According to ndhealth.gov, obesity in North Dakota is climbing dangerously, leading to diabetes, heart disease and other health complications.
Minot native, David Johannes, has had an uphill battle with his weight.
“I was basically eating whatever I wanted to. I was trying to get as strong as I possibly could so I didn’t really care about diet at all, just ate as much as I could possible,” said Johannes, in his 5th year of MMA training.
Weighing in at 275 pounds, doctors considered him obese.
“I was in denial about that for a while…Doctors told me I was near death as big as I had gotten, but now I go into the doctor and they have to double-check my heart rate and my blood pressure every time because my heart rate is down in the forty’s and low fifties, because I’m in better shape and I’m doing a lot of cardio exercises,” Johannes said.
His aspiration for mixed martial arts began in 2014. He began training but wasn’t quite seeing a difference.
“When I started coming to the gym and training for mixed martial arts I was just gassed, constantly. No matter what I was doing I was just tired. I could do one round on the bag and I would be just tired from it, just gassed, so I was like I need to make a change,” Johannes said.
With the help of the recently built Primal MMA Gym in Minot, Johannes has become more active.
“This is definitely motivation once you actually see some of the things that you implement work on the people around you, like these things give you a better way of living. Like I know he’s happier, he has more energy and his day to day routine has changed drastically by what he eats, what he can wear and just overall self-confidence,” said Jamie Calloway, Primal MMA Gym Owner.
His new lifestyle has trailed him outside the gym setting the standard for his family.
“I also want to set an example for my daughter and make sure she understands the importance of eating healthy,” Johannes said.