I’m Matt (aka jurdman) from Wilberforce, a 36-year-old husband and father of 3 kids. We all get to that point. We’ve had enough, and desperately hope for something better. We never think it’s possible.

I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I can remember being teased way back in primary school. I was always big. In high school I wasn’t bullied or anything, I had a good group of friends but was always “that big funny guy”.

So bad habits and lifestyle choices continued throughout my teens into my 20s and into my 30s. “Big fella”….. We’ve all heard it over and over.
Yes, I’m a big fella, I’m a broad 6’2. But it was never about anything besides my weight.

4 years ago I lost my father to lung cancer.

It broke me and still does on a daily basis. He told me at home recovering from chemo that he “messed up”, Dad saying that broke my heart. The only tense words me and Dad ever had was when he was worried about my weight.

I would get defensive, no one likes to hear that they need to lose weight. It’s taken me years to dig myself out of the hole of feeling lost without him.

I have a wife who is my rock, her unconditional love got me through it and continues to help me every day with my grief. My kids were also a shining light through this darkest time in my life. My father has been my main inspiration. He always, always worried about my weight.

I didn’t want to have to say to my wife and kids that “I messed up”, while in hospital suffering from a heart attack or even worse, not getting a chance to say goodbye to them at all.

In early February, I decided to actually try for once to lose weight. To actually make a concerted effort to do something. Something that I always thought was too hard to even try.

I started by eating healthier for 2 weeks. It was a struggle, but I was doing it.

By some coincidence, a temporary security guard at my work had mentioned he lost 14kgs on The Man Shake. I had never heard of it before.

I went to Coles the next day to buy the sample packet. Found a flavour or 2 that I liked, and thought, this could be alright, why don’t I give it a go.

Weighing in at 170kgs….well it was daunting. I think you always underestimate your weight.
The mountain seemed so big, insurmountable. I was in an 8XL shirt, the only place you can go from there is to lose weight, or layby a coffin.

I started by trying to work out a routine. I saw Adam post a video on YouTube about intermittent fasting, so I thought I’d give it a go as well. Midnight snacking and late-night treats were always my biggest problem, along with soft drink.

10am shake, 12 snack, 2pm shake, 4pm snack, 630pm dinner.

That’s what I have done for the last 8 months.
The routine, and removing decisions from my day have helped keep me focused.
I know during the day it’s only ever another 2 hours until I get to consume something, it makes it very manageable. Add in lots of water and it’s a lot easier.

I’ve been very strict though, which might not be for everyone. 1 treat meal and 7 beers in 8 months. I’ve cut out bread, sugar. Drink black coffee and teas now. I used to smash soft drinks all day. Now it’s water or green tea.

My first 20kgs down were without doing anything extra. Since then I’ve been going to the gym, doing my own routine etc. I’ve never had a personal trainer session or lessons. Just slowly increasing my speeds and weights along the way. The treadmill is your friend.

Having said that, the gym…. If it’s not for you, you don’t need it. Everything I’ve done there I could have done at home. I enjoy going there to get into focus mode, I actually get stuff done, I doubt whether I would have been as motivated at home. The gym seems scary but believe me, everyone is so focused on themselves they don’t care if a “big fella” is on the treadmill.

Finding and being part of this amazing group of Man Shake Men has been life-changing.
So many positive people in there always happy to help.
So many great blokes looking to improve themselves for a multitude of reasons.

We all started this journey with different weights and destinations, that doesn’t make any of them more important than the others.
Some people are starting their journeys at my current weight. Some people are starting their journeys heavier than when I started.
We are all different but have one major thing in common.

I now weigh 88kgs….it’s amazing to think.
I’ve lost 82gs or 41 bags of potatoes.

That’s almost half of my body weight!

I’m feeling amazing physically and mentally.
It shows you that if you commit, stay focused, motivated and determined, nothing can stop you. If you will it, it is no dream.

This was a monumental task, and I couldn’t have done it without the constant love and support from my wife and kids and extended family. They have always been there when I needed them and have played a massive part in helping me achieve everything I have. I can’t thank them enough for their encouragement but hopefully having me around a little longer is reward enough for them.

I have started “jurdman’s beginner’s guide to weight loss” at www.youtube.com/jurdman . I’m passionate about helping all the new shakers starting out who may feel a little lost. I also do a weight loss/lifestyle discussion stream on www.twitch.tv/jurdman on Wednesday nights. Pop in and join the community!

And lastly thanks to Adam, Belinda and everyone involved with The Man Shake. This has been a life-changing thing and I couldn’t be happier.