When he was a teenager, Alex Rubalcada struggled with his weight, and found himself frequently labeled the “funny fat guy.” In a recent episode of Truly’s Brand New Me series, Alex explains how the combination of a junk food-heavy diet and an inactive lifestyle led to him gaining weight—until a wakeup call changed everything.
“It was always gaming, and eating, and not doing any exercise,” he says. “As soon as I got home, I’d play games, eat food, and just not worry about anything. The hardest part was breaking chairs. I don’t remember how many chairs I’ve broken.”
Alex’s grandmother was a huge part of his life, and he explains that food was one of the major ways she expressed her love. But when she died, he knew things couldn’t continue as they had. “My grandmother passed away due to Type 2 diabetes, and I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic,” he says. “I was afraid that I was going to pass away like she did, and I didn’t want that. I wanted to change my life.”
“The first thing I did was dump all the junk food, and I started going to the park and walking. Just 30 minutes every day,” he continues. “Just standing was hurting my hips and knees, so walking was an actual workout for me. I was like, ‘if I can lose 30 pounds in 3 months, just by walking, I’m going to continue this. From there, I remember thinking ‘hey, I lost 30 pounds and I’m not pre-diabetic any more. I want to see how far I can go with this.'”
After a year of walking every single day, Alex built up the courage to join the gym and start complementing his cardio by working out with weights. “I had to learn how to just not be afraid of being in the gym, and not worry what people think of me,” he says.
At his heaviest, Alex weighed 412 pounds. To date, he has lost a total of 203 pounds. However, he then found he had a new issue to contend with: the excess skin from such a drastic weight loss.
“In the beginning I hated the excess skin. I hated the way the skin made me feel,” he says. Originally, he planned to have it removed via operation, then changed his mind, and instead decided to do a “skin reveal” on his social media. “It was terrifying,” he says. “I was trying to show what happens when you’re in the middle of the spectrum of weight loss… I got so much positive feedback.”
“I decided to postpone the surgery, because I knew if I got the surgery done, I still wouldn’t be happy,” he says. “The way I feel about my body right now, I’m actually comfortable with it. And that shows a lot, how much I’ve worked with myself on that. I’m proud of myself.”
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