At the start of Ruben's fitness journey, he had trouble maintaining healthy habits because he didn't have a strong support system. "I struggled for about a year because no one wanted to work out with me," he professed. As a freelance graphic designer who works from home, Ruben spent up to ten consecutive hours sitting in front of a computer each day. "I lived off snacks, soda, and quick fast-food meals," he remembered. "The only exercise I would get was walking to the refrigerator." Starting out at over 400 pounds, Ruben decided to give Lapband surgery a shot. "The first year after surgery, I lost over 100 pounds," he recalled. "I lost 50 in the second year, and 25 in the third year...I got down to 282 pounds. It was the smallest I had ever been since high school." But because Ruben had trouble committing to healthy eating and exercise habits, he slowly gained back 100 pounds and fell into depression. "Life got really dark, lonely, and full of shame," he shared. "Everyone knew that I had 'weight loss surgery', but I was gaining weight. People commented that I was getting fat again, and it would bring me to tears in private." After seeking professional help and after teaming up with a wellness coach, Ruben was finally able to maintain a lifestyle that kept the weight off for good.
The PumpUp community gave Ruben the support system that he needed. "I had moments when I wanted to give up, and PumpUp has encouraged me to stay active," he insisted. "The creators of this app have created an environment that facilitates honesty. One of the reasons I love PumpUp is because it’s a constant reminder that we need to eat and stay active. It has become a normal part of my morning routine to support friends on their journey and to remember my goals. This lifestyle is an everyday battle for me; with food options, exercise, drinking water, etc. Anything that helps me stay focused works!"
Through PumpUp, Ruben was even encouraged to try new things. "A PumpUp friend @becpeachy is always posting about her yoga experience, so I signed up for a few hot yoga classes," he exclaimed. "PumpUp allows me to connect with amazing people who motivate me to reach my goal. PumpUp isn’t just an app. It's a lifestyle. I’ve recently noticed that as I cheer more people on, I get excited when people reach their goals and I love seeing people stay active. While on PumpUp, I have lost about 48 pounds, I have made friendships with some amazing people."
Ruben's Best Advice
"One of the biggest reasons people don’t maintain an active or healthy lifestyle is because we have NO support system around us. If you don’t have an active lifestyle it’s okay. Surround yourself with people who DO. Find people who have reached your “dream” goal/body, ask questions, get advise ... You can reach your goal but you have to start believing in yourself."
Ruben's Biggest Source of Motivation
"There are tons of people who have motivated me at different times of my life, but the one person who has always loved me, cheered for me, and celebrated every milestone is my sister. She knew what to say at the right time. Her love empowered me to stay strong in moments of weakness and to keep going."
Ruben's Favorite Exercise
"Cycling has changed my life. I don't like the gym, nor do I like p90x-style workouts, running, etc. I tell people to find something YOU like doing and be the best at it."
More about Ruben"
I love riding my Harley Davidson around - I feel like I should be in “sons of anarchy” and I’m addicted to buffalo wings!"
Keep Ruben pumped! Find him on PumpUp @rubengarciajr and leave positive comments for him down below!