‘I lost 14st after binning my eye-watering vodka habit – now I win ultra triathlons’

A man lost half his body weight after ditching his annual $3.9k (£3,122) vodka habit – and is now winning ultra-triathlons.

Jonathan Perez, 28, had been overweight his whole life but lived an active lifestyle and loved running, swimming and martial arts.

But when the pandemic hit he struggled to keep up with his training and piled on the pounds – soon tipping the scales at 28st 5lbs and squeezing into a size 4XL.

He sank three bottles of vodka a week – costing $25 (£20) a bottle – and ordered takeaways such as Pizza Hut.

Jonathan decided to make a change after realising he couldn’t find any clothes to fit him and had a gastric sleeve in Mexico – costing him $10,000 (£8,000).

Now Jonathan eats home-cooked foods and has lost half his body weight. He is a fit 14st 2lbs and wears a size medium.

He is back competing in races and won his first ultramarathon in April 2024.

Jonathan, a content creator, from Puerto Rico, said: “I drank almost every day. During the pandemic I went to the grocery shop for a pack of beer and vodka. I had about 12 beers and three bottles of vodka a week.”

Jonathan had never worried about his weight previously as he has no health concerns.

He said: “I have been overweight my whole life. I had a pretty active life. I was always doing some kind of sport. I got to 400lbs during the pandemic when the races were cancelled.

“There was no motivation to train. I ate a lot.”

Jonathan would order a family sized Pizza Hut meal for himself once a week and snacked on chocolate and crisps.

He had tried every diet in the book but after nothing worked he decided to look into surgery.

He said: “I tried a lot of diets. I was training three hours a day sometimes. I was trying everything naturally.”

Jonathan flew to Mexico and had a gastric sleeve in April 2022 – spending $10k on the surgery, flights and accommodation.

He got back to training as soon as it was safe to and was amazed as the weight came off him.

Jonathan said: “I couldn’t believe what was happening. In the first month I lost about 48lbs. I used to hate pictures. Now I take a lot of photos. I wasn’t used to seeing the new me.”

Jonathan has switched up his diet cooking himself home-cooked protein filled meals such as chicken and rice.

His dream was to start competing in ultramarathons and in April 2024 he finished in first place at the Ultra La Isla triathlon.

He said: “It wasn’t my goal to win. Finally completing one was my dream.”


  • BREAKFAST: Takeaway ham and egg sandwich
  • LUNCH: Hamburger
  • DINNER: Pizza Hut family meal
  • SNACKS: Crisps, chocolate


  • BREAKFAST: Home-cooked ham and egg sandwich
  • LUNCH: Chicken and pasta
  • DINNER: Chicken and rice
  • SNACKS: Pop chips

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