From Junk Food Addict to Fit & Healthy: ILKB Member Jose Otero’s Story

At 265 lbs and with an injury to his left eye, Jose was shy and self conscious. He kept to himself a lot and barely spoke to anyone.

But Jose had to go to the gym. His doctor told him there was no way to get out of it.

His cholesterol was at an all time high of 280. With normal levels reaching no higher than 120, his doctor told him he had to clean up his eating habits and lose weight – or suffer drastic health consequences.

Jose didn’t fight his doctor.

His mother had a diabetic attack before and had since been ordered by her own doctor to eat clean as well. She tried to get Jose to join her. She even threw out all the junk food and sugary drinks at home.

Jose tried to eat the fruits and veggies she bought. He even attempted drinking water.

But it was just hard.

“My personal menu was terrible. For reasons I can’t explain I always felt hungry. It was just a matter of breaking a bad habit,” he said.

 What his diet looked like…

To start, he ate breakfast cereals that turned his milk into a rainbow.

He’d followed that by devouring a whole bag of chips to then snack on chocolate chip cookies before his next meal.

To finish, he had the choice of a few slices of pizza, Chinese food and pretty much any fast food he could get his hands on.

He paired everything he ate with a tall glass of soda.


Jose left the doctor’s office defeated.

He feared people looking at him at the gym. He felt self-conscious.

But he knew his doctor was right.

After being overweight his entire life, Jose was tired of not being able to do the things he loved. He couldn’t keep up with sports related activities and lost his breath just running around a corner. He also had knee and ankles problems to point where he had to wear braces.

He felt his body begin to give up on him.

After debating back and forth on what he should do, Jose decided to follow his doctor’s orders and start exercising.

But once Jose stepped foot in the gym, his nerves of having to socialize with people disappeared as he realized he could continue to fly under the radar.

Jose came and went whenever he wanted to. He went at his own pace sometimes doing the bare minimum like a few minutes on the treadmill and no one told him what to do.

Jose kind of liked it.

Except there was a problem.

He wasn’t seeing results.

His cholesterol was still high and he wasn’t losing any weight. Not even one pound.

His family was concerned and advised him that he had to do more. Jose didn’t want to hear it. He was quite comfortable at the gym and he wanted to keep it that way.

But then his sister won him over with these magic words about iLoveKickboxing…

“You get to punch and kick a heavy bag.”

Jose couldn’t find a reason to say no. He loved watching combat sports whether it was

Jose's favorite UFC fighter Ronda Rousey
Jose’s favorite UFC fighter Ronda Rousey

boxing, the UFC or even wrestling. He always wanted to try some sort of kickboxing but his impaired vision prevented him from doing a lot of physical activities.

He felt like he just had to give it a try.

He would finally get his chance.

“I really enjoyed it because I got to do what I’ve always wanted, and that’s to punch and kick a bag. The nonstop 15 minute warm up followed by the bag work is all it took for me to sign up. Naturally I was exhausted after the first class but I kept thinking to myself ‘this is exactly what I need!’ I’ve never experience nothing like it.”

Jose’ life has changed drastically since signing up. Today he is down 60lbs and cholesterol level has decreased tremendously. His asthma is gone, his stamina is up and his energy is at an all time high.

Jose says ILKB gave him what he needed to take control of his health & life.


But although he was hooked from the very first class, it wasn’t just the jab cross combos or the roundhouse kicks that motivated him to consistently step foot on the mat.


ILKB gave him what he was missing at the gym and it was something bigger than the class itself:


“In the gym I go at my own pace and no one motivates me. I was OK with it at first but it’s not like ILKB. There are certain days that I wake up not wanting to do any kind of exercises but then I receive an email from ILKB asking how I’m doing when I go a number of days without going. It makes me feel motivated. I say to myself, ” you know what? I wanna workout today!”

Jose says the genuine communication from the instructors helped him break out of his shell too. The charming instructors take the time to talk to him not only about his goals but also other topics such as super hero movies (which Jose is a true fanatic). It makes it easy for Jose to be social.

FB_IMG_1459352572615Jose doesn’t consider himself a shy guy anymore either. As Jose puts it, he’s gotten over it and feels great about himself. Heck he’ll even the one to break the ice.

Jose is beyond himself as he is proud to say that he frequently takes part in a lot of other physical activities. He runs 5k to 10k runs and has even participated in obstacle course challenges.

“I couldn’t even imagine doing that before. ILKB made all the difference in the world.”

And that’s why so many people love ILKB.

People who have failed at exercising alone get a support system of instructors and other members who keep them accountable. They gain a community of friends who are encouraging, motivating, and truly caring.

They become happier people who love themselves, their bodies, and life in general.

Because at ILKB it’s not just about the physical achievements of members, it’s the personal ones too.

People who were intimidated to be social or were limited by their weight to live active lifestyles go on to push their minds and bodies beyond their limits. They never return to the bad habits they used to have. Some even become instructors themselves because they’ve lived in the same shoes as someone just starting out. They know what it takes to succeed.

Last but not least, they see the best results of their lives at a place where they can practice real moves fighters use in the ring. And they never get hit back.

How cool is that?

So what advice does Jose have for someone who needs to get healthy but is scared to break out their comfort zone?


“Say to yourself, ‘I CAN!’ Change your mental approach. Rome wasn’t built in a day so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see the results right away. Some see the results right away but we’re all different. Never once during class did I think about quitting. I always say to myself, “this is exactly what I need”. If you stick with it and go regularly, your body as well as your mind will transform. In due time you’ll see the results and you’ll have a whole new outlook on life.”

So what do you think?

Ready to become the best version of yourself?

Click here to find a location near you.


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