Becoming Two-Thirds of the Man I Once Was (in a Good Way)

Today we did an awesome workout at the new US Bank Stadium (the host of the 2017 SuperBowl!). The rest of this blog is told by an awesome tribe member, Mike Ervin. Mike had a goal to achieve for his 30th birthday. Read on to here what this incredible human has to say: 

I recently achieved a long-term goal that I set several years ago: I lost 100 pounds. Reaching that goal was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was worth it. I am delighted to memorialize the achievement and to share my story.

I have always been a “big” guy. Growing up, my friends gave me nicknames such as “Big Erv,” “Big Kahuna,” and the “Ervin Suburban.” In some ways, my size had an upside. I played football and was an offensive lineman both in high school and in college. I also was nominated for the “best hugger” mock award as a senior in high school.


But my size also came with came with downsides.  I struggled with a negative self-image and with negative self-confidence.  More importantly, my size came with health risks.  My family has a history of heart disease.  Both my grandpa and my dad suffered heart attacks at a young age.  My dad’s heart attack took his life in 1993 at the age of 45.


(my dad (left) as a student at William Mitchell College of Law 34 years before me)
I knew that if I did not do something, I was going to end up in the same position as my dad. At the end of college, I weighed 300 pounds and was headed in the wrong direction. It was time for a change.
Over the next several years, I cultivated an ethos of health. I made exercise a priority, experimenting with weight training and different types of cardio. I did a triathlon, challenge-races, and rec sports leagues. I also learned a lot about nutrition, trying out different diets and cooking my way through the “Muscle Chow” cookbook. In short, I became my own human test lab, figuring out the diet and exercise plan that worked for me. I had a lot of fun along the way! And over time, the weight began to come off.

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Today, I am down below 200 pounds and have developed many healthy habits that I believe will help keep me there.  One of those habits is November Project.  I appreciate November Project in part because it is a good workout.  But, more importantly, I appreciate November Project because I am surrounded by an energetic, fun group of people who reinforce my healthy habits.  Socializing nowadays often means gathering to drink alcohol or eat junk food.  I am grateful to be a part of a group (November Project) where socializing happens when we exercise together.

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Looking back, there was no magic bullet that took me from 300 pounds to 200 pounds.  In truth, it came down to sustained discipline and a long-term vision for who I wanted to be.  I am happier, healthier, and more confident because of the changes I have made.  I have learned a lot about diet and exercise.  But most importantly, I have learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of accomplishing when I put my mind to a goal.


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