Hometown: Santa Clara, CA
Weight Before: 452 lbs
Weight After: 260 lbs
“I don’t have pounds to lose, I’m just over here trying to lose ounces.” What started as a joke between buddies, turned in to Mario Samora’s workout mantra: “Shedding ounces."
The saying, which inspired his weight-loss journey three years ago, motivated him to lose almost 200 pounds and complete a full Iron Man.
After looking down at the scale three years ago, and seeing the number 452, Samora realized that he needed to get healthy not only for himself, but also for his wife and two young boys.
“It got to a point in my life where I was so big that all I could do was go to work, come home, eat dinner, and go to sleep,” he says, "So it definitely put a lot of stress on my wife because she was having to take on more of a load with the kids and I wasn’t able to help as much.”
So he decided to turn his life around, one step at a time, eventually finishing races even the most fit would never attempt. “In the last three years I have completed four half Iron Man races, several different sprint or Olympic distance triathlons, and one full Iron Man,” he says.
One major contributing factor to his success: The teamwork and motivation he gets at his gym in Santa Clara, Fitness Never Sleeps. “I really enjoy working out with a small group of friends—they are all very like-minded when it comes to lifting weights or staying competitive, and surrounding yourself with those people will make you strive to be better too,” Samora says.
Now that he's succeeded in his weight-loss goal, Samora is switching his focus from triathlons to weightlifting. In fact, in an effort to give back, he became a certified trainer and even runs his own classes at Fitness Never Sleeps. “If you can help one person with your story, I feel like it was a success and that’s part of the reason why I started coaching,” he says.
Samora realizes that his journey is far from over, and has “452 Never Again” tattooed across his wrist as a reminder of just how far he has come.
“Weight loss isn’t just one pound at a time—It’s one choice at a time. That’s why one ounce at a time is easier to track than one pound at a time,” explains Samora.
Steal Samora's Weight-Loss Tips:
Set Micro Goals
You have to be realistic with your expectations. didn't get to 452 pounds overnight and I had to come to terms with the fact that I was not going to get healthy overnight. You are looking to make a change that will last a life time, not a month. I attempted the pedal to the metal approach too many times to count. I would find success, but was never able to maintain it. Make small nutrition tweaks one at a time, and don't be too hard on yourself if you slip up—it happens to all of us.
Don't worry about what others are doing—This is a battle of you versus you. In the beginning, I was afraid to go to the gym at "standard" hours, afraid that people would watch me, talk about me, or judge me. Truth is, everyone is usually in their own little world and not too concerned with what I—or anyone else—is doing.
Just Keep Moving
No matter your weight or age, when you start working out you are sore—sometimes so much so that it makes you feel like not going to do what needs to be done the next day. My advice: JUST KEEP MOVING! The best thing I ever did for myself was start swimming. When my knees and hips were hurting too bad to jog, I substituted that cardio with swimming. I quickly came to the realization that working out didn't have to be a chore but could actually be a stress reliever. Find a group of friends, family, or even strangers that have a common goal and help each other to find and push those limits.