Hugo Moniz

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

My journey begins growing up in a Portuguese single parent house hold. It was filled with love, happiness and of course great food. At a young age I started to develop a love for food and wanted to taste everything. I found that food made me feel great and I could pretty much out eat anyone. Through out my time in school I realised that I was just getting fatter and fatter. I was even nominated for the biggest lunch in high school. My self confidence was on a steady decline and my hormones were on the rise along with my want to look good. I became very frustrated with my weight. Going through high school as a fat boy was a very hard and depressing experience. All the while food was my best friend and my enemy. In an attempt to change I tried all the fad quick fix gimmicks and I did loose something, my money, but I was still fat.

I finally reached the biggest I had ever been. I weighed in at around 285-300lbs. I had a 42 inch waist and my belly would still hang over my belt. I was a funny guy but my self image and self confidence was at an all time low. The final straw was on a family trip to Brazil when I was sitting alone on a couch (meant for 3) it snapped and broke. I was devastated and ashamed. To add insult to injury, on the way home the flight attendant suggested that I would be more comfortable if I used the seat belt extension. Absolutely devastated full of self loathing and depressed I vowed to change my life.

I bought myself a gym membership and began boxing/kickboxing classes. In the following 2 years I managed to drop 75lbs and gain some muscle but still felt like something was holding me back.

One day I was playing soccer on the beach with some friends and I was the only one with a t-shirt on. I realised that because I was worried about what other people were thinking of me, I was suffering with this absolutely sweat drenched shirt on impeding my every move. So I stopped, took my shirt off and said to myself if they don’t like what they see, then they can choose to look somewhere else. From that moment on I did not let the opinion of others affect what I think of myself. It was a hard lesson to learn but also the most profound. Because of this realization the rest of my weight fell off and my confidence sky rocketed.

I began to take courses on weight lifting and nutrition so that I could better understand what I was actually doing. One day a friend at the gym suggested I become a

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