Every month, we share some of the inspiring fitness transformation accounts told by the awesomely dedicated fans featured in our Transformations Series
. From overcoming physical adversity to mental adversity, our fans do it all – and emerge on the other side, even better than ever before. Today we meet Rafael Ramos Jr., a man who transformed himself into an organic-eating, fitness freak!
Rafael's fitness journey bears a very blunt beginning: on January 2nd
of last year, he was diagnosed with stage IV male breast cancer. That same day, he stepped on the scale and discovered that he weighed 394 pounds. Rafael is currently studying for his master's degree in holistic nutrition, and had already previously studied health and nutrition for the past seven years. But, in his words, he never practiced what he preached, so the cancer diagnosis left him absolutely enraged with himself.
"I immediately cut off my entire [old] way of eating," Rafael explained. His first foray into a meal management system was the Expedition 300
; thus began his nutritional transformation. He has successfully lost over 145 pounds, thanks to his new habits of healthy eating and extreme fitness. His diet currently consists of all-organic green vegetables, carrots, beets, reishi mushrooms, ginger, and sweet potatoes. He also consumes probiotics daily, but he has not yet begun a macro program. His training revolves around a hypertrophy specific program four days a week, with three rounds of boxing/sparring twice a week.
When it comes to the biggest inspiration behind his fitness transformation, the answer comes easily to Rafael: his children. They are also the reason he's fighting the cancer with all the strength he has. The huge support he has received (and is still receiving) from the fitness and health community is also incredibly important to him.
One of the most poignant elements of Rafael's fitness transformation was his participation in the Savage Race Ohio 2014. The Savage Race consists of a course that includes 25 obstacles; it was his first race, and the toughest challenge Rafael had faced yet! He took part in the race while weighing 284 pounds, and completing it was truly an emotional accomplishment.
"Thanks to 6 Pack Fitness, my meal prep, fitness, and travel needs are met all in one!"
6 Pack has been a huge help to Rafael from the very beginning. His mother gave him the gift of a gym backpack: specifically, the Expedition 300. "[We] were inseparable," Rafael explained, until he needed more space and purchased the Expedition 500
. In an awful twist of fate, however, the new Expedition was stolen out of his vehicle; for his next bag, he hopes to upgrade to the Voyager 500
When he's not studying for his master's, Rafael can be found lifting, meal prepping, and tattooing. He is also a certified Phase 2 Level 2 Advanced Close-Quarter Defense Tactics and Jeet Kune Do instructor and singer. Wow! Is there anything Rafael can't do?!
Apparently not, as in his own words, "I am far from done! I would love to be a beacon of hope, determination, motivation, self-preservation, and health to all of those out there that have had, may have, will have, or are currently fighting breast cancer. [I want to show] them that, with 6 Pack Fitness, their fitness and health goals are within reach!"
"Don't ever let your illness define you, for you shall define your illness!"
Rafael hopes to eventually become a motivational speaker on the adverse effects of improper nutrition while battling illnesses, as well as begin or become involved with an organic nutritional supplement company.
We couldn't be more thrilled to have played such an important role in Rafael's fitness transformation, and we're cheering him on every step of the way! The kind of determination and drive shown by Rafael is something special, and we're confident that he will continue to overcome life's challenges to become even fitter than ever before.