If I told you that a TV star with washboard abs, who has appeared twice on People en Español's list of the 50 Most Beautiful People, used to weigh more than 300 pounds--would you believe me?
Alejandro Chabán is an entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, former co-host of Despierta América, and a beloved figure in the Hispanic entertainment industry. As a child, he struggled with obesity. By age 15, he was a staggering 314 pounds.
In his new book Think Skinny, Feel Fit: 7 Steps to Transform Your Emotional Weight and Have an Awesome Life, Alejandro shares his story and outlines actionable steps to help others achieve transformations like his. Whether you're trying to lose weight, build a business, or make a dream into reality, Alejandro offers guidance and encouragement on visualizing the outcome you want--and building a plan to get there.
Overcoming a Heavy Obstacle
Alejandro Chabán grew up in a family and culture that celebrated food. He was often praised for his healthy appetite, even when it caused him to gain unhealthy amounts of weight. Tormented by school bullies and trapped in a body that made it impossible to live a normal and happy childhood, Alejandro became desperate to lose weight. He turned to extreme diets, developed anorexia and bulimia, and landed in the hospital.
After finally overcoming his own battles with obesity and eating disorders, Alejandro made it his mission to empower people of all ages and backgrounds to transform their lives for the better. He became a certified nutritionist and wellness consultant and created Yes You Can!, a healthy lifestyle with a Latin flavor. Through his books, business, speaking engagements, television appearances and other activities, Alejandro has empowered more than a million people around the world to transform their lives.
Desire Without a (Realistic) Goal Is Only a Dream
One of the most important pieces of advice in Alejandro's book--which he also applies to his role as an entrepreneur and CEO--is about setting goals.
For goals to be achievable, they must be clear and specific. If you don't know exactly what you want, you are much less likely to get it. For example, making a New Year's resolution to "be happy" isn't specific enough to be actionable (see related article, Why New Year's Resolutions Never Work). Make a list of the things that would make you happy, and then focus on how to make those things happen. The more clear, vivid and detailed your goals, the easier they will be to achieve.
Alejandro believes that the other key component to setting goals is to break them into manageable timeframes: short-term, medium-term and long-term. All three of these types of goals should be in line with your ultimate goal and the time in which you want to achieve it. A short-term goal might be something you can achieve in one to three months. A medium-term goal might take six months. A long-term goal might take a year.
Finally, it's important to establish realistic goals. If your goal is to run a marathon, but you've never trained a day in your life, that's a long-term goal. If you try to complete a 26.2 mile race after only training for a few months, you will exhaust yourself, fail, and feel bad about it. But if you make it a long-term goal, it becomes realistic--and possible.
Celebrate Each Goal You Achieve
When Alejandro was an obese teenager, the idea of losing 150 pounds was daunting. He didn't know where to start--it was easier to just keep eating. His father made him a promise: when Alejandro reached his goal weight, he would buy him the motorcycle he dreamed about.
When you establish your goals, decide how you'll treat yourself for achieving them. Having a reward to look forward to is a great motivator. It doesn't have to be expensive or lavish, as long as it's something that makes you happy. The reward for achieving his long-term goal helped Alejandro focus and resist the temptation to give up.
And he did get that motorcycle. For more on this topic, check out: To Increase Your Productivity up to 200 Percent, Ask These 3 Questions.