Local business owner Omar Medrano reversed a poor and unhealthy diet to take control of his weight—and his life.
When Omar Medrano couldn’t fit into his size 38 pants several years ago, he thought they had shrunk in the dryer. After all, he was exercising and burning a lot of calories. He was running, working out four or more times a week in the gym, and had participated in a 100-mile bike ride. However, soon he was noticing other issues—shortness of breath when he ran, severe lack of energy, high cholesterol and the telling tale: a bathroom scale that registered a hefty 230, which meant he’d gained 55 pounds.
It was this concrete evidence that forced Medrano to face the facts. Although he was building muscle, it wasn’t his exercise program that was causing him to gain weight. It was his unhealthy diet.
“I was eating a lot of bacon cheeseburgers, pizza and drinking beer. During the century rides [100-mile bike rides], I was doing a lot of eating at the 20-mile breaks. I thought I was burning so many calories I could eat whatever I wanted,” Medrano says. “That was until I looked at myself after a cycling event at Cocoa Beach and thought, ‘Oh my gosh!’”
At age 40, the Smoothie King franchise owner who sells energy and health drinks had to take a hard look at himself and his lifestyle. Was he setting a good example for his employees? Was he becoming the perfect candidate for heart disease?
“I needed to practice what I preached about nutrition in my smoothie stores and go back to eating healthy so I would be able to run effortlessly again,” he says.
He cut out all the high- and empty-calorie foods, laid off the beer and continued his CrossFit workouts. The dedication paid off. With time, Medrano shed 30 pounds and is on his way to his goal of weighing 180 again. He says it should take him another 10 weeks.
“My diet now consists of two low-carb and high-protein smoothies a day and eating sensible meals to include four ounces of fish, chicken or pork, vegetables and carbs, though I’m partial to sweet potatoes. I’ve also cut out drinking sodas and limit my beer to special occasions,” Medrano says.
Since making the commitment to living a healthy lifestyle, his two daughters—Lauren, 10, and Mia, 8—as well as his wife, Millie, have joined him. He runs in full marathons, and his daughters join him in shorter 5K and 10K races.
The 42-year-old says he would like to add two more smoothie stores to the existing four he currently owns in Davie, Plantation and Cooper City. And one day, he hopes that he and his wife can open their own gym. He envisions it as a place where no matter your age, physique or attire, you will be welcome.
Of his progress Medrano says, “It’s a process. You have to stay committed and focused. It’s not ‘The Biggest Loser;’ it’s a marathon. The first step is hard, but you will see results and you will be much happier mentally and physically.”