Losing weight is really hard, as most of us have experienced. But one man did what seemed impossible. After dropping 475 pounds, he’s now completed a marathon.
Carlos Orosco, a man from Michigan, had a serious problem.
At 38 years old, he weighed 651 pounds. The weight was unmanageable, causing severe medical issues.
His weight caused a blood infection that led to serious swelling. He also had painful ulcers in his legs. When doctors told him he was unlikely to live past his early 40s, Orosco knew he had to make a change.
That news rattled him.
As a naturally larger man, Orosco had always been on the heavy side. But in his late 20s, he developed eating and lifestyle habits that caused his weight gain to surge.
Orosco said he ate a lot of fried food and drank too much soda and alcohol. He never thought his weight was a problem as long as he could still live a normal life and play sports. But the medical issues from his weight became extremely painful.
“The symptoms only got worse from my weight, and I met with a surgeon to discuss a sleeve gastrectomy,” he said.
A sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure that removes about 75 percent of the stomach.
That means patients can’t eat as much as usual in one sitting, thereby facilitating weight loss. But Orosco’s surgeon said they might not be able to do the surgery unless he first lost 100 pounds in six months.
So, Orosco met with a dietician and made plans to drop the weight. They organized a new diet plan and he began to walk three miles every day. It wasn’t easy.
“The first few months were really tough. I was constantly fighting urges and cried myself to sleep many nights,” he said.
Six months later, he had managed to lose 95 pounds.
“I was disappointed about the last five pounds, but nonetheless went into surgery,” said Orosco.
The gastrectomy helped, allowing Orosco to continue dropping weight. But when he hit 350 pounds, he hit a wall. That was when he discovered running.
Now, at age 43, Orosco has competed in 37 races.
In June 2019, he ran his first marathon.
“I ran my first 5K in honor of a friend who’d recently passed away,” he said. “I felt so much love and support from the people cheering me on and other runners that I kept at it. It’s been a blessing. It gave me my life back.”
He’s now in great shape and in his early 40s — the age doctors said he wouldn’t reach.
“I finally feel like I’m living my best life,” he said.
Orosco has some words of encouragement for other people struggling with their weight. First, don’t think this is a battle you’re fighting alone.
“People are there to help,” he said.
Secondly, be patient and know that you might not meet your goals when you want to. But you will meet them in time.
Finally, don’t think you’ll always be stuck where you are.
“Your current situation never has to be your final destination,” he said.
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