A while back, I wrote an article about Papa Joe Avaiance. He lost over 250 pounds on a budget and reached his goal without surgery. He is truly an inspiration and I'm so happy he agreed to do an interview for the healthylivingct website. Papa Joe has kept his weight off by eating right and exercising every day. Papa Joe, thank you so much for the interview! I think Papa Joe will motivate those of you who are thinking of losing weight and for those who get discouraged, he offers some great advice. Check out the interview below. For more information about Papa Joe, go to his website by clicking here.
1. How long did it take you to lose the weight?
Papa Joe: It took me 2 1/2 years to lose 250 lbs.
2. Do you find it hard to maintain your weight?
I think (it) will always be hard to maintain my weight. There are obviously triggers I have as well as foods that are hard for me to ignore. The thing that drives me to maintain my weight is how far I've come. Seeing my results and the 2 1/2 years it took for me to get them are reasons enough for me to actually maintain my weight.
3. Have you incorporated any new foods in your diet? For example, I started to eat a lot of quinoa, something I never ate before.
I think the biggest thing for me that I started doing was reading the nutrition labels. Although it is important to look at the fat and calories, don’t forget to examine the SODIUM and SUGAR aspect of the labeling. I also just got rid of the chips, dips, cakes and double cheeseburgers and replaced them with fruits and vegetables.
4. You're living proof that you don't have to spend lots of money to lose weight. Any advice for those who are going to the 99 cent store? What items should they avoid?
Like I said above, they should avoid foods with high fat content, sodium and sugar. You can buy amazing things at the 99 Cent Only Store like fresh produce, milk and eggs. Also, not known to others, they have a lot of brand names in the store!!
5. I have a problem with loose skin after my weight loss. Were you able to tighten your abs after losing the weight? I imagine the push ups that you do daily helped a lot.
Yes, I've been very lucky with that. As I was losing the weight, I also made sure that I was implementing ways to tone my body so that I could try to avoid having loose skin. I would use free weights and do sit ups and push ups after my walks as my skin tightening routine.
6. What do you say to those that want to lose weight but don't know where to start?
I would say that they need to have the desire to want to change first and foremost. The journey is about change, positivity and perseverance. I literally started by walking around the block, once, because that's all I could do. The next day I made it around two times. I think the biggest thing for me was setting small goals so that the total goal didn't seem so daunting. When you break it down into smaller segments it's a lot easier to reach your end game.
7. Describe the latest projects you are working on?
I just finished a speaking engagement at Valor Academy High School. I have a speaking engagement on Oct 14th with UC Riverside. I'm going to be the proud recipient of the AHA's "Lifestyle Change Award" at 4 AHA "Heart & Stroke Walk" Events, not to mention, I've been asked to emcee 2 of the Heart & Stroke Walks!! Pomona (Oct 13th) Pasadena (Oct 19th/Downtown LA Oct 23rd) and Long Beach (Nov 10th)
8. As you probably know, I wear a pedometer daily and get way over 10,000 steps a day. Do you still use a pedometer and do you know approximately how many steps you walk a day?
I do not have a pedometer, but I've been looking into FitBit. I've driven my course that I take every morning and it's just a little over 5 miles, and I do that everyday rain or shine.
9. What is your typical diet like now?
First off, I always accompany each meal with an 8 ounce glass of water (if not more. I find this helps curb me from oversizing/eating my portions)
I generally do a variety of vegetable omelets for breakfast. I use a lot of spinach for breakfast meals.
For lunch I'll either do a mixed greens/vegetable salad with a chicken breast and light balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
For afternoon snacks I'll grab some sort of piece of fruit and MAYBE some celery and peanut butter. And let's be real, even sometimes a fun size pack of m&ms.
For dinner I either have another chicken breast with brown rice and vegetables, or I accompany it with fish such as salmon.
10. I think you are a big inspiration to those that want to lose weight. What do you tell people that want to give up their battle with weightless, any advice for those that need extra motivation?
Honestly, like I said before, you really just have to have the drive to make changes in your life. It's like quitting smoking. You know what you're doing is bad for you, but it's when you WANT to change that you'll be able to succeed. It may sound cliche but the journey really does start with a single step. And I promise that once you start seeing results, you will only want to keep pushing yourself to go farther.
Instead of driving somewhere that's within walking distance, WALK THERE!! Your endorphins will kick in and you'll start to notice how much happier you are. Before I lost the weight I was extremely depressed. Now, I'm one of the happiest guys you could meet. Just start small, don't be overwhelmed by the big picture. As long as you're doing SOMETHING, you're on the right track. I did it and I KNOW you can too!!
Again, thank you to Papa Joe for the interview. Check out his before and after pictures!