Teacher joins triathlon team to battle diabetes
January 13th, 2012
07:10 AM ET

Teacher joins triathlon team to battle diabetes

Every day this week, we've introduced you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today, meet Carlos Solis, an elementary school teacher who is trying to avoid what his family's history of diabetes might have in store for him.

Hi, my name is Carlos Solis. I am 49 years old, married for 28 great years and have three beautiful children, ages 20, 18 and 7.

I have been an elementary public school teacher for almost 14 years. Prior to that, I held down a few jobs, including serving in the U.S. Air Force, but none have been more challenging or rewarding than being in the classroom.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I come from a family of diabetics, including aunts, uncles and, more significantly, my mom and older brother. My mom passed away several years ago and my brother is currently suffering from complications of kidney failure. He is on dialysis three days a week and has had several surgeries to help him get through. He recently has lost sight from his left eye and has very limited vision in his right.

My doctor has recommended that I get busy with exercising and weight loss in order to help prevent any further damage to my own body.

I’ve lost over 40 pounds since my diagnosis and want to finally get to my ideal weight of 190 pounds. About 15 pounds ago, I made a goal for myself - I named it "Losing 50 by 50." I wanted to lose 50 pounds by the time I turn 50 in October 2012 and finally get control of my diabetes.

One Saturday morning last November, I woke up really early, turned on CNN and saw Dr. Gupta sharing the CNN Fit Nation Challenge, and decided to apply. I believed this was the support and motivation I needed to reach my health goals. Studies have shown that diabetes is on the rise in elementary and secondary school-aged children. I felt like this would also be a great opportunity to show students and families at my school who have diabetes that it is possible to fight it and win!

With God’s help, I have overcome a lot of challenging obstacles from my early life. I have broken many “chains” that sometimes hold people back from becoming who they are really meant to be or from overcoming an affliction such as those who have suffered or are currently suffering from diabetes. I want to show that this diabetes family chain can be broken.

Training for this triathlon is a very daunting and scary thing for me. I’ve never been a competitive athlete and I have a few reservations about being able to complete it, but know that in the end it will all be worth it!

This isn’t just an 8 month challenge for me, it’s a life changing event.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Anna

    The Anti Obesity drug makers and diabetes drug makers take in 10 billion$$$$ every year with no cure!!

    Food Chemicals are the cause of the diabetes and obesity crisis

    The FDA and Drug makers know this and are laughing to the Billionaire$$$ bank

    The food chemicals break the gut(insulin) and this is the cause of the diabetes and obesity crisis

    A filmmaker has been reversing diabetes and Obesity WITHOUT MEDICATIONS in now 10 countries and the drug makers do not promote the story

    just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

    January 13, 2012 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Rick Morris

    Carlos, great blog. This is going to be a true challenge and life-changing event for us 7. Can't wait to see you in Atlanta!

    January 13, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. jb

    go carlos! you can break the cycle of type 2 diabetes and show that it is a lifestyle that you do not have to chose. inspiring!

    January 13, 2012 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Denise

    Congratullations Carlos on taking steps to improve your health.
    Will be following you and the team on your journey.
    What an inspiration you are to the many people out there that need to get motivated to take care of themselves

    January 14, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. john

    Way to go Carlos. I just saw the slot on Tv. Very cool. Congrats on the weightloss.

    February 5, 2012 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.