The Martin family, of Lindale, is calling their messages about weight loss, nutrition and motivation their ministry. John and Jill Martin, along with their adult children Keri, Sam, Johnny and Ashley Hamrick, have lost a collective 281 pounds in the last year.
Family members began eating healthier foods and exercising in addition to doing a 90-day challenge, using products from their nutrition company.
Ms. Martin started the domino effect. She lost 65 pounds. She said she’d reached 205 pounds and felt miserable. Two years ago, she found Zumba and quickly began to see results. She later became a Zumba instructor.
“I kept dancing off of my weight,” she said. “Then I got into personal training and Crossfit.”
During her journey, Ms. Martin has learned to shop for produce and other healthier items. She chooses mostly green vegetables, lean protein and protein shakes.
Martin’s wife, Jill, was inspired to eat healthily. She has lost 39 pounds. Mrs. Hamrick lost 36 pounds while the youngest sibling, Sam, lost 51. Johnny, 26, lost 20 pounds. Ashley’s husband and Keri’s boyfriend both lost 25 pounds.
“The family effort is quite amazing to me,” Ms. Martin said. “I’ve never seen my family like this. We’ve all grown up on pizza and burgers. I’ve never heard my dad say the words, ‘I’m craving a salad,’ out of his mouth.”
Sam added, “Since all of our family is doing it, it has brought us closer and we’re having a blast doing it.”
Sam aimed to lose 40 but dropped 11 more. His next goal is to tighten up his muscles. He said he’d struggled with his weight since age 10, when he became less active.
“I was uncomfortable and didn’t have confidence,” Sam said. “I was very self-aware.”
Martin said he was the last person to get on board. He had lost a lot of weight in the past with diets, pills and other quick fixes, but the weight always came back.
“The reason it came back is because I never changed my mind,” he said.
The family had maintained a diet high in processed, packaged foods. They began to notice that they were on an unhealthy path together.
“We were literally dying from stress and being out of shape,” Martin said.
Martin’s mindset slowly changed about food, but a particular incident was a wakeup call. In what he said felt like a confrontation, a business partner during a dinner told him he needed to lose weight. Everyone at the table agreed, he said.
“I continued to eat, and he said, ‘You didn’t hear me,’ and he told me to put the fork down. It was the most embarrassing time of my life. It really shook me up.”
It still took some time for Martin to change habits. He blamed his poor diet on stress and his age. Eating was comforting and his way of dealing with the pressures of a previous troubled business.
“I’d given up on being in shape,” he said.
Weighing in at 293 pounds, he had to make small steps. He chose to think about incremental success instead of a big number.
“I had to lose 100 pounds, but I thought of it as losing 10 pounds at a time instead of that unbelievably big number,” Martin said. “Those first 10, 20 are the most difficult. Once you get through that, you feel better about yourself.”
Martin said he bombarded his system with good nutrition. Soon after, his taste buds and his body began to change.
“I started losing the temptation to eat bad food,” he said. “I started craving salads. Salads were disgusting to me. I used to eat meat and potatoes and everything white, bread and butter.”
The greatest challenge during a weight-loss journey, the family said, is to work through the mental and physical pains. For some, Martin said, it is easier to give up than bring up underlying issues.
“People learn to live in misery until they start to lose the weight and realize how miserable they were,” he said.
The family’s goal is to pass their success on to others —whether through speaking or introducing people to plans that have worked for them.
“I feel so good and I want others to feel that way too,” Ms. Martin said.
To reach the Martin family or inquire about their weight loss success, email firstname.lastname@example.org.