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Taking the First Step: Philip Alvarado Changes His Life
July 14, 2012
By Wendy Hayworth
Intern Reporter for the Tribune
Warned by his doctor that he would have to start taking insulin if he didn’t straighten himself out, Philip Alvaradro realized it was time for a major change. He was diabetic. The time that he used to spend sitting in front of the TV eating his favorite brand of chips is now spent preparing for his first full marathon.
“It was a life style change,” Alvaradro said.
Faced with an insulin dependent future, Alvaradro went to the internet for answers. He needed a diet that would work for him. He wouldn’t join a special weight loss program.
“Why do I need to pay somebody for stuff I just need to read about?” Alvaradro thought.
It took him two months to gather all the information he needed. The next step was picking a day, just a random day. Alvaradro started on October 11, 2010, a friend’s birthday. From that day on it was “nonstop.”
With the holiday season fast approaching, Alvaradro’s discipline was put to the ultimate test.
“People say it’s fine to indulge as long as you do it in moderation. When you’re going through what I put myself through, you can’t do it in moderation,” Alvaradro said.
When he began his protein based diet, Alvaradro had to detox his body. In order to do this, he subjected himself to a liquid only diet. For three weeks all he could eat was cottage cheese, jell-o, string cheese, broth and water. Alvaradro remembers it as “brutal.”
That wasn’t all. A diet just doesn’t work as well if exercise isn’t included. Alvaradro started walking. He walked about two or three miles each day. Soon, he graduated to running. Now, he goes for a four or five mile run.
It didn’t take long for Alvaradro to see the results.
“Within two months I didn’t have to take my medication anymore,” Alvaradro said. In fact, Alvaradro has been clear of diabetes for two years now.
Beginning at 325 lbs, Alvaradro now weighs in at 215 lbs. Alvaradro says he’s done losing weight because he doesn’t want to look “dorky.”
Over the course of two years Alvaradro has gone from a 3XL to a large. His jean size has shrunk from 48 to 34. Ironically enough, his shoe size has increased to 13.
Alvaradro was joined by his wife, Judy, who started her own diet plan. While Alvaradro’s diet was high protein, zero carb, his wife’s was high protein, low carbs and sugar. She’s lost 50-60 pounds.
Only last week they ran the Stars and Stripes Run together. This November Alvaradro will be running his second full marathon and Judy her first, for Williams Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This run takes place days after their 14th anniversary.
Just because the weight is lost doesn’t mean Phillip is done. In order to stay at his ideal weight he will still have to watch what he eats. He plans to keep running along with his wife.
Phillip encourages others to change their life style for the better.
“Make a plan, set a short term goal and a long term goal. Take the first step and stick to it,” Alvaradro said.
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