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