Matt’s Author Page

Early Life
My name is Matt. I grew up very active. Swimming, baseball, basketball, biking; I loved all of these things. I played sports throughout school, though not always very well. I ran track and cross-country in high school. My work was always physical to some extent, at least. Stocking shelves, deli, meat-cutting (believe me that moving the big boxes of meat is tiring). Even then though, something was changing… when a friend asked if my meat cutter’s lab coat was padded around the belly, I knew I was in trouble!

A Desk Job
Then I got a desk job. Technical support. Talking to angry customers and ordering out greasy food. Thus began my tumble. I went from about 185 in 1997 to 255 in 2002! Seventy-five pounds in 5 years! One day I looked around and I had gotten fat.

Recovery
Here’s what I finally realized. My sweet tooth had doomed me. See, when I was a kid, I could get away with donuts, ice cream, and candy, because I was always so active! The second the activity slowed down and the eating stayed the same, the weight came on.

So I changed things. I started doing a light exercise regimen in the morning, and “lifting weights” with my weight bench (hah… I’m a pretty big guy and I lifted with a 95lb bench for years). I took fat burners, reduced my intake of food, ate carrots, cottage cheese, and cheese sticks all day for snacks, stopped eating junk and only drank water.

By the time 2004 rolled around and I met my wife, I was 205 and much healthier (though still with some weight to lose).

Fluctuations
Unfortunately, I’ve fluctuated a lot. I know what to do, but the determination and willpower just isn’t there sometimes. I also struggle with depression and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), which doesn’t help matters.

So here I am now. I had gotten down to 205 in 2004, then I went back up to around 220. I’ve learned a ton in the last few years, but hadn’t really put it into practice. This year is different, though. In January I was 220. Now I’m about 207, and am dropping down while putting on much more muscle. I want to share what I’m learning and help others who are where I was.

So What Can I Offer?
I’m not a fitness expert, a PhD, a profession athlete or trainer, or a dietitian. I’m someone who has been there, come back from the edge, and then wandered back and forth in between.

Jo and I each have our own strong suits. She was an athlete in a variety of high school sports and had a college scholarship for softball. She knows athletics because she does it and loves it and always has. So what can I offer? How about this:

  • Perspective: I’m a regular guy who didn’t explicitly work out until I was already older. Sure, I did some stuff in high school and I’ve always liked to play sports, but I’ve rarely been at a competitive level. I’ve been where many people are now; wanting to “get fit” but not sure what that means or how to do it.
  • Research: There is a lot of research out there and it can be tough to take it all in. We’ll try to sort through it and provide the key issues.
  • Analysis: I’m a software programmer by education (B.S. in Computer Science, currently pursuing MBA and Master of Information Technology). One of my strong suits is analysis, taking information from varying sources and pulling something out of it.
  • Explanation: One thing I learned doing technical support was that you have to be able to use analogy to reduce a complex topic down to something easily ‘digestible’. Hopefully our explanations will encourage understanding.

So there you are. That’s where I’ve come from and what I think I can offer. Take a look around and I think you’ll find that between Jo and I, we are able to cover the athletic, the less than athletic, and both male and female issues. Enjoy!