“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”Frederick Douglas
Weight Gain Background and Contributing Factors
Martinus says that as the youngest of 3 kids his parents spoiled him a bit, and his mom used donuts as a reward for things like good grades.
In high school, Martinus had a growth spurt and shot up to 6’3” and 280 pounds. (127.3 kg) In college he played football and went from 280 to 325 pounds (147.7 kg) in his first semester, on the advice of a coach to “get bigger”. Martinus eventually stopped football due to coaching changes, and he weighed around 360-400 pounds (163-181 kg) when he completed his undergraduate studies.
How Being Overweight Impacted Martinus’s Life
“It just hurts.”
With obesity, Martinus suffered from sleep apnea, joint and knee pain, and his shoe size even got bigger.
“It was just really painful.”
He felt like since he used to run football drills, he should be able to do workout videos, but he was just too heavy. P90X didn’t work for him, and he sold the videos to a friend after a week. The same thing happened with the Insanity videos.
“My mind was telling me one thing, but my body was telling me another… Mentally I was game, but physically I wasn’t.”
The Turning Point
In July of 2012 Martinus was working retail and felt an intense sharp pain in his hip. When he visited an orthopedic specialist for an assessment, the doctor said, “I know why you’re in pain…it’s because you’re fat.”
This moment changed Martinus’s life.
Martinus was unfortunately accustomed to being bullied and teased about his weight, but the visit to the doctor was a wake up call, of sorts. The incident pushed Martinus into a strong emotional reaction to being treated like this by a doctor, and he felt he had more to prove. Martinus angrily told the doctor: “I’m going to run a marathon, and I’m going to blog about it!”
“Even though it was harsh and it made me mad, it was that conversation that changed my life.”
Starting The Weight Loss Journey
Martinus immediately went from the doctor’s office to a shoe store, bought some running shoes and downloaded 3 different C25K programs. He also immediately registered the domain name www.300poundsandrunning.com.
With his exercise, Martinus says he “failed horribly” at first. It took Martinus about 2 weeks to complete week 1/day 1 of the C25K program. He would run for 10 seconds, 20 seconds, etc. to work his way up to completing the first day of the program – but he didn’t give up.
“I couldn’t run for a minute straight, but I didn’t give up…It was painful.”
At first Martinus wasn’t able to celebrate his exercise mini-victories. No matter how many things he was accomplishing, he still felt limited by his weight, since he still couldn’t participate in activities that his friends could—zip lines, amusement park rides, etc.
Martinus discusses how, for him, living a life of obesity had taught him to expect disappointment.
“You’re always looking for something to disappoint you.”
Martinus realizes that he needs to work on celebrating the little victories instead of just waiting to be disappointed.
Martinus signed up for his first 5K two years ago, and at the starting line he had such low confidence that he lined up behind the strollers and parents. It took until Martinus was in that race when he was passing people to think of himself as a runner.
“I was freaking ecstatic!”
He shares that one of the obstacles in weight loss is that when you are overweight people may tell you to get active, but then when overweight folks are out getting active, they may be teased. Sometimes Martinus will stop and have a conversation with people who are staring at him in public while he exercises.
Martinus blogs about his journey, and he has an accountability group (a “mastermind group”) that help keep him on his path.
Social media plays a huge role in keeping Martinus motivated. Once when Martinus was in the drive thru of Dunkin Donuts and he sent out a tweet asking people to talk him out of it. He got many supportive responses within minutes, and didn’t end up getting a donut.
What Martinus Learned and His Advice for You
Martinus was born and raised in Detroit, in one of the roughest parts of town. He says that the toughness he cultivated while growing up there has come in handy in his journey to get healthy.
”You’ve been through worse things. This is nothing compared to what you’ve already been through in your life.”
Dig deep and “find your why.” Cultivate that little flame of hope and hold on to it. Cultivate it into a raging ball of fire, and hold on to it.
Martinus just finished graduate school, and he is recovering from a shoulder injury from a car accident. He is getting back into the groove of running and is exercising and eating to achieve a 36-34” waist.
Resources Discussed In This Podcast
- Mark’s Daily Apple – Paleo blog & resources
- Diets in Review – comprehensive data on LOTS of diets (see our interview with DietsInReview editor Brandi Koskie here)
- Withings Wireless Scale
- Basis Health Tracker for Fitness, Sleep & Stress