I Fell Off The Wagon

Hello readers. It’s been a little over two years since I’ve last posted. I’ve been on hiatus for far too long. While it’s difficult, I have to admit something to you all – I fell off the wagon.

Now I could make this a ridiculously long post, and go into exactly what happened in my life, making all sorts of excuses for why I gained about 100lbs back. That’s right, nearly 100lbs. A Certified Personal Trainer, one who had lost 160 lbs 5 years ago, gained a lot of it back.

To be honest, I had a lot of trouble with this. I was in denial for a long time. I just thought “Hey, it’s not such a huge deal. I’ll just get back on the wagon and drop it all again, no problem.” But that was the problem – I failed myself and forgot my own cardinal rule when it comes to weight-loss: always get back up ASAP. Well, ASAP wasn’t exactly ASAP for me.

Two years from my last post I managed to pack on this extra weight. I went from a relatively lean 220lbs to approximately 320lbs. I went through denial, then feeling like a failure and a hypocrite. I had inspired many of my family and friends with my own personal transformation before, and felt as if I let them down. I felt like a fraud. Who was I to have this Certificate saying I know so much about fitness that I can train others, yet I let it happen to myself again?

Here’s the thing that I’ve come to realize: it happens. It’s life. However, I am choosing NOT to stay down. I think that’s the critical part of not allowing failure to define you. There is a Japanese proverb that says “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” I’m standing up again.

There are a lot of things that I want to share with you all, not only to get it off of my chest and to help me stay accountable, but because I still feel that I can help at least somebody out there who is in the same position I am right now. Maybe you lost big and gained back. Maybe you’re still trying to figure out how to lose weight. I’ve been there, I’m back there. I know how you feel.

When I first started this site, it was after I had already dropped the weight. There weren’t many progress pics because I was too afraid to take them. I was ashamed of my body. Still am. So much so that it causes me great anxiety to take my shirt off anywhere, even at home. But I’m going to bare all this time. Well not ALL, but I’m going to take the shirtless progress pics so that you can see the transformation happen.

I’m going to share the journey with you all now. I hope for some, you will find inspiration to face your fears. To start your own weight-loss journey if that’s where you’re coming from. Or to just follow along, and see someone overcome being overweight. To see someone become a better version of themselves.

With that, I will say that I have lost close to 40lbs so far, but still have a long way to go. While not exactly a “Day One” picture, it will serve as my day one.

What I looked like before:



… and now…



It ain’t pretty, but it’s where I’m starting. 281 lbs. My day one of all of this. From now on, I’m welcoming you all in to this new journey.

To your health and wellness,

Martin Arroyo, CPT


Make Her Laugh

The Tao of Martin

It was a chilly Friday evening in March – St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Drinks at a local pub were the order for the night. I met up with my brother and our good friend Luis, who I hadn’t seen in a while. We joked and caught up on everything that’s been going on since we last met – the stuff that isn’t typically posted on our Facebook feeds. Eventually the Guinness and Scotch’s started to do their job, and we got into some philosophical, (at many times raunchy,) conversation. The topic of past relationships came up, and we started talking about what we think went wrong.

“One of the things that showed me that things weren’t going well was that we weren’t laughing together anymore. The playful vibe was gone,” I mused.  “That was the beginning of the end.” Luis, who recently got engaged to his girlfriend of nearly ten…

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I have a request for all you Bloggers out there…

This is an awesome idea. I’ll be sending my regards soon. Hopefully all of you will look into this and do the same. Best wishes.



So my Nan, the woman who raised me had a huge operation today, a total Gastrectomy to remove the giant tumour that had been growing in her stomach for ages. Cancer is such a nasty thing, but the medical advances these days are truly amazing.

After a near 7 hours of surgery she is out and in the critical care unit, where she will stay for a week or so and then move to another ward for 1-2 months to start her recovery. She’s awake and doing well which is a  huge relief as in reality it is quite a scary operation with tons of risk. She hates hospitals with a passion! haha and now she has to stay in one for ages!

Well I was wondering if any of you nice people out there want to send her a get well card, a nice little note wishing her well…

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Hone in

Life is full of ups and downs. Stress is found at every corner, but just sit down, take a breath, and really marvel at the fact that you are alive and part of something great.


When things get scattered and messy in your life, take a seat and hone in on who you are.  See yourself and enjoy the beauty that is you.


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The science of willpower: Kelly McGonigal on why it’s so dang hard to stick to a resolution

A lot of what is discussed in this article on willpower and the ability to reach goals which we set are absolutely true. I learned many of these lessons, and continue to learn them, on my own transformation journey. If there is one thing to take away from this, let it be that we shouldn’t fight our emotions, our cravings. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up for having them. Rather we should acknowledge that they are present within us, then allow ourselves to make a better, more conscious choice from that place.

TED Blog

By the second week of January, that resolution that once seemed so reasonable — go to the gym every other day, read a book a week, only drink alcohol on weekends — is starting to seem very … hard. As you are teetering on the edge of abandoning it all together, Kelly McGonigal is here to help. This Stanford University psychologist — who shared last year how you can make stress your friend — wants you to know that you’re not having a hard time sticking to a resolution because you are a terrible person. Perhaps you’ve just formulated the wrong resolution.

McGonigal has, for years, taught a course called “The Science of Willpower” through Stanford’s Continuing Studies program and, in 2011, she spun it into a book, The Willpower Instinct. The TED Blog spoke to McGonigal this week about how willpower is often misunderstood, and what we each can do…

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Forgive Yourself to stay on Track

According to many different sources, January 6, 2014 was the most depressing day of the year. Why? Because that’s the day when most of us return to the daily grind after the holidays, and all of that built up good cheer seems to wear off. It may also be the first day where that “New Year, New Me” motivation began to really fade. Funny thing about motivation, is when that fire starts to wane, we find it hard to rekindle it. There is one thing that you can do and you must learn if you want to keep it going: forgive yourself.

Tell yourself “It’s ok.” It’s that simple. Didn’t make it to the gym today? It’s ok, go tomorrow. Had a donut at lunch? It’s ok, because one donut won’t add inches to your stomach (several of them might, though, so be careful.) We typically beat ourselves up when we fall short of our expectations, even slightly, and lose sight of the forest for the trees.

If there’s one thing I can tell you from my own personal experience in losing weight and keeping it off, it’s this: YOU WILL NOT ALWAYS DO THINGS RIGHT. You won’t always make it to the gym everyday. You won’t always be able to resist that pastry. You won’t always stay within your calorie limit. It’s part of the process, and you have to accept that. And it’s OK.

So instead of beating yourself up, and potentially sidelining your goals, learn to accept what has happened already. Don’t guilt yourself for not meeting your expectations 100% of the time. Forgive yourself, and resolve to do better the next chance you get. Remember, it will happen again too, so what do you do then? That’s right, forgive yourself then too. Let it go, move forward and keep reaching for your goal.

To your health and wellness,

Martin Arroyo, CPT