My diet is much better now than it had been before. I continue to work out regularly. My overall health has improved greatly. Just this morning, I checked in at 189 pounds. I've lost 80 pounds since my heaviest weight, and I'm not even finished yet. My kids have been doing much better as well. Initially, my older son struggled through the first semester of school, but turned it around in the second semester. My younger son continued to perform well in school, and I even had the opportunity to coach him in both fall and spring football.
Perhaps the best change in my life came from being recently remarried. My late wife's best friend was there to help me after she passed. Our friendship grew into love, and last September we were married. She is the best thing to ever happen to me. I never could have done it without her. Life is funny that way. Just when you think things are under control, you get hit unexpectedly with a curveball.
For me, I've chosen to turn a tragedy into a triumph. I am / I will become a better father, a better husband, and a better me than I had ever been before.
How I accomplished my goals
The single most important change was a newfound approach to my diet, inspired by my wife. My wife is a soccer coach, a runner, and just overall incredibly fit. She taught me that "food is fuel." We all have our comfort foods and use food and cooking as glue to bring family and friends together. There's a time and place for such lavish occasions, but daily meals can be simpler, smaller, and healthier.
Gradually, this idea replaced my need to eat large, high-calorie meals. Dinner is no longer the focus of my evenings. In my family, we stay active and eat as needed. I also made sure to follow a proper supplement routine to help me accomplish my goals.
As for my regular workouts, I incorporated early-morning runs before work and hit the gym during my lunch break. I wanted to retain my muscle mass while losing fat so I increased my cardio sessions and still left enough time to lift weights.
I was able to stay motivated by focusing on my long-term goals, since it's easy to get discouraged if all you do is watch the scale every day. Support from both my wife and BodySpace encouraged me to continue my efforts.
I documented my progress on BodySpace by posting regular progress photos and fitness updates. My wife even took me clothes shopping when my old wardrobe no longer fit. I liked the way she viewed me. For the first time in many years, I felt attractive again.
What aspect challenged me the most
My new diet was the most challenging part of my transformation. I've always been active, played sports, and loved to exercise. With my high activity level, I've also always loved to eat as well.
I've educated myself about proper dieting, using the resources on Bodybuilding.com. I also have the support of my loving wife who approaches diet the same way I do now.
My future fitness plans
I plan to continue my active lifestyle and maintain my weight with my new diet. I have been a volunteer coach for many years, but I've also recently been hired by a local middle school as the head football coach. I plan to continue both my volunteer coaching and coaching at the middle school level.
It's important for me to give back to the community and help encourage a healthy lifestyle in our youth. My capacity now allows me to teach important life skills, such as self discipline, teamwork, and responsibility all while promoting physical exercise.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
I would like to applaud those who have started the transformation—it's a long, tough but rewarding road ahead. I'd also like to encourage those who've always been on the fence but to delay no longer. I have seen first hand the potentially tragic results that can occur by ignoring your physical health.
From my experiences, I've learned that improvements in one's physical health will lead directly to improvements in one's mental health, with self-esteem and self-perception.
It takes a fundamental change in the way you want to live your life. Only you can decide if you want to make a change. Remember: Minimal progress is still progress. If you want something bad enough, you'll find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
I have been a fan of Bodybuilding.com for many years. I follow all the articles and workout plans, bookmarking my favorite ones and returning to them periodically. Living here in Idaho, I thought it was awe-inspiring for a local man to have started this company in his garage and turned it into the behemoth it is today.
Bodybuilding.com has been very convenient for when I want to purchase supplements and my protein powders. In addition, I like that I can read reviews and receive competitive prices. Delivery is always quick and satisfying.
Posting my "before" picture on BodySpace provided the most motivation for me. I really put myself out there, but the progress photos helped me see the transformation through one photo at a time. It is amazing how a couple of compliments or "likes" from total strangers can boost your confidence. The BodySpace community is great and the people are all positive.
Everyone should click that "like" or post a positive comment for those individuals who are brave enough to post their pictures on such a public forum. You may never know how much that small gesture might mean to somebody.
Matt's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- Guns n Roses "Welcome to the Jungle"
- AC DC "Thunderstruck"
- Metallica "Enter Sandman"
- Motley Crue "Dr. Feelgood"
- Skid Row "Monkey Business"