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Puerto Rico man loses half his body weight, places first in triathlon

He’s doing more — with less.

A motivated man shed half his body weight and ditched a drinking habit costing him thousands of dollars a year — now he’s winning ultra-triathlons.

Jonathan Perez, 28, had always been overweight, but never let his size hold him back from living an active lifestyle of running, swimming and martial arts.

Perez, before and after his dramatic weight loss.

But he struggled to keep moving during the pandemic, and eventually found himself squeezing into XXXL clothing, stepping onto the scale and staring down at a weight of nearly 400 lbs.

“During the pandemic, I had about 12 beers and three bottles of vodka a week, he told South West News Service.

At first, he wasn’t worried, as he’d never had any health issues before. He practically lived on booze and Pizza Hut takeout, picked up near his home in Puerto Rico, snacking between meals on chocolate and potato chips.

Once things went back to normal, Perez found himself unable to diet his way out of his predicament.

“I tried a lot of diets. I was training three hours a day sometimes. I was trying everything naturally,” he recalled.

A man running in a race, post-weight loss surgery, fitting easily into a size Medium
After weight loss surgery, Perez was able to get back to his old, active lifestyle — and fit easily into a size Medium. Jonathan Perez

After facing the harsh reality that his clothes no longer fit him, he scraped together $10,000 for a gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico.

Now, he eats proper, home-cooked meals rich in protein, he says, and has lost a whopping half of his body weight, slipping easily into a size medium.

“I couldn’t believe what was happening. In the first month I lost about 48 pounds, he said.

“I used to hate pictures. Now I take a lot of photos. I wasn’t used to seeing the new me,” he said.

He won his first ultra-triathlon in April — placing first.

“It wasn’t my goal to win,” he said. “Finally completing one was my dream.”

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