Take Charge Success Stories: Marty

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It’s pretty common for people in my world to talk about needing to lose a few pounds. The old, “I really just need to drop 10 pounds, and I’ll be able to fit back into {insert piece of clothing here that hasn’t been worn in years}.” In reality, that 10 pounds is usually, actually, more like 20 or 30. We tend to have a little bit of a skewed view of our bodies over time.

My own husband was not immune to this situation. He’s a guy who has always taken great pride in his appearance (we’re talking handmade Italian suits an shoes here, people), and his physique is certainly a part of that. Everyone is different, but Marty’s priorities physically were looking big and strong, so as to hold his own in his professional field, but also lean.

In recent years, the lean had gotten away from him.

So, this past spring, he decided it was time to do something about it. Tired of feeling self-conscious with his shirt off, he did a lot of research and hired a coach to help him reach his goals. He doesn’t love to be in the spotlight, but today he is. I’ll let him take it from here.


It seems that everyone on my Facebook and other feeds are talking about losing weight by using a system or diet, whether it’s paleo, nutritional cleansing, low carb, low fat, the list goes on and on. There are just as many opinions about your workout – Crossfit, HIIT, steady-state cardio, powerlifting, bodybuilding. There are a lot of options out there to try, and a lot of opinions about which way is the best way. For what it’s worth, here is my story and how I got to where I wanted to be.

My goal has always been to build muscle and lose fat. Simple right? In the past I tried most of the above with mixed success. I was constantly tweaking my eating, my workouts, and my recovery (usually all at the same time, which is a no-no), based on what I was reading on the internet or on what someone else was having success with. I would cut my calories and lose 10 pounds and then gain back 15 pounds. I concentrated on the scale instead of the mirror, and I convinced myself that I really didn’t have that much weight to lose and that I was in pretty good shape. I mean, I am 6’2”, weighed 226 pounds, and hit the gym six days a week. Most of it had to be muscle, right?

mandkbeachKourtney and I were going to the beach for Christmas so I dropped a few pounds and really hit the gym hard so I would look good. A couple of months after we got back I was going through the pictures on the camera and saw one of me in my swimsuit.

When I really looked at the picture I noticed that my mid-section had gotten a lot bigger than I realized.  I had been chasing strength gains in the gym without being concerned with my eating and as a result my muscles looked smooth; no definition anywhere.  I had the infamous “dad bod.”

I talked with Kourtney and asked her to train me. After we really got down to my specific goals she told me that I wasn’t a fit for her (partially because I am her husband and she knows how difficult I can be, and partially because of my goals) and that I needed to find someone who could help me with nutrition as well as strength. I didn’t have a specific weight goal when I started this. I wanted to get lean but not look skinny. I wanted to be sure that I could easily maintain my end result without being on a perpetual diet. With her help, I found a coach who could help me with my goals.

A universal truth is you can’t out train a bad diet, so that is where it started.  I ate real food, not pre-packaged food or shakes, pills, or supplements. I ate whatever I wanted; no restrictions on the kind of food I ate or when I ate it, no calorie counting.  I ate by macros, but I didn’t waste them on junk food (except for the occasional scoop of delicious ice cream). A typical breakfast looked like this:


lunch like this:


and dinner like this (yes, I eat a lot of steak):


or this:


In addition, I usually had one protein shake per day, fruit and/or greek yogurt, drank at least 100 ounces of water a day.

Next up for change was my workout plan. I was constantly changing my workout based on what I was reading on the internet and never really gave anything a chance to work. With the new plan, I went from working out 6 days per week to working out 3 days per week for 45 minutes. This was my biggest leap of faith. I was convinced that if I didn’t work out 6 days a week that I would not be able to lose weight and that all my lifts would suffer. I found out that you really don’t need to live in the gym to get weight loss results. In fact, all my lifts either stayed the same or increased.

I also had a lot of support from Kourtney. She is a very positive energy person and she doesn’t tolerate self-shaming or negative thoughts. She was very supportive but quick to call me out when I was being unrealistic with my expectations or just whiney. Kourtney really helped with the day to day ups and downs that come with lifestyle changes. She always reminded me that you make lasting changes with a nutritious, well-rounded diet, eating healthy food, and engaging in regular exercise. It can’t just be a “diet,” it has to be a new lifestyle, so you have to do things that are sustainable.

I worked harder these last 5 months than I have ever worked, in both the gym and in the kitchen. I hesitate to give numbers, but numbers tell the story so here it goes…

Results:  lost 40 pounds and 23 inches.

While I did lose some size, I also lost a lot of fat. My bodyfat is now 14%, tested by underwater weighing, so it’s legit.

marty after

I am pretty damn happy with the results. I am 55 years old and I have no intention of shuffling into old age. I am in better shape now than I was 20 years ago and I intend to keep improving. I now wear a size 32 waist pant, something I haven’t done since high school. If you are happy with your “dad bod” then more power to you! But I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror so I did something about it.

My number one piece of advice is to hire a trainer. Trying to figure it out by yourself can be a little overwhelming at times. A good trainer knows what works and what’s a waste of your time. They do all the thinking so all you have to do is show up and work hard. They motivate you to give it your all and hold you accountable when you are slacking off. Give me a call if you need some suggestions, I know a couple of excellent trainers who will help you reach your goals. While it does cost money to hire a personal trainer, I spent less per month on a trainer than most people spend on cleanses or programs or diet supplements.

Well, time to get moving again. I’ve hired a new trainer to help me put on some big muscle so I actually look like how I thought I looked before. I’ll be ready for the shirtless pictures on the one year anniversary of this journey on our cruise in April!


I am beside myself proud of my man for all of the hard work and dedication he has put into his training in the last few months. It has been awesome for me to see him feeling good and gaining confidence as he reaches and smashes his goals. More than anything, I have been so happy to see him making some changes in his eating and not hating it – I mean, the guy has started eating greens! (More power to Bryan Krahn for that one, because hi, husbands don’t listen to wives, but they will listen to bros.) That’s a testament to the fact that planning your meals and whole foods at home can actually be delicious. And, um, work for your fitness goals as well. In the long term. Like, forever.

The biggest thing though, is the fact that he actually didn’t have to work that terribly hard to make these changes. Marty will even admit this – the process hasn’t been that difficult. It’s been small shifts in behavior and mindset over the course of several months, but the payoff and results have been HUGE.

Take Marty’s success story as inspiration for yours. Find the right coach (whoever it is, because there are thousands), commit, and rock it out. Can’t wait to hear all about it!