Family Status: Married
Occupation: Field Service Engineer
Starting Weight: 280 pounds
Current Weight: 197 pounds
Pounds or Inches Lost: So far I have lost 83 pounds and I’m still going! I was wearing a size 38 to 40 pants with the comfort stretch waist. I am now down to a size 34 pants. My belly went from 48″ to 36″ and I have also lost 3 inches in my thighs and neck!
Matthew’s Weight Loss Story!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I served in the United States Army from 1999 until 2006, and I was in relatively good shape but not overly athletic. After getting out I struggled with depression and alcoholism from PTSD and in the process I have skyrocketed from 180 pounds to 280 pounds in just a couple of years.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I got to the point where I would refuse to let anybody take a photo of me. I hated looking in the mirror. I just did not like what I saw. I would dread going to get a haircut just because I would know I had to sit there for twenty minutes and look at myself in the mirror. Overall I felt very unhealthy and tired.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
The most important thing that I started doing was keeping a digital journal of every single drop of food that entered my mouth. I also tracked all my activity with a fitness monitor. I focused everything on creating new habits. I was almost eating fast food 7 days a week. I cut all of that out.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
The most challenging thing for me was balancing my work/life schedule and creating time for exercise. It was very basic in the beginning. It was as simple as if I drove by a mall during the day I would stop and walk a few laps around the mall.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I began to see results on the scale relatively quickly. I think that is what kept me motivated. In about 45-60 days I was seeing the results in the mirror.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
I set my first goal weight at 200 pounds and it took me 504 days to get there. It took about 5 months just to lose the last 5 pounds. My body was going through changes for the better, but the scale stalled. I stopped focusing on the scale so much, and I finally hit my goal and then some.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
I have been going strong so far for 17 months and have no plans on stopping. I created new habits and have new hobbies that will not allow me to gain it back.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
The main thing that keeps me motivated is obstacle course racing. I sign up for 1 or 2 a month. So I have to constantly train for them. I am currently signed up for a half marathon so I have been running 5 days a week preparing for that.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I feel so much happier and healthier. I am much more active and I participate in events that I didn’t think were possible. I can do so much more with my 3 children and I have even completed races with them. I even hung in there on a 6.66 mile race with my 16 year old!
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Don’t give up! If I can do it, anyone can. It is all about changing and creating new habits. Sign up for a 5K or something similar and tell everybody about it. It will help hold you accountable.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
Reading all these awesome and inspiring weight loss stories on ShapeFit.com have been very motivating.
Matthew’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Weight loss tip #2:
Weight loss tip #3:
Re-teach yourself how to eat.
Weight loss tip #4:
If you slip, that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day.
Weight loss tip #5:
Matthew’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
2 eggs with broccoli, mushrooms, low-fat cheese.
Large salad with a lot of healthy fats and protein like chicken or turkey.
A protein source like chicken or steak. Usually 2 veggies and maybe some roasted sweet potatoes to help fuel my runs.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Banana with all natural peanut butter. A small pack of almonds or cottage cheese.
I don’t take any supplements.
Matthew’s Weight Loss Workouts!
Weight training with dumbbells and machines at the gym a couple of days a week, with a day focused on my core.
Lots of running! I am currently running around 30 miles a week.