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Changing Your Habits: Episode 8 of the Fit Father Project Podcast

By: Dr. Anthony Balduzzi, NMD - Men's Health Doctor & Founder, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project,

 

Episode 8 of the Fit Father Project Podcast is all about changing your habits to change your life!

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight and get into a workout routine, you’ll know that it’s not always smooth sailing.

There are ups and downs with almost every attempt, and it’s a continuous course correction where you have to take the losses with the wins, but ultimately never give up.

In Episode 8 of the Fit Father Project Podcast, Dr. A chats with our New Year Transformation Contest winner, Martin Reidy. Martin lost 40 lbs in 5 months, changed his habits, changed his physique, and won $10,000 for his efforts!

You’ll learn about:

  • Overcoming life's challenges.
  • Finding your motivation.
  • Changing your habits and your health and fitness mindset.
  • Taking back your ‘hill.'

If you want to get the most from your exercise and make sure it works for you, listen to this episode on changing your habits, and check out our free meal plan and workout or our full FF30X program!

Click here to listen to Episode 8 and subscribe to the
Fit Father Project Podcast!

What is FF30X?

FF30X is a simple, sustainable, and specific weight loss program that is designed especially for busy men over 40. With short metabolic training workouts, an easy-to-follow meal plan, and an accountability team that is there for you at every step, FF30X can help you lose 30, 40, or even 50+ lbs — even if you’ve never picked up a weight in your life. 

Click here to see what you get when you join the FF30X program today!

30 day fitness kickstart

Here’s How Busy Guys 40+ Are Finally Losing Weight…

30 day fitness kickstart
If you’re in your 40s, 50s, & 60s, you need to eat and exercise differently to lose weight & actually keep it off…

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Changing Your Habits: Full Episode 8 Transcript

changing your habits

 

Martin Reidy: When you're climbing a mountain. And you're just looking for that next handhold. It's not a ladder because there's nothing straight up and down. Everything I've gone through. That's the thing that I learned the most — it's not going to be perfect. If you've got to change, you've got to adjust for a long time.

I had my son's soccer team that I was coaching, so I couldn't go out and do my HIIT workouts. And that was driving me nuts because that was my schedule. OK, I need to go. I got to go and I got to do my running. I've got rowing, whatever it is, and it was driving me mad and I started to post, man, I can't get in there and do this.

It angered me. And then as I'm sitting there, wait a minute. What are these kids doing around me? They're playing soccer. They're having a good time. They're enjoying a workout. I'm like, I can do that. So I started running with them and I'm doing all the drills and it made it better.

Soccer was one for me, because one, I could do these things. I could run out there with them and I got to play soccer with them rather than just try to tell them how to play soccer. So that was huge. And I just, that was probably my golden moment in the exercises when I realized, man, this isn't perfect. You don't have to do it exactly by the book all the time.

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Alright, my friends. Welcome back to another episode here on the Fit Father Project Podcast. This is Dr. Anthony Balduzzi. I'm the founder and CEO here at the Fit Father Project and the host of the Fit Father Project Podcast. Today is amazing. I've been looking forward to this conversation all week because today I'm joined by Martin Reidy, who is the winner of our 2021 Transformation Challenge.

Earlier in January of 2021, we emailed out to all the guys on our list. And we said that if you join the Fit Father Project for New Year's, and you go through this transformation challenge, there's going to be a winner that's going to get a big fat check for $10,000. And Martin joined us at that time.

Not thinking that this would be him, but it ended up being him and he has an incredible story. It is a story of family, of triumph, of challenges, and ultimately of getting his health and his life back. So Martin, thank you so much for coming on with us today for sharing your story, and from our entire team, congratulations for being the winner of our challenge. 

Martin Reidy: Thank you very much.

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: So Martin, could you introduce yourself, your name, your age, and where you're from?

Martin Reidy: I currently live in Idaho. Originally, I'm from Iowa, but I got imported over here. I'm 48 years old. I have six children in my blended family with my beautiful wife, three girls and three boys.

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Nice. Well, tell me a little bit about your health journey. What brought you to the point before you found the Fit Father Project? What were some of those challenges? I'd like to dive into that first.

Martin Reidy: I had a lot of challenges. Unfortunately, I can't hit on all of them, probably because I forgot some of them, but in 2013, my first wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and she fought through that for two years, got a clean bill of health. And then a year later it had a resurface, but now it's in her spine and in her liver. We tried to go through chemotherapy and all of those things. But as soon as they try to that, she took just a deep nosedive and it turned out that cancer was so spread out, trying to kill it was actually killing her faster. So my team, the children that I had with her, my son and daughter, brought her home. And in 2016, we lost her to breast cancer. She and I had both been smokers for as long as we'd known each other, which was 19 years and been married. And of course, anytime she tried to quit smoking … when you're with another smoker, that person has to smoke at the same time or quit at the same time.

And we can never get on the same page. So we kept smoking and going on, and I felt really guilty about that because my kids watch that, and they just watched their mother passed from cancer. And I knew at that point, OK, I got to quit and I just did. Cold turkey the week after she passed. And of course, that led to eating habits that weren't good in the first place becoming magnified to even worse.

And I put on over 20, 25 pounds. Oh, he's been pretty active. My job as a police officer keeps me pretty active. So I'm always out running around and I thought, oh, I'll just work it off once I get back into the flow of things and that never really happened, but I just kinda kept trudging along.

I met my current wife, who was an amazing woman. Wasn't looking for her. She apparently was looking for me and found me, thankfully, because I was kind of lost at that point, but she brought me around and helped a lot with my mental stability. Cause I was in much worse shape than I realized, but I was still under a lot of stress from the job and whatnot.

We got married and we, as I said, we have a blended family now of six. Too off in college, one in the army, one that's going to be a senior this next year, a 12-year-old — who might as well be 16; in his mind, he should be driving by now — and a three-year-old son that we adopted when he was seven-months-old.

So all of a sudden, we've got a whole lot more mouths to feed and a little bit more stress. Of course, blending families is never easy. So the stress level continues to go up all through this. My blood pressure is going through the roof because I still eat terribly. My wife is an amazing Southern cook and I have no control when she starts making fried chicken or whatever it is.

That's my favorite. And then spaghetti, of course, she makes all of that. And I had no idea what portion controls were. I just keep what I wanted to eat. So through that, I gain a little bit more weight. Still taking on more calories. Unfortunately, my wife, her job with the hospital here in Boise was eliminated when they downsized and she had to take a job out of town and she has been working away from me.

We maintain two households. She has our three-year-old son, and I have our two teenagers and almost teenager here. So now we have two split households and we're bouncing back and forth all the time. That led to some pretty severe depression and on my part. And I guess I really didn't even realize it at the time, but I still wasn't taking care of myself.

I mean, I can cook. I'm a pretty good cook, barbecue mostly, which is not terrible. I still am not eating well. And I'm eating a bunch of crap at work because I don't make anything for myself to take. So I was eating at one of the fast-food restaurants, whatever's closest is the one I'm going to call the call and whatnot.

Putting on more weight. So now I'm up probably 50 pounds from where I was or close to 50 pounds from where I was before that; cholesterol is horrible. I tried changing my diet on my own, but I don't have a big background in nutrition. I had never taken the time to figure out, hey, this is what you should be eating.

These are the things that will work. So I do a little bit of the WebMD stuff and try to figure out, OK, this is what I'm going to need here or there. And maybe this will help. Well, I still would go to my doctor's appointments and stuff. Cause I'm trying to take care of my family, thinking, I've got to be here for my kids and those things aren't working.

I also started drinking way too much, and that was kind of part of the depression. Once I would get my 12-year-old off to bed, I would go in my man-cave and watch sports and drink beer. It came to a head in the November timeframe. I stayed up all night, one night. For no reason. And at some point I became intoxicated enough that I fell into a table and broke the table, went to bed.

Didn't think anything of it. I woke up in the morning. I had a big old bruise on my side and I'm like, what? What was this from? And my son went up to the room and he asked me about it and I had to lie to him. I had to lie to him about what happened. I said, I tripped over one of his toys. And I looked over and I realized I'd gone through the 30 pack of beer and the cans were just sitting there in the trash and I was hung over and felt terrible.

And at that point, I knew that I had to change something because I wasn't doing anything to help my kids out. The realization that if something did happen, I was worthless. I wasn't going to be a protector for them. I couldn't, if someone got hurt, I couldn't have got him to the house. So I knew right then I had to change.

And then I started looking at different programs as far as workouts. Before that, I've been able to go to the gym and do workouts and whatnot. I don't, I'm not very original that way, because I'm old school. I was military, OK. You go do pushups. You do sit-ups, flutter kicks, and go running. And I like to run, so that was no problem.

I like to run, but my body hurts so much from just the neglect, the stuff that I was putting into it, my legs would hurt. My hips would hurt my back. Would hurt everything if I ran. So I couldn't run. I'm like, well, there's no other cardio I can do other than maybe a treadmill. And I don't like doing treadmills cause I have a longer stride. 

I'm six-foot-one and yeah, I can do it, but it just doesn't match the way I run. So I didn't do a whole lot of cardio that way. I do some circuit training, but that was just the machines that were there. I would go through and, and I do the same routine over and over and over again. And for the first couple of weeks, I would see, hey, maybe a little bit of tone.

I'm getting a little bit stronger, but nothing was coming off. I never changed my diet enough. I thought, well, maybe I just, I've got to get rid of soda. So I quit drinking soda and I just would drink coffee or diet soda. I didn't make any wholesale changes. I would incorporate some vegetables. There weren't a whole lot of vegetables that I ate a lot of, so maybe broccoli every once in a while.

And that's like maybe once a week or every two weeks changing anything. I wouldn't see any changes. I'd stick to it. Usually, my timeframe was about two months, and then OK, I don't see anything changing. So I quit and I just go back to, oh, well, I guess this is meant to be, and get worse and gain back whatever I had lost.

Occasionally I joined my wife on one of the diets, like the keto diet or something like that, and I'd lose a couple of pounds and that feels pretty good, but I couldn't stand just eating this food over and over and over again. And it's not something that I could continue to do. So that thing that was more of a, hey I'm doing it because you're doing it.

And maybe it'll help me, but I'm not buying into anything with it. So that was where I was with that. I also had the worst acid reflux I ever imagined. It got to a point where I actually was eating a sandwich with my wife and I couldn't swallow it because there was so much scar tissue from the acid eating away, just above my stomach, that the food actually got caught.

And I had to go to a doctor to have that removed. They had to push that through. So they put me on 80 milligrams of metronidazole, which is ridiculous. I guess I was taking it 40 in the morning and then 40 at night. And after taking that for about a month and a half, I got really sick because I didn't have it.

It was cramped. They're trying to wipe out so much of the acid, but I couldn't fight off infections as it was explained to me again, I'm not a doctor, so I don't know, but they had to reduce that. But I was on that. And if I didn't take that, if I missed it even a day, it would just tear me up. I would just be suffering through the day with more heartburn, whatnot.

So that was all the health things that I was going through at the time. Like I said, it was probably more than I didn't catch on, but those are things at the front. And then in November, like I said, I had the episode with the table and I started looking through and I looked at a few different things.

There are tons of them on the internet. And a lot of them are this buff guy with no shirt on, excuse me, you can do this. And it's, it was a lot of exercises and a lot of it just didn't seem to fit. I mean, I would take a few things here and there and I'm going to incorporate that. OK, but it's just one little snippet of something and never a full buy into anything. I found this one program called the Fit Father Project and saw there were some videos on the YouTube channel. And I started watching that and this guy, Anthony Balduzzi, starts it off with, hello, my friend. I'm like, hey, I'll be your friend If you can help me out of this. So I started listening to these videos and that sounds a little bit more like what I can deal with.

And I started looking at some of the success stories that were on there. And as I was looking at the pictures, I said, hey, that guy looks like me. That guy looks like me. OK, maybe this is a little bit geared more towards what I want.  

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: This is December of 2020, right?

Martin Reidy: 2020, the end of December is when I really started reading through everything. And I started, OK, I can, I can do this. I have to do this. I've got to change something. And my intention was, you know what, I'm just going to go. And I'm going to do the exercise. And that'll be all I need. I thought, yeah, I'll just burn this stuff off. And I was, I would read through it and I read through everything.

I did all the start-ups sets, man. These are so long. There's so many things I got to do. It's tedious at the time. And now I'm so glad that I did because there were a few things in there that I saw and one of the quotes and I'll probably get it wrong, but you can't out exercise a bad diet. That was one that stuck to me, like, OK, I'm going to do something different there.

I felt like crap. I didn't want to look like the old guy that goes to the gym and is trying to make that New Year's resolution. So as that, OK, I'm going to do as much as I can at home. And that was another thing that I liked about it. There were these different exercises at home that you could do.

And then I saw the email for the transformation contest. Well, that might help me to stay motivated. So I'm like, OK, I'll do that. And I took the pictures and I looked at the pictures and it made me sick. I mean, I'd taken pictures before when I'd start my own exercises thinking, OK, this is what I looked like before.

I want to be able to come back and look at it, but these pictures were the worst things I'd ever seen. I didn't realize how far gone I had gone because I didn't stop to look at myself in the mirror. I didn't want to see myself. So I took these pictures and I'd getting ready to send it to them. I was looking at the wood and not only did I see how horrible I looked, I saw my face.

I was like, Jesus, how many chins do I have up there? And there's not an ounce of happiness in that. So I knew at that point, I really had to stick with it. And when I took the pictures, that's when I decided, OK, I started getting all this stuff for the meal plans. I went to get spinach, which I bought for the first time in my life that wasn't frozen, that I was going to put into a dip of something.

So I've got this fresh spinach. I've got spring mix. I tried kale. I didn't like that stuff, but I got all these different vegetables and got a bunch of chicken and I love chicken, but I love it fried. So I thought, well, it won't be too bad. And I started getting some different things, fish and whatnot.

And I just went all in before I started the program. I didn't do breath. I'd get up. I drink my coffee and head out the door with my coffee in hand, probably three or four coffees just to get me going in the day. Wouldn't eat anything until one or two in the afternoon. And then again, that was junk. That was stuff from the burger joint or whatever, every once in a while I'd mix it up.

Think I'm doing something healthy before I'd go to Subway and get a salad. It was just terrible. And I come home and I'd eat like crap, but I started doing the shake and I thought, man, there's no way I'm going to like this. It's got spinach in it, protein, which I'd never really tried protein before and all this other stuff.

I didn't even know what cacao was. My daughter had to tell me, cause she's in some nutrition classes like, oh, that's good chocolate for you. I'm like, OK, I'll try it. And I got all those going. I think that's really what catapulted me into everything because, all of a sudden I had energy in the morning, and by the end of the second week, as I think I was down about 10 pounds at that time, I would have to look at my journal because in the very beginning, that's all I did.

I wrote down everything. I was obsessed with it. I had to be, I felt that if I didn't jump completely into it, that I was going to fall back up. So everything was journaled. Everything was exactly on a timeline. I said, OK, this is when I'm exercising, nothing's changing. This is when I'm eating. Nothing will change.

And this is when I had it. And I did all the meal plans, just like you had said in the videos, which I'd never done before. So I've got all these things to check-in. I come home and I have to tell the kids, damn, I'm a chicken because they come home from work, then when they eat something, well they got tired of chicken, pretty fast.

So I didn't have to worry about that anymore, but I had everything and I laid it out. So it was easy. So I didn't have to think about it anymore. Cause that's where I would always get in trouble. Cause then I start making choices and it was the wrong thing. And along with the meal plan, I also checked out the Facebook group, when I got the invite to that.

I accepted it. OK. Whatever, I'm not going to be interested in that. I'm not a big posting person. I tend to worry about what's going on at home. What do I have to do to take care of my family? And I go from there, but I started reading the posts and every once in a while, there'd be something that I knew.

OK, I'll throw an answer out there and I could help somebody out. And that felt pretty good. And you'd get the immediate response, hey, thanks brother. And I move along and then some more things would come in and then you would see how people are doing. So I realized, OK, I wasn't the only one that couldn't do these damn pushups and Apex 10 just about took them out as well. So that made me feel better a little bit. So if I was still mad that I was doing that little way, but it helped to motivate me too. Cause I would see the ways they're doing. It's not a competition. I know that, but I'm a very competitive person. So I took that. I would see, there are several guys on there that I follow very closely.

I saw Lee in there. I'm like, wait a minute. That's one of the guys from the original stuff that I was reading about and he was posting stuff. Oh, that is awesome. Wait, are these real guys type of thing. And then I'd see him in there and he'd respond or he'd put something on a post I had. Oh, wow, that's really cool.

So that helped me along to just start sending messages back and forth and you're encouraging each other. And that was huge for me. And that was something I had no idea would come up. It was like I said, I thought we I'll just kind of check out and see what's in there. Cause I'd still go back and, and watch all the videos and stuff.

And I thought maybe that's where I was going to find him, but I found all these, these brothers out there that were going through the exact same thing that I was, and everybody was encouraging each other. And that was, that was huge. That created that accountability, because I didn't want to tell everybody at work I'm a fat slob and I'm not getting it done. We have a lot of pride, obviously as police officers that you, you have to exude certain things, confidence. You have to exude that you are a commanding figure. So you can't come out looking weak. And that's one of the things, one of the stigmas that we've been fighting to get against people who don't want to ask for help.

And with law enforcement, that's a big problem. That's why suicide rates are so high in our profession. I didn't want to do that. I told my wife I was doing this program and I think I may even in passing said, yeah and there's a contest. I could win $10,000 and kind of laughed it off. Yeah, no way.

There are probably thousands of guys. All I need to lose when I started, I thought, eh, 25 pounds, I'll be good. And 25 was pretty generous in my mind. So I thought maybe 20 pounds and then I'll be good. So total, I ended up losing just over 40 pounds. The lowest I got as I said, I started just at, right at about 233.

I think it was 232.9 or something like that. And then I got down to my lowest point was 190.6. And my body fat was just above 14% and knows where the cutoff points he had, that my mission statement said, OK when you get to this, you can go into Old School Muscle. So I transitioned into that and then about, I think it was still in week two that I decided, OK, because I continuously would go back and read stuff because every time I read all this stuff from the initial part, I would find something new that I missed before.

So I would keep going back and I'd read it. And I think before I skimmed a little bit more than I should have, and didn't realize all the things that were. But as I read more, I'd go back. Especially at night, if I couldn't sleep or something, I'd go back and I'd read stuff and I'd find something. And I came back to the mission statement.

OK, it's time. I got to do a mission statement. And when I first thought about doing it, when I first started the program, I didn't kind of think about it a little bit, but it was all stuff that, that kind of sounded like it should matter to me, but really I could see, there are things in here that somebody is talking about.

Hey, maybe I should put that in mind, but it wasn't personalized. So about those two weeks in is when I finally did do a mission statement. I really looked deeper into myself and tried to figure out, OK, why am I really doing it? And I came up with much better things, you know, there's still the standard, I know this is going to be a sacrifice and I need to change my eating habits and I will no longer be allowed to eat these things on a regular basis.

But I found the real lie and a lot of it, first of all, it's always about my family. So that was first. That was definitely first, my three-year-old son. I gotta be there. He's been through enough crap already. You've already had to go through adoption and everything. We're the only parents he's ever going to know. And I gotta make sure that I'm here to make sure that happened. That he's obviously taken care of.

My two other children, I don't want them to see me leave before I get to see all the things that their mom doesn't get to see — the weddings, the kids, and all that stuff. And my two older daughters, I don't get to interact with them a lot cause they're at college and they have been since my wife and I got married, but I do talk to them a few times, and I want to make sure that they have everything they need and they're taken care of.

I want to be a father figure for them. Their dad is still alive and everything, but I want to make sure that they understand that I'm here too, but Tanner, he lives with me and I want him to see what a marriage is supposed to be like because maybe his mom and dad didn't have the best of relationship at times.

So I want to make sure that he sees how Tanya and I are and make sure that he understands, OK, this is what a marriage is really about. This is how you're supposed to take care of people. So I had to, I have to be there for that. And that was a big part of it. Also, work I looked at like I said, I saw myself and I was that fat cop that was just about to retire on duty. I was going to eat like crap and probably have a heart attack somewhere because he's going to show up in a physical fight and he's not in shape. I was becoming the dude that my coworkers didn't want to show up, because all of a sudden, oh crap, if he gets involved and he's a physical liability instead of an asset.

So I was becoming the guy that I said I'd never would be. And that was the out-of-shape police officer that probably should hang it up. But it doesn't, again, the alcoholism going back to that, I didn't want to be that. So those were my points in the mission statement. One of the things that you say is to post that for accountability.

I wasn't going to do that because one of the things I did throw in there, wasn't a deep emotional thing, but I decided if I do this, I'm going to do it all the way to the point where they have to put me on the site, and I need to be one of those guys that's made a big enough transformation that other guys are going to come back and look at and see me so they can say, hey, I look like that guy.

I can video. I can do those things because that's the thing that drew me in the first place. So that was part of that. Folks that kind of come off as arrogant. So it's, it's just that competition thing too, is I got to have that competition and I would never put any of my brothers down. I'm not going to say, hey, I'm doing more than you, but I'm using what they've got as my fuel as well.

I'm supporting and hell yeah, go out there, man. It doesn't matter what weight you have, but in my mind, I'm thinking, OK, I gotta get better. Cause you're catching up to me. So I've got to push a little bit harder. And those, those were the fuels that really got me going through that. And then I think it was probably week three, I never thought that I would be doing protein shakes in the morning. I never drank so much water in my life and everybody was like, why do you keep going to the bathroom? And I can't help it. Cleaning everything out, but I could feel the toxins and stuff getting out of my system, and heck yeah, keep drinking that stuff.

So I dove in, consulted a couple of people on the brotherhood, guys that I was watching that seem to have a little bit more knowledge there. One guy in particular, in there, Shane Dickson, I watch him all the time. He's always in there, he posts all the time. And he had mentioned something about the Fit Father For Life portion of it, you know, like, OK, is that a good deal?

And then I don't know if he responded. He said, yeah, it's a great idea. Just do it. There really is no other cost or anything. They're not going to come back and take these monies away when you're trying. Just sign out again. So I jumped in then, and that was another form of buy-in for me, because again, I'm cheap, so I don't want to spend the money.

So that was OK, I've invested this, I've invested money. I've invested my time. I've set my mission statement. I'm going for it. And that's kind of how I got through, especially the early part. Was I had to set things. It wasn't so much goal-oriented at the time as I had to establish why I was doing it.

Once I got that established, it just kind of snowballed. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: I mean, it's an incredible story. Everything that you went through physically, emotionally, but what about this compared to something like the keto diet that you've tried in the past? What about this made it sustainable for you in that you've been able to lose this weight, but you also have a sense that you're able to stay sustain it and keep it off.

Why has this one been different? Why is this not just another, lose some weight, gain it all back kind of scenario?

Martin Reidy: This one was, it's a lifestyle change and that it's preached all the way through all, all the, everything in there. And that was the mindset I went in with rather than, OK, I need to diet for a month period, and I'm going to lose this much weight.

So eat this stuff. OK, I can eat that stuff for a few days or even a month and whatnot, and yeah, I'll lose a few pounds. I think I lost 12 pounds on the keto diet a couple of years ago and it got 14 back because as soon as I quit, I was like, OK, I lost that weight. Now I can go back to eating whatever I want.

And I did. And I went back to the exact same thing of, oh, is there still lasagna left? Heck yeah, I want a piece and I'd eat until I was miserable, just because I like food. This program didn't have all of those restrictions on it. And I saw that once I finally gave in and said, OK, I can eat chia seeds and spinach and whatnot.

And once I gave in and started eating these things, one, I enjoyed the food because I wasn't getting all of these processed meats, which was just so much salt and whatnot, which was probably the main reason why my blood pressure was so high. So I was starting to taste things differently. I was trying new things, which I hadn't done.

And who knows how long, because kids were all like, nah, I don't want to eat my vegetables. As soon as I get out, I'm not eating them. Well, I followed that to a T until I was 48 years old. I saw him, like I said, broccoli every once in a while, but now asparagus, which I ate before my wife actually made it for me one night.

Cause I was like, I'm not sure I want to try that. I watched my grandpa. He didn't, it just looks like ugly green soggy noodles. So she made that for me and oh wow. These are actually pretty good. And I discovered roasted vegetables, something that I'd never tried before I started roasting green beans, and for the next probably a week and a half that's what I did. I roasted some vegetables until the point where my daughter says, can we not have green beans tonight? So, I mean, it was, it was different and the perfect plate is my absolute favorite thing because now it looks full to me, but it's not, I mean, I'm eating all this broccoli and has maybe 60 calories where before it was lasagna.

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Explain to people what the perfect plate is.

Martin Reidy: The perfect plate — you've got your meat portion, which takes up a little quarter, a starch, which is a corner, and then half of that is going to be green vegetables. Starches are rice or sweet potatoes, which I rediscovered again, I love those things, those are some of my favorite things to eat. Maybe wasn't something that I eat a lot of, but I would eat it. I liked it. I mean, it's something that fills me up. And the sweet potatoes! On the keto, you're not eating any carbs. So you're eating the meat and eating a vegetable in there. To me, that was just so restrictive and boring.

But when I started doing the perfect plate and I would eat all my vegetables and I was I'm like, God, do I have to eat all of them? It was more food than I wanted to eat because I'm thinking, OK, if I'm full, that means I'm getting too many calories. And, and I wasn't really counting calories. I was just following the program.

So I'm following it. And I'm thinking, man, that just, that feels like too much, but then I'd go to the gym afterward. So I felt better and the weight just kept slipping away, slipping away, slipping away. I'm like, OK, it's working. I'm not going to change it. He said it would work. It's working, I'm sticking to it.

And that made it easy for me. And as now, I mean, we do training days with our patrol team and on those days we typically go out to lunch together. Usually, it's not the healthiest place, but now I'm going to those places and I'm choosing the salad or choosing a chicken dish or a turkey sandwich, which I never ate before.

I'm like, ah, I want something. Pepperoni and spices and all this stuff on it. So now I'm starting to make those choices and it comes easy because I can see the results and everything's coming in line. And it just felt really natural after a while. That's what I needed. I needed something.

I'm not the most adventurous person. I don't like to go out and change a lot of stuff. So for me to change all of these things at once was huge for me. But once I saw how it was working, it was so easy to stay in that program. And that became my new normal, even on my free meals. I don't, I don't go crazy anymore. The first couple. Oh my God. I killed them.

To the point again, where I was miserable. Like you fool, this is what got you here in the first place. Like, all right. But you know, we're going to go work at this off, but again, it's still in the back of my mind. You can't out-exercise a bad diet, even though it was one meal, and have been doing everything right.

That was still in the back of my mind because I want to get better at it. All the way across the board. So that was the biggest difference. I never really felt hungry, incorporating just a snack in between lunch. And it's a planned snack instead of, OK, I'm going to grab a chip bag of chips from the convenience store or get a candy bar, which was kind of my go-to.

I used to get a candy bar just about every day. And OK, this is just to tide me over. It's not that big a deal, but it's not healthy. And I didn't, I never thought of, OK, what are the health benefits of these things that I'm taking in? And there was zero. So now I think about those things. So my go-to is a granny smith apple and some cashews, and I don't ever get hungry anymore.

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: That's phenomenal. A question I have for you, Martin is what advice would you have for guys who are starting out in your shoes, they're skeptical. They've tried diets that haven't worked before. And the idea of exercising really intensely is scary because they just don't feel like they're in shape and everything hurts.

So maybe even advice to yourself back in the day, if you were starting, what would you now say with everything you've known and everything you've done with this incredible transformation? What advice would you give to a man like you at that time or another guy listening? 

Martin Reidy: The first thing I would say is it works. You gotta believe it. Cause if you don't believe it, you're not going to buy into it. So that was the first thing — it does work. Look at the pictures. Those are just up there. There are guys that have lost way more weight than I have. And look. But until you believe it yourself, you can't buy into it.

So I try to, first of all, ensure them that it works. If you're willing to do it, it works. Secondly, get on the meal plan because even if you're afraid of doing the exercise, the meal plan will get you there. There's been, there were a couple of weeks there where I'd hurt something. Maybe I strained a muscle or something happened at work where, OK, I can't work out right now and I would go a week and I'm still losing weight. And it's not because I was doing all these great exercises, which man you get what you put in. Whatever you put into it, you're going to get that back out for sure. But that wasn't the key. It was eating, right. It was eating, getting breakfast in the morning, whether it's the shake or any of the other breakfast on there.

It's staying on that sort of food schedule to where you're not presenting an area where you're going to create a bad decision and get everything set. Whether you can exercise or not. I mean, that's the key to me was the change in the fuel that we're putting in the food. That's the key to me is to start on that.

You'll start to see those things come in line. You start to feel better. Like I said, I could feel when all that stuff was starting to get out of my body. I dunno how much poo I was carrying around from junk that I'd eaten, but you could feel that it was in there. Well, that's kind of gross now that I say that out loud, but that, that's what I felt is like, OK, I've dumped these toxins and I feel so much better.

My back wasn't hurting so much, my legs and my hips started feeling better. I wasn't grunting. As I reached down to tie my shoes before I started, I was looking for things to put my foot up on to bring it up closer. So I didn't bend over to tie my boot now because part of what I've started doing is the stretching exercises that we have before and after to make sure we're all warmed up.

And then once we do the cool-down, everything stretches out. My, I don't think I've ever been so limber before. So now I'm just standing there. Like I did when I was an 18-year-old kid, I just tied my boots and I go on my way. There's no breath to it anymore. So that was, that's probably the biggest thing.

And I didn't even realize it at the time is just getting that stuff out. I could feel it like I said, I could definitely feel that those toxins left, but when I started the meal plan that I had, I didn't realize that was going to be the by-product of it. I thought, oh, it's just, they're trying to make sure we don't eat too many calories, but it's clean eating then getting on all those supplements, those supplements. They work. Costco loves me now. Cause I go in there. A few months after restock and I'd get just about my whole cart full of those things. But man, it works, I feel so much better. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Nice. Now the last question I have for you. And I want to frame this in the context of the fact that out of all the guys we had joined the transformation challenge, we chose you as our winner. And although people are listening to this, they don't get to see the pictures. Your incredible transformation visually. I mean, you lost 40 pounds. And in fact, one of our team members, Craig, looked at you and he saw the photos and he's like, this guy looks like a superhero now.

Like he looks like the poster child of what every guy wants to look like approaching 50 when he gets in shape. Truly. That's incredible. But I know that your transformation was so much more than just the visual and all the stuff that we've hit on. I want you to share a little bit more about the different ways that your life has changed, you know, maybe some of the internal stuff, for sure. Changes to your medications and stuff there. I'd love for you to speak on that as we wrap this up. 

Martin Reidy: Medications, that's a great spot for me. Like I said, I was on so much metronidazole. It made me to the point where I was sick. I'm not taking that anymore. The diet purely completely wiped out any acid reflux that I had. I did have a follow-up appointment with my doctor or my annual appointment in March. And he reduced everything that I was on, my blood pressure and my cholesterol medicines are at the minimums that I can have.

He didn't take me completely off only because it had been three months. And he said, you know, I see people that go through these things all the time and say, you know what, I'm OK with that. It's not coming back though, that stuff is gone. I'm done with it. So the medication part I'm just about done with those completely, which is good.

Cause I take too many supplements. I don't want to be having to swallow all that stuff in the mornings. Internally, huge changes. I was in a terrible place and I didn't even realize it at the time. I didn't know how depressed I was and some of those things were caused by physical limitations, I suppose.

But a lot of it was an outlook on myself is I didn't like who I was. I hated how I looked. I didn't like how I was running from my problems to alcohol. Like I said, so I was not happy with myself at all. There were too many things that I was being critical of myself over. And again, as I said, I don't think I realized how bad it was.

I mean, I had issues in the bedroom. I couldn't perform at times just because I have so many things going through my head with anxiety. This hurts. I don't really want to do anything. My back hurts, that doesn't make me feel sexy. I look like crap. I don't want my wife to see me. So that led to problems in the bedroom.

I would like to think that those have been pretty well resolved. She likes looking at me again. That's pretty good. And we don't have that performance anxiety anymore. So that helps a lot, but just my overall mental outlook is completely different because I feel good about myself again, I'm going out and I get to go running now when I want to, I think it was March was the first time I went for a run and that was probably the first time in oh, six years. I would say that I'd actually gone for a run that I wanted to go on where before I'd yeah, I'd take PT tests and whatnot for work. But man, that hurt. I didn't like it and I'd be sore for three or four days after.

Well, I started running because I wanted to, and then I started competitions with my daughter. So there are more things, she's trying to do longer runs than me, or take more steps than me. So we started pushing each other and that's another thing that helped me stay away. That helped me strengthen my internal resolve as well as, she sees what I do. I'm doing it now. She's trying to push forward and work on a few things. So she started to go walking and running. Unfortunately, she got hurt trying to keep up with me. So this old man can still run and she pulled the muscle. So she's trying to recover from that, but we'll get her to physical therapy and we'll be back out there with that.

Again, my son Tanner, he and I go play tennis. I mean, which is awesome because he's a typical 12-year-old boy. He wants to sit and play video games all day long. Well, we go out and we play tennis on weekends now, and I'd get him active. We'd go on hikes and things like that. So those things, all those things help to enlighten me or my mood, keep me happy. I walk around with a smile on my face all the time and it just internal. The internal feels so much more in line with where I want to be. I feel comfortable with myself again, and again, it's stuff that I didn't really realize. It's like when you're climbing a mountain. And you're just looking for that next handhold. It's not a ladder because there's nothing straight up and down. Everything I've gone through. That's the thing that I learned the most — it's not going to be perfect. If you've got to change, you've got to adjust for a long time.

I had my son's soccer team that I was coaching, so I couldn't go out and do my HIIT workouts. And that was driving me nuts because that was my schedule. OK, I need to go. I got to go and I got to do my running. I've got rowing, whatever it is, and it was driving me mad and I started to post, man, I can't get in there and do this.

It angered me. And then as I'm sitting there, wait a minute. What are these kids doing around me? They're playing soccer. They're having a good time. They're enjoying a workout. I'm like, I can do that. So I started running with them and I'm doing all the drills and it made it better.

Soccer was one for me, because one, I could do these things. I could run out there with them and I got to play soccer with them rather than just try to tell them how to play soccer. So that was huge. And I just, that was probably my golden moment in the exercises when I realized, man, this isn't perfect. You don't have to do it exactly by the book all the time. And that made it so I lost even more anxiety about it because I had anxiety even about the program that was fixing me because I oh, I didn't do it exactly right. So now I've got to fix that. No, you don't, I don't have to fix everything. So now I'm climbing this mountain and I'm looking for the next hole, because like I said, it's not a straight up and down angle anymore. And I don't look back. I just keep looking up and you, if you're going up a mountain, if you've ever hiked to the mountains or whatever, you see where that next bump is, oh, that's gotta be the top and you get there and you realize, hey, there's a lot more mountain left to go. And before that would frustrate me. Oh man, now it's OK. Awesome. I'm going to the top of that thing, like you said, in the first podcast I'm taking that hill, so I'm climbing up there and I've gotten up to a point.

It was difficult when I hit my first weight goal, because I'm like, OK, that's all I wanted to do. Right when they're like, no, that's not it. I want to do more. So I started pushing myself. To then get to 40 pounds and I got to that. And then I said, OK, I got to get to 14% body fat so I can do Old School Muscle.

And I got to that and now I'm doing that. And I just keep climbing this mountain. And now I'm looking down at where I came from. Holy crap. That was a long climb, but I still got more to go. So I'm still climbing up there. And as I looked down, this is when I really started. Wow. Look at all the dangers that were around me, the things that were closing in, I was in it.

It's kind of like when you're in the trees and there's an elk behind — I'm a hunter, so I have to do a hunting analogy. There's an elk behind a tree and a bush. I can't see it. He's within bow and arrow distance. I could probably jump on his back and take him out because I'm in that good a shape now, but I don't know he's there.

And that's the way all of my problems were now that I'm looking down, I can see him like, oh my God, dude, you almost lost it to alcoholism. You almost lost it to the depression. You almost pushed your wife and your children away because you were so busy looking at all of the bad things that were going on in my life.

When I look back now, I could see all those things that I was able to do. And I'm proud of myself for the first time in a long time. And that's probably the biggest change that I have my Lieutenant at work when Craig called him to tell him about the delivery of the news that I had won the contest and I wasn't there, but I didn't even know that you were in a contest and with the vest and everything on everything's covered, you just look bulky no matter what.

And even though I lost 40 pounds and it's a Lieutenant, so if it doesn't work that much, so he's, and I hope he doesn't listen to this. He's not going to see me that often. Yeah, he's out. Wow. I didn't know. And then I started showing him the pictures like, wow, man, that's pretty awesome. So I feel good about myself, but again, as I said, I feel like I've still got more to climb up there and get I'm going to get this Old School Muscle, I actually do want to get back to 203 pounds, but I want to be a 203 pounds superhero or of muscle, somebody that is a healthy 203 pounds instead of flabby and, and not so good.  

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Well, Martin, you took the hill, my friend, you took the hill. I mean, by all accounts and you are still taking it, right? I mean, I think the wisdom you share at the end of this is very profound in terms of what the journey looks like and the trajectory, and we chose you for a reason for this transformation winner for all these reasons.

Damn proud of you, Martin. Thanks for coming on here. Thank you for your time. Thank you for coming on and sharing with us. I'm so excited to share this story. You're the kind of guy we built this program for. I'm damn proud of you. And I'm looking forward to watching along with the rest of the brotherhood at the next hills you take, you pushing yourself, your family, the other guys in the group.

I can feel your fire and your passion. And I know when I look at your face now, I don't see a depressed, sad man who's digging himself into a hole. I see a strong fired-up guy who's ready to charge into the back half of life. And that makes me so happy. I mean, it's all worth it for me here. 

Martin Reidy: Thank you, doctor, and thank you to everybody there. I mean, it's such a fantastic staff. Any questions, any concerns I've ever had have been taken care of so quickly. And I appreciate everybody that's there because yeah, you guys are real, all those guys that I thought at first, maybe these are bots now. They're real. They're great. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: You're welcome Martin. All right, everyone. We'll catch you on the next episode. Thanks for listening to this week's episode of the Fit Father Project Podcast. If you love what you heard, please rate and review our podcast on Apple Podcasts. It really helps spread the show to more men who need this valuable info. To watch full video episodes of this podcast and other motivational videos to inspire your training and more, visit our Fit Father Project YouTube Channel. It's free and everything's made for busy guys over 40 like you. Visit youtube.com/fitfatherproject to get access to our entire video library. And finally, if you or someone in your life is interested in becoming a Fit Father or needs help losing weight, building muscle, or living healthier after age 40, visit fitfatherproject.com, where you can see our proven programs for guys 40 plus, and free meal plans and workouts to get you started. This is Dr. Anthony Balduzzi signing off. I'll see you in the next episode.

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi NMD - Men's Health Doctor & Founder, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Dr. Anthony holds dual degrees in Nutrition & Neuroscience from the University Of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, and is also a national champion bodybuilder.

After watching his own Dad lose his health and pass away at the young age of 42, Dr. Anthony founded The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project to help busy Moms and Dads get and stay permanently healthy for their families.

Brotherhood Nickname: Mr. Results
Bragging Rights: Has helped over 10,000 families lose over 100,000 lbs of fat and rebuild lean muscle

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on changing your habits to change your life.

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