The hardest part of making a big change is getting motivated. And when it comes to weight loss, it takes that one defining moment to provide the motivation to commit. In this month’s issue of MS&F, we are proud to celebrate four everyday people who have made extraordinary lifestyle changes to become healthier, lose weight and love themselves in the process!

Richard Guevara, 27
Residence: Burlingame, CA
Occupation: Genius at Apple, DJ, Fitness Enthusiast
MM Home Base: San Mateo
Favorite MM Products: Max LiquiCarn, Emerge, MaxPro Protein
MM Go-To Expert: Jason Mayol
Favorite Quote: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” –Steve Jobs

In 2011, Richard Guevara found himself at his heaviest weight of 260 pounds. Simple tasks such as tying his1393177280-Richard Guevara_After 2 shoelaces left him struggling and short of breath. With a family history of heart attack and stroke, Richard had to make changes in his life or possibly be faced with a shortened one. Not only did he commit himself to becoming healthier, but he wanted to be a good example for his loved ones. “I wanted to motivate my family and show them how to improve their quality of life by changing mine,” he says.

The road was far from easy. Thanks to his local Max Muscle store in San Mateo, CA, Richard received guidance on nutrition and exercise. He learned to make better food choices and how to prepare his own meals. Lean proteins such as chicken, ground turkey, bison and egg whites are staples in his meals along with a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, and “good” carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes and oatmeal. Richard’s exercise regimen is quick, simple and easy to follow. “I work out in the mornings starting with cardio for 20-45 minutes followed by weights for an hour,” he says.

Today, Richard’s hard work and dedication has paid off as he’s lost 82 pounds and weighs a healthy 178 pounds. “Losing the weight improved my life,” he says. “I feel more confident with a better outlook on life.” But, he admits that there are days when it’s hard to remain focused. “When I don’t feel like going to the gym or eating clean, I look back on how far I’ve come and the results I’ve achieved – that keeps me striving for more.”

For those who want to lose weight and become healthier, Richard has these words of advice: “Don’t be discouraged when you don’t see results right away – it takes time!”

Joseph Villegas, 32
Residence: Pacifica, CA
Occupation: Dispatcher
MM Home Base: San Mateo
Favorite MM Products: Max Liquicarn, Max Pro Protein, Max Pro BCAA
MM Go-To Expert: Jason Mayol
Favorite Quote: “Live, Learn, Train, Prove, Forget.” – Unknown

In 2010, Joseph Villegas was seated in his barber’s chair waiting for a haircut. “My barber could barely fit his neck guard around my neck,” he recalls. “To put it nicely, he told me that I needed to get in shape.” Those blunt words were a wake-up call for Joseph who weighed 323 pounds. “I realized that I had gotten too comfortable with myself and life, to the point where I wasn’t monitoring myself at all.”

Determined to get healthier, Joseph initially began his weight loss journey alone and was plagued with challenges stemming from his insecurities. “When I first started working out, I only went to the gym during off hours because I felt ashamed of myself and how I looked,” he says. But despite these issues, Joseph continued to push on.

He changed his eating habits and stayed away from pork, red meat, junk/fast food, soda, candy and alcohol. Cleaning up his diet and working out were great starts, but Joseph knew that he needed more help, so he enlisted the team at Max Muscle San Mateo. His friend Mark Bautista also helped him to devise a workout plan. As the weight came off, Joseph’s confidence rose. Today, through consistency and determination, he’s lost 78 pounds and is still at it. He enjoys living a healthier life and most importantly, is comfortable in his own skin.

Joseph, who lost his father to pancreatic cancer in 2006, says that he believes he is living a life his father would be proud of. “I am more accountable for myself, more disciplined, and constantly pushing myself to be better while staying humble,” he says. “I’ve surrounded myself with supportive people who are open and honest with me and I’ve learned to seek help when I need it, especially when setting goals.”

Teresa Gillette, 52
Residence: Salida, CA
Occupation: Respiratory Therapist / Drummer-Musician
MM Home Base: Modesto
Favorite MM Products: MaxPro Chocolate, Emerge, Gluta Matrix, Max CLA, Max LiquiCarn, Vit-Acell, Essential Omega, Java Red
MM Go-To Expert: Brian Sherwood
Favorite Quote: “If you want to achieve great things, you need to have a great dream.” – John C. Maxwell

When Teresa Gillette has a goal, there’s no stopping her! Respiratory therapist by day and drummer for three different bands at night, once she set her mind to get healthier, there was no turning back. “I wanted to be able to meet the physical demands of being a drummer and look good as a performer,” she says. However, at 321 pounds, she had her work cut out for her. And, working in the health field, Teresa knew that to lose weight and keep it off, she had to do it the right way.

Enter Brian Sherwood at Max Muscle in Modesto, CA. Not only did Brian help Teresa design a meal plan tailored to her personal tastes, body type and weight loss goals, but he also provided support and endless knowledge. “He’s been a valuable resource for my nutritional needs and weight-loss goals,” Teresa says. She also enlisted the help of personal trainer, Marquell Colston, who helped her to devise a program that showed results. “I eat five healthy meals a day consisting of lean meats, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. I also work out six days a week,” she adds. With Brian and Marquell by her side, Teresa has lost an amazing 133 pounds to date!

“Choosing to stay fit means that you have to change your lifestyle and not let yourself fall back into old destructive habits,” says Teresa. “Losing weight and living healthier has empowered me to accomplish anything I want to do.” Though she has 23 pounds left to lose to reach her goal, Teresa’s key to success is her realistic approach to weight loss. She didn’t rush, kept consistent and enjoyed her progress along the way. “The main point that would be important for me to make is that weight loss can be done through diet and exercise,” she says. “Other methods might get faster results, but to maintain it, you have to adopt proper eating habits or you’ll gain it all back. My “diet” is just a new way of life for me with an occasional splurge.”

Raymond Alcantar, 32
Residence: Modesto, CA
Occupation: Personal Trainer
MM Home Base: Modesto
Favorite MM Products: Max ARM, Emerge, CarboMax, 2TX
MM Go-To Expert: Brian Sherwood
Favorite Quote: “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

After he started to outgrow his 2XL sized clothing, 32-year-old Raymond Alcantar decided that he’d had enough. At 267 pounds, he was uncomfortable and frustrated with his expanding waistline, but knew that change was imminent. “It got to the point were I could no longer find clothes I liked that would fit,” he says. Being heavy also limited his mobility and activity level. “All the signs were there. It was time to make changes in my life.”

Raymond credits Brian Sherwood of Max Muscle Modesto, CA. “Brian helped me to understand food,” he says. “He gave me a list of the right things to eat, good fats and how to proportion my meals throughout the day. My diet consists of eggs, chicken, turkey, brown rice, sweet potatoes and lots of greens.”

Raymond works out five days a week, working a different muscle group each day. The combination of eating clean and working out produced incredible results, as he’s lost 77 pounds. More incredibly, he’s also gained an amazing 30 pounds of muscle! This phenomenal feat motivated him to become a personal trainer to help others achieve their fitness goals. He has also returned to school to study sports nutrition.

Raymond’s life has since improved in many ways. “I’ve made new friends, had new job opportunities, and this journey has guided me towards a career in nutrition and fitness,” he says. “My experience has completely changed the way I look at food and what I put into my body. I want to share my knowledge and story with everyone.” MS&F

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