I’m Matt from Wilberforce, a 36-year-old husband, and father of 3 kids.
We all get to that point. We’ve had enough, and desperately hope for something better. We never think it’s possible.
I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I remember being teased way back in primary school, I was always big. In high school I wasn’t bullied or anything, I had a good group of friends but was always the “big funny guy”. “Big fella”….. We’ve all heard it over and over. Yes, I am a big fella (I’m a broad 6’2), but it was never about anything besides my weight. My bad habits and lifestyle choices continued throughout my teens into my 20s and into my 30s.
4 years ago I lost my father to lung cancer. It broke me and still does on a daily basis. He told me at home while recovering from chemo that he “fucked up”. My Dad saying that to me broke my heart. The only tense words Dad and I ever had was when he was worried about my weight. I would get defensive, no one likes to hear that they need to lose weight. It’s taken me years to dig myself out of the hole of feeling lost without him.
I have a wife who is my rock, her unconditional love got me through it and continues to help me every day with my grief. My kids were also a shining light through this darkest time in my life.
My father has been my main inspiration. He always, always worried about my weight. I didn’t want to have to say to my wife and kids that “I fucked up”, while in hospital suffering from a heart attack or even worse, not getting a chance to say goodbye to them at all.
(Matt’s story was featured on A Current Affair – Watch Here)
In early February, I decided to actually try for once to lose weight. To actually make a concerted effort to do something. Something that I always thought was too hard to even try.
I started by eating healthier for 2 weeks. It was a struggle, but I was doing it. By some coincidence, a temporary security guard at my work mentioned he lost 14kgs on The Man Shake. I had never heard of it before.
The next day, I went to Coles to buy the sample packet. I managed to find a flavour or 2 that I liked, and thought, this could be alright, why don’t I give it a go.
At the time, I was weighing in at 170kgs… It was daunting, to say the least. I think you always underestimate your weight, and the mountain ahead seemed so big, insurmountable. I was in an 8XL shirt, so the only place you can go from there is to lose weight or lay-buy a coffin.
I started by trying to work out a routine. I saw Adam post a video on YouTube about intermittent fasting, so I thought I’d give that a go as well. Midnight snacking and late-night treats were always my biggest problem, along with soft drink.
For the last 8 months, my routine has been: 10am shake, 12 snack, 2pm shake, 4pm snack, 630pm dinner.
Having a set routine and removing decisions from my day has really helped keep me focused. I know during the day it’s only ever another 2 hours until I get to consume something, so it makes it very manageable. Adding in lots of water makes it a lot easier too.
I’ve been very strict with my diet in this time, which might not be for everyone. In the 8 months since I’ve started, I’ve had just 1 treat meal and 7 beers. I’ve cut out bread and sugar and switched to drinking only black coffee and teas now. I used to smash soft drinks all day, where now it’s water or green tea.
My first 20kgs lost was without doing anything extra, just following The Man Plan. Since then I’ve been going to the gym and doing my own routine. I’ve never had a personal trainer session or lessons, I just slowly increasing my speed and weight along the way. I quickly found out that the treadmill is your friend.
Having said that, the gym… If it’s not for you, you don’t need it. Everything I’ve done there I could have done at home. I enjoy going there to get into focus mode. I actually get stuff done when I’m there and I doubt whether I would have been as motivated at home. The gym seems scary but honestly, everyone is so focused on themselves they don’t care if a “big fella” is on the treadmill.
Finding and being part of the amazing ‘Man Shake Men‘ Facebook group has been life-changing. There is just so many positive people there and they are always happy to help. There are so many great blokes looking to improve themselves for a multitude of reasons, and that’s what makes it so incredible.
We all started this journey with different weights and destinations, that doesn’t make any of them more important than the others.
Some people are starting their journeys at my current weight. Some people are starting their journeys heavier than when I started.
We are all different but have one major thing in common.
I now weigh 91.2kgs… It’s amazing to think. I’ve lost 78.8kgs, which is equivalent to 39 bags of potatoes.
I’m feeling amazing, both physically and mentally. This journey has shown me that if you commit to something, stay focused, motivated, and determined, nothing can stop you. If you will it, it is no dream.
This was a monumental task, and I couldn’t have done it without the constant love and support from my wife and kids and extended family. They have always been there when I needed them and have played a massive part in helping me achieve everything I have. I cannot thank them enough for their encouragement, but hopefully having me around a little longer is reward enough for them.
And lastly to Adam, Belinda, and everyone involved with The Man Shake, thankyou. This has been truly life-changing and I couldn’t be happier.