How many posts, articles and programs point out “abs are made in the kitchen”, “you can’t outwork a bad diet”, “it’s 80% diet, 20% training”, on and on.  You get the idea!

So what came first – eating right or working out?  Any diet or training program will work, but, for how long?  The one that works the best is the one you will stick too and that matches your goals.

But, do you really need an elaborate training program with crazy programming for success?  Yes you do, as a trainer you need to work with me!  Okay, not really, but there is a lot to gain in working with a trainer.

And I will say incredible changes will occur with eating changes alone.  You will gain 100% of the benefits from eating right and 100% of the benefits from training.

This interview is about how a husband and wife came to me for training and tore it up; and made incredible changes in strength, flexibility and endurance.  And the knowledge they took away is something they can use the rest of their life.  But, they made mind-blowing body composition changes with dietary changes alone before they ever pursued training.

So we will call them Yolanda and Carl – since that is their names.  And they will now share their journey to change in regards to their eating alone!  They  were not just clients of mine, they are my friends!!!!!


Please tell us about where you were at physically at the time you made the change, and a bit of your history leading up to the moment of change.

Yolanda: I was a mess physically.  My weight had yo-yoed for about 30 years due to fad diets and other crazy things I did to my body.  I was 250 lbs at my highest weight in 2015.  Since I’m only 5’1”, it was just not a good thing and I felt terrible.  I couldn’t walk even short distances without huffing and puffing.  I hated going to the doctor because she would scold me about my weight.  She actually said she would fire me as a patient if I didn’t do something about it.

Carl: I played golf once a week and walked the dogs daily, but had no other routine. We tried P90 a couple of times but it was too difficult. I felt weak and had no stamina.

So what prompted this final and last attempt to change your health?

Yolanda: For the past 10 years I literally ran away from the camera.  When I would walk into buildings with glass doors, I would walk dead center just so I wouldn’t see my reflection.  In March 2015, I took a trip to Vegas and went to the Olivia Newton-John concert with a friend.  He had purchased VIP tickets and informed me that we would be taking pictures with her after the concert.  I tried hard to avoid it, but finally conceded.  When we received our pictures a few minutes later, my friend raved about how good we looked.  I took one look at the pictures and was appalled and disgusted!  My first words were, “IS THAT WHAT I LOOK LIKE?!”  I was so freaked out about the whole thing that I decided right then and there that I needed to change

Carl: I lost 100 lbs. and was feeling week, I wanted to gain strength to improve my golf and overall health.

So, what was the exact change you implemented that put you on your current path?  Give us the nuts and bolts about your dietary change.

Yolanda: I made the hard decision to seriously look into weight loss surgery.  My friend went through it in 2014 and was doing great.  From my hotel room in Vegas, I called the bariatric clinic covered by my insurance carrier and signed up for a seminar.  The seminar was very informational and the surgeon seemed amazing that I decided to pursue gastric sleeve surgery.  A month later, I had my first appointment with my surgeon and with the dietician.  The doctor told me I had to lose 10% of my current body weight (25 lbs), complete my dietary appointments, attend support sessions, and meet other program requirements before he would consider me for surgery.  He and the dietician made it simple:  Eat clean, have lots of “big ass” salads, drink lots of water, and stop eating processed food!  The doctor gave me 3 rules to live by:  1) lean protein first (mostly fish and seafood), 2) fill your pouch with the most nutritious food possible most of the time, and 3) eat all the FRESH vegetables you want, whenever you want.  After the appointment, my husband and I went home, cleaned out our pantry and fridge, went shopping for lean protein and fresh fruit and veggies, and NEVER looked back!

Carl: I was eligible for gastric sleeve surgery, but I had lost so much weight that the doctor didn’t think I needed it anymore. I eliminated processed foods from my diet, eating fruits and vegetables, and eating fish as my primary source of protein. We start each day with a protein powder smoothie, then I eat a large salad for lunch, then dinner is a fish fillet with veggies and some quinoa or rice.

Please share how dramatic the results were related to the changes and details (how long to get to a certain weight, etc.).

Yolanda: It was amazing.  By following a new “clean” diet and walking at least a mile a day, the weight steadily started coming off!  From April 23, 2015 – October 5, 2015 (the date of my surgery), I didn’t lose 25 lbs – I lost 54 lbs!  I went from wearing size 2x and 3x to a size 14!  People would often say, “You’re doing so well on your own.  Do you even need the surgery?”  My answer was always, “YES!  Do you know how many times I’ve lost a lot of weight only to fall into bad habits and gain back even more?!”  Don’t get me wrong, weight loss surgery is not a magic bullet – people have been known to stretch it out, but it’s REALLY hard to do – it flippin’ HURTS if I have one bite too much!  As I write this, I realize it’s almost exactly one year since I started the journey!  I have lost an additional 39 lbs since my surgery date in October and am now wearing size 6 jeans!  Best decision EVER!

Yolanda Miles

Carl: It took me four years to get from 292 lbs. to 253 lbs. It took me from Apr 23, 2015 to Nov.24, 2015 to reach 175 lbs.

Carl Miles

After reaching success, what additional changes did you make to create even better changes?

Yolanda: A few months after the surgery, I realized that walking was just not enough in regard to physical activity.  I reached out to a former co-worker, James DeLara, who I knew was a personal trainer.  He told me about the ABQ Ninja Park so I signed up with him for personal  training.  I opted for personal training because of my years of inactivity.  I needed to learn the basics including correct form.  I trained with James for @ 3 months and it was the best investment EVER, next to my surgery of course.  James challenged me with each session and introduced me to things I would have never attempted on my own.  I’ll never forget when I did my first “bear crawl” – I collapsed mid-lap.  During my last personal training session, I was able to complete those darn “bear crawl” laps without a problem!  I attribute my continued weight loss success to James – he pushed me to the next level.  I now continue to work out on my own at least 4 times a week.  James took me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to realize that I CAN DO THIS!

Carl: We started training with a personal trainer.

Based on what you went through over all the years and recently, what advice would you have for someone ready to start their own journey?

Yolanda: My advice to someone ready to start their weight loss and fitness journey is to GO FOR IT!  Don’t be afraid to try new things!  The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that all those processed foods that I thought were delicious (pizza, burgers, candy bars, etc.) were killing me – inside and out!  Don’t get me wrong, I still have cravings and sometimes indulge in a few bites of something, but guess what?  It never tastes as good as I remember or envision – eating clean really makes you appreciate and realize that fresh is best!

Carl: Focus on nutrition, eat food that are high in fiber, and eat lean protein. Also try to drink lots of water.

Anything else you want to add?

Yolanda: If I can do this, anyone can!

Carl: Training really improved my flexibility and stamina; I can now sustain the P90 workout without having to take a break.

Thank you both for sharing your stories, pictures and time with me and everyone else!


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