Healthy Living in Connecticut Blog

Your Story! Your Voice! Your Health!

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Matt Manning made the national news a month or so ago, when he won $50,000 in a bodybuilding.com contest. I contacted him because I wanted to learn more about his incredible transformation and how he did it. He agreed to do an interview for the blog. I thought his story could inspire others who think they can't get in shape because of age, work or other issues. Matt proves that with hard work and determination, you can transform your body and improve your health.

Matt's story inspires me on a personal level as I'm trying to tighten my skin with the strength training. He didn't have as much weight to lose as I did, and I know my skin was stretched out for many more years than his. But still, it gives me hope that maybe I too will have tighter abs after all this weight loss.

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My training is getting more challenging! My personal trainer brought up the intensity today and it was INTENSE! Before we began the session he told me it was going to be a tough workout… he wasn't kidding.

Before starting the workout, my trainer checked my diet from the food journal I use. He didn't have much to recommend that I change with the exception of getting some more protein. I think he's impressed with my diet as he told me he tried a vegan based protein powder as opposed to the usual whey protein he's been having.

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I'm sorry for the delay in posting the results of the challenge. I had to wait for pictures and information about how my team did before I could post it.

As you may have already read, my team, Healthy Living CT, came in at number two. I'm very proud of my team, I think we all did an awesome job! The way the competition was set up, each team accrued points for each exercise class they attended at the YMCA. My team could not make as many classes as the winning team, which was the Totally Awesome team. A special shoutout to Alicia Pecora, who was on the winning team, who I think made most of the classes.

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This is awesome!

My trainer measured my body fat percentage yesterday with the calipers. There's a margin of 3 percent error, but the number was around 17.5! He figures even with the 3 percent error, my number is less than 19, so it has come down considerably!

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I haven't looked at some before pictures in a while and found this picture. It's fun to see how far I've come.

I know I have more of them and will post them as I find them, but this picture shows how much heavier my face looked back then. It's quite a difference!

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It's not easy… my trainer wants me doing intense strength training exercises every other day. I feel stronger and I'm hoping my body fat percentage will go down.

My trainer wants my percentage to be about 13 or so. The last time he checked, I was around 19 percent. I don't think I can change my diet much more than I already have. My trainer thinks I eat very clean as it is, so I know it's the strength training that will bring the body fat percentage down.


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b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_0173.JPGMy personal trainer changed my workout around for the next two weeks. This time he wants me to use something I never used before… kettlebells.

There are four sets of training that I need to complete every other day. The first set focuses on speed and involves the kettlebells. He gave me exercises including squats, swings, rows and thrusters. I have to do three sets, 10 reps each.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_6942501.jpgI never was on a track team in high school. I didn't do much running in college. After college, I gained a lot of weight (and of course lost weight!), so how did I get into running?

The second challenge I was in at the Northwest CT YMCA back in the Fall of 2012, offered points for those that participated in a few marathons. I ran my first 5K race during the challenge. Although I haven't done a marathon since, I would like to do more of them.

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Tagged in: Exercise Fitness Health

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