This Personal Trainer Danced Off 142 Pounds

Keoni Hudoba sang and danced his way from obesity to a career in fitness

April 17, 2013
weight loss success Keoni Hudoba
weight loss success Keoni Hudoba

Before: 327

After: 185
Age: 30
Height: 6’ 2”

Keoni Hudoba grew up in Oahu, HI, where he played soccer and wrestled during his teens. However, in college, a lack of exercise plus a steady diet of Easy Mac, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and Cinnabon snacks pushed the former athlete’s weight to 327 pounds. (Search: Worst Fast Food Choices) “I rarely worked out, unless bringing food to my mouth counts as lifting,” Keoni says. 

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The Turning Point
In 2003, midway through college, the opera major wowed a director with his voice at an audition—but when it came to showing off the choreography the role required, he fell far short. “After the first eight-count, I was out of breath,” Keoni recalls. “I was so embarrassed.” (7 Natural Endurance Boosters) At the end of the audition, the director told Keoni that if he was serious about performing, he needed to lose weight. “Hearing that from somebody who wasn’t in my circle was like a dagger to my heart,” Keoni said.  

The Eating Habits
Rather than radically changing his diet, Keoni lightened up the foods he loved and trimmed portions. For example, he swapped white-bread PB & J sandwiches for flaxseed wraps with almond butter and sugar-free jelly, and when offered a sweet treat like a slice of pie, he’d have one serving instead of several. He also cut off his carb intake after 6 PM to avoid consuming energy he wouldn’t burn.  

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The Fitness Routine
During his summer break in 2003, Keoni landed a part in a musical that required him to sing and dance in full costume up to six times a day. On top of his physically demanding performances, Keoni lifted weights and put in an hour or more of high intensity interval training on elliptical each day. He dropped 70 pounds that summer alone. “From that point on I decided I wasn’t ever going back,” Keoni says. When he returned to school for the fall semester, Keoni stepped up his workout regime by taking hip hop fitness classes, abs classes, and boot camp classes at Gold’s Gym. 

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The Reward
By 2006, Keoni was 142 pounds lighter, but had gained washboard abs and bulging biceps—and a new career. Filling in for his hip-hop instructor helped him discover a passion for leading group fitness classes. Today, he teaches Drenched, the martial-arts and plyometrics-based fitness method he created, at Crunch in New York City. He also works as a master trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp, and serves as the partner and creative director for two CYC indoor cycling studios in Madison, WI and Austin, TX. "The biggest reward is doing this as a full-time job,” Keoni says. “I’m still performing. I’m onstage every single day; it’s just a different venue.” 

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Keoni’s Advice
Believe in yourself.
“You have to go in with the mindset that you can do it,” Keoni says. “Don’t invest time or money if you’re really not serious.” 

Cheat a little. “The downfall of not allowing cheat days is that cheating will turn into a binge,” Keoni says.