Contestant Name: Mark Henry
Before Weight: 179.8lbs
After Weight: 171.6lbs
Before Waist Measurement: 35.5″
After Waist Measurement: 33.5″
“In the last few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have been exposed to various types of fitness programs, professionals, and ways of eating. I’ve found various levels of success, mostly in losing weight. While this success made me happy, there was always a lingering that I’m not changing my body the way I have wanted to. I’m definitely grateful for my previous experiences, but for the first time, I really feel like I’m on the right track. Within this challenge, and the help from Neil and Erika, I’ve felt like I’ve been able to communicate and begin to realize my goals. I’ve felt I’ve finally reached a level of comfort where I could say ‘I want my body to look like that,’ which was something that was tough for me. More importantly than that sentiment, I’ve realized that the main goal isn’t about aesthetics; it’s about how I want to feel both mentally and physically.
Growing up, I was always that chubby skinny kid, which is kind of an unfortunate combination. I became disengaged with sports fairly early, so I missed out on some that physical development and exercise. On top of that, I worked at a fast food restaurant. I try not to look back and regret those decisions I made, because they shaped my life in ways I probably don’t realize, both for better and for worse. What I take from it, and part of the reason I’m in this challenge, is that I’ve learned why a lot of my past decisions need to remain in the past. While this challenge hasn’t been easy, and I’ve had a few roadblocks, I’m seeing changes in my body and the way I live that have made me very happy. For the first time, I feel like I’ve found a program that doesn’t have an expiry date or an end date.
The tools Erika and Neil have given me have taught me a lot about eating and exercising, and how it’s important to pick programs and foods that work for you, and are sustainable in the long run. It doesn’t mean I won’t have moments of weakness, but it shows me that I am in control of my eating and exercising. This challenge has pushed me to ignore excuses, to ignore many cravings, and to remember the goals I’ve made. I’m incredibly grateful for this experience. I once received a note from a grade three student that said ‘thanks for letting us make fun of your muscles’ after busting out the ‘gun show’ a few too many times. While this note was meant to be funny, thinking back, it made me realize that I’d rather be flexing for real rather than ironically. The things I’ve learned from Erika and Neil in this challenge have definitely put me on the right track to achieving that and many other goals.”