NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Ethan Pereira knew it was time to get in shape.
“I started off at 300 [pounds],” Pereira said. “I knew that was the bottom line, and I needed to change my lifestyle.”
Pereira, who’s a barber at Barbershop Love in North Providence, told 12 News he made a conscious effort to lose weight.
And that effort has paid off.
“I’ve lost 55 pounds already,” he said. “I feel like a new man.”
It hasn’t been easy for Pereira, who said he relies heavily on the support of his family and friends.
“When you have support, it just makes it 10 times easier,” he explained.
Barbershop Love owner Sherwin Ramos has found a unique way to support Pereira.
“Every dollar you make is equivalent to a push-up,” Ramos explained. “If I make $30 off [a haircut], I’ll have to do 30 push ups before I start my next cut.”
Ramos said the push-ups are more than just a gimmick, adding that Pereira is inspiring everyone to better themselves.
“He’s motivating everyone without even trying to motivate everyone,” Ramos said.
Supporting Pereira has become a team effort, according to Ramos, who said other barbers have also been hitting the floor between appointments.
Pereira and Ramos wind up doing hundreds of push ups each shift. When asked the most number of push ups he’s done in a shift, Pereira said about 350.
“Health is wealth,” Pereira explained. “At first you think, ‘Oh yeah, I made $350.’ But then you have to turn those into push-ups.”
“It’s tough,” Ramos added. “But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.”
Tips are included in the number of push-ups per haircut, which Ramos said is a great way to get their clients involved.
“We’re increasing our tips because everyone is having a good time with it,” he said.
Both Ramos and Pereira hope to inspire more than just each other.
“I’ve seen people treat their cars better than their body,” Ramos said. “This is just kicking the word ‘excuse’ out of the way. No more excuses.”
Pereira plans to continue his weight loss journey for as long as possible. He said the more he loses, the more confident he feels.
“It’s very important to make sure that you feel like you’re at your best,” he said.