Mikes Success Story


Mike, 8 Short Months Ago

Everyone, meet Mike.  He is 5’4″ and weights in at 201 pounds.  An ideal weight for someone his height is about 135 pounds, which means that Mike is more than 65 pounds overweight and also has about about 85 pounds of fat on his small frame.  A quick body fat percentage calculation puts him at almost 43% body fat…  which qualifies him for the highest class of obesity (class III Obesity).  This puts him at a high risk for a number of factors linked to being dangerously obese… high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood glucose…  strokes, heart disease… the list goes on.

I didn’t write this article to talk about all that terrible shit.  Nope, this is Mikes success story.  He gets to win this time.

First, a little background…

mikes-story-footballMike grew up moving from place to place, parents separated as his father worked a job that required him to be away.  From the conversations with him, the home life he endured as child was not good.  In middle and high school, Mike found athletics to be his answer… as he played football, basketball, and baseball.  His love of sports got him out of the house and his mind on more positive things.  Better yet, he was active and fit as a kid.

Then, in the middle of his high school experience, he was moved to another school and had a hard time adjusting.  He started falling into the wrong crowd while playing drums for bands in high school.  For the first time, drugs and alcohol entered Mike’s life.  This was the start of a long and very rough road for him, as his addiction to drugs and alcohol would take a grip on his life in the years to come.

From the ages of 18-25, Mike had gotten completely immersed in the music scene and all the bad elements that went with it.  Arrests, addictions, complete loss of control… and even divorce.  He had gotten to a low point in his life.

mikes-story-drumsAt the age of 25, Mike made his first attempt to clean up.

He got himself in a respectable band, met his current wife Jen, and things were starting to look up for him.  But addiction is a sneaky bitch, and he soon found himself back in the grips of drugs (now with Jen) and their life soon completely unraveled.

29 years old now, Mike and his wife found themselves standing on the side of a road.  Both had lost their jobs and they had been evicted from their home.  They had no where to go.  Worse yet, an 18 month old baby was there, looking back at them.

At this point, he had lost all hope.

The last thing he wanted to do was call his father in California and ask for help… but he did.  Thankfully, his Dad bought them a couple of plane tickets and they flew to the west coast.

Mike will tell you that this was a huge turning point.

When Mike and Jen arrived in California, they looked at it as a chance to start over.  They started a 12 step program and going to church.  Like many addicts, putting faith in a higher power helped them to deal with and overcome addiction.  Thankfully, it worked.  But also like many recovering addicts, the introduction of a sober life style caused them both to gain a lot of weight.

mikes-story-beachAfter 3 years in California, although clean and sober, Mike and Jen returned to Maryland overweight and their relationship was teetering upon divorce.  The two felt more like roommates than husband and wife… much less friends.  Any physical attraction went out the window.  The only thing keeping them together were the kids.  The situation was terrible.

And this brings us to last summer, and another turning point in Mike’s story.

He had recently returned back from a family trip… a family reunion of sorts.  When he received the group pictures in an email, he opened them.  That was the moment it clicked for Mike, when he saw just how unhealthy and overweight he looked next to the rest of his family  He knew at that moment he had to change.

Over the following weeks, Mike spent time on the couch watching late night TV.  We have all seen the Insanity infomercial at this point, and Mike says he watched it again and again.

He had always learned that he could lose weight and get in shape by eating less food (with no success), but this seemed like a different approach for him.  Intense workouts and not eating less, but eating right.

Under his wife’s radar, he finally ordered the program and secretly committed to completing it.

This is when I got the fortune of meeting Mike.  The company that makes Insanity assigned me as his fitness coach… and so I called him.  He was driving home from work that day and answered:

Me: “Hey man, I am your Insanity coach.  How you doing?”

Mikes reply (I will never forget this): “Are you serious?  AWESOOOOOME!!”

And so Mikes fitness adventure began.

Being as overweight as he was, he had to struggle and modify heavily just to get through the workouts.

“I found it impossible at first, and then it would be over and I could stop.”

He didn’t give up.  Not even slightly.  At the end of his first 60 days of Insanity, Mike had lost over 30 lbs (1 lb for every 2 days) and had completely changed the shape of his body.  His wife Jen, had helped by cooking the meals from the diet guide and by the end of the 60 days, was cooking the same meals for the rest of the family.

As Mike finished Insanity, he began a round of P90X to lose more weight and start building more muscle.  At this point he had also become a fitness coach, working to inspire others with his rapid transformation.  After P90X, he had dropped down to 157 lbs and flat out looked like a different person.

The transformation was incredible.

At this point, Jen could not resist.   She joined Mike for some of the workouts as he started his next round with a new martial arts program called Les Mills Combat.  They were starting to work together, for the first time in years… both happier and healthier.

So, after 8 months… Mike had dropped to 150 lbs, built 15 lbs of muscle, and lost over 65 lbs of body fat.

He was now around 15% body fat and well within not only the healthy body fat region, but approaching a lean physique.  Mike had regained his former self… that kid that played football in high school and was not dependent on drugs or food to make him happy.  This was real change.

Mike also had built his own team of fitness junkies and coaches, all working to better their own lives and the lives of others.

Most importantly, Mike and his wife Jen had new hope for their family… not only were they both working to be much more healthy, but they discovered that they were a couple once again as the broken bridges began to mend.

When I talk to Mike today, he is happy and says that things are going well in his life.  He is proud of his transformation because  he knows he earned every bit of it.  He finds happiness in the inspiration of others it is all having a profound effect on him and his entire family.

This is Mike’s success story.


Mike Today

Ryan GillespieRyan Gillespie
P90X Certified Trainer / Diamond Beachbody Coach

I currently live in sunny San Diego California and work with people around the country and Internationally on their health and fitness goals. Join my Free Beachbody Team, follow me on Facebook, or friend me on Facebook to join my Free Accountability and Support group. Start today!

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7 Responses to “Mikes Success Story”

  1. I gotta leave a comment. Reading my own story brought me to tears. I truly hope that this will inspire someone. Just know that you can do it! Once you decide and commit you will find a family of people that will be there with you the whole way. Thanks so much to my Coach Ryan for writing this!! I love it!

    • Mike, I loved getting to work with you on this and getting to know you better in writing this up. You’re an inspiration man.

  2. connie gillespie Reply May 29, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Don’t think Mike is the only one that was brought to tears! What a wonderful story of hardship and true success. The odds were against him… in more ways than one! Congratulations!

  3. I just wanted to leave a quick note and let you know that I love your success story and I’m so happy to see how getting clean, leaning on the Lord, and fitness has completely changed your life! I have no doubt that YOU will be the catalyst for some serious changes in others and that is nothing short of a miracle. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on winning the $500 monthly challenge prize!! I’m a fellow coach and I’m so proud of you! Congrats again!

    • Thank you Jenn. This means a lot coming from another Beachbody coach! Though I was rewarded with money the big reward is seeing other make a change because of my story. If even one person is inspired to make a change then that would be reward enough. I love being a Beachbody coach!

  4. Wow Mike I am so inspired by your story. I know we all have hardships trhat we have to overcome and then when we think we have another road block comes our way. You are proof that anyone can change if they Cchoose to. I choose to and I am so happy that you arey coach!

    • Thanks Angie, I know that you also have such and inspiring story. You are going to be a great coach and I can’t wait to hear and see the success story for you. Not only physically but in every aspect of your life. You are going to impact and help so many lives! I am proud of you!

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