Efraín, a family project

Being able to come back to work motivated Efraín Ramírez to lose weight by radically improving his habits. His family became involved in his process of change, becoming his source of support and inspiration.

In June 2020, Efraín Ramírez received the news that after returning from his vacations he had to stay at home, as a protective measure against COVID-19. Efraín was overweight and had been suffering from several associated health complications that represented major risk factors in the light of the possibility of contracting the virus. Therefore, he would have to wait to return to his job as the driver of one of Comercial Nutresa’s semi-trucks. “When I became aware of the news, I thought to myself: ‘No, I can’t let this defeat me.’ My family is what I love the most in life, so I decided to take responsibility for the fact that I didn’t take good care of my health and make changes so I could go back to work. That’s when I started transforming my life,” says Efraín.
He consulted several doctors who gave him instructions to improve his eating habits and to incorporate physical activity in his daily life. However, what motivated him the most was that his family became involved in his process of change: Efraín, his wife and his two daughters transformed their eating habits together. “We all started this process together. It wasn’t a restrictive diet but we did have to pay attention to the serving size, so we improved our cooking skills, but it wasn’t that easy because we are a rather big family and we were used to big servings,” says Estefany Ramírez, Efraín’s oldest daughter, key ally in his new lifestyle and his right hand when it comes to cooking.
“He started getting out of bed at 6:30 in the morning to take an online personal training class with his exercise coach. At first, he used his smartphone but the screen is too small for him, so Estefany lent him her tablet. He bought some weights, dumbbells and exercise bands for his training sessions,” recounts Sara Gabriela Moreno, Efraín’s wife. In about six months, Efraín went from weighing 135 kg to weighing 108 kg, thus fulfilling his goal of losing 5 kg per month.

“I got myself tested again and the doctor said: ‘You’re fit to go back to work now.’ I think that was one of the happiest days of my life, besides the days my daughters were born,” states Efraín.

His triumphs have been many and most of them represent shared benefits: his sleep apnea condition has improved a lot, he can now tie his own shoelaces and he can wear the clothes he wants to wear, among many other. “When I went back to work and people saw me, they said things like ‘Wow, what happened to you?,’ and I answered while laughing that I had my mouth operated to stop eating so much,” tells Efraín and he adds: “The fact that my colleagues and supervisors acknowledge my process makes me really proud of myself.”
However, the most significant acknowledgment is the one shown by his family. The admiration and enthusiasm for his process of change are constantly expressed through loving gestures: “I called him ‘Chubby’ for 32 years but now I don’t do that as much as I used to; now I call him ‘Handsome.’ But, to me, he’s not only handsome but brave too,” says Sara Gabriela. Efraín’s younger daughter, Natalia Ramírez, states: “The process my dad has gone through is really exciting. I want him to be healthy so that we can have him by our side for many years and, for that, he has to take care of himself. Seeing him like that is really encouraging for me because it makes me think that if he can do it, I can too.”

In 2020, Grupo Nutresa took special care of 562 employees who presented risky health conditions that could represent complications if they were to contract COVID-19. Said employees were told to stay at home with their families, while keeping both their jobs and income.

“This process of changing habits has been like taking a second chance on life.”

Efraín Ramírez, Grupo Nutresa employee.

“This pandemic made me realize that I had to take care of the people I love the most and take care of myself too. I think everything happens when it needs to happen and life definitively gives us second chances.”

Estefany Ramírez, daughter of Efraín Ramírez, Grupo Nutresa employee.