Matt Ellengold is a former drug addict who gained a lot of weight during his recovery. One day, he made the second best decision of his life, after laying off the drugs—he decided to get back in shape. He told Men's Health:
I even moved into an apartment block that had gym facilities and I said every day that I’d go tomorrow and tomorrow that never happened. I promised myself I would change my diet, eat more healthily, and it didn’t happen.
But one day, when he was out for a walk with his brother, he took a photo to immortalise the moment and then he discovered how he really looked.
I thought, ‘wow, that’s me?’ It really sunk in then–that I had to do something about this.
Right then, Matt joined a gym that specialises in dramatic body transformations.
An adapted program and diet
Half-heartedly, he walked through the gym doors and met with one of the trainers, James. James promised him that in 24 weeks, he would have 12% body fat and have gotten down to 185 pounds. Matt explained:
He showed me some photos of what I could look like, and he might as well have shown me a unicorn.
Despite his scepticism, Matt put himself to work and started doing three to four workout sessions a week, following a classic program with a balanced diet that was rich in protein in order to make his muscles grow. The only way that this method differs from most is that in his free time, Matt decided he would go walking. He had to reach 10,000 steps a day to continue building up a caloric deficit and make sure that he was still able to lose weight.
A life-long transformation
Six months later, (or 24 weeks), Matt had lost around 65 pounds, developed a real athlete’s body and had just 10% body fat. He told Men's Health:
When I showed the before and after photos, everyone was stunned. If I could have seen those photos before, I would not have believed you.
But what had changed even more was his mindset. Today, Matt feels better in his body and his mind and feels that he has accomplished something great. He sometimes trains up to five times a week and even does 18,000 steps a day. And for him, the best piece of advice he could give would be that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.
Nothing for most of us is easy–it’ll take hard work, dedication and sacrifice. But the payoff could be immeasurable. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Just aim to be a better version of yourself every day.