As I reflect on the year, I think about how blessed I am to have the opportunity every day to impact people’s lives in a very meaningful way. It means so much to have so many committed clients and followers who seek deeper awareness and are on a journey to achieve optimal health and wellbeing. I wanted to share one story from 2011 that is particularly meaningful and poignant and wins the award for Client Success Story of the Year. It is a story of a friend named Matt who follows my blog posts, facebook rants etc. His story is the all too common “I’ve Been Big All My Life, Tried Everything Under the Sun to Lose Weight and Nothing Has Worked” Story. I do not train Matt one on one so I had no idea he was following my content and implementing it into his life until he took the initiative to reach out and share with me how it inspired him. We kept in touch during his amazing transformation. With his permission, I am sharing our raw dialogue below along with his before and after pic.
Matt: hey… i hope all is well with you and the family! it looks like your fitness stuff is really taking off. i’m not sure you actually care, but i thought i’d give you an update on my fitness progress… and maybe ask another question.
i’ve been at it for 15 weeks now, my endurance has me able to run 6 miles in 60 minutes on the treadmill without stopping (i’ve cut 2 minutes off my mile time). my strength has improved tremendously and i’m doing weights i never thought possible (did 50 pushups in a row the other day). i’ve added things like kettlebells, tires, and TRX to my workout (inspired by your bootcamp stuff). and i’ve hit a milestone… i’m down 20lbs!!!! i’m now at 230, the healthiest i’ve EVER been. i’ve cut 2 inches from my waist, 2 inches from my chest, 2 inches from my hips, and 1 inch from my neck while my arms have gained an inch.
i may not be physically working out with you, but trust me, i watch your videos, read your articles, and look for inspiration in your posts. i’m more of a silent partner than anything else. just thought you might like to hear a ‘THANK YOU’ from someone who you probably don’t even know you are helping.
now, if you don’t mind i’d like to ask a question. i hear so many people talk about protein shakes and i just can’t determine if they are right for me. the whole point of this for me is to tone up and lose weight/inches. they seem to have a lot of calories/carbs but i’m not sure if the trade off is worth it. i typically have a greek yogurt for breakfast (about 14 grams of protein) and thought adding a shake in the morning to my post workout routine might be a good idea. can you tell me if it is worth it, and if it is, which one do you recommend?
Me: Dude! Awesome! Congrats! and OF COURSE I care!! hearing unsolicited stories of success is what keeps me inspired.
It changes your perspective on the human body and what we should be doing to achieve optimal health, much to the dismay of “conventional wisdom.” Main thing for you is that you want something that is sustainable for your entire life without leading to fatigue, inflammation, excessive wear and tear on your joints, high amounts of stress or caloric intake requirements. He also has a great blog that i reference multiple times a day – and you can easily get caught spending hours on it -www.marksdailyapple.com.
To answer your questions on protein shakes, I’ll just link you to two posts on marksdailyapple.com..
you rock man and congratulations again! keep me posted!
Matt: ok, this mark guy might be a genius! i’v only done it for a couple of days, but his ideas are great and easier to follow than i thought. can you make any recipe recommendations that you have tried and liked? i’m kind of easing into this, but really like the concept and the way i feel. grok on!
Me: awesome! that is great to hear! i am more into “preparing” rather than cooking so i dont really have any proper recipes. I just sort of toss things together. my only rules (always taking into consideration the 80/20 rule) are that they are primal foods, organic, sustainable, local (when practical). cooking is rather easy when you use whole foods. the daily apple has recipes but he also has a cookbook companion called the Primal Blueprint Cookbook.
Me: Hey there – just wanted to check in with you. How are things going with primal/weight loss/fitness/etc? Next on your reading list: Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes.
Matt: hey buddy! things are great! i was averaging about 1 pound of weight loss a week with just exercise. since i’ve starting eating “more” primal i’m averaging just over 2 pounds a week. i’m now down a total of 27 pounds (as of this morning) and my clothes barely fit. it is a pretty amazing feeling that i really didn’t think was possible. i saw your pushup record and i’m trying to chase you. my best right now is 50, but the last 2 were barely pushups because my arms started to do the death rattle on me. i still cheat here and there with my eating, but i find the cravings to be few and far between. they are also 100% mental and if i can distract myself i’m able to move right on past. i have a vacation to the beach in august and i’m trying to get as close to (or under) 200 pounds as possible. 23 pounds in about 12 weeks… it will be tough, but i’m hopeful. i’ll have to check that book out the next time i’m barnes and noble. i find myself thirsty for more info on keeping my momentum going. i’m desperate to not fade or hit a plateau that i can’t overcome.
Me: Hey – checking in. What’s the latest on weight loss/fitness/primal/etc?
And here is where it gets really good…
Matt: what up dude?! things have never been better! as of this morning, i am 40 lbs down! i’m at a new low (or high) at 210lbs and i feel amazing. i think i’m going to fall a little short of my goal (to be at 200 by my vacation on august 20th… but like sisson says… goals shouldn’t be the focus). food is no longer a crutch for me, and i’ve converted several friends on to this way of living. even the wife is doing amazing with it. some people have started calling it the “Cro-Matman” diet, a take on Cro-Magnon. people email me and call me looking for advice and help… i can’t believe i’ve become a mentor to people. it feels really good to inspire people… now i get why you like it so much, after all, you were part of my inspiration! i’ll have to send you a before and “after” pic (after is in quotes because i’m not done yet!). i love seeing the reaction of friends and family that haven’t seen me in a while… sometimes i forget how different i must look. i’m in all new clothes… had to throw out the XXL shirts that use to be tight on me and i’m now wearing XL shirts that are baggy!!! i was wearing 40inch waist pants and i bought my first pair of 34inch jeans the other day!!! i don’t know how much more i’ll lose or when my body will level off at it’s comfort zone… but i also don’t care. whenever that happens i’ll know i’m where i’m supposed to be.
A few weeks later:
Matt: yesterday was our 3rd anniversary, so we have been cheating a bit… beers, cake, take-out food… just generally eating like our old selves. boy oh boy… have we been paying for it!!! the wife and i woke up this morning and said to each other, this shit HAS to stop. we’ve been sleeping terribly, we feel slow and unmotivated, our workouts have suffered, and we just feel like bad versions of ourselves. lesson learned… what use to feel like normal now feels like hell. the new normal feels like heaven. i’m convinced after 4 days of straying that i’ll never go back to that lifestyle. thank you for your motivation and kind words. it means a lot to me. give the ladies of the house my best!!!
And the final update of the year from Matt sums it up:
Matt: i’m down about 50 in total. started at 260, went to 205 and have put on 5 since the holidays. so i’m holding strong at 210. down from a 40 inch waist to a 36/34 depending on the pants. The big thing is… i’m way happier now than i was in the before pic. all the cliches about feeling better, having more energy, sleeping better, waking up ready to go instead of dragging… they are all true.
Congratulations to Matt for such an amazing transformation and for winning Client Success Story of the Year!! Matt is an inspiration to me and many others. Here’s to a successful 2011 and continued success in 2012 with new goals and even bigger accomplishments!