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Matt Garza

Learning how to train, eat, and supplement properly turned this 30-something's life and health around 180 degrees.

Matt Garza

Written by Matt Garza

My fitness journey began in March of 2018. I had always been in OK shape most of my life.

One morning, at the age of 34, I looked in the mirror while I was shaving and wasn't happy with what I saw. I was overweight. I had a hard time tying my shoes and walking upstairs. I told myself it had to stop.

I was 290 pounds with 42 percent body fat and couldn't understand how I let that happen to myself. 

My transformation was like nothing I expected. I lost 50 pounds, dropped 17 percent of body fat, and 13 inches from my waist. It put me at 240 pounds and 25 percent body fat, with a 36-inch waist.

Weighing myself wasn't how I saw my transformation, but how I looked in the mirror. These diets and programs gave me strength and fat loss in 23 weeks I never thought were possible.

Finding the Right Path

I started out like anyone going to the gym, trying to use workouts I learned in high school. Getting little to no results, I just about gave up and continued on a path to an early grave.

But while doing research trying to find an answer, I came across Dr. Jim Stoppani. I thought to myself, I'll try out his program. What do I have to lose at this point?

So, in June of 2018, I started using Dr. Stoppani's Dieting 101 and training programs. I started out with HIIT 100, then moved on to Super Shredded 8, Super-Man Remastered, Down and Up Mass, and I'm currently doing the 2019 New Year's Challenge.

All these programs have changed me both mentally and physically, giving me a new outlook on life. 

Nutrition and Supplements Made the Difference

As with any training program, nutrition is key. My plan was really simple — intermittent fasting with carb cycling.

The one thing where there was a real learning curve in nutrition was counting macros and how to use them properly – knowing the right amount of protein, carbs, and fats to eat.

Supplementation can play a big role in your nutrition and diet plan. Pro JYM and black coffee are what I was using for the first few months of my training. In the progression of fat loss and strength gains, I slowly added more supplementation to get the nutrition that my body had been needing.

I used Pro JYM as needed to hit my macros, then Pre JYM and Post JYM to make sure I was getting the most out of my workouts and recovery.       

The Best Support System

We all need the motivation to reach our goals. My family — my kids, my wife — are the ones I hold close to my heart. Knowing that they need me as much as I need them and being unhealthy wasn't going to give them that.

My daughters encouraged me and listened to my gym antics. My wife would find ways to cook the foods I like to keep me on my nutrition plan, and she encouraged me daily. She would listen to me ramble on about where I wanted to be in the near future.

So much motivation also came from the JYM Army. They were there for me when I was embarrassed to post photos of my transformation. The live tutorials gave me answers I needed and the knowledge that I was on the right path.

Staying on the right path means some major lifestyle changes — mainly my diet. Consistency with training is something I have never been able to do. I went from sleeping six hours a day to only sleeping four hours so that I would have time to train.

There are many keys to success. I had a support system that helped and encouraged me when times were tough.

Willing to make changes that test your mental toughness: I believe this is what will determine your success in any endeavor you choose. Most of all, you need to have the mental drive that says, "Yes, I can" and the "never give up" attitude.

Friends, family, and acquaintances can't believe the results that I'm getting. Now instead of teasing me about my body weight and pant size, I get the question, "How did you do it? " It’s one simple answer: You have to want it.    

Lately, I get asked for advice from many people looking to make a change in their health and fitness. I tell them there is no magic pill or secret. Mental toughness is key. "Never give up" or "I can't" are words that do not exist.

I realized that inspiring others is what has become motivation for me on this journey. Telling my story about being ashamed of my body, my weight, and how I overcame it.  I will help others, as many have helped me.

One goal for me is to work toward a career in the fitness industry. This is one of many goals that are mostly long-term that will keep me motivated and on the path of a healthy life.

Lastly, believe in yourself. You are the one that makes it possible.


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