Fat Boy FIT Man / Fat Girl FIT Gal Club
Real Life Success Stories

Mark House


Mark House, New York, New York

What GOT me going on my road to health and fitness:

My journey started over 20 months ago after a routine visit to the doctor’s office for a check-up.  I had always been healthy and while I had put on weight through the years, I didn’t feel bad at all.  I thought “he’s going to tell me I need to lose weight I bet, but everything else is going to be fine.”  I had never been sick before, never been hospitalized, so I didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary during this visit.  I was wrong this time.  What I was told would change my life forever. 

I was a Type II diabetic.  My blood work had proven one of my worst fears.  This was the disease that killed my mother in 1989.  I watched her deteriorate over a 20 year span starting around the age of 45, before she finally passed away at the young age of 65 after suffering miserably from this disease.  And here I was, sitting in my doctor’s office being told now I’m diabetic……and ironically, I was 45 years old.  History was repeating itself.

My journey started with research:

I started to research diabetes to better understand this disease and what I could do to help myself.  I didn’t want to die.  I didn’t want my quality of life to deteriorate.  So I found numerous websites of sports figures, and even celebrities, that suffered with the disease and anxiously read as many stories as I could find.  These stories gave me encouragement and inspiration.  This didn’t need to be a death sentence I learned.  There was something I could do to control my diabetes and possibly even reverse it.  If there was a silver lining in this news, it was that THIS disease may be reversible with a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition.

I made a promise to myself and to my family that I would do whatever I could.  I was going to change my life.  I was going to try anything.  I was going to try EVERYTHING!  And I was going to win!  But to accomplish this goal, I needed to start believing I could do it.  I needed to believe in myself.

What kept me going:

It all started with three little words:  “Believe in Yourself.” 

I had to have the belief that I could reach my goals.  It didn’t matter if anyone else believed in me or not.  Others couldn’t make it happen for me if they wanted to and others couldn’t stop it from happening if they wanted to.  It was up to ME, and only me.   As a constant reminder, I bought five small charms and necklaces from Fashletics (one for every member of my immediate family) that simply said, “Believe In Yourself.”  http://www.fashletics.com/collections/all-jewelry/products/believe-in-yourself-charm-1

Those three little words would drive me, encourage me, push me, and remind me.  Every time I looked at my wife or one of my three children, there were those three little words hanging around their neck.  They knew they were wearing something special.  I even hung one from my truck mirror.

In addition to those little charms, I connected with people serious about fitness and nutrition on Facebook.  I was very selective in who I chose to subscribe to as I only wanted inspiration, motivation, and valuable information.  I would be motivated by their posts, their words, and learn from their experiences and struggles.  Folks like Eli Sapharti was a huge help because he was 1) a guy and 2) he had lost approximately the amount of weight I was needing to lose.  He posted a lot of comments that sounded just like the voices in my head.  But of course he did…..he had “been there, done that.”  I also connected to Fierce Forward, Natalie Jill, Jamie Eason, and Joy Anyanwu because these ladies offered some great food and supplement tips.  Pages like Rich Gaspari, BodyBuilding.com, and MusclePharm provided some great workout and supplement tips as well.

On those days I didn’t feel like going to the gym, I made sure to read many of these folk’s pages.  The words encouraged me and I was glad afterwards that I went.

What Keep Me Going:

Fear!  I never want to go back “there” ever again.  I didn’t feel well physically, I was embarrassed of myself so much I didn’t want to be photographed often, and I started to hate to go anywhere.  First because I got tired easily, and second, because I felt like a fat pig.  Plain and simply put…..I was EMBARRASED of what I had become.  The pain is still very strong, but I’m healing.  The self image doesn’t change as fast as your body sometimes, and I’m one of those sometimes.  But I’m learning to be proud of what I have done.  I’m learning to be proud of my accomplishments.  And I’m learning that if I felt this way……..there must be millions more that do too.  I pray I can help just one of those people.

Moving forward, what will keep me going will be others with diabetes, any other health condition, or just wanting to transform their lives.  I want to help them.  In a small way, or in a big way, I just want one person to feel better about themselves.

Believe In Yourself!  Never Quit.  And Keep Working Hard!!!