When Omar Medrano couldn’t fit into his favorite pair of pants, he didn’t really think much of it—it was probably just the result of a dryer shrinking his clothes. After all, between running and working out four or five times a week in the gym, he was burning a lot of calories every single day.
Eventually, he started noticing other health issues that became worrisome—shortness of breath when he ran, severe lack of energy and high cholesterol. But then, he encountered another telling sign that something was wrong—a bathroom scale that registered a hefty 230, which meant he’d gained a total of 55 pounds in just six months. It was the evidence Medrano needed to face the facts—he was suffering from an unhealthy diet.
“I was eating a lot of bacon cheeseburgers, pizza and drinking beer. I thought I was burning so many calories that I could eat whatever I wanted,” Medrano said.
At the age of 40, Medrano was also a Smoothie King franchise owner of three stores throughout Davie, Florida. Because he sold ”Smoothies With A Purpose®” for a living, he realized it was time to take a hard look at himself and his lifestyle. As an ambassador for a brand that advocates an active and healthy lifestyle, Medrano realized he was setting a bad example for his customers, his employees and his family.
In an effort to practice what he preached in his stores every single day, he decided to cut out all the high- and empty-calorie foods, laid off his beer consumption and continued with his CrossFit workouts. He also started drinking smoothies as a meal replacement. Eventually, the dedication paid off, and over time, Medrano shed 30 pounds. Today, he’s on his way to weighing 180 pounds again, and his diet now consists of two low-carb and high-protein Smoothie King smoothies a day and low-calorie, sensible meals.
Since making the commitment to living an active and healthy lifestyle, his two daughters (ages 10 and 8) and his wife, Millie, have joined him, too. He runs in full marathons, and his daughters join him in shorter 5K and 10K races.
“Making that first step to change your life around for the better isn’t always easy—it’s a process and you have to stay committed. As a franchisee, I was lucky to have Smoothie King in my life. Going into work every day was a source of motivation—being a part of a brand that has a mission to inspire healthy and active lifestyles became something I personally embodied,” Medrano said. “In a lot of ways, Smoothie King really helped to save my life.”
Medrano’s story isn’t uncommon. Throughout Smoothie King’s growing system of stores, franchisees are taking what the brand preaches to heart. Rick Van Alphen followed a similar path. As a Smoothie King franchisee in Orlando, Florida, Van Alphen turned to the brand’s #ChangeAMeal Challenge for inspiration—an annual effort to promote heathy habits by having customers swap out one meal a day for a Smoothie King smoothie. When coupled with regular exercise and healthy food choices, the challenge has helped dozens of customers shed pounds.
Before opening his Smoothie King location, Van Alphen was a work-from-home travel agent, spending most of his days visiting prospective travelers. Because he was constantly on the road, he often turned to quick fixes and empty calories to suppress his appetite on the go. But over time, he realized the negative impact his lifestyle was having on his health. So he decided it was time for a change. That’s when he turned to franchising with Smoothie King. While running his store, he realized just how easy it could be to swap out an unhealthy breakfast or lunch for a smoothie. This simple change inspired him to transform the rest of his lifestyle—he started exercising more, too. Over the course of eight months, Van Alphen dropped more than 40 pounds.
“Smoothie King can be an integral part of your health and fitness plan by providing you with specialized product offerings that make it easy and enjoyable to help you reach individual goals. Once I realized that I had everything in my power to turn my life around, it was time to stop making excuses,” Van Alphen said. “I owe it to Smoothie King for opening my eyes and helping me take control of my own life.”
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