It was supposed to be just an innocent thing, a fondness for fast food and soda, but somehow the innocently occasional indulgence turned into a habit, specifically a habit that slowly got out of hand and had very serious implications.
As a young teenager, Jonatan Aguilar-Aranda, 22, from Greeley, CO loved soda, fast food, and the fried foods his family often prepared, but he also hated any kind of physical activity and always found a way out of participating in spite of the efforts of his family, teachers, and doctors to get him involved. The combination led to a terrifying experience when in 2014, at the age of 20, topping the scale at 303 pounds, he found himself suffering from excruciating stomach pains.
His family rushed him to the emergency room where doctors ran a number of tests and ultimately realized this young man had a tumor very near his liver and they would not know if it was cancer or not until they performed the necessary surgery to figure it out. Life got suddenly very real.
Serious Wake Up Call
Later that very same day, Jonatan remembers waking up to a team of doctors surrounding him to deliver the life-changing news. The tumor was cancerous and it had invaded the liver. The doctors removed part of his liver with the tumor and although the liver was the only human organ that could re-grow, the doctors warned him if he didn’t make major life changes, the cancer could return and the next time he might not be so lucky. They were very direct and told him if he didn’t change his lifestyle he would not live past 35. This was a very serious wake up call for Jonatan.
Jonatan underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments to treat the cancer, but still he refused to make the major changes the doctors wanted him to make. He was still in denial – and denial is a very powerful thing.
Months later the stomach pains returned and Jonatan once again found himself in the emergency room with a team of doctors trying to explain to him the importance of making lifestyle changes.
Seeds of Change Take Root
Finally the seeds of change were planted and slowly started to grow. The doctor encouraged him to join a weight-loss contest, which he ended up winning. The prize was a free membership to Work Out West.
Jonatan loved to dance, so the first thing he did at the gym was attend Zumba classes. Soon, he met personal trainer Jeremy Gregory Pipes and finally took ownership of his issues. Jeremy believed in Jonatan and helped him learn to work out properly and referred him to Erin and Ron Worley at Max Muscle Greeley.
At first Jonatan was just looking for a good protein and pre workout, but the relationship soon became much more. Jonatan said, “Erin became my go-to source of nutrition and supplement information, she also became my supporter and Max Muscle Greeley became family to me!”
Lean and Fit and Cancer Free
Perseverance and a lot of hard work have produced undeniable results. On the day of his surgery, 6 foot 1 inch Jonatan topped the scale at 303 pounds and today he weighs 160 pounds. He went from a size 48-50 in pants to a 28-30 and he is now 8 percent body fat!
After a recent visit to the doctor for a check up in March, he was told the lifestyle changes he made had a huge impact on his health. Today, he is 143 pounds lighter, is cancer free, no longer has high blood pressure, and he is very healthy. Jonatan said, “When I started training, I couldn’t even run one lap. Now I feel light and I feel like I could run a marathon.” He used to be able to do one song in a Zumba class and now he is a certified Zumba instructor.
“Now I am really open to [trying new] activities,” Jonatan said, adding that he loves working out with his trainer, too. “Seven times a week I go for one hour and work out with Jeremy. He pushes me; he believes in me.”
Jonatan has a whole new body and a totally different outlook on life after the huge progress he has made over the past 7 months of his transformation. He is planning on becoming a certified personal trainer so that he can help others who need to make major lifestyle changes!
“I would tell someone who was in my position when I started do not give up and get discouraged, you are always going to have people tell you that you can’t do it, keep on going with it,” Jonatan said. “It’s not an easy road but it sure gets easier once you get into it and become passionate about it.”
JONATAN’S FAVORITE MAX MUSCLE PRODUCTS:
Triple Whey Protein
Emerge Key Lime
Cleanse & Lean
JONATAN’S SAMPLE NUTRITION PLAN
Wake Up: Drink a protein shake
Breakfast: Egg white omelette with Ms. Dash and veggies
Snack: Quest Bar
Lunch: Grilled chicken, ground turkey or tilapia, brown rice with seasonings, and a cup of veggies
Snack: protein pudding (cup of oats, ½ cup water, ½ scoop of whey protein, 2 Tbs PB2, ¼ cup trail mixed in a blender)
Dinner: Grilled chicken, ground turkey, or tilapia, brown rice with seasonings, and a cup of veggies