Then -- and now, a success story

Chris Castillo is shown before he began his pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
 Castillo as he is now after being selected Warrior Patron of the Month for March.
Chris Castillo is shown before he began his pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
 Castillo as he is now after being selected Warrior Patron of the Month for March.
By Krista Starker
Hilltop Times Correspondent
March 10, 2011

Being told by a doctor that you could die at age 38 isn't what Chris Castillo, military dependent, wanted to hear at age 19.

"I went in to the doctor for a simple cold and they told me my blood pressure was 130," Castillo said. "That is the main reason I decided I needed to make a change."

And it was those changes that led him to a weight loss of 83 pounds in only 6 months, and earned him the title of Warrior Fitness' Patron of the Month for March.

He started his weight loss plan by running every day for an hour and half, lifting weights and making big changes to his diet.

"I started eating good carbs and just eating healthier and cutting out fatty foods and soda," Castillo said. "I used to drink soda every day and by taking that out of my diet I lost 10 pounds."

Castillo said one the keys to his success were having some good music while working out. The second key was working out with friends because it helped to keep him motivated and determined to work harder.

"I would be running with my friends Ryan and Marcus and I would start to slow down and they would give me death glares and I'd pick up the pace. I owe a lot to them for my weight loss success," he said.

The third key to his success was having the motivation and dedication to keep going because he believes that it's only your mind that tells you that you can't do it.

"It's what my brother Nelbert always says about cars, 'There is always going to be someone faster then you.' And if you put that in body building terms there is always going to be someone bigger than you. So don't ever be discouraged and just keep going and take it one step at a time," Castillo said.

Since his weight loss, Castillo has thought about becoming a personal trainer because of his enthusiasm for working out and being healthy.

"I think it would be fun to help the Airmen and get them motivated," he said. "I will be working out at the gym and see someone on the treadmill that's alone and looking tired. And I'll go up to them and say hello and start running next to them. I think it helps them to have someone to work out with," he said.

Castillo acknowledges that he is very privileged to have the ability to have the access to work out at the fitness center for free and that so many friends and family helped him along the way.

"To all my close friends, you know who you are. Thank you to everyone that kept me motivated on going to the gym. It really helped me to lose all that weight. So thank you again I love you guys," he said.

And his advice to everyone wanting to lose weight and be fit is simple.

"Always finish a mile no matter how long it takes. Even if you have to walk the entire mile, the most important thing to do is finish," Castillo said.

Castillo's next goal is to work on toning and definition and to compete in a body building competition in September.

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