You are here


Sunday, March 4, 2018

I am Judy Alcantara. I have been involved in media for a number of years as presenter, script writer, director and producer. More than 15 years ago, I decided to marry my passions for physical exercise and communications, and assist people in achieving their fitness goals.

I am thrilled to bring you the insights that I have learned along the way. My aim is to encourage and motivate the wider public on the importance of healthy living. The focus is always on holistic health, the integration of body, mind and spirit. How do we live our lives to the fullest, maximising our potential?

How do we balance our lives so that we remain as healthy as we can for as long as we can? I will be sharing stories from those who have walked that difficult road, that struggle towards a life of balance and restored health.

This week we feature Paul Richard’s story. Most of you know Paul from television, and may have never heard of his struggles with weight gain and his health. We may be tempted to believe that those in the public eye have it easy, that their lives have minimal stress and that whatever they achieve comes at little cost.

I have to say, this is almost never the case, and in many instances, the struggle to maintain a flawless image at all times is exceedingly difficult.

Paul’s story is a good example of this, and for many of us, this is our story. His journey of weight gain and prediabetes is one that so many can relate to on a deeply personal level. The truth is, we all face struggles of different kinds every day…in our workplaces, at school and at home, and certainly when it comes to health and lifestyle.

The journey to health and fitness is a continuing one and a critical one.

It is easy to think that healthy diet and exercise are ends in and of themselves, but we must remind ourselves that our bodies are the foundations of our lives; they are the vehicles through which we navigate every day.

Our fitness is therefore an all-pervasive factor; affecting our moods, mental acuity, mobility, feelings, endurance and therefore our relationships and work.

Ultimately, success in any sphere of life is temporary without consistency. Unless we stick to it and remain committed to keeping our bodies strong and maintaining the wellness lifestyle, we are all at risk for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease and hypertension among others.

So here we are, together, supporting each other on this path to longer, healthier and happier lives. It took commitment and discipline for Paul Richards to lose over 100 lbs and regain his health.

So tell me, what’s your fitness story? Fat to fab? Stress to balance? Sickness to renewed health? Couch potato to all-round athlete? I’m certain that your personal story will motivate those who are battling stress, overweight and illness and who feel there is no hope.

Send us your fitness story by email ([email protected]). We promise to share the most impactful ones and your fitness journey may even win you some prizes.

Keep it short and focused and send us some images as well.

Judy Alcantara

BA English Hons/Spanish

CIAR Cert (Cooper's Institute of Aerobic Research) • Email: [email protected]


‘You can’t fake it'

Paul Richards fitness journey

I’ve always been an active, athletic person, from a boy into my teens—football, basketball, swimming, volleyball, table tennis. I was also taller than most, and skinny, so while most of my peers struggled with weight issues, I ate everything in sight and never gained an extra pound.

This fortune continued well into my early to mid-thirties, and then career and school kicked in, my schedule became crazy, getting up at 4 am, morning radio from 5 am, managers duties from 9 am to 2 pm, school 3 pm to 6 pm, TV show 6 pm to 7 pm, and that crazy schedule continued for almost ten years.

This is what I would say precipitated my bad eating habits, less and less exercise, and dramatic weight gain.

I went from a comfortable 165-175 lbs at 35, to 190/200 lbs by 45, but being 6’4” meant that I could carry the weight and not look as large a many who were shorter, but the weight was starting to take its toll.

The crazy schedule and lack of attention to my eating habits and health gave way to even longer hours, radio, television, school, teaching, producing.

Eventually, my weight reached 275, my waist which was 32/33 inches ballooned to 38/40, and I found myself blowing to walk up one flight of stairs, not sleeping properly and feeling exhausted all the time.

One profound moment came when a close friend was repeatedly commenting on how heavy I was breathing on the phone, and others were now mentioning how much weight I had gained.

It took a trip to the doctor for an annual check-up to indicate that I had become pre-diabetic, and my options were very straight forward.

Go on medication or lose weight. It was at that moment that I decided.

Introduced to Rage_dx

Myself and very good friend Nikki Crosby decided to take up an offer for a personal trainer, something I never thought I would do. We committed to staying for one month, if we liked it, we would stay six, then one year.

The trainer’s name was Marvin Elijaah Regis, and his product/method was called Rage_dx. It was very different to anything I had ever done, with the first months just devoted to building cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, in some very unusual ways (top secret) and the added incentive was that we did not have to diet, or change our eating habits in any way.

We trained four days a week, starting at Long Circular gym, and after a month ended up at The National Stadium.

Elijah is brilliant, he was able to teach me things about my mind and body connection that made the difference. He focused on technique, taught me to run properly (I always hated running because of my height, which hurt my back), but I was running incorrectly all my life. After the first month, Nikki and I were joined by Nikki’s husband Gerry, who became my training brother.

We are about the same height and we were always focused not on the weight loss, but on the process.

I fell in love with exercise and the Rage_dx approach. To be honest, I only lost about 20 lbs in the first six months, but my endurance was off the chain, and I could feel my strength and control over my body peaking. I visited my doctor after the six month mark, and he was shocked and elated to tell me that I was no longer pre diabetic, and to continue whatever I was doing.

Elijah also slowly added a weight training component for strength building after about three months.

He also added water therapy and other top secret combinations. He is very guarded about his techniques, and rightly so.

‘Connect with mind, body and soul’

After the first year I had lost 80 lbs, and to be honest, at that point it was no longer about the weight loss, but about the process and euphoric rush of endorphins from being active and in control of my mind/body/spirit connections.

By the 18-month milestone I had lost 100 lbs, and that was not the greatest accomplishment for me. To me, the greatest accomplishment was the new connection I had with my body.

At 52 years old I was in the best shape of my life, physically, mentally and spiritually, and I was very thankful for that.

I am not able to train with Elijah now, but the knowledge I gained from Rage_dx has me still exercising regularly and enjoying what has now become my sacred time to connect with my mind, body and soul.

I have by choice regained 20 lbs, because I feel more comfortable at 205 lbs for my 6’4” frame. I found 195 lbs a bit too small for my own

Many ask me what I would tell them is the key…It’s simply, Elijah always said his job was to empower us to the process and techniques, and to ensure that we fell in love with the process, so that we willingly come back and want to do more.

Very often he would have to stop us from overdoing and over exerting. He always said just turn up and we will do the rest together.

In closing, my advice is simple—Rage_dx=focused energy…The race is not for the swiftest…It’s a lifestyle adjustment, you have to want better for yourself…consistency is important and you have to love the process, you cant fake it.


User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff.

Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.

Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments.

Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.

Before posting, please refer to the Community Standards, Terms and conditions and Privacy Policy

User profiles registered through fake social media accounts may be deleted without notice.