The Journey Continues

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By Matt Lee

Journey is the word I like to use when it comes to attaining your fitness goals. It helps me not to get discouraged if I’m not where I want to be. It keeps me centered in the reality that my goals, while they are completely attainable, will require some patience, focus, and remembering that there is no quick fix that produces long term, maintainable fitness goals.

A little back story first.  For those of you that don’t know I am a coach at Versus. I also grew up the chubby kid in my friend group. My friends were my friends and we were tight, but I did get picked on from time to time for being the chubby guy in the group. It also didn’t help that I sweat all the time. And honestly over time, not that I blame them, it put little insecurities into my head about my appearance. I always the kid who always wore a shirt at the beach or at the pool, dreaded the ole “shirts versus skins”, it also made me a little shy.  Yep I was that guy.

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Well fast forward well into my 30’s and I still had those insecurities. I was decently active but my diet was terrible. I knew Steve from playing basketball ball back in the day and when I would see him out he would tell me to come check out Versus. I also had several friends who went there that would push it to me as well. I would smile and say sure but on the inside I was like “yeah right, I’m going to come in there with all you fit guys and look stupid. No thanks. My ego can’t take that.”

Well I kept on that cycle of being active but terrible on my food. I would play basketball for 2-3 hours and then come home and crush a big plate ( or 2) of pasta. Because I could justify it because I just worked out right?!? But my weight started creeping up. It got to about 285( maybe a little higher) I stopped weighing at that point. So, finally I had enough. My wife had finally had enough and made me sign up for a boot camp. This was 2 years ago this August.

In my Bootcamp I went all in and did it 100% right. I lost about 20-25lbs and I was hooked. So hooked I decided I want to become a coach and after 3-4  more months of working out and training and certifications I was on the team.

At this point I was working two jobs, working out, and trying to be a good dad to my two boys and a good husband to my awesome wife. So, I pushed my diet way down the priority list. I didn’t fall all the way back but I was probably a 65-70% clean eater. I was getting bigger muscles, but not getting any leaner and my weight was creeping back up. And to top it off I was still dealing with my mental insecurities about my body. Because now I work with these super fit people and I need and want to be a good example to clients. Lots of internal pressure.

Well 4-ish months ago I took the leap of faith and quit my other job and went full time with Versus. I love it! But that pressure was still very real. I tried on my food but I wasn’t where I need to be.  So when this round of Clean Kitchen came up I thought , hey this might be the challenge ( I love a challenge) I need to push me to where I want to be physically, mentally, and habitually.

So, I told one of my buddies that if he signed up that I would do it with him. Because you know I’m a dude and this is a “girl” thing and it has to be kind of like a dare. I didn’t think he would, and I would be off the hook,  but he did, so I jumped in.

“Letting go of what we think, or know, or what we think we know and placing our trust in someone further down the road than us. It’s very freeing!”

I reluctantly took some before pics, did a body comp scan, and weighed in. I didn’t do inches and I didn’t like weighing myself because I hate the scale but I was very curious about progress pics so I went for it. I was very determined to do 2 things:
  1. follow the program to a tee and
  2. I was not going to be outworked by anyone.
I figured if I did those two things and it didn’t work I could blame someone else besides me. My mental safety net.

I locked in on the diet. I did very well. Maybe a few gray area foods here and there but overall I did great on the food. I also did all the habits. Like I said, if this failed it wasn’t going to be my fault. There is some peace to that. Letting go of what we think, or know, or what we think we know and placing our trust in someone further down the road than us. It’s very freeing!

So here come the progress pics. The first 2 weeks, I wasn’t impressed, but I stuck to it. “Trust the process I told myself. These people know more than I do and I’m going to trust that”. Well week 4 pics and wow I started seeing the change. That really helped me dig in.

I bought into food prep. Because without it I would have NEVER made it. My wife really helped me with this. You really need to get the family or friends you live with to help and support you. It makes all the difference. Even if they aren’t eating the same things. If they support you in your journey it really helps. Communicate that to them. If they love you and want you to succeed they will be there for you.

Well, sure enough as the weeks went by I felt my mental thoughts and habits about food change even more. I actually don’t even miss many of the foods I had before. I had a list of about 5-6 foods that I was going to crush when this was over. What’s crazy is that list is down to about 1 thing now. ( If you are curious it’s pizza. It will always be my occasional treat) I have been reprogrammed. Wow the program works! (if you trust it).

It’s the end of week 11. I got up this morning, I jumped on the scale (down 20lbs), and sent in my progress pics. My body fat was also down 2% in just 11 weeks.

 

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It is still really hard for me to be ok with other people looking  at me with my shirt off. I still have that little chubby kid in my head from time to time. But I think now going forward I’ll use him as my motivating force instead of my mental crutch. I still have a long way to go. Like I said it’s a journey. But now, thanks to my 12 weeks in Clean Kitchen, I feel equipped for that journey. Mentally. Physically. Habitually.

 Keep pushing along-
 Coach Matt
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2 thoughts on “The Journey Continues

  1. Amy Lankford

    Just signed up for the Aug clean kitchen challenge and your story is a great motivator! I was the fat kid (now fluffy adult) and I am addicted to food. Thanks for sharing this!

    Like

  2. Susan Jones

    Amazing journey! I’ve been seriously working out for the last 2.5 years with minimal changes in my appearance. Yes, I’m stronger. Yes, I’m more flexible. Yes, my confidence is better, but I still do not like looking at pictures of myself. Abs are made in the kitchen and the kitchen is way harder than any workout program I’ve tried. Congratulations on working on the part that seems to be the most challenging! Also, nicely written article–your mom has to be so proud of you!

    Like

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