To lose big, think small.

By: Dave Boerger
Communications Strategist/Writer

V Teamer Raul Torres shares tips on how he lost over 120 pounds in the past year.

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Going to Disneyland with your fiance is supposed to be a happy event.

But for Raul Torres, a Verizon Engineer from Sierra Vista, AZ, the day was marred by one big issue — his own body. Unable to pull the safety bar down over his 380-pound frame, the start of a ride was delayed while first one, then two Disney employees tried to use their own body weight to shove the bar into place.

Finally Raul was told he had to exit the ride. “Everyone was looking at me. I felt numb,” recalled Raul. “I was so embarrassed and ashamed. Fortunately my fiance was on my side the whole time.”

Raul knew he had reached that point due to a lifetime of poor choices. He had developed bad habits, like constant snacking, choosing TV over movement and creating at-home feasts by visiting multiple fast food restaurants in the same evening.

As a Verizon employee, he saw emails with wellness messages, including Motivational Mondays, offering resources for those willing to seek help. “As I read those messages, they hit close to home. I’m thankful that Verizon puts so much effort into those areas.”

Finally, he decided to take some small steps in a positive direction. He started out by committing to working out once a week. He reduced his snacking. He wrote positive affirmations to himself. He eventually increased his workouts to three times a week. He increased his workout routine to five times a week.

With each small decision, he grew closer to his overall goal. One year later, he had lost over 120 pounds. His shirt size had dropped from a 4XL to a 2XL. “I have so much energy now,” reported Raul. “I love my job more. I love life more. It’s amazing.”

Thanks to what Raul refers to as his new “superpowers,” he had the energy and motivation to head to Louisiana to assist Verizon with recovery efforts from Hurricane Laura .

As far as Raul has come, he continues to seek inspirational help every day. “I try to find any and every little motivational source I can, whether it’s inspirational posters, group texts with coworkers and friends to keep accountable, Alexa reminders or looking at old photos of myself.”

With all of this success, Raul knows that when it comes to weight loss, victory is never assured. “I don’t know what will happen five years from now. Things happen. I could go the other way.”

Knowing his weight loss story could be temporary, he still decided to share his journey within Verizon. He received so many responses with words of encouragement from his colleagues that he decided to print and display them in his home gym. Even as Raul’s journey is inspiring others, they, in turn, are now inspiring him.

“Just the other day I didn’t feel like working out,” recalled Raul. “But then I saw those comments on the wall and I was thinking, I can’t let all these people down.”

In the same way that the V Team has supported Raul, we’d like to do the same for you. Share your wellness goals at the Good mailbox at Let us know your plan and how you’re faring. Let’s support one another as we try to make the most of 2021.

​V Teamers, click here to join the conversation on VZWeb.

About the author:

Dave Boerger is a part of the Verizon Corporate Communications team and a regular contributor to Up To Speed. He's a recovering marketer and sitcom writer.

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