Alex Salinas isn’t somebody you would immediately notice. That’s no slight against him, as Alex is – for all intents and purposes – your average male. He does have this approachable, maybe even “inspirational” confidence that makes others gravitate towards him, but you wouldn’t notice any of that without talking to him. He’s average height. Average build. Has an average hair cut. Wears average clothes. All this, on a body that looks just about average.
But Alex will be the first to tell you how life-changing his “average” is.
“I was on a path of self-destruction. I was killing myself” reveals Alex during our conversation. “I was told [by a doctor] that I was on the fast track to an early grave.” Alex is talking about his life suffering from obesity. Maybe it’s unfair to call it his life, because this Alex, the man in front of me, is not that guy. Fighting his demon, Alex has changed into a whole new person with a whole new outlook on life. The former Alex is gone, replaced by someone leaner, meaner, with a fire in his eyes and a new found passion for a longer, healthier life. Though he may look “average” now, his journey to this point has been anything but. Through sweat, tears, and emotional heartache, Alex has fought tenaciously over the last two years to lose a whopping 139 pounds.
“That’s equal to a whole person!” we joke.
Alex has no problem in saying he did this for himself, but he also has no problem in helping others in doing it for themselves. He has reached out to many to share his success story, and at the very least spread an encouraging word or two. Valiantly, he picks people up when they fall, and he backs people up when they falter. With this New Year we’ve begun, many are starting their own quests to losing weight and getting their lives back. And Alex Salinas is waiting, with open arms, to help them get there. It is for this reason that Alex Salinas is our January 2012 This Houston Life.
Because this “average” Houstonian has proven to be unbelievably above average.
MHL: Seeing your “Before & After” pictures, the transformation you’ve undergone has been remarkable! Since the beginning of your new, healthy lifestyle, how much weight have you lost and how long have you been at it?
Alex Salinas: When I started working out, I was 350 lbs. I have lost about 140 lbs since I started in June 2008.
MHL: Weight loss is one of those things that everybody wants to do, but very few actually work for it. What first motivated you to start this journey?
AS: Like many, I stay extremely busy. Life has a way of “getting in the way” sometimes. Unfortunatly, for me, I was working so much that I never worked out. On average, I was working close to 65 – 70 hours a week. When I ate, it was sitting behind a computer (as a working lunch) to get the job done. So, I ate fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I gained all the weight over the course of 7 years. Finally, in April 2008, I was admitted to the hospital for what I thought was a heart attack. After being kept overnight and test being run, the doctor came in to tell me that it was not a heart attack. It was a severe case of “Acid Reflux”. He then went on to ask what my food intake was the day before and when I told him he replied “you are on a fast track to an early grave!”. Later that summer, my grandfather had a stroke and we all rushed to be by his side in McAllen. Family members that had not seen me in years made comments like “What on Earth happened to you?!”, “Why did you let yourself get this big?!” and “You’re unrecogizable!”
To some, the comments from my family may seem “harsh” but it was exactly what I needed to start my journey to live healthier.
MHL: Going through those events with your family obviously left a profound impact on you, and you’ve managed to “pass the hump” so to say. Now that you have achieved this great success, what keeps you going? What are your current motivators?
AS: At first, I was on a “I’m gonna show them mission”. As time went by, I started seeing the results. My transformation over the years and the positive comments fueled me to want to work harder. After a while, I wasn’t doing it to prove anything to anyone. I was doing it for me. I didn’t want to be ashamed when I looked in the mirror. I didn’t want to be out of breath when I walked up a few steps. I didnt want to be the one who never went out with his friends cause he was ashamed of what he had become.
The amazing support I get from my sisters Amanda and Ashley are what motivate me. I used to always say “I’m gonna look like one of those guys on the fitness magazines” and now, I know it’s gonna happen!
MHL: Five years ago, Houston was given the notorious distinction of being the “Fattest City In America”. Since that time, Houston has never left the top ten. How do you manage to maintain your course in a city so known for its size?
AS: Houston is an amazing city and I am proud to call it home. It isn’t the city that does it to you. It’s all about the day to day choices you make. Do you get the “coke” with your lunch, or drink “water”? My sister lives in an amazing neighborhood that has a great park for kids and jogging trail called the “Green Belt”. We go for a 3.25 mile jog on it when we have rest days from out daily workouts. Someone once told me as I was about to eat an unhealthly meal “Pleasure on your lips, lifetime on your hips!” It’s so true!
MHL: You can’t stay home and just do your workouts all day. With your active lifestyle, what places do you like to visit around town to eat or socialize while still watching your weight?
AS: It wasn’t until a few months ago that I finally started going out with my friends and family. We love to go to the musuems, parks, the theater district and watch shows at TUTs (Theater Under The Stars). The Galleria and the Houston nightlife are amazing. There are so many different clubs in Houston – there is something out there for everyone! There are 2 resturants that I LOVE to go to; Nobi (in Friendswood) and District 7 (in Midtown). They have amazing food and the prices are unbeatable.
I also attend Grace Community Church with my family on Sundays and Wednesday Nights. I recently became a volunteer in the video and audio department for the church and I love it. God has worked in my life, I feel like this is a great way to give something back.
MHL: What advice do you have for the many people who put “Lose Weight” as their New Year’s Resolution going into 2012? How can someone looking to do what you’ve done contact you?
AS: Having the desire is great. That is the first step in the process. I’ve lost more weight with the BeachBody products than I did in the gym. Regardless of your fitness level, beachbody has something for you! Another great thing about Beachbody is having a BeachBody coach like me is free! Having a support team is important! I have a online facebook support group with over 100 members in it all doing a beachbody fitness DVD & Shakeology Drink! (10 Minute Trainer, P90X, Insanity, Insanity Asylum, P90X2, etc.)
So if you are ready to get started and change your life today, I am here to help! I can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Please look around my site, and if you have any questions, click the “Contact me” button.
Feel free to contact me by clicking on the link: http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/AlexSalinas?bctid=1881617656 . I can also be reached by phone, email, or Facebook chat (just add me as a friend): http://www.facebook.com/home.php3#!/BeachbodyCoachAlex
Alex Salinas / 832.877.7743 cell / firstname.lastname@example.org