My Story

Hey all,

I’d like to provide some background on what led me to start this blog. I’ve gained so much in my journey through a life of health & fitness, and I hope this story can help others who may be battling weight issues and see no solution in sight. You can change! If I can do it, everyone is capable of forcing change in their own lives.

First, some background… I was always a chubby kid growing up, and got most of my satisfaction from the foods I ate. And I liked to eat! Deep fried, carbs, you name it, I ate it. I loved food and it loved me back. But the more I ate and the more weight I gained, the less comfortable I was in my own skin. I avoided social interaction with people, and instead engrossed myself in online video games where face-to-face communication wasn’t required. It became a deadly duo of junk food and inactivity until I tipped the scales well over 200 pounds. It wasn’t a lean 200 as the picture below depicts.                       

This is me circa 2004.

Fast forward to my late teen years, and something inside finally spoke up. I had reached a point where I knew that if I did not make a change at that very moment, I would never be truly happy with myself and my life. I don’t know what finally clicked, maybe it was being forced out of my comfort zone in my first year of university, or maybe I just became more self-aware. Regardless, I knew I had to start somewhere even though I felt lost, and began late night walk-jogging (because I could only run in spurts). That progressed to nightly jogs and the runners’ high people talk about became my motivation. I cut back on food intake, but didn’t have a clue about diet. The weight came off over time, slowly but surely, and my addiction to food and video games became less so. I eventually got good enough at running to enter a few 10K competitive runs, and then eventually the half-marathon on Father’s Day in June 2006.

Despite all that running, I wasn’t in love with my body. I still saw myself as skinny-fat with little muscle tone. That’s when I turned to weight lifting. Soon my passion for running transferred to the gym, where lifting weights became my passion. Desire to change motivated me to return to my gym asylum every day, and I began to learn more and more about nutrition and proper weight training. Slowly I gained weight of the good variety and fine-tuned my look, adding some muscle and definition. That progression continues today.

My journey is by no means over. I continually strive to get better and have a lot of room for improvement! It’s been gratifying to work each day on self improvement, both physically on the OUTSIDE and as a person INSIDE. The two go hand-in-hand. If you only focus on one without the other, you aren’t truly growing and improving.

This is me in 2012 (don’t judge the towel).

Here’s me today (or at least two months ago). I’m by no means perfect with my diet 365 days a year, I enjoy the odd dinner out and socialize over a few drinks, but I prep and pack food every day of the week and focus on good nutrition and hard, honest training 99% of the time. I work two jobs and find plenty of time for four weight lifting workouts and five cardio (usually first thing in the AM) sessions a week. If you want it bad enough, nothing will get in your way. I have some fat to lose and some muscle to gain, but that’s the beauty of this lifestyle. If you feel you’ve completed all your goals, there will be nothing keeping you on task driving you to succeed.

I think people fail in their health & fitness goals when they look too far ahead. It’s smart to set goals, but if you get focused on reaching your goal weight over-night, you’ll get discouraged along the way and quit. Focus on winning each day. Kick Monday in the ass and then wake up ready to do all you need to do to make Tuesday equally as successful. Ask yourself, “Can I do it today?” The answer is usually yes. Don’t skip 10 steps ahead. Focus on the journey. Change is always an option and often leads to great things! Start your own journey today.

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Mitch Calvert is a Winnipeg-based fitness coach for men and women like his former self. Heavyset in his 20s, he lost 60 pounds and now helps clients find their spark and lose the weight for life.