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Dropping lbs.: Rafael Turcios

Woodbury's Rafael Turcios lost 62 pounds in less

Woodbury's Rafael Turcios lost 62 pounds in less than a year using Jenny Craig. "When I reached 260 pounds, I'd had enough," Turcios remembers. Credit: Handout ; Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

HIS STORY Overweight since high school, Turcios had tried all types of diets but says he never really committed to any.

"When I reached 260 pounds, I'd had enough," Turcios remembers of that day in March. "My sister was on Jenny Craig and had lost about 20 pounds, and that really inspired me."

He says the difference between this attempt and his other unsuccessful attempts is that he set a goal to be slimmer, healthier and more attractive. "I work at Urban Outfitters and never could wear the clothes I was selling," Turcios remembers. "Now, I can. I wanted to be able to do the things I was missing out on."

"I kept that in the forefront of my mind the whole time," says Turcios, who adds that he would like to lose 30 more pounds. "This time, I didn't give up after a few days."

He was so determined to succeed that he taped his magic number -- 200 -- to his bedroom mirror.

"I would see that number, and it would motivate me to go to the gym," says Turcios, who adds that other members of his family have had weight issues, including a heavyset grandfather who had a heart attack. "So many of our family celebrations were centered around food -- birthdays, Thanksgiving, weekend get-togethers," Turcios says. "I had to change the way I thought about things, had to learn to make the gathering about seeing people, not about eating."

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DIET "Before, I ate pretty much whatever I wanted, including fast food three or four times a week," Turcios says. "I've completely cut out junk food, except maybe once a month. And I only drink water."

He now eats three Jenny Craig meals a day and supplements it with fruit as a snack.

EXERCISE He exercises in the gym for an hour or more with a trainer, six times a week. He spends 40 minutes on cardio and the rest on weights.

ADVICE "Try to find little changes to make along with the big changes," says Turcios, who gave up Taco Bell, a big thing; and whole milk, a relatively little thing. He says the number taped to his bedroom mirror was another real motivator. "When I was unmotivated, I'd be on my bed and see that 200, and it triggered something in my mind. You have to find that thing that motivates you."

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