This blog post is about one of the people who changed my life whom I have never even met. It seems like that list is getting quite long these days as I recognize the fact that mentors and role models do not have to be solely those that you can meet face to face or are in your physical network.
First of all, Mike helped me realize what it takes to build the lean, muscular body I had always dreamed of but never possessed the knowledge to attain.
But what came as a surprise to me was that this was the most insignificant part of my journey when it comes down to it. With an even mix of capability on my part and necessity of my situation, I was able to change the course of my life largely because of the shift in mindset I experienced. This was catalyzed by shifting my health and fitness but it was far from the end product.
I want to back up and talk about when I first heard about Mike Matthews. I can remember it very vividly, his message came to me at a time when I had suffocating self-defeating habits and was feeling quite lost. Symbolically, his message came to me during engagement in one of my signature self defeating habits at the time which was endless use of my phone and media.
Browsing on social media, pointless web searches, all conjuring up negative thoughts and emotions I was barely aware of. It was during one of these black hole episodes of media distraction that I stumbled across an advertisement of sorts.
It made claims about how I didn’t need hours in the gym to achieve my dream physique, how cardio was not the way to fat loss, supplements were not necessary, clean eating and carb demonizing were largely based on myth.
Yeah right, I thought.
While some part of me said, here we go again, another BS ad with no real value (I thought there was no way these claims were true). Another part of me thought, it’s at least worth checking out.
So I read Mike’s story, I learned, I absorbed, I resonated with a man that talked about how he struggled for years practicing ineffective muscle building techniques and “bro” type fitness regimes which I was familiar with.
Finally I realized, holy shit, this whole fitness thing is way less complicated than I had thought for all these years!
I was finally able to change my body! I deadlifted, macro tracked, and worked smarter not harder to achieve the body I always wanted.
This with constant clarification from Bigger Leaner Stronger and Muscle for Life/Legion Athletics articles.
Through this, I had one of the most important realizations in my life. I realized that if the changes I saw in my body were possible with such simple changes and principles, then changes in the rest of my life could be made too.
I haven’t mentioned yet but at the time when I discovered Mike’s work, I was in my last semester of college, scared shitless about what would come next.
Set to graduate with a degree in Business and Finance, I wasn’t excited about the prospects presented to me.
I knew there was a nagging feeling I had that this course I was on wasn’t right for me but I never knew what to do about it.
With my new outlook and knowledge, however, I took the Mike Matthews approach to my personal life outside from the gym, I started taking action by reading books and increasing my knowledge little by little, all of this remimiscent of the muscle building process Mike had taught me.
Long story slightly less long, it led to me launching my own online brand which I now work on every day in hopes of launching a career and successful business out of it.
What started with a simple Instagram page @JParkerFitLife is now being developed into a full scope online brand with a website and, I’m excited to publicly announce for the first time, my very own book!
Its hard for me to even comprehend the scope of all the positive changes I’ve made in my life as I went from a beer belly sporting gym rat who could never improve on his newbie gains and had never read a book to completion, to a lean muscle sporting book reader now on the course of writing one himself!
I’m so beyond happy with the changes I’ve made and none of them would be possible without Mike. He has had an effect on me so far past the gym, helping my self-confidence grow, encouraging me to take action in my daily life, and showing me the power of small but definitive changes in improving your course.
So thank you, Mike Matthews, for all that you do. Know that a misguided life was changed because of your work. I am forever grateful.