It was five years ago, in June 2017, when I wrote about how Raymond “Mond” Gutierrez lost 22 kilos by interviewing his trainer, Arnold Aninion.
Miles apart at this point, you can still see through their exchanges on social media the support the fitness mentor Arnold has on another life transformed.
It is also inspiring to note how Mond’s lifestyle and commitment to fitness has evolved and strengthened throughout the years.
In his Instagram post in March of last year, he confessed: “Having been overweight most of my life, losing 70 pounds completely changed my life a few years ago. It didn’t just change me physically but mentally as well. It allowed me to believe in myself and continue on with my fitness journey — building muscle and gaining strength along the way. What I’ve learned throughout this process is that there are no shortcuts, and nothing beats consistent hard work and dedication.
“My advice is to find a program that works for you and do something you enjoy. I’ve been training with my coach @arnoldaninion and I’ve also been focused on my diet for the most part (currently trying a plant-based diet).
“What you see here isn’t an overnight success story; it’s the product of many hours in the gym, changing my eating habits, and finding the support group to help me achieve my goals. It’s never too late to change your life. If I can do it, so can you.”
I went through a long period of time hating myself because society taught me that being different wasn’t the right path, especially for someone growing up in the public eye. I went through a dark phase of self-destruction.
Yes, Mond is still quite fit and fab. And occasionally, he shares some of his workouts with his social media followers. He also shared his story last year, which marked his “coming out” publicly. He earned a lot of support for doing so. Aside from being a “fitspiration,” many looked up to him for his bravery and eloquence.
“I was never not out. I never denied who I was. I just never shared my story publicly until now. Growing up, it took a while for me to face my true identity, and figuring it out wasn’t easy. I went through a long period of time hating myself because society taught me that being different wasn’t the right path, especially for someone growing up in the public eye. I went through a dark phase of self-destruction — creating unhealthy habits to have some sort of escape so I didn’t have to face my reality. I kept things to myself because I was scared to bring shame to my family, and didn’t know how others would treat me.
"I’m thankful to those close to me — my friends and family for giving me the confidence to embrace myself fully without judgment. I consider myself lucky because some people don’t have a support system they can run to. Which is exactly why I’m sharing my story now. Because if there’s one thing I learned this past year and a half, it’s that life is fleeting. I want to encourage those who feel alone that it’s never too late to love yourself, acknowledge those feelings and face your fears — because it feels damn good to be on the other side.
"Sexuality shouldn’t define who you are and it should never hinder your greatness. For me, personally, being in touch with my masculine and feminine side allowed me to push boundaries creatively and create magic with the projects I do. So to those saying ‘we knew,’ you never knew my story and my struggles. And if you’re reading this and you feel like you’re alone, I want to let you know that I went through the same things — you will be loved, your feelings are valid, and those who truly love you will stick around.”
While Mond confirmed that he learned that abs are made in the kitchen, sticking to quick and effective exercise routines provide the strength, power and definition you need to make them last. He shared a video of him doing his ab workout outdoors in Los Angeles.
He also shared a video with his full-body kettlebell workout consisting of overhead swings, alternating rotational presses, sumo squats, shoulder raises, see-saw presses, kettlebell push-ups and bent over rows. “I do 10-12 reps of each exercise and do three rounds (choose the weight of your kettlebell based on your own fitness level),” he wrote. And knowing how music can inspire and motivate your training, he generously provided his full workout playlist.
We can’t be happier for Mond and how he turned his life around to be his fittest and happiest ever. Love (of self first, and someone special) surely looks good on you!