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Down 200 (So Far)

Local resident Patrick Tullio shares his weightloss story to remind others they’re not alone.

On March 13, 2019, Patrick Tullio walked into his doctor’s office, stepped on the scale and noticed his doctor “had that look.”

“I never wanted to know my weight, but I knew that look was not a good one,” said Tullio, who has lost almost 200 pounds since. “That night I decided to get my last bag of fast food, which was Taco Bell for me. I knew it was going to be my last bag, and I enjoyed the hell out of it.”

Starting with a healthy breakfast that next morning and a trip to the gym that same afternoon, Tullio said he hasn’t looked back since.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BEGIN YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY IN 2019?

I had been searching, as we all are, for “that spark,” and knowing I had done it before back in 2013 when I lost 160 pounds in one year, I knew it was in there somewhere. I just needed to find and light it. It was March 13 of 2019, and my doctor said, “Yeah, you gotta lose this weight.” Now, that may be a spark enough for some, but it wasn’t until she walked me into the room, sat me down and said something that was a punch to the face: “Patrick, on paper you are healthy. Blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and heart. It’s all normal. But, you’re also 34. There’s a reason I don’t have 40-year-olds at your weight. They’re all dead.” That was it! Right then and there I decided I needed to change my life. I left that office depressed but determined.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO HAVE ONE, LAST FAST FOOD MEAL AFTER THAT DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT?

I knew that if I continued down that path of convenience, it was going to be a short-traveled path. I wanted to get that last one in because I knew I wasn’t going to have one for a long while, if ever. It became an addiction to me because it was easy, cheap and, let’s face it, tasted good. But I quickly realized that this addiction was making my life miserable, and no great taste is worth that. 

YOU’VE BEEN WORKING OUT FIVE DAYS A WEEK EVER SINCE. DESCRIBE WHAT THESE WORKOUTS LOOK LIKE.

Each day I work a different part/parts of the body. The constant in every workout is ending it with TRX for cardio. I mostly do weight training because I am trying to burn fat and lose weight. When you weight train, not only are you burning while you’re doing the workout but also after.

AFTER EACH WORKOUT, YOU POST A SELFIE ON YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT: @WEIGHTDOWNLIFEUP. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

So, when you look at my Instagram, you may notice that it’s not the most flattering selfie, but there is a reason for it. The only way I can describe the picture is someone who is so beat after a workout. The reason for me taking the selfie that way now is because if you go back and look at the first selfie I took, I was so exhausted that I was seeing black spots. I knew that if I truly wanted to see my progression, it was going to be in pictures and said to myself, “I need to try and make this same face every time because I want to see the progress through my face.”

YOU REFER TO YOUR JOURNEY AS A “LIFESTYLE CHANGE” VERSUS DIET. WHY?

Plain and simple: diets fail. I know because I have been on most of them. I knew if I wanted to lose weight and keep it off, I needed to change my lifestyle. I don’t take anything out of my diet but have lost this weight by changing the way I look at food. I look at it as fuel and not satisfying a temptation. I look at my body like a car. I wouldn’t put cheap gas or oil in my engine, then why would I my body? Don’t get me wrong: I have my pizza, my tacos and my junk. But it’s an occasional thing. And when I have what some would call a “cheat day,” I keep it to a cheat meal.

WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE WANTING TO START LIVING HEALTHIER?

My number one tip is to consult with your doctor and nutritionist. I thought I knew what I had to do to lose weight, but when you come to the realization that it’s 90% diet and lifestyle, well, that’s when you need guidance. It wasn’t until I sat down with my nutritionist, and she pulled out this plate and her rubber food that I really understood what my plate should look like. My other advice is take that first step and get into a gym or some type of exercise group. Keep in mind that all the people are all in there for the same reason as you are. I know it can be intimidating to walk into a gym and see all these fit people, but you’re not there for them; you’re there for you. In order to see if you can fly, you have to take that leap first.

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