March 28, 2019
Carlos Orosco lost an impressive 475 pounds after a visit to the doctor that changed his life. He's now set to run his first full marathon later this year.
Carlos Orosco is a 41-year-old man from Michigan who’s preparing to run a full marathon in October. But what’s interesting about his story is that three years ago, he weighed 650 pounds.
Seeing Carlos now, no one would think he was ever obese, thanks to a life-changing moment that happened to him in 2016. He tells People he was riddled with several health problems due to his extreme weight – high blood pressure, gout, ulcers in his legs, cellulitis, sleep apnea and a painful bacterial infection causing skin swelling and redness.
“The fear of losing my life was made a reality to me that morning, and it was a feeling that I had never felt before,”
It was after he met a doctor to seek options for weight loss that Carlos discovered his life was highly at risk. He was told it was uncertain he’d make it to 40.
Fearing for the eventuality of his early death, Carlos cried in his car after meeting his doctor and decided to make a change.
“The fear of losing my life was made a reality to me that morning, and it was a feeling that I had never felt before,” he explained.
He thought of his niece who was about to be born and how he would want to be around to be his uncle as she grew up.
“I realized that I was being selfish, living the way that I had been for so long, and did not realize the family and friends that I would be affecting if something were to happen to me.”
After deciding to go ahead with the weight loss surgery, the hard part began. Carlos was tasked to change his eating habits before going under the knife. It was to prepare him for the lifestyle he’s expected to maintain post-surgery.
He stripped his diet of fast and fried food, bread, soda, and alcohol and began exercising by means of walking. In six months, he lost 100 pounds.
In December 2016, Carlos had his weight loss surgery and successfully maintained his healthy diet afterward. His pounds continued to drop and then he discovered a passion for running. He did his first 5K walk/run event and completed it in 90 minutes - a feat he was proud of and which pushed him to go further. Carlos said that his love for running developed due to the wave of support he got from his peers in the sport.
“Runners, walkers and these athletes, in general, are some awesome people who I have a very special place in my heart for,” he said.
“My body image and self-confidence are at an all-time high. I am much more confident, and most importantly I am genuinely happy, and do not have to fake it anymore.
Fast forward to today, Carlos has run a total of 32 races, the longest of which was a half marathon. In October, he intends to run his first full marathon. More impressive is the fact that as he continued to push himself in running, his weight continued to go down. He has now lost an astounding 475 pounds.
For Carlos, all the effort and sacrifices he put into losing weight, which he stresses is “the hardest thing that I have ever done,” was worth it.
“My body image and self-confidence are at an all-time high. I am much more confident, and most importantly I am genuinely happy, and do not have to fake it anymore. I can finally live a life, and lifestyle, that I feel was intended for me.”
He also credits his success to the amount of support he received from the right people.
“In my experience, having these people, whether they be friends, or family, has been vital to my success, and I know that what I have done, and what I continue to do, would not be possible without them.”
Carlos’ story is inspiring. And all it took for him to turn his life around was the realization of his early mortality. This was also what happened to 25-year-old Jose Rodriguez who peaked at 505 pounds when he was 20. Doctors told him he would be lucky if he made it two more years due to his weight. Alarmed by this realization, Jose started walking and shifted his diet to healthier choices. In a year, he lost 100 pounds. Today, he proudly reveals he lost 200 pounds and continues to shed weight as he maintains his weight loss diet and visits the gym five times a week. Like Carlos, all it took for Jose was a reality check.