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One calorie at a time - fighting obesity in the Coastal Bend

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Posted at 8:25 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 22:05:22-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The struggle to lose weight is an ongoing battle for 1 in 3 people in the Coastal Bend but there are solutions.

Earlier this summer, we highlighted a Corpus Christi man who went from being obese to a triathlete and now he’s living out his dreams one calorie at a time.

“I just completed my first triathalon,” said Jack Rodriguez and when we asked him how it felt, he told us it was “great....amazing.”

It was a race Jack never thought he'd compete in. He never believed he could complete the countless miles of swimming, biking, and running.

When asked what motivated him, he told us, “the guys that I work out with. They're a great group of guys. They push me to be better. We first introduced you to Jack last month and shared how he found himself overweight for most of his life.

“I was always a heavy kid,” Jack said and he continued to be a heavy adult until he tipped the scales at 264 pounds.

Back then he told us about his diet. “Double meat, double cheeseburgers and whole pizzas,” he said. He knew that at 5’7”, something had to give.

The reason for the change? “My daughters,” he said. “My family. Being there for them.” Jack created a Tiktok video showing his transformation. A journey, Jack said, that was fueld by healthier eating, at least an hour of exercise a day, and a journal where he wrote down everything he ate as well as the number of calories every day.

Before the journal, Jack ate up to 4,000 calories a day and now a little more than half that.

“Write everything down,” Jack recommends. “It helped me to help myself accountable.” Jack started out slow with “baby steps” and went outside for a run.

“I wasn't in a place where I wanted to join a gym,” he remembered. “I was so worried that everybody was looking at me and maybe mocking me because I wasn't doing an exercise correctly.” While interviewing Tricia Eddins, a registered and licensed dietician at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, she shared that she has fought the battle of obesity, as well.

“I've lost 120 pounds and I've ekpt it off for roughly 10 years now,” Eddins tols us. “It took me 5 years because I wanted to do it slow and steady and I wanted to keep it off.” Small changes, Eddins recommends, like packing your lunch for work, making dinner at home, and eating healthy snacks.

“So from a nutrition aspect, it's making small changes,” Eddins said. “We don't want to completely change someone's diet from the get-go because then that just sets-you up for failure from the very beginning.” But Eddins story comes with a warning to others who find themsevles wanting to loose weight. "I would say find an exercise that you actually enjoy,” she recommends. “Weight loss is hard but maintenance is just as hard so you just have to find out what works for you.” As for Jack, he continues to keep the weight off.

“You have to start somewhere and if you don't start, you won't get anywhere,” he said. “You just have to put your best foot forward.”

Jack’s next goal is competing in the Ironman.

Here are some links from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention geared at helping people fight obesity but as always, before going on any diet it’s always important to check with your doctor first.

Get the facts: Sugar-sweetened beverages

https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/sugar-sweetened-beverages-intake.html

Suggestions to Overcome physical activity barriers

https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-pa/barriers.html

Learning your Body Mass Index (BMI)

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html