A change in lifestyle choices key to getting fit

Written by: 
Zeek Cheng

Clear motivation, better diet, and exercising diligently can help individuals obtain a fit body, according to BYU-Hawaii students who have lost weight.


Dropping from 211 pounds to 156 pounds in two years, Seth Villalon, a freshman from the Philippines studying information systems, said he decided to maintain a healthy lifestyle because of health issues. “I was almost sent home from my mission because I was facing a lot of sickness such as asthma. I was told to either go home or work out. I wanted to stay, so I chose to work out.”


Villalon said he couldn’t even do push ups before his mission so he had to start with small steps. “I set a goal for five push-ups, but I could only barely do two. So I started to do jump rope every night for 30 minutes. But I didn’t give up on my push-ups. I continued from two push-ups to five in total, then 10, 20, all the way to 100 push-ups.”


Ivan Simram, a junior from Pohnpei studying information technology, said he lost 49 pounds in a year and eight months. He said by going to the gym daily for two hours and adjusting his diet, he was able to drop to 183 pounds.


“Muscle growth depends on what food you put inside your body. If you put trash in your body, you receive trash as a result. I cut down pizza and fast food.”


Villalon added that starving is useless. “The trick is to eat healthier foods like vegetables and fish. I switched from white rice to brown rice. I just eat till half full each meal.”


Alejandra Mena, a senior from Mexico studying elementary education, said she felt more fit after exercising and eating healthy for six months. “I wanted to be healthy for my future family. I want to have fun and live longer. I don’t want my life to be attached to doctor appointments when I grow old.”


Mena said she has a simple workout and maintains a healthy diet. “I run 30-45 minutes every morning, which is 4 to 5 miles. I tried to eat less red meat, bread and rice. I also stopped drinking soda and juice and started drinking soy milk instead. I eat one small dessert on Sundays.


“Our body is a temple. God gave us that and we should take good care of it. I want to be confident about my body when I see Heavenly Father. It’s a matter of time and patience. We can’t accomplish a goal in a short period of time. Be consistent and you will eventually see the results.”


Villalon added, “Take care of your body by working out and focus on the nutrition. How you look doesn’t matter; how you take care of your body is what matters.”

Mena suggested utilizing social media for healthy food ideas, “Social media is so powerful. It influences what you do and how you think. Instead of following other food-making pages, follow those pages that teach people making healthy food.”

Date Published: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Last Edited: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017