Gutierrez Making the Most of His One Life

A few months after his 30th birthday, Jose Gutierrez of Lexington made a life-changing decision.

“I got on a scale and weighed myself, and I saw I weighed 290 pounds, and it was a shocker,” Jose said. “I thought if I stay like this, I won’t be able to see my grandkids. So, I started to refocus and go to the gym.”

Jose said he didn’t know much about exercising, eating right or losing weight. But he took that first step into the Orthman Community YMCA and learned everything he could about healthy living.

“I had no knowledge of working out whatsoever,” Jose said.

So, he purchased a book about weight training and workouts.

“I felt nervous because when I was there, I thought everyone understood what they were doing and I was over there reading a book and trying to understand my workout,” Jose said. “But then I thought who cares what everyone else thinks.”

He also found friendly staff and other Y members helped him learn and answered his questions.

He discovered it was important to exercise different muscle groups each day to prevent soreness and promote overall health of the entire body.

Jose works full-time as a sales manager at Tyson Meats and is a busy dad of five children under age 8, so he makes the most of his hour and half at the YMCA about five days a week.

Meanwhile, he knows his children are enjoying their time in YMCA Child Watch or playing basketball with friends in the Y gym.

“They are taken care of so I can take care of myself,” he said. “I see them, and they are having fun and I’m having fun.”

His daughter has been asking when she can ‘go upstairs’ and exercise with her dad.

“I feel like I’m inspiring my kids to go through this healthy lifestyle,” Jose said. “If they see me do it, I know they will feel confident they can do it also.”

After getting into an exercise routine, Jose knew that to lose weight he had to change his eating habit, too. Through trial and error, he discovered the best nutrition for his body.

While he used to eat a cheese omelet and breads for breakfast, he now eats toast with avocadoes, tomatoes and cilantro. He’s also eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed food. If his manager offers to buy lunch, Jose chooses a salad instead of a hamburger.

One of his favorite hobbies is baking, so that has been a challenge. He recently made banana muffins but only ate half a muffin.

He also has struggled with stress eating in the past, which has been difficult to overcome.

“It’s mind over matter,” he said. “At the end of the day, you have to take care of yourself. No one else can.”

All of his work to eat healthy and exercise has made a difference on the scale and in how Jose feels. He has lost 21 pounds so far, his clothes fit better, and his self-esteem is growing more positive.

“My kids say, ‘You are not so fluffy!’” he joked.

When he struggles, he thinks to the future and how important it is for him to stay healthy for his kids.

“You live life one time, and I want to be here the longest I can and see my kids grow and get to see my great grandkids if I get lucky enough,” he said.