Being healthy is a commitment.
It’s time & effort.
Losing weight is a commitment.
It’s hard work & sacrifice.
The difference is that little extra.
Greatness Exists In All Of Us
We all have the ability to do great things, to accomplish our goals, to create the lives we want, to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled.
I believe people are awesome, I believe you’re awesome, and I believe there are talents and abilities that you have that you’re probably not even aware of. We all have our own unique talents and abilities.
Greatness isn’t a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice.
Ordinary People Like You & I
I’ve done dozens of case studies and interviews over the years with people, every day people like you and I, that have worked their tail off, given it their all, made the commitment, made the sacrifices, and achieved the weight loss they were seeking.
They didn’t have access to top notch gyms.
They didn’t have the luxury of having a chef or food prepared for them.
They had the same amount of hours in a day that you and I have.
They had careers, kids, and daily commitments with their families and friends.
Yet somehow, someway, these ordinary individuals found a way to succeed. A way to get it done. A way to make it happen. A way to achieve their goals of losing weight.
How did they do it?
It’s these individuals who I flock to, who I am eager to speak with, to interview, and to find out how exactly they were able to achieve the weight loss success they achieved, when they had just as many obstacles and challenges to overcome, and in some instances, even more, than the next person. How did they do it?
A Weight Loss Case Study
I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with college buddy and close friend of mine. His weight loss and overall health success story over the past couple of years is both incredible and inspiring.
He’s a happily married father of two children. Both him and his wife work full time jobs. I asked Matt if he would be willing to share his weight loss journey with us. All of his struggles, sacrifices, efforts, failures, and ultimately, his success. He agreed to share his story with me here on The Wellness Bucket with the hope of potentially helping to make a difference in the lives of others who may be looking to lose weight as well.
Such a pleasure to have him join us here.
We’ll keep this case study within an interview format. Without further ado, I’d like to introduce to you my good buddy, Matt Driscoll.
Mike – Alrighty Matty, let’s get this party started. Tell me, what does being healthy mean to you and why do you consider it important?
Matt – Healthy means so many things to me. The vain side wants to be proud in front of a mirror or be attractive to my wife. The father in me wants energy to play with my kids. All that being said, my health goals are less about trying to look like the magazine covers. Instead, it has been replaced with the goal of sticking around with energy. When I was 17, I lost my Dad of an apparent heart attack. He was three weeks away from turning 37.
Even though he was a lifer in the military, he did not take care of himself, he smoked, drank soda all the time, and never worked out. Now my 4 sisters and I are forced to live without him. I will turn 39 in a few months and I am doing everything in my power to ensure that my kids and wife do not have to face my reality.
Mike – Wow. Loved that answer. We have more in common that I even realized. We both lost our dads at a young age and we’re both surrounded by lots of sisters. Me with three and you with four…. oh boy!
Mike – Now that we know why exercise is important to you, can you share with me what your current health & fitness goals are?
Matt – Sure. 1) Continue to run at least one 10K per summer. 2) Increase weight training days. 3) Take part in the Trek Across Maine bike race (a three day 180 mile ride that benefits the American Lung Association). 4) Ride a Century (100 miles in one day) in the next 2 years.
Mike – Awesome goals, love it! What do you consider to be your greatest fitness or health achievement so far?
Matt – There are several that come to mind. 1) Losing nearly 50 pounds and keeping it off for nearly 5 years. 2) Having my doctor gush over my physical state during my last appointment (he was honestly pumped for me). 3) Being able to expose my kids to physical activities like riding bikes, play sports, etc. They witness their parents actively working out. We are simply trying to pass on the importance of wellness to them.
Mike – 50lbs, incredible. I love the example you’re setting for your children as well. Heck, you’re inspiring me right now!
Mike – I’m sure there were many obstacle(s) and challenge(s) you faced along the way. Can you share with us what those were?
Matt – Definitely. Time and physical limitations for sure. As with most everyone, time is a very lacking commodity around my house. Working, raising two kids, coaching soccer, a working spouse, daughters dance class, son’s speech therapy, etc. It would be very easy to say “I just don’t have the time to work out”. I suffer from asthma and severe allergies. The asthma was a problem this summer while training for a 10K. I am also burdened by a bad knee (old injury from many years of being involved in sports).
Mike – Sounds to me like you had every reason to not follow through on your weight loss goal and make it happen, but you did. Seriously, not sure how you did it. How did you do it?
Matt – I made physical activity a priority. I didn’t spend hours at the gym (all the time). A family walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, a bike ride. It’s amazing how these little things added up for me. In regards to the asthma and knee, I have an inhaler and have found Kinesio Tape to be a blessing.
Mike – It’s all about our choices and making it a priority for sure.
Mike – What do you think have been the key contributing factors to your weight loss success?
Matt – Having a support system (my wife), specific goals, and a plan.
Mike – No question that having a support system is a huge help. I love how you mentioned not just having goals either, but also having a plan as to how you’ll achieve those goals. Such a key takeaway here.
Mike – Given the several different schedules you’re working with on a daily basis, I’m curious what a typical day looks like for you with food. For example, what you eat, when you eat, do you eat, etc.
Matt – Yes, I do eat. 🙂 Here’s a break down of what I typically have on any given day:
Breakfast: Eggs and black coffee
Snack: Handful of almonds and a few small pieces of dark chocolate, water
Lunch: Salad with protein, apple, yogurt, water
Snack: Protein bar, water
Dinner: Grilled or baked protein, fresh veggies, small serving of starch (sometimes substituted by a second veggie), water
Snack: Veggies or a couple pretzels and hummus, more almonds, tea (will have beer and wine but not every night and very rarely more than one)
Mike – Very nice menu you have there. No wonder you’ve lost the weight you have. Awesome!
Mike – Some people dread working out while others love it. Is there anything specific you love about exercising?
Matt – For me it’s the energy and endorphin rush I get with every workout.
Mike – Same here. I think most of us love that feeling and the endorphin rush. Is there anything you dislike about exercising?
Matt – I would say just getting started, getting to the gym, getting out the bike, etc (this is where the excuses rise).
Mike – Let’s reflect back now a bit. You’ve lost 50lbs, and you’re more active now than perhaps any other time in your life. Knowing what you know now and having achieved such awesome success over the past 5 years, what advice would you have given yourself way back when you first started and would you have done anything differently?
Matt – I would have started earlier. I had worked out regularly and was in great shape when I got married in 2003. The next two years were disastrous for me. I would have been more careful back then. I step on a scale every day now. It motivates me. If I see the scale rising, its time to kick it back in gear.
Mike – Hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it? The cool thing is you made the adjustments that needed to be made, stuck with them, worked hard, and achieved your weight loss goal. That is awesome, and that’s what counts!
Mike – Do you believe your weight loss has in any way contributed to your overall confidence and happiness?
Matt – I have been confident for most of my life. Honestly, I didn’t realize how big I was until I lost the weight. I did not see 250 when I looked in the mirror. I am more confident taking my shirt off in front of my wife and at the beach (vain side). I am happy that soccer has come back into my life. I have always loved the sport and played all through elementary and high school. Coaching my daughter’s team has re-energized me. I am going to join a men’s league after the fall season. Running 5 and 10Ks with my wife has made me very happy. It is so empowering to achieve a goal together.
Mike – I love that you and your wife run together. Not only is that super cool, but what an awesome support system you can both provide for each other, not to mention again, the example you’re setting for your children.
Mike – We have many members, all with their own personal fitness and health goals, within The Wellness Bucket community. For those looking to lose weight, what advice can you offer them, especially those who may be facing different challenges, obstacles, struggles, and potentially little to no support from family or friends?
Matt – I believe it’s important to be realistic. Taking a pill and losing 30 pounds in two weeks is only borrowed. It takes dedication and hard work to lose weight. You will experience setbacks and flip flops in weight but stay the course and keep your goal in sight. Think of it as a marathon not a sprint.
Lose the stupid calories; soda, cream and sugar coffee (took me almost a year to drink black coffee, now it is my preference). Set goals for yourself, not just I want to weigh “X” amount. They don’t even have to be anything major. “I will take the stairs from now on”. Run a 5K, go for a nightly walk, join a club team, anything. Find a partner, in my case it was my wife. Having another person waiting at the gym for you or ready for that walk will help overcome the pitfall of just going home at the end of the day. Don’t let the excuses get in your way. We all have them, time, too tired, etc. This is where the trouble can brew. Having a partner is motivating.
Mike – Wow! Serious Matty, just wow! I think I will copy and paste that statement from now on and mail it to every single person I work with going forward. If anyone’s looking for a weight loss success formula, I think you just created it right there!
Mike – I have tons of different exercises I love to do. I’m curious, what’s your favorite exercise?
Matt – It’s a toss-up between strength and weight training and biking. Biking is something that I am just starting to get into and find myself really enjoying it.
Mike – How about food. What’s your favorite, go-to health food?
Matt – Almonds, I am constantly snacking on them (raw or lite salt only). They offer a quick fix for those mid morning and afternoon cravings. A quick handful or two can hold me over for a while.
Mike – We all have and need a cheat day here and there. What’s your favorite cheat food?
Matt – In the summer, I would say ice cream (it is criminal how delicious the stuff is). The rest of the year it would be extra sharp cheddar cheese and crackers.
Mike – I cannot lie, I too love cheese, along with a nice glass of wine.
Mike – Let’s have a little fun now. You cool with that?
Matt – Definitely! Let’s do it.
Mike – Alright. Give me a one word answer and the first thing that comes to mind for each of the following words. Ready?
Mike – Exercise
Matt – Addicting
Mike – Diet
Matt – Struggle
Mike – Happiness
Matt – Family
Mike – Impossible
Matt – Nothing
Mike – Future
Matt – Bright
Thanks for your time Matt and for sharing your weight loss success story with us. You’ve made it perfectly clear that regardless of how hectic life can get, work, kids, spouses, family, friends, different schedules, injuries, whatever challenges and obstacles it may be, we can prevail and successfully lose weight when we set a specific goal for ourselves, make a plan, and then work your ass off (literally), to make it happen.
You’re a rock star man and an inspiration to me and this entire community here at The Wellness Bucket.
What’s even more awesome, is that you’re also an inspiration and setting an incredible example for your kids, of what it means to believe in yourself and in your health.
We need more Matt Driscoll’s in the world. 🙂