You Can’t Outwork a Bad Diet: Long-Time CrossFitter Josh Mintz Fixes Nutrition, Recruits Son and Loses 40 Pounds
Josh Mintz gained a lot of strength and fitness in the seven years he had been going to Big Mountain CrossFit in WhiteFish, MT, but he never took the plunge to dial in his diet and shed the weight he wanted to lose.
- “Then 2020 rolled along, and I had gotten to my heaviest I had ever gotten — 206 pounds,” said the 5-foot-10 Mintz. “I was strong, but I wasn’t happy about how I looked or felt.”
- By August, as COVID-19 was in full swing, Mintz decided “enough was enough.” He also knew being overweight was a serious comorbidity for COVID-19, and on top of that, he suffers from a chronic, persistent cough that started to concern him.
- So the 48-year-old cut out sugar and dairy, and carbohydrates, like pasta and white potatoes and fastidiously started tracking his calories. “It was really mostly about portion control, and I started to make sure I always ate a good protein…making sure the quality of food is better so my body functions better,” Mintz said.
Today: Mintz is down 40-plus pounds; he consistently weighs in somewhere between 161 and 163 pounds. And after five months of clean eating, his cravings for sweets have largely subsided. Healthy eating has become his new normal, and his mind, body, and performance at the gym, thank him for it, he explained.
- “I feel 100 percent better. I don’t feel sluggish anymore. I’m not as tired. I sleep better. The mental part of it all has been huge,” Mintz said. “And I’m so much faster at things like burpees. My butterfly pull-ups are better and even my rowing.”
One big thing: His secret weapon has been his 13-year-old son Ayden Mintz, who started working out with his dad in their home gym when soccer was cancelled and Big Mountain CrossFit was closed during the first wave of the pandemic. Having Ayden there motivated Mintz. “I didn’t want him to see me overweight anymore,” Mintz said.
- Today Ayden has become a CrossFit addict like his dad, which Mintz said has been beneficial for both of them. “It forces me to make sure that he’s going to the gym, and then he pushes me when I’m there. Even though we’re using different weights, we’re still pushing each other and he beats me a lot now and he’s not even 14 yet…And he sees me working out hard and is like, ‘Dad’s working out hard. I gotta workout hard, too,’ so it has been a great motivator for both of us,” Mintz said.
- Best of all, Mintz sees how much Ayden is benefiting from CrossFit. “It is making him so much stronger for soccer. He’s back squatting 175 pounds now, and I’m doing 215 to 230. By the end of the year, he might be back squatting more than me,” Mintz said. “And he’s really enjoying it. He had the opportunity to play eighth grade basketball…and he said, ‘I’d rather do CrossFit. I have more fun going to CrossFit with you, Dad.’”
Still room for a rest week: After tracking his calories for five months, Mintz took a well-deserved break at Christmas time and let himself eat the things he was craving like mashed potatoes and pumpkin and apple pie.
- “I’m not going to lie, I ate a lot of food. I gave myself some days off,” Mintz said. To his surprise, it didn’t do the damage he was expecting. “I weighed in on Christmas Eve at 161 pounds, and two weeks later, I’m still at 161,” he said.
- The key for Mintz was simply not letting a few days turn into a few weeks. “I just made sure the next couple days I ate really well,” he explained.
The future: Mintz has lost and gained weight before, although “not this much weight,” he said. This has led people to ask him why he thinks it will be different this time, he explained.
- For Mintz, it comes down to support. He realizes now he needs support and isn’t afraid to ask for it. “I need people to keep me in check. If they see me falling off, then they will help me get back on track,” Mintz said.
- His support network includes his wife and his kids and the coaches at his gym, especially owner Corey Olofson. “Corey always encourages me to eat better. She has been a huge supporter in trying to help me and remind me of things,” he said.
Mintz’s message: There’s no secret to getting healthy. It simply comes down to making a choice, putting a support network in place, and following through by doing the hard work.
- “It just came down to deciding enough was enough. I just decided I was going to focus on giving 110 percent on really trying to lose weight and get healthy,” Mintz said.
- “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. I’m proof of that.”