Rovie

While it may not seem like a challenge for most, fitting in proper nutrition and the gym into your daily routine can be extremely hard. Such was the case for 25-year-old Phillipines native Rovie Flores. Despite shaking his reputation for being a "fat kid" during his high school career, the rigors of working at a fast food restaurant eventually led to his unhealthy habits coming back to haunt.

"Working out was always last on my list of things to do. Even though I had a gym membership, I didn't bother going due to lack of self-motivation and the food I ate made me feel weak and lazy" states Rovie, who now resides in San Francisco, California. "It felt very comfortable living in a sedentary lifestyle until I realized that I was 280 lbs and completely did not take care of my body."

The change may have been hard at first, but Rovie pushed aside the roadblocks to weight loss and created a body that he once thought was unachievable. Thanks to having his 6 Pack Bag by his side and developing a plan for both the kitchen and the gym, he is once again happy with his physical appearance. Now, the 2012 San Francisco State University graduate in Public Health is working to pass on any help to others in need of weight loss guidance. Check out our chat with Rovie and find out his suggestions for developing the rock solid body you've always wanted.

What was your life like before you started your transformation?

Throughout my life, I have always been a “fat kid." I was very happy when I lost weight during my sophomore and junior year in high school. I was running for my school on the cross-country team and was also part of the basketball team. My life changed when I entered senior year. I began working part-time at KFC and decided to hold off on joining the varsity basketball team, which was one of the biggest mistakes I've made in my life.

I started gaining weight because I had less time to exercise and did not pay attention to what I was eating. From 165 lbs, I quickly gained 25-30 lbs towards the end of senior year. Things got worse in college. I started a full-time job in the wireless industry and our store was located in the mall. After four years in college, I reached my peak weight, which was 280-285 lbs. Fitness and nutrition were my last priority at that time.

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What made you finally want to change your life?

One day, I was eating a bag of Doritos and watching my favorite show. My girlfriend stared at me and mentioned a joke about me being a super obese person and told me that sooner or later, I will become one. I was a little bit offended, but I knew that what she said was true and she was trying to help me get back to fit and healthy. I also did not like the fact that I was always sluggish and lazy to even hang out with my friends. I had low self-esteem and very low confidence, which forced me to not socialize. I also started feeling back and ankle pain due to excessive weight. My body was starting to give up.

Was there a goal that you wanted to achieve once you became fit again?

Initially, my goal was to be able to jog around Lake Merced without stopping. Lake Merced is one of the most popular running places in San Francisco, around five miles total. After two months of consistent working out and dieting, not only was I able to run it once, I successfully attempted to run the lake twice. I got really into running, so my friend recommended that I sign up for a half marathon. I signed up for the San Jose Rock ‘n' Roll marathon exactly three months before the event. I did a lot of training and took my diet up to the next level as I began preparing my meals. My first marathon was in 2010, and currently I have completed several full marathons, 20+ half marathons and recently completed my first 50k ultra marathon.

I feel very accomplished looking at what I can do now compared to my life before. I never imagined myself running a full marathon! I usually run one or two marathon events in a month to keep myself busy and active.

Was there any overarching lesson you've learned about fitness since starting your journey?

I have learned a lot of things throughout my weight loss journey. Most importantly, I learned how our nutrition can greatly impact our weight, performance and how our body looks. Since so many people witnessed my weight loss, many of them have started looking up to me and ask for tips and advice on anything that relates to fitness or nutrition.

I also helped my girlfriend lose weight, she went from 170 lbs down to 115 lbs. Our lives have changed in a positive way ever since we got into fitness. I have successfully helped more than five other people reach their fitness goals. I always wanted to be a fitness coach and give back to the community, so my workout crew decided to host a weekly boot camp workout at a local park in Pacifica, CA. We host group workouts where we run, hike, and incorporate cross-training, free of charge.

It's very rewarding to hear back from our friends and find out how much we're helping them by teaching simple workout routines that they can incorporate in their daily routine.

In Part 2 of this Fitness Feature, Rovie discusses how he managed to alter his eating habits, as well as talking about his meal prep efforts and his motivation to continue living a healthy life. Stay tuned for more Rovie!