Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Story, Thus Far

Life isn't what someone or something else has in store for you, it's a culmination of all of your life's decisions.  Nothing has taught me that lesson more than spending 4 years making up for 6 years of poor choices.  If you would of asked old Mike Lutin if he was aware of his life choices, he would tell you yes, but in reality I had no clue what I was doing.

When I turned 21 the only thing I wanted to do was to play video games, eat taco bell, and drink.  I would throw parties every weekend, and my house was the place to be to meet up and relax.  Ever weekend we would buy some booze, drink as much as possible, eat frozen pizzas, and spend time socializing.  It started as a couple 30 packs of keystone, and a few years later ended up being a couple fifths of Captain Morgan and Jager.  Life sure seemed great.  That was until I couldn't tie my shoes anymore without holding my breath, struggling to get in and out of the car, and having my feet swell so bad in the summer time that I couldn't keep shoes on at work.  But despite all of that, I kept going.  At the worst of it I would start my day with a Java Monster energy drink, for lunch I would have Panda Express and another Monster, for dinner a half of a frozen pizza, then I would drink until I got hungry again and find a way to Taco Bell (often times driving myself as much as I now hate to admit it).  We would go through this routine roughly 5 nights a week.

The Day I went to Cedar Point

Growing up I was never that overweight.  My grandparents would take us to Cedar Point during the summertime and we would spend the entire day riding roller coasters, dressing up for pictures, and having a great time.  So later in my mid twenties my parents wanted to take a family vacation to Sandusky.  Weighing in at 355 lbs was not conducive to any kind of safety equipment at the park.  I could not fit in the rides!  The thoughts of me being at the park by myself watching my family ride roller coasters was the final blow to make me want to change my life.  The only problem was, I had no where to start.  I didn't know anyone who was as big as me, let alone USED to be as big as me.  My friends would say 'just eat better' and assume the rest would take care of itself.  I bought P90X because the ads would talk about how much weight I would lose.  I thought I had tried everything.  That was before I learned the first lesson in weight loss.  Without consistency, you will see zero progress.  You can't 'eat right' all week, then party every weekend and expect to make progress.  You literally have to change your life.  So what did I do?  I promised myself that I would not eat Taco Bell or any fast food for 30 days.  I'll be damned I lost a ton of weight (at that heavy it wasn't hard to see results on a scale).  I can't quite remember, but I believe I lost 10-15 lbs that first month.  Well that was as much excitement as I could handle.  So I rewarded myself with what I had been denying myself at Taco Bell, and it was absolutely disgusting (to this day I can barely stand it).  This is a food that I had loved weekly for years and it had grossed me out.

From there I was hooked.  I thought, if I can just quit eating crap for long enough then I'll see the results that I need!  So I did some research online, and met one of my friends who introduced me to the Atkins diet, and from there Keto.  Essentially they work the same way; eat a low amount of carbs, and your body will naturally burn your fat for energy due to the lack of sugars.  Although there is some truth to this, not nearly as much as I had put weight into.  From there until a year or so ago, I was on a low carb diet.  Yes I'd mess up.  Yes I'd give up, breakdown crying, and beat myself up mentally. Yes I'd put weight back on.  But through everything, I'd pick myself up and start all over again.  I can't tell you how many 'diets' I'd start (always on a Monday for some reason), go for 2 weeks, then go out and get crazy on the following weekend.  But after trying and struggling for so long it indeed became a lifestyle change.  No it did't happen over night.  Like anything you have to practice and actually want to succeed in order to make it happen.  But now if I thought of eating fast food 5 nights a week... gross.

The only thing you need is a strong desire to change, and the mentality to do whatever you need to do to meet those ends.

But please people, be safe.  Theres a lot you don't learn about gaining and losing weight.  Not in school at least.  They teach you the basics; calories in, calories out.  And believe it or not, it's almost that simple when you break it down.  And although exercise can help you achieve your goals, literally nothing can out train a bad diet.  Meaning you can work out for HOURS at the gym (I've done this), those cookies and ice cream you've been pounding all week (we've all done this), aren't going anywhere.  Your body was meant to hold fat to maintain your life.  If you want to lose weight, you need to consume less calories than you're burning daily.  The only way you can find out whether your diet is going to work or not is if you consistently eat that amount of calories (or the exact same meals) for an extended period of time and watch your scale (or fat measuring) to see if it's working.  I used to think Monday through Friday, no results, drink depressed all weekend.  When I was starting Keto I would eat under 25 grams of carbs a day.  This is an insanely low amount of carbs and I do not recommend it looking back.  I would hold this for weeks on end.  I was grouchy, no energy, and life overall sucked.  BUT I would be making huge strides in my weight loss.  It wasn't until later I realized that when you cut out breads, pastas, chips, tortillas, etc, most of what you're doing is cutting out those calories.  Do yourself a favor and study up on a subject called Exercise Metabolism and Bioenergetics.

So where am I now?  Well I'm happy to say I've lost (and maintained) a weight loss of 105 lbs.  I see a personal trainer weekly not because I need to, but because I enjoy seeing what my body could do.  This past year (end of 2016) I did my first pull up.  Ever.  That's #BucketList stuff.  I used to want a bar in my basement.  I've built a gym.  I used to HATE running.  When it's nice out I'll run 3 miles because I want to.  I drink maybe once a month (the hardest part for me).  I went from a size 44 pant to a 38, from a XXL to Larges (the sheer amount of clothes I've had to buy since is astounding).  And I was studying to become a Personal Trainer.  These things didn't happen overnight, and if you would of asked 24 year old Mike Lutin, I would of told you that as 'soon as my weight loss became a problem then I'd stop'.  Well little did I know it was a problem the entire time.

The absolute KEY to wanting to lose weight, to starting your journey, to literally changing your life, is finding out what got you to where you are in the first place.  For me in a nut shell, it was a life long restriction of food.  Being told I wasn't good enough from a young age because of my weight.  Not to mention my dad, his dad, and my sisters were all overweight (sorry fam).  Dealing with the emotional side of things will help you in the long run of being able to let go of the things that keep you eating/drinking/binging.  Once you work out those issues, your weight loss will be infinitely easier.

My journey has been long, painful, enjoyable and rewarding.  I have learned more about myself in the last couple of years during this than I feel the average person learns in 10 years.  I didn't think I was in a bad place before, but I am so much happier in my life.  I am willing to answer any questions, give more advise, there is so much more to this story it's hard to write down, and it's adding to it every day.  I hope this can motivate and inspire you to achieve your goals as it was achieving mine.

Before and After

Dog Tax

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Well Then.

That took quite a while didn't it.  I'm assuming you were worried if I was dead, alive, or still over-weight.  Well I am glad to report that I am alive and still over-weight.  I don't want to type up too much for now, but I did want to give a bit of a progress update.

Over the past month I have gotten back into my work out and diet routine that I enjoy, and it actually seems to work slowly but surely for me, so I'm sticking to it.  A lot of things have changed since the last time I was motivated enough to post on here but that's a story for another time.  The important news is I've been at it pretty diligently for a month now and I wanted to share my progress.  Although I won't say I've been perfect (there was a graduation, and I had cake.  Twice.) I have been doing well. I haven't even had a drink this month either, which I find is an accomplishment in itself.  So down to the numbers (who doesn't love numbers).

I have been using an app that I found in the Google Play Store called Perfect Body.  Sorry iPhone users I haven't found it for you.  It does a pretty good job of getting a routine in place for you.  Although the 5 days a week of working out seems intimidating at first, it's not that bad considering I can usually bang my way through a workout in about 20-30 mins.  We have a pretty decent home gym setup here at House Ironwood, but there are still a few things I wasn't able to do.  So I tried my best to substitute.  If you find yourself in a real gym you shouldn't have any problems completing this workout at all.

I started the month off horribly at a bloated 276ish, and ended my month at a solid 269.  That was a pretty good first bump down.  Now keep in mind that I have also started lifting weights again so that is with my increased muscle mass as well.  Judging from the pictures I took in Feb where I was mainly focused on weight loss and NOT exercising, I'd say I have made an improvement.  Enough of the words part, heres some ok looking pictures of a fat guy.

Monday, February 4, 2013

2 months of 'Progress'

It has been a while since I've updated my blog, but I figured I would provide you with an update!  The holiday season really negated any progress I made during December, but in January I got back on the horse and took my weight from 279 lbs in December to 270 lbs today (2/4).  I would say since the holidays it's an 11 lb drop in weight.  It's not as noticeable in pictures as it is in the way my clothes fit.  Shirts that were a bit tighter before now fit great!  On the flip side of that clothes that fit just fine before now are too big.  Some of them I've only worn once or twice.  I guess I'd rather buy new clothes than be over weight.  Well anyways the non impressive pictures are posted below.

Pictures below is me at 270 lbs 2/4/2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ugh Holidays

Well holiday season is coming to a close, and I have to say I did not take it well at all.  Don't get me wrong, I had a great holiday.  I got to see a lot of family, exchanged gifts, and got to see a lot of friends in from out of town.  My diet on the other hand went the complete opposite direction.  So with New Years freshly behind me, I won't be doing a weigh in or pictures this month.  If you really want to know, take the pictures from last month and add a few pounds ha.  Well this month has a few days that I will be taking off from my diet (ND BCS Game, South Bend Brew-fest for instance), but for the most part I should be on my game.  Wish me luck!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Warning: Fat Guy With No Shirt

As you might of noticed I haven't updated this blog in quite a while.  As you also might have speculated I did not hit my goal of 250 lbs by September.  I did how ever make it down to 269 lbs in August.  Since then my diet and exercise has more of an after thought.  I tried to eat healthy and maintain my progress, but dealing with moving out, stressful financial situations, and career changes got in the way.  I spent about 3 months out of the gym, slipped back into some of my bad eating habits, and gained 10 lbs.  Although it's not the end of the world, it is a minor set back that I would not have had if I had just paid a little bit more attention into what I was putting into my body.  It is a bit frustrating to be back at the same weight I was in June and I'm hoping that won't happen again.

One of the things I regret not doing when I started losing weight was taking any 'Before' pictures.  I have plenty of pictures of me being bigger, but that doesn't do it justice.  So putting my hesitation aside I finally have some.  Now it's about as bad as you can get if you caught me at the beach right now, so you should be able to deal with it.  I'm hoping over the next few months to be able to look back and be able to visually make progress as well as numerically on the scale.

So below are my 'Before' pictures on 12/7/2012 at 279 lbs.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Week 11

So it's been a while since I've posted an update, so I figured I would catch you guys up on my progress.  I've was pretty wishy washy a few weeks ago.  As you can see, I didn't even post anything on here.  The last 2 weeks though I've really buckled down and pushed hard.  I've been going to the gym 4-5 times a week and sticking to my diet strictly.  I've made some progress over the last few weeks, but I'm still about 5 or 6 lbs away from where I should be.  The next few weeks I am going to try and catch up.

In the meantime as stated above I am going to the gym regularly and making great strides in my fitness.  I've been focusing a lot on running lately, and can now run a mile straight without stopping.  This is something I've not been able to do EVER!  Not even in High School with regular fitness classes was I able to run a mile straight.  I've also been hitting about a 10-11 minute mile which for me, is pretty impressive.  Usually after I run 1 mile I walk a ways and switch between running/walking for another mile.  If you told me 2 years ago I would willingly be running 2 miles, I wouldn't of believed you.  Just need to be able to run 3.1 miles and I'll be all set for that 5K I'm planning on running next year!

If you are interested in starting to lose weight, I would HIGHLY suggest getting some sort of calorie counter and start using it.  One of the best ones I've found is  MyFitnessPal.  It allows you to track your calories, make your own meals, track your fitness, and even add friends so they can continue to motivate you.  Speaking of motivation, there is an online community dedicated to losing weight that is very inspiring.  Check out /r/loseit!

April 29 278     279.7
May 6    276.5  280.2
May 13  274     -
May 20  272.5  -
May 27  271     -
June 3   269.5  279
June 10  268    275
June 17  266.5 271
June 24  265
July 1     263.5

Sometimes it's hard to gauge your progress.  I didn't take any 'Before' pictures with my shirt off (I would of instantly deleted them), but here is a comparison of my face minus about 84 lbs.  Enjoy.

March 2011 - June 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week 7

So I decided last week to take the week off.  Not really the best way to keep on track of my weight loss, but either way it happened.  I had a doctors visit earlier in the week that led to some annoyances that kept me out of the gym.  Since I wasn't at the gym it gave me more time to go out to dinner.  So the next few weeks I'm expecting to keep putting up some red number while I try and get back on track.

This weekend is my friend Steve's wedding and I couldn't be more excited.  I have known Steve for 10 years now and even went to Vincennes with him.  Steve and his fiance Lauren have been together for a long time and I'm excited to see them finally get married.  In addition to the wedding there will of course be lots of food, open bar, and cake.  I'm expecting to pack on at least 2,000 calories while I'm there so this week I really have to cut my food down.

I am however really looking forward to hitting the gym tonight.  I'm doubt if a week off is enough to ruin my progress, but we'll find out tonight.  I ended the week prior squatting 225, and benching 150.  I'm really hoping I can recover back to those numbers quickly.

Want to indulge in some light reading this week?  Check out Lean Gains!

April 29 278     279.7
May 6   276.5  280.2
May 13  274    -
May 20  272.5  -
May 27  271