Meet Matthew Hoover, our May Ship Shape Challenge winner! How did a computer password, a daily IdealShake and two cute kids help him reach his ideal? Read on…
After watching his father recover from a heart attack and triple bypass, Matthew, a Pennsylvania business owner, husband and father of two, decided it was time for a change.
It started with a goal to quit smoking, which he put in motion on Father’s Day in June of 2014.
“It took me awhile after my dad had his heart attack to convince myself that smoking wasn’t doing me any favors,” he says.
From there, however, Matthew was forced to look at his other health habits: since he stopped smoking, he had gained weight.
“I decided another change was needed with better eating habits and exercise,” he says. That’s when he found IdealShape and committed to losing ten pounds.
To eclipse that was kind of shocking.”
In seven months, Matthew lost 42 pounds, completely blowing his “ten pound” goal out of the water. He wasn’t expecting the weight to fly off, partly because, as he puts it, he hadn’t realized he was up to 200 pounds. Changing his diet and supplementing with IdealShake also had a powerful impact.
“IdealShape’s IdealShakes every morning after exercise helped greatly,” he says. “It gave me the vitamins my body needed and the appetite suppression I wanted.”
Getting serious with a rigorous exercise program also played a big role in Matt’s transformation. In fact, he sought out the shake to use in conjunction with his workouts. It gave him a healthy morning meal with protein, yet helped him control that exercise-induced ravenousness that can happen.
“I never ate breakfast before,” he says, “so after my workout, I would take IdealShake — from exercising I wanted to eat more, so I needed to control my appetite.”
“I looked into Shakeology but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted,” Matthew tells us. “It was pretty expensive. I looked at meal replacement shake reviews and that got me over to IdealShake. I thought, geez, that’s cool that there’s a lot less sugar — which is something I really cut out — and it seems like I’m getting everything I need. I tried it, it tasted good and I stuck with it.”
Building these new habits set Matthew on a path of healthier living and reinforced his dedication. He suffered an injury in February (he tore his ACL), but stuck with his exercise regimen, modifying workouts to protect his knee and focusing on upper body strength.
He’s also sticking with the shake to maintain results. “It’s having that routine,” he says. “I’m a creature of habit. I’m hoping that it continues to work as well as it has.”
I want to be around for my family.”
Matthew’s dedication to getting in shape clearly stems from having a strong “why”: to be there for his wife and two children, now ages five and one.
“Between watching what my father went through and knowing that my grandfather went through it, I don’t want to put my kids through that,” he says. “I don’t want to be the one forcing it to happen — I want to do everything I can to be around for my kids.”
For a daily reminder, Matthew set a computer password that he would have to type every morning when he walked into his office. First it was “quit smoking.” Next, it was “lose ten pounds.”
“After you do that ten times a day for sixty days…,” he chuckles. “I use that to convince myself to always do something positive. It’s my way of telling myself I can accomplish something.” His current password? “Be patient.” “My daughter is a five-year-old Italian girl,” he explains.
My goal now is to basically keep the weight off and continue to tone up.”
Matthew has embraced the five-meal-a-day concept, including always having breakfast.
“Some of my friends have asked me how I’ve done it, and I explain that I’m trying to make the ‘adult’ decisions of what, when and how often to eat — and a big part of that is eating more often.”
In addition to staying at his ideal shape, he’s also turning his focus to his cholesterol, since high cholesterol runs in his family. “My goal is to get off of a stat for cholesterol,” he says. “I’m hoping that with proper eating and exercise I can do that.”
As our monthly Ship Shape Challenge winner, Matthew won a trip to Park City, Utah, and he was automatically in the running for the annual grand prize, a Caribbean Cruise! If you have an IdealShape success story, we want to hear about it!