Over a year ago, Hidalgo County Precinct 2 Chief of Staff, Armando Garza, had a come to Jesus meeting with his doctor.
His doctor asked him a simple question: Do you want to walk your daughter down the aisle? He responded, “Well every father’s dream is to walk their daughter down the aisle.”
Garza’s doctor looked him in the eyes and she said, “you’re not going to make it,” in reference to his current health condition in 2017. At the time he weighed 417 pounds.
“It was really hard for him to get up and do his daily activities. He would always say that he was so tired,” his wife shared.
He knew it was time for a change, “I decided to…sit down with my wife, come up with a plan to not lose weight, that wasn’t the goal. Not to get skinny, that was never the goal, but to be healthy.”
He started by gradually cutting carbs out of his diet and doubled vegetable portions. Garza even started signing up for 5K’s and making time for short workouts. Over time, his weight began to shrink, “I did that for about a year and I lost about 109 pounds,.
Now, Garza weighs 307 pounds. His impact was so profound, his supervisor, Hidalgo County Precinct 2 Commissioner Eddie Cantu, created a wellness program for all employees for access to free fitness classes and nutrition resources.
“We wanted to take what we learned from Mondo and help all our county employees. We have a lot of employees that are diabetics and a lot of employees with hypertension and high blood pressure,” said Cantu.
Anyone that speaks with Garza about his diet, he’ll credit his transformation to his diet more than anything, “I don’t take insulin anymore. I’ve also been taken off all my blood pressure medication and my diabetes medication,” he shared with a big smile.
His leadership has lead to another initiative.
The county will now open the wellness program to Hidalgo County residents once a month free of charge.
“I tell everybody you know start because if I can do it, anybody can do it. I promise you,” said Garza.