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Iron Will Award Candidate:

Jose Miguel Moto-Sandoval

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Jose Miguel Moto-Sandoval's Submission:

As nominated by Samuel Dalupang

Demand respect for who you are, not what you were.

During my school years, I was the average kid- studying, keeping active, staying out of trouble, but just like a lot of us after graduating, I jumped right into the quick thrills and money grabs. Drinking. Drugs. Eating whatever. Staying out whenever. Yeah, I got fat from doing a ton of nothing. It didn't help that I needed to pay for all those bad habits and I was too lazy to work. It didn't help that the only job I found was armed robbery. It didn't help that the career didn't last long and I was put under house arrest for 2 years and probation for another year. House arrest sucks. You pick up new useless hobbies. TV and video games for 2 years don't help with weight loss either. It also makes it very difficult to find a decent job. It also kills your social life and respect rating. What it is good for is kicking you in the nuts and making you realize you have to make a change in your life.

2:00 am… playing Halo… your skinny little brother turns off the tv. You see a reflection of yourself and a coffee table through the tv screen. You realize that's not a coffee table your pizza slice is sitting on. Change required: found.

After house arrest I was required to work a full time job. I struggled with steady employment for years, so I found it difficult to find time to get to the gym. After a couple of years I finally found steady work and in May 2011, I finally had a chance to invest in the change that I needed. I met my trainer Sam and thanks to his training, nutrition, and mentoring, I was able to do more than just lose weight, I was able to make a whole lifestyle change. I haven't touched alcohol, drugs, or ate anything more than one philly cheese steak sandwich with a pickle on cheat days since. Having a bodybuilder's lifestyle has kept me busy and out of trouble from being at the gym and working overtime hours at work to pay for my grocery and supplements bills. With a criminal record, you don't have the luxury of high wages so I have to work my butt off with 11hour shifts at a gas station. I have also had to fight through every workout with a recurring shoulder injury that I got years back from when I was younger.

Many people have noticed my dedication to something meaningful and I have gained a lot of their respect back. My real friends and family have supported me the whole way because they have noticed it has made me a better person both mentally and physically. I have gone from 230lbs to 198lbs through my journey with the waistline being the only measurement going down from 44" to 37".

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