Michael Tuohy Ditches Meds, Drops Forty Pounds in Just Four Months

October 14, 2020 by
Courtesy of Nathan Thompson

It was only meant to be a 28-day diet challenge. In July, Michael Tuohy, and 24 other men between the ages of 20 and 65, joined the Man Up Challenge hosted by his chiropractor Nathan Thompson, the owner of Exemplify Health Center and CrossFit Exemplify, both in Yorkville, Il.

  • “I started the journey with the idea of eliminating sugar from my day-to-day life (for 28 days). The whole thing started with a pretty extreme three-day water fast,” said 46-year-old Tuohy.
  • “Nate (Thompson) had also been bugging me for a while to start CrossFit. He kept telling me, ‘We can do so much more for you if you give us the opportunity to help’…With the Man Up Challenge, we also got a 30-day membership at his gym. It was just the nudge I needed,” he added.

Where he was at: When Tuohy started the challenge in July, he weighed 235 pounds at five-foot-eleven and was on medication for high blood pressure and chronic digestive problems that caused him to go to the bathroom more than was considered normal. And at 102 mg/dL, his blood glucose levels were creeping into the prediabetic range.

  • Twenty eight days later, Tuohy was down 18 pounds, and the InBody scanner told him he had lost six percent body fat. That’s when he decided to keep it going.

Where he’s at today: Four months since the start of the kickstart challenge, Tuohy, who does three weightlifting classes and four conditioning classes a week, weighs 196 pounds, his blood glucose is a healthy 80 mg/dL, and after nearly 25 years struggling with digestive issues, his bowel movements are normal. Most recently, Tuohy’s doctor took him off his blood pressure medication.

Courtesy of Michael Tuohy

One big thing: Over the years, Tuohy had been tested for various diseases—Crohn’s, celiac disease and a host of others—but doctors could never figure out what was going on. All it took was just a handful of weeks of eating mostly lean protein and vegetables, and no fruit, to turn his digestive health completely around.

  • “Eventually, a GI doctor determined it was probably a food-driven irritant, but that was the best advice he could give me,” Tuohy said.
  • “I’m surprised how fast it happened, especially considering I had been dealing with this for almost 25 years. It’s a 180 degree change from where I was,” Tuohy said.

His health changes were quick to change, and so were his cravings. After a couple difficult weeks, his body “adjusted quickly” and his sweet cravings quickly disappeared, he said.

The big picture: It’s not just Tuohy’s health markers that have improved; it’s his entire life.

  • “I’m an automotive mechanic, so it’s a pretty physical job. I can move around so much better, my sleep is better, my joints don’t hurt. I feel like I’m 10 years younger than I actually am,” he said. “And I appreciate the feeling of gratification and how much less stressed I am when I’m done at the gym. I have also become pretty close friends with one of the other guys from the Man Up challenge, and we have become lifting partners, so it has been a really cool thing to lean on each other, set our expectations a little higher and challenge each other…It’s my happy place.”

His message to others: “You don’t know what it’s like to feel good until you feel good, because you accept where you are as normal, but it isn’t normal if you can get to a different place. And I’m definitely in a different place than I was three months ago.”

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