There are many supposed ways to slim down (both advertised and proven), and one of the more popular ones right now is yoga. Still, not a few are doubting its effectivity.
"Does it really work?"
"Will it make me look and feel lighter?"
"Won't it be just another way to waste time (and money)?"
It's good to be skeptical because, by being so, we are at least a bit guarded against unproven things and concepts that might just fool us in the end.
In the case of yoga though, well, for the the man we're about to introduce to you, it works.
Meet Brye Encarnation:
Image via Menshealth.ph
- Age: 35
- Weight Before: 320 lbs
- Weight After: 176 lbs
- Time It Took: 12 months
Many of us would look back at our childhood with a smile on our faces. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for Encarnacion, who carries with him rough memories of his youth.
Encarnacion, who grew up as a chubby kid, recounts, "Because of my size, I've been the butt of all jokes during my elementary years. I was bullied throughout my high school days."
His father happened to be handy around the kitchen, and his love for food got him to pack on the pounds. "Food comforted me in so many ways, and comfort was easy to find at home," he shares.
GIF via Pinterest.com
After he graduated from college and got a job, weight issues still bogged him down, and it came as no surprise when he reached a whopping 320 pounds at the age of 28. Back then, Encarnacion had a hard time finding clothes that fit, and most, if not all, of the garments he used were either customized or ordered abroad.
What got him more depressed was when he fell in love with someone who, unfortunately, didn't feel the same. Encarnacion says that was one of the most depressing days in his life. "That person only considered me as a friend. It made me think it had something to do with my size," he muses.
A TASTE OF SUCCESS
Initially, Encarnacion got encouraged to overhaul his sluggish lifestyle to make someone physically attracted to him. In short: His goal was to lose weight to be in a relationship.
But shedding extra pounds was not a walk in the park. "It was tough. I was really in a strict diet. My breakfast would either be a bowl of oatmeal with slices of fruits or 2 slices of wheat bread and a hard boiled egg," he shares. "My lunch and dinner would be anything boiled, grilled or steamed. I would usually eat veggies, fish or chicken breast. No red meat. No rice. I replaced carbs with banana or kamote."
Encarnacion later enrolled at a fitness club that introduced him to a variety of cardio exercises, like the Les Mills’ mixed martial arts-inspired program Body Combat, and its dance fitness counterpart, Body Jam. Aside from cardio, he also became active with a variety of yoga exercises.
GIF via Bustle.com
"Yoga made me stronger," he says. "Although hindi siya kasing intense ng ibang exercise, my muscles are working the whole time during the workout. Mahirap siya, nakakapawis. It also helped me mentally, so I could focus on my goals."
While you'd think that yoga has nowhere as near the calorie-burning power of, say, a high-intensity interval session, research has confirmed that it does, indeed, have fat-burning effects, especially when paired with a complementary physical activity. "Heart rates are quite high for the amount of work you're doing," confirms Colorado State University's Brian L. Tracy to Time.com.
Encarnacion, who trained four times a week, also hired a physical trainer to help him reach his ideal weight.
Interestingly enough, what once started as a motivation to attract someone, has transformed into a newer, worthier goal: to be a fitness instructor himself.
"It made me realize that being physically fit means more than just being physically attractive. It's a whole lot more. It’s about being healthy. It’s about being confident. It’s about inspiring people with your story," he says.
Encarnacion is now a Certified Les Mills instructor of Body Balance, a yoga-based strength and flexibility class that combines a series of stretch routines, poses and meditation techniques, at Fitness First.
"This is one of the group exercises that really helped me a lot in losing weight. I decided to apply as a fitness instructor to share my story to my students and tell them that there’s always hope," he quips. "The road is not easy. But with time, patience, perseverance, love and support from family and friends, everything is possible," he says.
Ultimately, Encarnacion hopes that by teaching a yoga-inspired class, he can break the notion that yoga is only for girls.
And his message for guys out there: Before underestimating yoga, you should at least give it a try.
This story originally appeared on Menshealth.ph.
Minor edits have been made by the FHM.com.ph editors.