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MANSFIELD - After going through a divorce, Strive to Thrive contestant Jonathan Lutzmann wants to get in shape to find new stability in his life. 

“I can definitely tell that I’m feeling better and more energetic throughout the day,” Lutzmann said.  

Lutzmann, a CNC machinist at Ariel Foundation in Mount Vernon, separated from his ex-wife in October 2017 and officially divorced in July 2018. 

After the divorce, Lutzmann, moved away from Lexington to Bellville so he could still remain close to his three kids. 

When he heard about the Strive to Thrive contest from a Facebook post, an overwhelming feeling of determination and motivation spread through Lutzmann. His goal? A revenge body. 

The rate of single-family homes has staggered over the years. In 2019, 15.8 million children lived with a single mother and 3.23 million children lived with a single father. 

Thomas Russell, president and founder of Heritage Christian Counseling Ministries, said one of the things he likes to look at is how negative feelings can interrupt life. 

"The bitterness can be seriously life interrupting, so they tend to not do what they’ve been doing, which includes taking care of their health,” Russell said.  

At the beginning of the contest, Lutzmann weighed 320 pounds with the goal of getting down to 200. He made it to 301 but gained back eight pounds after not sticking with his diet and “eating a lot of carbs." He currently stands in fifth place. 

Since learning the week seven standings, Lutzmann has been going to the gym three times a week and working intensively with his personal trainer. 

As someone with a competitive nature, being in fifth place after having a setback reminded Lutzmann of his motivation. 

Now that he’s found a new routine in his life, Lutzmann has something to look forward to each week. 

“I don’t quite understand how it’s calculated, so I’ve just got to do my best. But I saw that I was fifth and that’s not good,” Lutzmann said.   

Although getting a revenge body started off as the main goal, Lutzmann also wants to lose weight for his children as well. 

“I want to be around longer for them and show them that being active is a good thing,” Lutzmann said. 


A Strive to Thrive winner will be determined by the contestant's Relative Body Fat Percentage Change over 12 weeks. 

Divorce can take a toll on the body both mentally and physically leading to reclusiveness, losing motivation, feeling more lethargic, as well as withdrawn.  

“In every one of these three cases, they (the divorcee) are more vulnerable toward illness because their body defense systems aren’t working and so you can end up with more serious illness than you had before,” Russell said. 

Lutzmann previously served in the military for nine years up until 2010. With that previous training under his belt, he knows he’s able to lose the weight.  

“It’s just given me a little bit better focus on the future, this kind of routine that I didn’t have before,” Lutzmann said.  

Since starting the competition, Lutzmann has received a ton of support from family members and work colleagues. He said it’s just as important for men to find good coping mechanisms after a break up. 

“I still don’t feel good about myself or how I look, but I’m making progress. So, I think it is important that guys feel good about themselves. However that happens: through competition or just through self motivation,” Lutzmann said.  

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Thrive Reporter

Tierra Thomas is the Thrive Reporter. She was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. When she's not writing news, she's writing fiction or taking photos.