Mike Matteson admits, “I had every bad habit you can think of that contributed to my weight gain.” At 503 pounds, Mike says he often laid down to eat. Now, this bodybuilder, yes, I said bodybuilder, has lost an amazing 279 pounds. His success was hard won, and his story is one of the most inspirational I’ve read in a long time.
I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t overweight.
Over the years, Mike says he has dealt with “just about every uncomfortable thing that an obese person has to deal with.” From the bullying of classmates, to finding a seat belt that would fit across his midsection, Mike lived in a body that he never felt good about, and admittedly, didn’t take care of.
Mike revealed that processed/junk and fast food were his diet staples. He never cooked, and says 90% of his meals were served by a waitress or through a drive-up window. Exercise, he admits, was nonexistent. “I was probably the laziest person you could ever meet,” he said.
I would wake up numerous times through the night gasping for breath.
Finally, Mike says the cumbersome weight of his body, the lack of sleep due to worsening apnea, and the warning by his doctor that he was pre-diabetic and would have to be placed on blood pressure medication finally culminated in the realization that he was in serious trouble. “I lived my life in bed,” he explained. “I knew if I didn’t do something that’s exactly where I would die.”
I lost the weight the good old fashioned way, with diet, exercise, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears!
At 503 pounds, Mike knew exercise would be a challenge. He started by walking to the end of his driveway and back again. Eventually, he was able to walk around the block. After one year, even though he hadn’t changed his diet, his increased activity helped him lose 100 pounds.
After many years, Mike realized that diet and exercise had to go hand-in-hand for him to see continued success. “I began eating 5 smaller meals a day to boost my metabolism,” he said. “Gone was the fast food and junk. I began eating all natural healthy foods. I stopped drinking sodas and sugary drinks, and replaced them a gallon of water or more a day.”
“I am very proud to say I completed the Insanity workout challenge.”
At 370 pounds, Mike says he embarked on his second weight loss journey, only this time he had renewed motivation. He started a bodybuilding and strength training program that he continues to do to this day. His gym has become like a second home, and he credits his gym family with motivating him to this level of success.
Gone from my life was the depression and negativity and in its place was absolute joy!
Mike says the best thing about his weight loss is not necessarily the way he looks on the outside, but how it makes him feel on the inside. Early on in his weight loss journey, Mike was involved in a serious car crash that injured his pelvis and shattered his elbow. He says the event and subsequent lack of mobility almost derailed his transformation journey. “It was tempting to just live my life trapped in the prison that was my body,” he admitted. “Instead I overcame my limitations and even though I suffered through lots of pain I kept pushing.”