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Featured Chobaniac of The Week: Juan G.

Hey, all! Today’s Featured Chobaniac post highlights a great new pal of ours who we were fortunate enough to meet at Chobani SoHo last fall. We got the chance to chat with Juan and were immediately inspired by his story, as we know you will be, too. He’s now something of a regular ’round Chobani SoHo, with the staff welcoming him by name when he swings by after a workout. Without further ado, meet our bud, Juan!

Me? An athlete?  Doesn’t she know that my email address contains the words “wafflelover”?  The only athletic activity that I’ve done so far is picking 5 random songs on a playlist and walk. These were the words that started going off in my head when my nutritionist, mentioned how athletes eat Chobani as part of their diet.

But let me start from the beginning. In January of 2012 I weighed 380 pounds and seeing that number inching close to 400 I knew something had to be done. So, my nutritionist and I came up with a plan that included what would become a staple of my new, everyday life: Chobani. Along with walking, running and yoga, I’ve lost 120 lbs! And the best part is, I’m not done yet.

I gave up cupcakes, bagels, and pastries and substituted Chobani. I was happy that there were lots of flavors to choose from. So, as my experiment I started with vanilla, which seemed harmless. During the first taste test, my initial thoughts “oh *@%!@#!”  I must have bought the wrong thing. I immediately read the label; nope this is the right yogurt but is it SUPPOSED to taste this awesome? Then I thought, wait a second, this is just vanilla, there was an army of other flavors to go through.  Available just about everywhere; perfect portion size, excellent source of protein, getting the right nutrition just became easy. So I then started researching all the other ingredients that I could mix with Chobani, needless to say I’m something of a “Chobani mixology” expert. But my favorite is the simplest, honey + protein whey for after workout snack. Other classic Chobani cocktails include, honey and walnut, banana and walnut, raisin and cinnamon these were all meant to mimic cereal flavors.

With my nutrition plan in hand, it’s time to move forward. Having just started out the new year, many of you are resolving to embark on your journey for a healthier life. Allow me to impart this one piece of advice; if you were to believe in yourself just as much as you doubt yourself, you’re going to discover that you can do anything.

Moving doward form 380 pounds, I had my diet in hand, but how did walking morph into running? Walking to 5 random songs eventually became repetitive because even on a random setting you can guess what song comes next. So 5 songs turned to 10 songs, 10 turned to 15, eventually I realized I was actually walking 5 kilometers everyday! I thought to myself that running might doable, and researched the best training method to train for a 5k. This is when I was introduced to interval running! For the next two months my routine was the same, run every other day, and Chobani thrown in the mix for either breakfast or as a post-run snack. The best part about running is that I never saw it as a way to lose weight. After the first two weeks, I was more excited about the prospect of always outdoing myself from my previous run.

2 months and many pounds later; I found myself entering my first 5k race. I came , I saw , I conquered; but then I thought all that training for just one race ? Not happening! What else was out there? Just do a simple Google search on 5k races and you’ll l be blown away from how many races are out there. Some of them have even have a theme or some cool twist — being chased by zombies, color run, the list goes on and on! In the midst of training,  I found out there was a Chobani store in New York City,  just a couple of train stops away (but come on you know I walked there!) from my work place. Needless to say, my mind was blown. They have combinations of ingredients I would never have thought of combining (peanut butter and jelly go figure). I’m there so often that the staff knows me by name!

So where am I now? I just finished running my first 10k race, have lost 120 lbs, am training for my next race, and currently eating a Strawberry Banana Chobani.

Shoot an email to fans[at]chobani dot com if you’re interested in taking part in the “Featured Chobaniac” series. We’d love to share your story with friends far and wide!