Meet Matt- A Challenge Hosts

Where did you start in this journey?

Matt Transformation pic 2014I have been on my journey for 2 years now, and I had lost everything in my life;  A wife, family, friends, job, church, my health. Like a boxer I am on a comeback trail and God is restoring everything to me, but NEW. It’s not that old stuff from my previous life.This keeps me going!

What made you decide to be a part of helping others achieve health goals?

I knew that my journey was two fold. First, I want to live, and second I want to help others live. “IF GOD CAN DO IT IN ME, HE CAN DO IT IN ANYONE.”

What role does faith play in your healthy life?

Faith for me is at the core, the foundation of my healthy life. With all that I have gone through, been through, the one constant has been God. Faith is not just talked about, it’s lived through me in everything I do.

Do you enjoy exercising?

Honestly, when I first started out I disliked exercise. It was not because exercise was bad, but because when I was 625 lbs I could barely walk 3 to 5 feet without getting out of breath. Everything was very labor intensive, and it just plainly took all my energy and strength to move that huge mass of a person. Now, I love it. It becomes very addictive. I don’t like staying home and not training or working out. I have bad days, good days, & GREAT Days. Trust me the Great days far outweigh the bad.

What physical activity do you look forward to most?

I have 2 staples in my physical activity. Weight training & Swimming. I swim for cardio, flexibility, and overall body workout. I weight train to add lean muscle mass, boost my metabolism, and to sculpt and shape my body.

Do you have a favorite or special Bible verse that you cling to?

Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies…”

What does your basic meal plan and fitness routine look like?

When starting out it was simply get the calories in, and move at least 3 times a week. After a couple months it became more important to not only get the calories in, but to really think about how and what I did for my workouts. Then in the 2nd year it became more important to focus on the quality of the food, and not just the calories. I know that everyone is different but currently I meal prep on Sunday afternoons. It takes about 2-3 hours. I make up 3 cups of rice. I cook my weekly proteins (chicken, beef, fish, shrimp or pork.) My veggies are the Microwave Steamers, so I cook them as needed. (green beans, broccoli florets, snow peas, asparagus) Also, I sometimes cook a baked potato for an extra carb source. I bought individual containers, and I pack my food.  However, I do not pre-cook my breakfast or pre- workout meal. I tend to rotate these foods with Egg Beaters & oatmeal, eggs & toast, cereal, hard boiled egg & English muffin, or Protein Shake & Yogurt, or Protein Pancakes. Just depends on what I want that morning. I eat very clean all week, so I choose to have a cheat meal on Sunday evenings. I eat 6 meals a day, and at least two of them are protein shakes. 1st one after my workout, and my second one is 25-30 minutes before I go to bed. I usually leave enough protein bagged up in case a friend comes over, or I choose to change my meals around.

I usually eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I eat at least 2 meals before I train at the gym.  I could be at the gym anywhere from 11AM -2PM just depends on what I have going on that day. A typical week at the gym could look like: Monday: Back/Biceps, Tuesday: Chest/Triceps, Wednesday: Legs/Shoulders, Thursday Back/Biceps, Friday: Chest/Triceps.  I try to swim 3 days a week for 30 minutes.

What kinds of things occupy your time and how do you make time for your healthy lifestyle?

My walk with God and my health takes first priority.  I don’t treat my walk with God or the gym as a second option. As a caricature artist, I work mostly in evenings or the weekends, so the way my schedule is I am able to train during the days where most people can’t.

Someone is just starting their journey, what is the best advice you would give them?

Take it Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Every master was once a beginner. Never Give Up, Keep pressing forward. Do whatever It takes. If you quit, quit making excuses, and push through the hard times or the negative feelings. There are 3 parts to the journey: Beginning, Middle, and  End. The hardest is the middle!  In the beginning, you are so on fire, passionate, and excited that you are on this NEW journey that you feel unstoppable. As you are approaching the end you get a fresh wind and excitement because you see the finish line, so you push.  I say the middle because you have gone too far from the beginning, and you aren’t far enough to see the end. It’s in the middle where people lose heart and give up. If I can do it, you can do it. We’re here to help encourage you, and be that shot in the arm.  KEEP GOING, DON’T QUIT, DON’T GIVE UP…..MOVE!!