When Matt Riggs’s seven-year-old son came home from school after learning about healthy eating, he asked his dad a question that would change his life forever.
Harrison’s lesson on the human body left him terrified about his dad, and he asked: “Dad are you going to die?”
Matt, 33, from Basildon, decided enough was enough and after 23 years of telling himself he was just “big boned” he hit the gym.
After 14 months, he’s lost a staggering 11st 1lb and is completely unrecognisable – and his new healthy lifestyle has given him more energy to play with his children, Harrison and Emily.
Speaking to The Mirror, he said: “My son came home from school after learning about the body and health, and looked me straight in the eyes and said dad are you going to die?
“Well this hit me hard and I asked him why would daddy die? He said because you are fat and overweight. To say I was shocked is an under statement.”
After deciding it was time for change, Matt joined Ripped Gym in Basildon with a friend who encouraged him to get into shape.
“From that day I have never looked back and was going to the gym once a day for an hour, even on Christmas day.
“That was until Covid-19 hit and then the gyms closed, so I had to make my house my gym I was not going to let it slip also follow a healthy diet and calorie count what I eat.”
As well as hitting the gym, Matt completely changed his diet.
He said: “I indulged in takeaways and alcohol on a daily basis and I wasn’t active at all.
“I had never had been to a gym in my life as I always made excuses.
“My diet was shocking, I would eat 3-4 takeaways a day.”
But now he’s swapped to a low carb, high protein diet, which has helped him shift the pounds as well as giving him loads more energy.
He tucks into oats with bananas for breakfast, followed by chicken breast, brown rice, and carrots for lunch.
His evening meal is turkey breast with a sweet potato, and broccoli.
As well as the physical benefits, Matt has more confidence and is able to enjoy his family more.
He said: “My family love the new me. Deep down they were all worried about me but didn’t want to hurt my feelings.
“My wife said she feels like she got a new man, and both my kids love their new daddy.
“My youngest daughter always says daddy’s got muscles.”
“I now love shopping for clothes and love going out with the family.
“It’s also had a really positive impact on my marriage, I have more energy.
“I can play football with my son and go on bike rides with my daughter and now personal train my wife.
And Matt’s message to people who want to follow in his footsteps?
“Get in the gym and do not worry about what everyone else thinks, no one is looking at you.
“One of the biggest things I have realised since going to the gym is that everyone has a story and have their own objectives.
“Just focus on yourself and start living a healthier lifestyle. It is never too late to start.”
Matt’s weekly workout plan
Matt works out every day, following a strict gym plan, working every part of his body on rotation.
Monday – Chest
Tuesday – Back
Wednesday – Shoulders
Thursday – Triceps
Friday – Biceps
Saturday – 2 hour workout – deadlifts, squats
Sunday – Legs
To follow Matt’s weightloss journey, head over to his Instagram page at @mrriggs1.