Commitment, discipline and a taste for achievement
Sérgio Alexandre Gomes has changed his habits, improved his health and gifted himself with a new way of life
written by: Júlio César SoaresSérgio Alexandre Gomes is Braskem’s Administration-Finance Manager for the “Green” Ethylene Project, which is currently being built in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, by Odebrecht Plantas Industriais e Participações. Two years ago, he realized that he needed to lose weight. He is 1.87 m tall (6 foot 1) and then weighed 135 kg (about 297 pounds). He was in good health, but led a sedentary lifestyle and ate too much. He knew he was a walking time bomb. “I had become ‘false positive’; I was healthy but I needed to look after myself.” Married with two daughters (Victória, 6, and Luísa, 5), Sérgio didn’t want to put his future life with his family at risk.
He got together with two colleagues from the Petrobras Firefighting System in Guarulhos, São Paulo, where he worked, and they started walking for exercise. Today, Sérgio is 42 and gets up at 5 a.m. three times a week to work out.
“Regular exercise energized us,” he recalls. When Sérgio heard that Odebrecht had teamed up with a sports consulting company to start a fitness program, he decided to introduce that program at the project he was working on. In his first interview, he said he wanted to finish a marathon. “I needed a goal of that magnitude to motivate me.” With the help of Odebrecht’s health department, he started working out and slimmed down to 84 kg (some 185 pounds). He has kept the weight off, which means that he lost a whopping 51 kg (122.44 pounds) in just one year.
He ran his first marathon in Chicago in October 2007, but was only able to finish the course in 5 hours and 31 minutes because of an injury. “It was a major challenge,” he says. After finishing that race, he set an even tougher challenge: running in the world’s top five marathons. “I’d already run in Chicago and Berlin, where I was better prepared and finished in 4 hours and 34 minutes. The other three races – London, New York and Boston – are already scheduled.” Sérgio says changing your lifestyle is simple: “It’s all about discipline and commitment.”