Martial arts lessons and healthy eating habits helped Medwin Mina quit smoking and lose 127 pounds
Weight Before: 280
Weight After: 153
Vitals: Medwin Mina, 33, San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Sales manager
Time Required to Reach Goal: 2 years
Lesson Learned: Little changes, like parking a bit farther away, let you ease into exercise.
Secret Weapon: Following a set plan. Martial arts classes helped me stick to a regimen.
The Gain Mina kept active in high school as a tennis player, and his parents provided him with healthy, home-cooked meals. But that reliance on Dad’s cooking left him helpless at college. “Since my meals weren’t prepared for me anymore, I began living off fast food,” says Mina. With the value menu as his guide, he reached 280 pounds by his junior year.
The Change Mina’s low point came during a trip to an amusement park with friends. “I tried to sit in the seat of a roller coaster and couldn’t get my harness to fit,” he says. The next day, he tossed out his fried foods and replaced them with healthier options, like fruits, vegetables, and baked chicken. Then he enrolled in a 5-day-a-week martial-arts class. After a year of punching, kicking, and face-to-face battles, Mina had shed 100 pounds.
The Lifestyle: Mina starts his day with a 3- to 5-mile run. At night, he hits the gym for a 2-hour workout of jumping rope, shadowboxing, and sparring. To fuel his active life-style, Mina relies on high-protein meals but allows himself a few old favorites on occasion. “I’ve learned that I can eat what I want, as long as I keep it in moderation,” he says.
The Reward Mina now loves to hit the open water in a kayak and enjoys other outdoor activities like hiking. “I’ve grown to love exercising outdoors, since I’m not worried about becoming winded anymore,” he says. Even better, his new routine prompted him to drop a 10-year smoking habit, rounding out a truly healthy lifestyle.
Find a sport you love. If you find an activity that doesn’t feel like work, exercise comes naturally.
Set a bigger goal. Minigoals are important, but setting a larger over-all goal can keep you on message.
Eat what you enjoy. Don’t deprive yourself. Keep your favorite foods, but gradually reduce the portions so they fit into your diet.