Name: Mynor Mendoza
Location: Los Angeles, CA
At just 30 years old, Mynor Mendoza tipped the scales at 306 pounds. He was prediabetic and suffered from sciatica. He had high cholesterol and adult-onset asthma. He was hospitalized on a near-monthly basis for illnesses and injuries.
"Sometimes, I would be bedridden for days," remembers Mynor. "This forced my wife and mom to have to take care of me. I felt helpless and useless. I would lay in bed for days, wondering whether I could go on living like this."
Mynor's health problems finally scared him straight. After a visit to his doctor, he committed to taking back control of his health by regaining control of his weight.
This is Mynor's story.
Was your weight always a struggle for you?
I was actually an athlete when I was a kid, so I was fit all through high school and into college. After that, I started working, and life got in the way. At one point, I had three jobs. I was eating out for every meal and was really stressed out. That led to more weight gain. My weight started ballooning. By the time I was 21, I was probably close to 260 pounds. It crept up from there.
Weight: 306 lbs.
Body Fat: 48%
Weight: 179 lbs.
Body Fat: 7%
Did you ever try to lose weight?
I would just go and work out at the gym, but I almost exclusively did cardio—I'd walk on the treadmill for a bit, and that'd be it. The issue is that I still wasn't eating properly. I'd get done at the gym and feel like I deserved a treat, so I'd go straight to McDonald's. It was very counterproductive. At other times, I'd try running, but I was so big I couldn't run enough to make a difference.
You work as a P.E. teacher. How did your weight affect your job?
The students would call me out all the time for asking them to do things I couldn't do. They'd say that if I wanted them to do something, I had to show them how to do it. That was really hard, because they were asking me to do things like high knees or push-ups, and I just couldn't.
What was your turning point or "aha" moment?
I was 30 years old, and a doctor told me I had such bad sciatica I was going to be disabled. I didn't want to have surgery. That was a huge wakeup call for me.
I tried a bunch of different things right off the bat. I turned my garage into a gym. I did tons of research, and bought a meal plan. I started Insanity Max 30, ran with my wife, and lifted weights.
How did you keep yourself motivated?
On the second day, I was on a jog with my wife. I was dying after about 3 minutes and had to walk the rest of the way. I felt pathetic and wanted to quit. I was embarrassed, but as I caught my breath, I realized this was the reason I got this big. I always quit. I was determined not to quit this time. That kept me going.
Why did you decide to build a home gym?
To be honest, I was embarrassed to go to a public gym. I didn't want to be the fat guy in the room. The gyms in LA have a lot of fit people, which was intimidating. I'd signed up at the YMCA and other gyms a few times before, but it was just an intimidating experience.
I also knew that if I had to drive to the gym after work, it would be easier to make excuses, like I was too tired or there was too much traffic. I couldn't make that excuse if the gym was right behind my house.
How did you build your workouts?
I looked online at Bodybuilding.com, read books, and looked at articles. The first thing I started doing was Insanity Max 30, but I knew that if I was going to build the body I wanted, I'd have to start building muscle. I learned as much as I could from reading about weight training—figuring out how many reps and sets I should do and how to target each muscle group. I ended up creating my own workouts based on my research and then used trial and error to see what worked best for my body.
What do your workouts look like now?
How did you find your first meal plan?
My meal plan was something that I purchased online. It was really basic—lots of chicken and vegetables. After using the meal plan for a while, I started reading up on meal plans and realized it isn't too complicated to build your own. Now I do my own meal preps following IIFYM—if it fits your macros.
What does your meal plan look like now?
Oats 1 cup
egg whites 1 cup
truvia to taste
olive oil 1/2 tbsp
whey protein 1 scoop
cashews 1/2 cup
chicken 6 oz
white rice 1 cup
broccoli 1/3 cup
whey protein 1 scoop
cashews 1/2 cup
chicken 6 oz
white rice 1/2 cup
vegetables 1/2 cup
egg whites 3
How did Bodybuilding.com affect your transformation?
I ended up deciding to enter a competition. There were some articles on Bodybuilding.com that were really helpful leading up to that: "5 Mistakes Beginners Make During Contest Prep" and "A Guide For Beginner's Contest Prep."
How did your competition go?
I competed in the transformation category and won. When I stepped onstage, I got a standing ovation. I'd never done anything like that in my life. The feeling was unexplainable. I was so proud of myself for the first time in a long time that I cried on stage.
Do your students treat you differently now that you're in better shape?
Now that I'm able to be a role model and lead, a lot of my kids have noticed. Some of them have been with me from sixth to eighth grade. They've seen me on every step of my journey and, in some cases, joined me. I've had kids who've started losing weight tell me that I motivated and inspired them to do it.