This article was written by the founder and head coach of TFW Martin Rooney. He wrote this about one of our incredible students at TFW Mahopac named Manuela.
I used to think helping fighters win belts was cool.
Now I know helping warriors tighten belts is even cooler.
Training For Warriors has come a long way. When I started Training For Warriors 19 years ago, I was solely focused on helping world-class fighters to win world championships. After my fighters collected championship belts at UFC, Pride, Pancrase, ADCC and even made it to the Olympics, I understood the physical and mental effectiveness of the training system.
What I didn’t understand was how TFW could help people who were not fighters. As my books and speaking engagements ultimately lead to over 300 TFW licensed facilities around the world, I have realized how differently the TFW system is being used today than when it started.
This weekend in New York, I was reminded again when I heard this amazing story. I take great pleasure in meeting people that are training in and being inspired by TFW. Manuela Lobo’s story is one of great value. When I asked her how many women she thought had similar troubles with weight, she first guessed, “I don’t know, thousands?” Then as we spoke, I got her to understand there are 100’s of millions of men and women around the world that are battling weight and food issues just like she has. I am proud she has the courage to share her story. Today, you are going to learn how to lose 100 pounds. Manuela is the person to tell you about it, not me. Why? Because she did it.
My father died at 50 and it was because he was overweight.
Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience. When you realize the loss could have been preventable, it is even more difficult to accept. My father was overweight and as with many overweight people, there are more things that become enlarged than just a waistline. My dad’s body had become too heavy over time and as a result, his heart was forced to work too hard. This only went on so long until it gave out.
Losing my dad forced me to take a deep look at my own life.
Growing up, I wasn’t an athlete, and my weight was always an issue. Concerned about my size, my family would try to weigh me and I would always avoid the scale. Literally I can remember them trying to carry me onto the scale and I would hold my feet off with everything I had. I know this wasn’t the best tactic for my family to teach me about weight and it has definitely left me traumatized to step on a scale to this day. Since I wasn’t active and my parents were concerned, my mom put me to work as a salon assistant. I spent my days after school sweeping hair and cleaning which kept me busy and away from the TV during my middle school years.
In high school, my first “on again off again” relationship started…with the gym.
By the time I got to high school, I had a weight issue and joined my first gym with a friend.
I can say this was the moment that my interesting “gym journey” started. I call it interesting because it was a string of memberships to gyms that I would never visit. I would feel accomplished because I was a member with a keychain instead of because I was working out. I look back now and realize I was never getting those memberships for me. I was always doing it to please someone else and that is why it never worked.
I met my future husband during my freshman year of college.
I went to college, and met my husband early in the first year. You might think that a relationship can often spark you to get in better shape, but this one had the opposite effect. With the new found freedom of college and ability to make my own schedule, we started going out to eat more often, eating more and gaining weight. After four years of eating like this, I was gaining more weight over time. Right after college, we got married and were ready to start our lives together.
My wedding was the official start of my “roller coaster” with weight.
Like most women, I wanted to look my best in my wedding gown. For me, that obviously meant I had to try to lose weight for the wedding. I started dieting and working out and lost about 50 pounds in preparation for my big day. This was the first time I proved to myself I could lose weight with diet and training. The challenge I would find over the next number of years is that I would never be able to keep the weight off for long. I would try different diets. I would get different gym memberships. I tried home DVDs that I I would eventually quit. As a result of all of these, there was an even bigger problem I now realize as I look back:
Every time I would lose weight, I would put that weight back on and add even more.
A few months after the wedding I got pregnant and this led to me essentially being homebound for a year. These were long days and long nights of eating and I gained more weight than was appropriate when pregnant. After the baby, I committed to losing the weight, but had also started working toward my master degree. The stress of school and the new baby had my weight back up higher than ever. And I can’t just say it was stress, I had a number of issues why I was gaining weight. I was putting my kids first and not thinking about myself. I was skipping the gym saying I never had “time.” Anything emotional or upsetting had me only eating more. If I was bored, I would eat. If I had to work late, I would eat. If the kids had leftovers I would eat. I was up and down on the roller coaster more than ever. I would clean up my diet and lose some weight, but it would always come back.
Then I started getting migranes.
I started to not feel well physically as much as I did mentally. I was not sleeping well. After a few years of this, the added weight wasn’t the only issue I was having (but it was my first of a few medical problems that were probably caused by it.) My husband and I decided we wanted to have another baby. Only this time, had a difficult time getting pregnant. We tried in vitro multiple times and nothing was working. There was more stress and it was costing us a lot of money. The emotion and stress from this and my weight was already wearing me down. Then in 2007 my father died. This just took the complete wind out of my sails.
I was really at the point of giving up.
I again had a gym membership and was pretending to go. Instead I would go to the grocery store and get some ice cream instead. My “me time” became time to eat. I stayed up late and got up early to eat too. Then one day, I was ironically watching the Biggest Loser TV show. While I sat on the couch watching, I realized I was eating chips and dip while texting my cousin. The text said, “I know I should lose weight, but I am eating right now :(“ I saw those people on TV just like me and felt helpless. I had no accountability and no reason to change.
When I was at rock bottom, I got pregnant again.
I was excited, but my weight was leading to more issues. During the pregnancy, I lost weight but this was because of gall bladder issues. Actually, during the pregnancy, I was at my lightest, but learned that losing weight doesn’t always mean “healthier.” I got on the roller coaster again after having my second son, and put all the weight back on and more. I again attempted to lose weight. I lost 50 pounds again and then got pregnant with my third child.
After I had my daughter, I hit my maximum weight….twice.
After my daughter was born. Another “medical” issue was plaguing me: my feet were hurting. I don’t like going to the doctor, but the pain forced me. I went to the doctor and instead of just checking my feet, my doctor put me on the dreaded scale. When she guessed I was around 280 pounds and realized it wasn’t enough, the scale finally settled at 300 pounds and then on another visit 303 was my highest. In addition to the scale, the doctor had me get blood work as well. My blood work indicated many of my numbers were elevated, and I would need medicine for cholesterol and other issues if I didn’t do something about it.
That is when I finally found my real “why.”
My father died at 50 because of his weight issues. After the blood work I was faced with a scary thought. “I am almost 39. Do I have only 11 years left?” I realized losing weight wasn’t about just looking better. It wasn’t trying to impress someone going to the gym or make my family happy. I finally had my reason to stick with a program: I would lose weight and get healthier to live a longer, better life for me and my family. This idea helped me with the accountability I was always missing. But I still had to figure out how to get started.
I kept seeing posts for a “transformation.”
While I was surfing social media, I kept seeing an ad for a program in my town. At first, I opened it, looked and it and exited out. I did this a few times and then when I saw it again, I entered my info. The next day I got a call. Then I called back and even though he was getting his hair cut, John took my call. I tried to get out of a visit on that call, but John said, “Just come in and see what it is about.” I knew I needed help and that little push helped me to take the first step. As for most things, beginning something new is always the hardest part.
I started TFW in January of 2016, but still had my doubts.
I knew I had to get healthier. I wanted to be more fit, live longer and be a better role model for my kids. But I also knew I had never really stuck with a program for more than about 30 days. So, instead of signing up for a year, I started with just two months. I trained three days a week and liked that someone was always watching and pushing me forward. After the two months, even though I had been consistent, I still had doubt in my ability to follow through. So I signed up for 3 months the next time and with the compliments and community I became part of, that motivated me for more. It was a tough process, but once I made it through the five months, I had confidence in myself and my new habits were forming.
I have been consistent over a year and have lost over 100 pounds.
People have made a big deal about the 100 pounds and I know it is an accomplishment, but I also know I have farther to go. The more exciting news is that I recently returned to the doctor and after checking all my numbers, the doctor asked, “Why are you even here?” I was confused until she stated that my numbers are so good I didn’t need to be. This along with the weight loss really proved how important proper diet and training are to my health and my family.
What Manuela has learned can help you too.
When I met Manuela (for the second time) I realized TFW become a part of her life and she really enjoys motivating and helping others. I watched her training and giving others encouragement. I wanted this story to help anyone that is battling with weight and health. Manuela has done something amazing and here are her tips how you can too. And as you will notice, these aren’t confusing or about adding up calories. It is really about getting your mind and goals right and taking consistent action while remembering why you started.
10 Simple Tips How I Lost 100 Pounds
Yours in Strength,
Do you struggle with motivation? Are you simply overwhelmed by all of the information? Can’t seem to stay on track? You CAN make that change and TRANSFORM your life! CLICK BELOW and get join our 8 Week Transformation!
Coach John's enthusiastic approach and positive energy will get anyone excited about fitness. However it's his ability to motivate and inspire people to do more not just in the dojo but in life that gets results.