From FAT to FIT again – Transformation Challenge

YES, I did it and I achieved my goal. In just 12 weeks of this weight loss challenge, (January 4th-March 29th  2015) I lost 10.3 kg (23 lbs) of unwanted weight and I trimmed my waist circumference with 14 centimeters (5.5 inches)

In fact those are my results week by week:

Date Section Weight Waist
January 4, 2015 Start Weight 92 kg       (202 lbs) 106 cm
January 11, 2015 Week 1 86 kg       (189 lbs) 98 cm
January 18, 2015 Week 2 85.3 kg     (188lbs) 97 cm
January 25, 2015 Week 3 85 kg         (187 lbs) 97 cm
February 1, 2015 Week 4 84 kg         (185 lbs) 96 cm
February 8, 2015 Week 5 83.5 kg     (184 lbs) 95 cm
February 15, 2015 Week 6 83.5 kg     (184 lbs) 95 cm
February 22, 2015 Week 7 83.5 kg   (184 lbs) 95 cm
March 1, 2015 Week 8 83.5 kg   (184 lbs) 95 cm
March 8, 2015 Week 9 83 kg       (182.5 lbs) 94 cm
March 15, 2015 Week 10 83 kg       (182.5 lbs) 94 cm
March 22, 2015 Week 11 82.4 kg   (181 lbs) 93 cm
March 29, 2015 Week 12 81.7 kg   (180 lbs) 92 cm


RESET March 29 2015

Why I decided to do this challenge?

On my previous blog from January 2015, entitled ‘From Fit to Fat – My Transformation Challenge’  I wrote how stress, medication for pain and nervous tension, affected my life, my health and my physical fitness. And as a result of those stressors, my blood sugars elevated, my blood pressure rose to unhealthy readings of over 140/90, my weight gain move up from 84 kg to 92 kg in only few months, and my waist measurement increased to 106 centimeters (42 inches). This constellation of symptoms made me a candidate for developing a pre-diabetic state known as Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X.

Having personal experiences and knowing that Usana Health Sciences is a True Health Company with clinical studies in Reversing of Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, I decided to restore my health and lose some unwanted pounds by participating into their Usana Reset Nation weight Loss Challenge and follow their protocol. See some clinical trials at the end of this blog.

And I have to admit that even with my knowledge in functional fitness and holistic nutrition, achieving this ambition and losing 10 kg, was not an easy task without exercising.

Yes, due to some re-occurring back pain and muscular stiffness (as a result of a car accident in 2009) I was not able to exercise during the first 8 weeks of my challenge, yet I was able to lose 7 kg of my weight just by changing my nutritional habits, as recommended in the USANA’s RESET™ Nation Challenge.

But when 4 weeks ago I also started to workout using a combination of moderate intensity weight training and functional bodyweight exercise program I personally designed for my recovery, I was able to achieve my goal and to lose an additional 3.3 kg.

RESET March 29 2015 -2

Why I set my goal to lose 10 kg?

And if someone might ask why my goal was to lose 10 kg and not six, eight or 15kg, I can surely affirm that before 2009, this was my ideal weight as a fitness professional and martial arts athlete. This was the weight that in the years 2005-2009, kept me extremely active, strong and in great physical condition despite my age of 47 (in 2009).

But what motivates me to participate into this challenge NOW was mostly a combination of many personal choices.

  1. First, I needed to restore my health which in the last year started to decline at a considerable speed and I wanted to win the big prize: The Usana Health Sciences all inclusive trip to Sanoviv Medical Institute (May 2nd-May 7th 2015)
  2. On the same time, I wanted to prove again and again that Usana Health Sciences is a True Health Company. In the past, as a Registered Holistic and Sport Nutrition Consultant in Canada, I was able to help many friends, athletes and other clients to improve their wellbeing using a combination of healthy nutrition, regular physical exercises and the use of Usana Health Sciences nutritional supplements.
  3. My next reason to win this challenge was to raise awareness to my fellow Romanian friends and compatriots, and to point out that Usana Health Sciences is indeed the True Health Company.

Once one of the top karate athletes in Romania (and than in Italy) I grew up as an eyewitness to the effects of malnutrition in many orphan children in Romania. And at that time I was unable to help at all. But in 2002, thanks to Children’s Hunger Fund (a Charitable Organization) and its long-time partner Usana Health Sciences, I have heard how they restore health to thousands of Romanian orphans for many years. This is why in 2012 I decided to ‘return the favor’ and to compete (at the age of 50) in the 2012 Karate BC Provincial Championships to raise funds for Usana True Health Foundation and Children Hunger Fund to be exclusively used for children in desperate need of food and medicine. For me as a USANA Associate, giving to Children’s Hunger Fund was more than a donation — it was a fight. And I would like to thank Usana and their True Health Foundation for recognizing me as one of their “Champion”. In fact in 2013, the management of Usana Health Sciences and True Health Foundation invited me in Salt Lake City to present to me the ‘Champion for Change Award’

4. And NOW the year of 2015, become my time to restore my health and bring back my well being. And thanks to Usana Reset Nation Challenge, I am on my way to get healthier and better physically, emotionally and financially.

And to conclude I would like to tell everyone:


More information about Usana Clinical Studies on Reversal of Metabolic Syndrome:

From Fit to Fat – My Transformation Challenge

Many friends call me Mario-Fit.

But I have to admit that I am Fat. I am not kidding. Many of my friends are still following my nutritional advises and fitness tips to get healthy and in better shape, because I am qualified as a Fitness Instructor and Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant – expert on cellular nutrition. But in the last few years, too much pressure in resolving unexpected problems, which were out of my control, and too much medication for pain and stress, affected my life, my health and my physical fitness.

IMG_5496  IMG_5497IMG_5521

As a result my blood pressure rose to unhealthy readings of over 140/90 and recently I gained much weight that now I am 10 kg (22 lbs) extra-flabby. My waist measurement is now 106 centimeters (42 inches) and my height is still 1.77 cm (5’8’’). Considering the Body Mass Index (BMO) ratio weight to height, I am 29% chubby. This number, place me on the category of an extremely overweight person (30% is the starting limit of obesity).

And I refuse to accept this realty. I must do something. But what can I do? Problems are still unresolved and stress is still part of my daily life.

From trying to manage my re-occurring pain, and dealing with an ICBC claim (a car accident that occur in 2009) to many other frustration and disappointments related to my business loss and my personal relationship with my family and friends, indeed affected much my health and wellbeing. IMG_5614

Only in the last few months, because of accumulated nervous tension, and taking many prescription medications for pain and stress, I was diagnosed with a major digestive problem which affected also the absorption of nutrients. This medical condition is on top of my stress-related muscle tension (myofacial pain syndrome) I was diagnosed earlier, after the 2009 car accident.

Recently, I have had a reoccurring sudden pain to my lower back and to my cervical area, and much frustration on my ability to be functionally fit the way I want it to be, created even more disappointments and tension. It is like a circle of destruction.

IMG_5441No matter that my 2014 winter ‘Happy Holidays’ were not so happy for me. I also spent some time on the St. Paul Emergency room with a sharp pain starting from the neck and down to my lower back. And guess what? I just tried to put my socks and my shoes onto my feet, preparing to go to work. What a nasty day December 29, 2014. I got intravenous injections with Fentanyl, a potent, synthetic opioid pain medication. It works a little, but not the best. And after few hours I get two more shorts of Morphine and Ketorolac, that makes me able to walk with the feeling that I am already  “in paradise”.

For sure those medications, will sooner or later affect my liver as well. I must do something.

In the past trigger point injections (prolotherapy) relaxation techniques and anti-inflammatory nutrients such omega 3 fish oil and glucosamine with turmeric extract also help, but just for a period of time.

What to do?

Well I already booked my prolotherapy session and I just decided to start the USANA Health Science – Reset Nation Challenge.  This 12-week “regain your health” – weight-loss challenge—running January 5–March 29—rewards winners with an exclusive trip to Sanoviv Medical Institute in Rosarito Mexico, which utilize cutting-edge “Functional Medicine” and detoxification using alternative and integrative programs to help maintain a good health and to treat a wide range of diseases. And I really need a vacation in a luxurious setting, for a full detoxification, healthy nutrition, and functional medicine treatments that might restore my health.

Why Your Weight Loss Program Might Not Work?

shutterstock_77234152[1]Are You Ready to Lose Weight? Are you on a diet right now? Be aware that you might not be successful unless you are in a positive mood to do so. If you are like me, and you are in a lot of stress, at work and at home, you might not be able to complete your weight loss diet. Mark my words. I know what I am talking right now.

Recently I decided for the first time in a decade to lose my unwanted weight. Yes, in the last four month I gained about 7 pounds (3 kg) of fat in my belly, and this is bothering me. I know that my abdominal adiposity might be linked to a pre-diabetic state called the Metabolic Syndrome.

perfectstorm[1]Metabolic syndrome is a pre-diabetic state that involves multiple symptoms including central obesity, insulin resistance, elevated blood lipids, elevated blood glucose, and high blood pressure.  And I know that in 2005, USANA Health Sciences designed a program that in 12 weeks, many pre-diabetic people restored their health. Their scientific trials were repeated in 2008/2009 at a larger scale, by a third-party clinical study completed at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). The results that were published in the 2009 Journal of Obesity, confirmed that a lifestyle change, involving a low glycemic diet, multivitamin/antioxidants supplementation and exercise, can improve the metabolic syndrome.Here are the results:

  • Subjects in the UCD study lost an average of 12 pounds over the 12-week program. Even more dramatic, however, were the significant improvements in measures of glycemic control, cardiovascular health, inflammation and antioxidant status.
  • On average, study participants who completed the study (n=53) achieved the following transformations of measures of glycemic control:
  • Fasting insulin was reduced by 32 percent
  • Insulin levels during an oral glucose tolerance test at 120 min decreased by 44 percent
  • Insulin resistance as measured by the HOMA index decreased by 32 percent
  • There also were notable changes in the subjects’ measures of cardiovascular health:
  • Systolic blood pressure declined 6 percent
  • Diastolic blood pressure dropped 8 percent
  • Total cholesterol dropped 5 percent
  • Fasting triglyceride levels dropped 16 percent
  • Markers of inflammation and antioxidant status were also considerably improved:
  • Plasma Antioxidant Reserve (PAR) increased 20 percent
  • Urinary Isoprostanes, a marker of lipid peroxidation due to oxidative stress, decreased 29 percent
  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, dropped 27 percent
  • Vitamin E alpha levels increased by 30 percent

All of these changes are consistent with improvements to markers of Metabolic Syndrome and with significant improvements in cardiovascular and metabolic health.

And as a New YEAR Resolution, I was willing to participate in their RESET Challenge 12 week program, starting today Monday January 6, 2014.

usana_reset_nutrimeal_banner[1]But I decided not to. At the moment I live in a lot of stress that might interfere with my goal to lose at least 10 pounds, in the next 2 month, eventually to return back to compete in martial arts. And here are some facts I must deal with this week:

  • I am dealing with a motor vehicle insurance claim, that 4 years ago let me with some physical incapacity. I am stiff and I lost almost all my flexibility.
  • I am coaching Joshua Hensman to get best results and a medal at the 2014 Karate Canada National Championship (January 17-19)
  • I am studying to get certified as a Karate National Coach for Competition (Jan 11-12) and be able to instruct Josh and other BC Karate Athletes at the Nationals.
  • I am in a process of redesigning our Youth Empowered Self Defense (Y.E.S. Defense) program to be soon implemented in schools.
  • I need to deal with my last year taxation as soon as possible, otherwise I might get penalized.
  • I teach some free karate instructional drills for kids and youth to implement a sport specific program at a community centre.
  • Kids’ school, (they started today) and other related family issues, Etc. Etc. Etc. And all these things must be completed this week.

And with all this busy lifestyle, I am craving for my morning coffee and for my glass of red wine in the evening.

Going on the diet? NEXT WEEK. I promise. And if you want to join with me, just reply back and I will tell you all you need to know about losing weight the right way.

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