Success! Michael Mulholland

Michael Mulholland, 35, of Haslett, is a software project manager. When he topped the scales at 350 pounds, he knew he had to make a change. Through trial and error, a Keto diet and passion for finding what kind of eating and fitness works for him, he’s made great strides — with plenty more to come. Here’s his story: 

Michael Mulholland

What made you want to change your lifestyle? There was no specific catalyst. I knew I weighed too much at 350 pounds. I was embarrassed and had made a few half-hearted attempts to lose weight in the past with either no, or at best, temporary success.

How did you start on your journey?I followed the Keto diet. I started on May 10, 2016, simply because a friend of mine mentioned it and said he was going to try it. I told myself I’d try it for a month and see how I did. After the first month I’d lost just over 22 pounds. I’ve never been a bread, pasta, potatoes, dessert guy. If you offer me a choice between dessert or more steak, I’m going for seconds on the main course every time. Six months in I was down almost 70 pounds and I hadn’t done a bit of physical exercise.

When did you add exercise?  My wife and I had talked about taking a yoga class together so we started a beginner class one evening a week. I also went to Planet Fitness and started weight lifting three times a week in the mornings before work. I didn’t follow any particular plan, wound up with a cobbled together push/pull/legs split. Over the next few months I started going four, then five mornings a week. In addition to adding in more weight lifting days, my wife and I graduated from the beginner’s class to a more advanced yoga class and added another one so we were going twice a week. I decided I wanted to run, not because I enjoy running (I still don’t really) but because I genuinely enjoyed the idea of me being the type of person who goes out for a run. Weirdest motivation ever, but there it is. 

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What were some of the challenges you faced? OOne major challenge I faced with Keto, specifically, was finding out how many carbohydrates are hidden in foods you wouldn’t expect. This led me to download the MyFitnessPal app and actually start logging food. Weight lifting, and other health decisions presented the exact same problems. Any weight lifting routine you put together is going to have proponents and naysayers; any exercise article is going to tell you what you’re doing is probably wrong or could be optimized. I can find 10 articles rabidly refuting almost anything with a 5-minute internet search. Over time I got tired of doing the research to figure out the next routine so I switched gyms to M43 Fitness and handed the decisions over to a qualified trainer.

Any future goals? Last October I wanted to focus on building muscle mass. I am working with a trainer and focusing on slowly upping my calorie intake. I’m learning to rely less on numbers and more on how I actually feel to guide when and how much to eat, which is hard because I’ve spent the last two and a half years tracking about 85-90 percent of everything I ate. I don’t have any specific fitness goals except build muscle mass.

What advice do you have for others? Keep trying different things until something clicks. If what you are doing doesn’t work for you and you’ve given it a genuine effort, then maybe it isn’t for you. Don’t be afraid to come back to something and give it another try later. There are an infinite number of ways to change your diet and exercise. There is no right way for everyone, there is only a right way for you. Pick one small change you can make now and maintain.  one, there is only a right way for you. Pick one small change you can make now and maintain.  


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