In May 2010, Matt Aghedo was watching “The Biggest Loser” on TV. Weighing about 360 pounds at the time, he noted his weight wasn’t far off from some of the contestants on the show. It was eye-opening for Aghedo. “With two young kids at home, I wanted to be around for as long as possible,” he says. This realization, coupled with his sister’s upcoming wedding, inspired him to lose some weight and he dropped 35 pounds with simple calorie-counting. Encouraged by those results, Aghedo kept going — and he hasn’t looked back.
Before his transformation, the Charlotte, North Carolina, resident led a sedentary life and consumed 6,000–10,000 calories per day. “I earned my weight,” he says. A typical day involved stopping at McDonald’s in the morning, where he’d get a steak, egg and cheese bagel, two pies, a large sweet tea and hash browns. Lunch might be all-you-can-eat barbecue with sides of hush puppies and fries. He’d often get a fast-food burger on his way home from work, and then eat a heavy dinner, like pasta with a creamy sauce.
In the beginning of his weight-loss journey, Aghedo began counting calories with a spreadsheet and saw he was consuming way too much food. He cut his weekly calories in half by reducing fried foods, cooking most meals at home and choosing healthier options, like grilled chicken breast and vegetables.
For workouts, Aghedo enlisted the Wii Fit, admitting it’s one heck of a workout when you’re just getting started with exercise. He also walked in his neighborhood, eventually working up to jogging and doing pushups. The weight began to fall off.
With the consistency of these new healthy habits, Aghedo lost 90 pounds in nine months. He wanted to lose more, but most importantly, he wanted to maintain what he’d lost. “Losing weight is easy, but maintaining it is hard,” he says, noting he would always gain back the weight he’d lost in the past. That’s when his wife introduced him to MyFitnessPal. In April 2011, he created his account and began logging his food and workouts. Ten years later, he hasn’t missed a single day.
“I lost most of the weight myself, but I needed a pal to help me maintain it,” he says. “That’s where the app was really helpful to me. I think it’s one of the best tools out there. The functionality and database are so good, and I like the integration to Apple Health.”
CLICK TO TWEET THIS ARTICLE > After losing 130 pounds, Matt maintains his weight with a 10-year @myfitnesspal streak.
Now 40 years old, Aghedo continues to eat well and stay active. His weight varies some depending on his goals, but he tries to keep it between 200 and 230. His cholesterol, blood pressure and resting heart rate have dropped, and he says his back feels better than when he was heavier. Carrying that extra weight compressed his spine, so now that he’s no longer hunched over, it’s like he grew an inch taller. “I’m not the Rock — I don’t get paid to be shredded 24/7,” he says. “My overall goal is to stay healthy.”
While Aghedo authored his own journey, he admits those around him played a big role in his success. His wife was hugely supportive by cooking healthy meals, and his coworkers would help him avoid sugary office treats. “It takes a team to get you there,” he says. “It’s like boxing or tennis — it’s a solo sport, but there are more people involved than just the one athlete.”
Today, he regularly shares his story and inspiring words on social media, hoping to encourage others to make positive changes in their own lives. The fact that people know his story keeps him going, as does his lengthy record with MyFitnessPal.
“I might be the only person who’s been tracking every day for 10-plus years,” he says. “I don’t want to stop because it’s accountability, and I think it motivates other people to see my consistency.”
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