By Kyle Smith
Early in the spring of 2021, Taton Yazzie was flipping through pictures of himself at a fishing tournament and didn’t like what he saw. Friends told him he looked good and had nothing to worry about but Yazzie decided it was time for a change. Eighty nine pounds later, he’s proud of the hard work that transformed his body.
Yazzie’s first goal centered around his wardrobe as he no longer wanted to wear an XXL shirt. Lifting three times a week helped him drop two of those X’s and today he comfortably wears a large.
Exercising regularly can be hard, Yazzie says, but the key is to remain disciplined. And don’t fret over every ounce.
“Instead of weighing myself daily, I chose to weigh myself bi-weekly to focus on losing one to two pounds per week,” he says.
Experts say safe weight loss programs can help people lose one to two pounds per week while remaining healthy. Yazzie started a cardio workout program and was able to lose a pound or two a week in the beginning. But it didn’t last.
“After a few weeks of following the same regimen, I hit a wall,” Yazzie says. Something needed to change in the gym.
So Yazzie pick up some weights. He began to split his days into upper-body and lower-body workouts, aiming to increase his results.
It worked but Yazzie knew he also needed to improve his diet. He had learned that in order to help lose weight continuously, he would have to eat fewer calories than he burned.
After experimentation, Yazzie found he enjoyed lean meat such as chicken and fish and could hold out for the occasional steak as his main source of protein. And he found more ways to include fruits and veggies in his meals.
He downloaded an app called MyPlate to help him learn to track his calories and other aspects of his diet. It was tough at first but eventually he figured it out and was able to plan his meals without having to track everything. The app also offered healthy recipes.
Still, it took time to see the results.
“When I decided to begin losing weight, I knew that it was a process with many moving parts,” Yazzie says. “I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but it was going to be worth it.”
Two years into his fitness journey, Yazzie is more comfortable than ever when he sees himself in photos.
“I think the most important part of this journey was that I did it for me. I showed myself that I was capable of making a drastic change in my life which showed me I can take on any challenge that comes my way,” he says.
Yazzie says he hopes his story will inspire others to make the first move in their own journeys.