It wasn’t until Xavier Cordova-Figallo came to the United States to pursue a master's degree in 1999 that he began to notice unwanted weight gain. Originally from Venezuela, where fresh food was abundant, he says he was never concerned about his weight before.
But faced with a different food landscape and having much of his time and energy spent on his studies, Cordova-Figallo felt he had little time to take care of himself and his health. “I was grabbing a lot of fast food,” he says. And that eventually led to a 20-pound weight gain.
After years and countless unsuccessful attempts to lose weight and maintain it—including going on the cabbage soup diet and trying HGH injections, juice cleanses, you name it—Cordova-Figallo began to think that there was no way out, that yo-yo-ing was his new way of life. After he married and became a dad, his weight became more than just his size; it was also his health. By his 40s, depressed about his weight, Cordova-Figallo was looking for a way to be healthier for his family, get his energy back, and be able to confidently wear the clothes he could no longer fit into. (And that had been sitting in his closet since before the pandemic.)
“I thought about joining Noom, but it didn’t feel like the right approach for me,” says Cordova-Figallo. And he was skeptical in general about joining a weight care plan. He then discovered Found and added weight loss medication to his changing lifestyle habits. “I had never tried medication,” he adds. “But after doing my due diligence about weight loss medications, I was like, ‘What the heck. Let me try.’” He’s now down almost 23 pounds, and while he’ll be the first to admit that his original plan was to take prescription meds until he reached his goal—and then stop quickly after—he’s realized that to sustain his weight loss, he needs to keep up his new healthy behaviors and medication.
“One of the life-changing things I learned was about eating mindfully. Asking myself, ‘Do you really want to eat that? Are you really that hungry? Take some time when you eat,’” explains Cordova-Figallo. “It’s changed my habits of how I see food and how I see myself interacting around food.”
This mindfulness is a tool Cordova-Figallo says he takes with him every day. And it’s one that will forever help him tune into his hunger and fullness cues and understand emotional eating by often asking himself, “do I truly want that?”
Cordova-Figallo says that at the beginning of his journey, he occasionally grew frustrated with the average weight loss of one pound per week—slower than he’d experienced with the more extreme measures he had tried. But he learned to be patient and stick with it. “It was a much better pace and the way I think things should be,” he says. There will be ups and downs, and that’s normal.
For him, a combination of bupropion, naltrexone, and topiramate was a part of his weight care journey. The practice of mindful eating, and the meds, have helped reduce his appetite and cravings, as well as his penchant for nighttime snacking.
So, what’s next for Cordova-Figallo? If you ask him, it’s to keep moving forward and taking it day by day. “It makes me a little emotional. I never gave myself grace,” he says about his life before joining Found, “I never thought about myself and my needs. But I realize that I deserve it.” Cordova-Figallo is focused on prioritizing himself and has seen the results—ones that go way past the scale. Not only do his clothes fit better, but he’s also sleeping better, trying to exercise more, and making an effort every day to be proactive about his health.
Found is among the largest medically-supported weight care clinics in the country, serving more than 200,000 members to date. To start your journey with Found, take our quiz.