top of page

Episode #148

Matt Stephens

  • iTunes Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • SoundCloud Social Icon

Life Coach & Personal Trainer Shares His Journey From The Bottom To The Top

Guest Bio:

Life has a funny way of working things out sometimes. I think it’s pretty crazy how we can look back at the seemingly worst parts of our lives and develop a feeling of gratitude for it all, especially when things eventually work out for the best.


I’ve learned that life builds your character through struggle and hardships, and this may be the reason why we feel this way about those times. They mold us into who we are. When we choose to overcome those moments, we become better people.


I thank God every day for the enormous wakeup call I was given, as I desperately needed it. But I’m also thankful for the lessons I was given, which I’ll share with you here.


I don’t remember the exact day, but it was in January 2014. I woke up in the afternoon, like I did every day, and walked into the bathroom. I had this enormous mirror and I’ll never forget the feeling of disgust, shame, and disappointment, all mixed into one as I looked at myself.


I was broke and couldn’t afford any weed or to go out drinking, so maybe the sobriety freed me from my complacency and allowed me to perform an accurate assessment of myself for once. I remember thinking, “How the hell did I let myself get like this? Why?”


Just two years before I was starting spring classes for my junior year in college, playing every weekend with my band, and enjoying the hell out of my life. My band was even traveling out of state to play gigs. We were doing well and things were really looking up.


But on this day, I was a college dropout. I had no direction, ambition, or goals. I was lazy and everything around me was a total mess. I was in the worst shape of my life (clearly), which was really tough for me to deal with because I had never been overweight like this. I loved playing my guitar and singing for people, but I became more and more self-conscious of how I looked on stage, which made me anxious and uncomfortable when playing. I was the front man, so literally everybody was looking at me.


My solution at the time was to just drink enough to where I didn’t worry about it… numb myself. But on some nights when I wasn’t playing music, I was bartending and drinking behind the bar. On top of that, I never missed a “Sunday Funday”. Life just turned into one huge, continuous party and it was fun for a while.


Eventually, I started neglecting things. I got lazy with booking gigs and I wasn’t working enough at the bar to make ends meet. This was around Christmas break and the town slows down every year because all of the students leave. I even left town to go visit family, so when I got back, money was tight. I sat by myself at the house a lot and really didn’t feel like doing anything. I didn’t even feel like playing my guitar. I showed all of the signs of depression and felt helpless about it. I considered myself a victim of my circumstances, which lead to hopelessness as well.


To make matters even worse, I felt like I was letting my family down and they were disappointed in me. It hurt like hell to think of myself as a failure in their eyes.


Looking into the mirror that day really sparked something in me. I was tired of feeling like this and it was so out of character for me. I took a picture because I knew I wouldn’t be looking like that anymore. Things were going to change and I wanted a personal reminder. I never showed that picture to anybody until maybe a year or more after.


The first thing I did was start looking for a gym I could go to and a friend of mine recommended one across town. I joined as soon as I got the funds and forced myself to go, as uncomfortable as it was. I also started researching like crazy on dieting until I finally found one I knew was reputable and I could stick to. I completely stopped drinking for months because of the diet and started booking more gigs so I could have more money. I developed a plan for my future, which included getting back into school. I even started reading books again, which was a habit I dropped when I moved a few years prior to this.


Since that day, I’ve graduated from college and got a job as an engineer in the automotive industry. I’ve placed in multiple bodybuilding competitions and won Mr. Tuscaloosa 2017 in classic physique. I’ve set the Alabama state record in powerlifting for the 220 lb. weight class in all lifts in 2015. I’ve started a business and helped multiple people lose weight, with some of them losing over 40 pounds. Every year I try to outdo what I did the previous year and I have a pretty good streak going.


Show Notes


  • Introduction (1:38)

  • Battling insecurities and depression (5:10)

  • Being consistent with goals and being willing to invest (12:31)

  • Having a stronger Why (17:19)

  • Social Dynamics (19:14)

  • Daily routines (25:40)

  • Succeeding in relationships (25:45)

Show Links

bottom of page