“I don’t want you to take me to school today, daddy.”
These were the words of Ricardo Estrella’s 7 year-old daughter on the morning of February 4, 2014 - a date that will forever be ingrained in his memory.
Her classmates had been ridiculing her about his weight, and it finally reached a point where she was too embarrassed to have him take her to school.
Ricardo was heartbroken. “How did I let it get to this point?” He loved his daughter more than anything in the world, and hated to think that she was being negatively affected by his weight.
Leading up to that memorable date in February, Ricardo had reached an all-time high of 360 lbs - a gain of more than 160 lbs in total. Long and often irregular hours at the office, a sedentary lifestyle and lots of soda, sugar and processed food led to steady gains over the years, until he reached a point where he truly felt like he’d lost control.
But after seeing how his weight was affecting his loved ones, Ricardo became more determined than ever to return to a healthy weight.
“My daughter’s words were such a wake-up call for me, and there was no doubt in my mind about what I needed to do.”
Ricardo hit the ground running and tried every diet and exercise regimen in the book: Atkins, South Beach, midnight jogs, hours in the gym every day. He was even hospitalized at one point for attempting an extreme 7-day soup diet. “My body was totally out of whack. That diet nearly killed me!”
After multiple failed attempts to lose weight, Ricardo became frustrated.
“I would lose some weight at first, only to gain it back almost immediately.”
He was so desperate to lose weight quickly that he wasn’t listening to his body, or thinking about the bigger picture.
Ricardo took a step back and started to do as much online research as he could to find a more realistic weight loss plan. “People are well-meaning and want to give you advice about the best approach to take. But at the end of the day, everyone is so different. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another.”
During the course of his research, Ricardo came across a YouTube video of a Puerto Rican author who spoke about metabolism and the effects of sugar and processed food on weight problems. “What he was saying really made sense to me, and I started to apply his methods to my diet.”
Ricardo eliminated all processed foods and sugars from his diet, including his lifelong soda addiction. He replaced the processed foods with protein (fish, chicken, meat, eggs), steamed vegetables and lots of water.
It certainly wasn’t an easy task, and he often struggled mentally with the elimination of sugar. “I was a chainsmoker, and I quit - no problem. I also quit coffee. But nothing was as difficult as quitting sugar. By far, the most painful thing I’ve ever had to do.”
"Nothing was as difficult as quitting sugar."
Finally, the weight started to come off at a steady pace. Over the course of 6 months, Ricardo lost 80 pounds, had more energy and was very encouraged by his progress.
But the exercise component was still missing for him, and he knew it was crucial to his long-term success. “I was aware that this was a lifestyle change - not a quick fix.”
He enjoyed cycling and lifting weights, and even joined a cycling team. But due to his irregular work hours, he was unable to make the time commitment required to maintain his position on the team. At this point, he switched to jogging, but it was too physically painful for him. “I spent a lot of money trying to find the proper running shoes, but the high impact hurt my knees and back.”
One day, a boxer friend of Ricardo’s showed him a YouTube video of Floyd Mayweather jumping rope. Ricardo was completely mesmerized, and decided at that moment that jumping rope was going to be his new exercise plan.
He purchased a cheap jump rope on Amazon, but struggled to learn the rhythm and coordination required to get an effective workout (he had never jumped rope before). So he turned his attention back to YouTube and came across a workout tutorial from Crossrope.
“I saw Dave Hunt doing triple unders with a weighted rope, and I was head-over-heels.”
Crossrope was Ricardo’s new mission, and he simply had to get in on it.
Ricardo immediately purchased the Elite 2.0 set (the previous version of the new Crossrope Premium Set) after reading amazing reviews online.
Crossrope Infinity Rope System: Premium Set.
He was nervous about the price as it was a bit of an investment for him. “My wife was pissed when she found out!” he said, laughing. “She said, ‘You spent all this money on something you don’t even know how to use?’ But I had no doubt that it would be worth it in the long run.“
Ricardo wasted no time “putting his babies” (as he refers to his Crossrope set) to use and immediately joined the April 2016 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge. “I barely knew how to jump rope, but I was so excited to join this community of amazing people.”
30 days later and 20 pounds lighter, Ricardo was the male winner of the challenge - and completely hooked on Crossrope. “I truly am a Crossroper for Life. I never thought I could love exercise as much as I do, but it’s actually fun!”
He also started to notice changes in his body composition.
“I noticed a huge difference in my trapezius muscles almost immediately.” He mixes it up, doing as many reps possible with the orange 1-lb Intensity Rope and switching between weights when he feels the strain in his muscles. “Those heavy ropes really do the trick! I feel it in my entire body.”
A regular on the Jump Rope Fitness Community Facebook page, Ricardo feels like he’s finally found his niche. As someone who prefers social and group exercise to working out alone, he is grateful for the added encouragement and accountability.
“I have so much respect for everyone in the community, and feel really connected to many of them. I remember seeing Jordan doing double unders with the Titan 3-lb rope for the first time, and I was just blown away. Crossropers inspire me, and I hope to meet some of them in person one day!”
With two years of dedicated diet and exercise changes, and two 30-Day Crossrope Weight Loss Challenges under his belt, Ricardo has now lost an impressive total of 165 pounds.
“My daughter is so proud of me. She thinks I’m a jump rope hero!” he beamed.
When asked for words of advice to others struggling with weight loss, he said:
“Listen to your body. Your body will tell you what you should be eating, and how much you should be exercising. I was ignoring the signals for the longest time and it was causing a lot of frustration. You also need to find a form of exercise that you actually enjoy in order to stick with it. For me, this is Crossrope.”
Thank You Ricardo!
Thank you for sharing your amazing story Ricardo. If you guys have questions for Ricardo, please leave them in the comments below.