When it comes to practicing what you preach, very few people are as committed and optimistic as Pablo Diaz. When scrolling through the explore feed on Instagram, we were struck by his positive attitude and consistency in sharing a wellness message. We reached out to Pablo to learn more about what makes him tick and how you can be inspired by his journey. Here's our conversation with Get Fit with Pablo.
Meet Pablo Diaz | Get Fit with Pablo
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Meal Prep on Fleek: What's up Pablo! Thanks so much for jumping on a call with us. We're excited to hear more about you and your journey. Let's jump right in.
Looking back, what were some of your unhealthy habits?
Get Fit With Pablo: [when in college] My sleeping patterns were completely off…staying up late and waking up early. I didn’t drink at all, but I definitely made up for that with pizza.
I didn’t know how to have a healthy relationship with food. Deep down inside, I felt very insecure. I was always the biggest person in the room or within my group of friends.
What changed after college?
I was still living at home and I had just started my career. I wasn’t in a relationship, I didn’t have a kid yet, so I found myself back in the gym, spending several hours in the gym per day, working with a personal trainer.
I did end up losing a lot of weight, but I found myself with no social life at all. It was just go to work, go to the gym, go to work, go to the gym.
Were you trying any diets or taking any supplements?
At that time, I wasn’t taking any supplements. I was just drinking a bunch of energy drinks to keep myself up and finish my Master's degree. My highest weight when I was in college was 330 lbs.
One thing I noticed is that, you knew how to get the weight off, but you still have this relationship with food where it’s an indulgence. When did your perspective on food change or has it?
My relationship with food is constantly evolving. When I first started, before my son was born, I decided I was going to start logging my food. I was very aware of my calories in and calories out. It was a lot of frozen foods… but I did start tracking everything. It was frozen meals and avoiding soda for me.
Now my relationship with food has changed. Before, food used to comfort me… I’d use it as a way to celebrate something good that happened and I used it to pick me up when something wasn’t going so great. But now, I look at food as fuel.
I start to think, “if I eat this, am I going to feel healthy, am I going to feel guilty, am I going to feel satisfied/nourished.’ I have to think about my food before I put it in my mouth… and I’ll give myself ten seconds to think if I really want to eat these Oreos. Sometimes we allow ourselves the indulgences, but you have to stop letting food have the power. You have to make a conscious decision and take responsibility for your food choices.
Give me a high level. You used to be 330 lbs… where are you now?
When I was at my peak… I got all the way down to 195. That’s when I was training for half-marathons and my wife didn’t mind me being out on a run for 2 hours, but now life has changed and I’m at about 230 now. I’m still on my journey…believe me!
I look at my journey as less of a weight loss journey and more of a health journey now. So, even though I may not be at my lowest weight, if I could turn myself inside out I think my insides would look a lot better than they did when I was in my 20s.
That’s awesome! You don’t have to have a 6-pack to be healthy…
I had a big mental shift. Now, I gauge my success by, is my wife happy and is my son happy? I need to better take care of myself so I can be in the moment with them every day.
What does an average day look like for you?
I wake up around 4-4: 30 am... even on the weekend. Having a sleep schedule is so important. When my body wants to wake up, it’s ready. In the first 15 minutes of my day, after brushing my teeth, I put on my workout clothes so I’m ready to go. Then I drink about 25oz of water and read my daily devotional and personal development books.
I don’t want to just be good at fitness, I want to learn more about health and how to be a better parent and other areas that would develop me overall.
Then I jump into my workout. Sometimes I’ll wake up in a funky mood, and maybe my personal development isn’t getting me out of that funk, so I need to get those post-workout endorphins so that when my family does wake up I’m ready to give them my best.
What workout plan do you do?
When I started my home workouts, I was doing Insanity. It was one of those workouts that my wife found on eBay originally. Now, I follow all of the Beachbody workouts because they have an extensive library of workouts that I can do at home and covers a wide variety of exercises. Whether it’s weights, or HIIT, or cardio… I can do them all from home.
Tell me some of your current food habits?
I’ve tried a lot of different ways of eating. From calorie counting, to If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), to keto, to… in a recent turn of events… I’ve been going all plant-based. I never thought about doing that because my love of cheese and eggs is out of this world, but I needed to do something that was going to make my body feel even better.
We do a buffet style meal prep, every Sunday, so we have our protein (edamame, tofu, etc), a bunch of veggies, and ingredients for a green smoothie ready for every day of the week. We try not to make it too complicated… just get your healthy carbs, proteins, and lots of veggies which help create really simple meals like; bean tacos or tempeh marinara pasta.
What are your favorite personal development books?
My favorite food-related book right now is, Proteinaholic by Gath Davis MD. It really turns common nutrition advice on its head and is all scientifically supported, which is great.
“As a surgeon, Dr. Davis was frustrated by the ever-increasing number of sick and overweight patients, but it wasn't until his own health scare that he realized he could do something about it. Combining cutting-edge research with his hands-on patient experience, this groundbreaking book reveals the truth about the dangers of protein and shares a proven approach to weight loss, health, and longevity.”
Two other books I really love are;
The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins because I love the really simple principles that I can apply to my life. It’s a technique that has really helped me make changes in my life.
“The 5 Second Rule is a simple, one-size-fits-all solution for the one problem we all face - we hold ourselves back.The secret isn't knowing what to do - it's knowing how to make yourself do it.”
…and Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander. I liked it because it has really large print and lots of pictures. HAHA. It compares the habits of rhinoceroes to successful people. It makes you want to implement the very same practices that successful people (or rhinoceroes) do, and who doesn't want to do that?
“ If you have ever thought I can do better, if you have ever felt the stirrings of rhino blood in your veins and your heart quicken at the scent of success, then you are ready. Listen to Rhinoceros Success and get charging!”
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Where can people follow your journey?
You can find me on Instagram at @GetFitWithPablo. I’m always trying to inspire and encourage people through my story. Not as a fitness expert but as someone who has lived through it and someone who wants to teach other people how I’ve done it.
Looking forward to connecting with you guys!