
Eugene at the start of our study (2 years ago!):
Eugene taking part in our Summer Olympics Facebook Scavenger Hunt or the better named "Decathalon" (which Eugene suggested, such a better name, ha!)
Eugene getting the 1600m run completed!
Is that Phelps?! :) The challenge was to do all four strokes, done and done!
Eugene is particularly interested in Judo - here is showing us his skills!
THANKS Eugene for participating in our study! We're glad we were able to help you in acheiving a healthier lifestyle!!
**If you would like us to feature your success story, we'd love to! You can email me at: email@example.com or message me on ThreeTwoMe's Facebook page. We will get as many as we can out there for otehr to read and be inspired by! Thanks!!