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Miami-Dade Public Defender Celebrating Impressive Weight Loss

MIAMI (CBS4) - Miami-Dade Public Defender Carlos Martinez keeps a size 52 portly suit in his office as a reminder of what he once looked like.

Martinez, 52, tipped the scales at 288 pounds just six months ago. He now weighs 190, that's close to 100 pounds of weight loss in six months without drugs or surgery.

Martinez, who dropped from a 52 waist line to a 38, looks at old photos in disbelief. He says he rarely exercised, and lived on coffee, fast food and Cuban pastries.

"First thing in the morning, I would have a shot or two of Cuban coffee with sugar," he said. "I would grab myself a tostada (Cuban toast) and a pastelito, then I would buy a box of pastelitos for the office so I would eat one or two more."

As Miami-Dade's Public Defender, Martinez runs an office with a $30 million annual budget and 400 employees, half of them lawyers. He leads a busy life of meetings and public appearances. He says he was simply too busy to take care of his health.

"A lot of it had to do with stress," he said. "I did not set up enough of the proper coping mechanisms like exercise and eating balanced meals."

Martinez's life changed last year when his brother-in-law suffered a heart attack. It was about the time that he noticed his size 52-Portly suit was too tight. Now, he looks at the suit and wonders how he let himself go as much as he did.

Now, Martinez is on the Medifast Diet that calls for 6 meals a day. In his office, he keeps a stash of protein bars, powdered soups and snacks. He eats one regular, healthy meal a day, drinks eight glasses of water, exercises and receives support from Dr. Donna Goldstein, a Health Coach with "Take Shape For Life". Martinez calls Dr. Goldstein a savior who has kept him on the straight and narrow throughout his 6-month journey to a healthier lifestyle.

The busy Public Defender says his goal is to bring his weight down to 175 pounds. When he reaches his goal, he says, he plans to celebrate by "having one of my protein bars."

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