Alejandro Chaban Talks Self-Confidence, Emotional Eaters, Body Positivism [INTERVIEW]

Author of Think Skinny, Feel Fit, Founder & CEO of Yes You Can!Alejandro Chaban, used to be an overweight and unhappy child. He was the target of bullying and fell victim to anorexia and bulimia and worked hard to lose 150 pounds.

However, it was not until he realized that his emotional weight was just as heavy as his physical weight that he was able to find true happiness with himself. Latin Times spoke with Chaban and he shared ways to maintain that inner body confidence without solely focusing on the number on the scale.

In a world where physical appearance is paramount, and our mind plays a major role in the things we want to achieve, Chaban tells how we can eliminate those toxic emotions and thoughts that don’t allow us to reach our goal. 

"The basis of everything we feel, and what we do is based on thinking," says the Venezuelan. "As a person who weighed 314 pounds, who went through bulimia, who went through anorexia, was essential for me to do a transformation from the inside out. Changing my thoughts so I could change my feelings, and once I changed I found out how I really felt. "

The young entrepreneur remembers when he started to see the food differently, and to understand that food was not a pain killer. "When I understood that the food was not my dad's love, it was not the hug of my mom, and that the food was not going to fill the pain that my family was in Venezuela and I was here (United States), at that moment I understood that food was not the engine of love I was looking for," says Chaban.

Alejandro relates how due to the busy life of his parents the only time he could enjoy together with them was during dinner. His father motivated him through food and this created confusion in Chaban. "At the age of 15 I came to weigh more than 300 pounds because I thought that the food was the love and encouragement from my dad to continue eating and become the strong man of the house," he says.

It is difficult to recognize when we have a problem with food, and you are probably wondering how can we know when we are emotional eaters, or that we have some kind of depression, and how can we deal with this issue. To find the strength, motivation and our true purpose in life, Alejandro shares 7 life-changing steps to encourage you to do the right things:

  • Step 1: Make a commitment with yourself

"Many times we make the commitment to lose weight with the mother, the cousin, the friend, the boyfriend, or for a quinceanera or a wedding," says Alejandro. "We compromise with everybody but not with us. We must stand in front of the mirror, be honest and say 'you have a problem, and we will solve it together, you and I',”

"We must have the strength to have a commitment with us, and commitment is a muscle that is worked through the habit," says the businessman and author. "We are not born with will; the will is worked every day by gaining confidence."

  • Step 2: Identify your emotional weight

"When you go to the fridge, stop! And identify what you thought to arouse that anxiety in you," advises the expert. "What do I want to hide?" According to Chaban, anxiety can be reflected in different ways, some people eat from sadness, others from joy, and others from loneliness.

  • Step 3: Make short, medium and long term goals

Alejandro advises that instead of proposing to lower 20 pounds in a week for a wedding, the ideal is to do it in a planned way. "It's much more real to lose 4 pounds," says Chaban. "Your brain thinks it's more congruent, coherent and meaningful, and then the brain starts working together with you to complete the goal."

"It is important to identify goals and writes them," he advises.

  • Step 4: Affirm what you want

"An affirmation should be written and repeated three times for 33 days," says Chaban. "That way your brain will begin to understand that new person you want to be."

  • Step 5: Visualize

"I have a vision board in my room, and there I glue how I want everything to be," says the Venezuelan businessman.

  • Step 6: Take action so your habits can last

"Father's Day, Mother's Day and visits to Grandma's have nothing to do with your health," Chaban emphasizes. "Take action now, there is no specific Monday for you to begin to achieve your dream."

  • Step 7: Focus on your present

"Most of us live thinking about what happened to us," he says. "Or what may happen in the future, and we stay in the back and forth, without paying attention to the most wonderful gift that is the present."

Alejandro is the perfect example of struggle, and after having lost 150 pounds, he managed to find true happiness with himself. With all that energy and good thoughts he find the way to create a product thinking in Latinos, especially those living under a  sedentary life, and are overweight, but deep down want to make a change.

"The example given with our success stories in Yes, You Can! was the key," says Chaban. "In 2017 there is no way to sell a product if you don’t preach by example. You have to show what your product does," said Alejandro to Latin Times. "My product is based on what the person needs, not how I can sell more," says Alejandro. "Is thought on how I can help and transform more lives."

After millions of clients, Yes, You Can! Success stories can be found in each corner, but Alejandro still remembers almost every special and emotional case, according to him, each one of them is unique. "Every case is special, each one has a fingerprint," says Chaban. "I recently met a Boston Dominican grandmother who hasn’t celebrated her birthday in 30 year because of being overweight," says Alejandro.

"Of course I also remember my first client," says Chaban. "When I started I didn’t sell anything for 21 days, and I felt weak, and this woman, named Lizmeth, she believed in me, and I became her coach, I called her daily and sent her text messages and with that she was able to obtain success."

Lizmeth Pesce Lizmeth Pesce is the first Yes, You Can! client. Photo: Courtesy

Alejandro took the opportunity and sent a message via Latin Times to all the Latinos living in the U.S. that wants to change their lives. "I want to tell to all Hispanics that no matter what the situation or circumstances are at the moment, the important thing is that you have clear vision of who you are and who you want to be, and fight to achieve it."

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Lifestyle Reporter

Shirley Gomez has been exposed to many aspects of the art world. Besides being a Fashion Journalist, she studied Fashion Styling and Fashion Styling for Men at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Interior Design at UNIBE and Fashion Design at ITSMJ Fashion School in the Dominican Republic. She worked as a Fashion Journalist, Fashion Stylist and Social Media Manager at one of the most recognized magazines in the Dominican Republic, Oh! Magazine, as an occasional Entertainment Journalist, of the prestigious newspaper “Listín Diario”, as well as a fashion collaborator of a radio show aired in 100.9 FM SuperQ. When Shirley is not writing you can find her listening Demi Lovato or Beyonce's songs, decorating her apartment or watching Family Feud.