Here is another one of those folks on team Gaggle. He is a father of two, husband to an awesome wife (and fellow Gaggler) while embodying the type of person who sees success in the long term. This guy has been nothing short of a pleasure to work with. I take a lot of cues from this guy, his family and I have never met someone so in tune with long-term success. He has been with me for 9 weeks now-he has been both a great motivator and friend! A Professional rollerblader and Professional badass,
THE MAAG MAN
- Who are you? Don’t be afraid to be weird. My name is Joshua Maag. I am a software engineer by trade, have an MBA and am an extreme busy bee. I spend a lot of time on computers and help big firms scale their database systems. I used to be a professional rollerblader, both in speed and vertical. I mean, who would admit to wearing rollerblades anymore. 😉 I love what I do and love helping people. I also have a fantastic wife and 2 great kids and love spending time with my boy and would love to do more active things with him. In my spare time, I love to hike, camp and go outdoors. Last year, I bought a camping trailer so we can glamp with the best of them and get my wife out in the wilderness. As she always says, nothing says serious camping like a kitchen with a island.
- What obstacles did you have before starting an exercise program? What obstacles do you currently have in achieving your goals? I work a lot and have not been able to break through with diet or exercise. In the past I tried HCG and lost a decent amount of weight but eventually regained it. Food and portions have always been an issue. I have spent time tracking on occasion, but eventually lose motivation. What I have noticed in the past year is that I am continuing to gain weight and feeling worse, despite my efforts. It’s also honestly hard to commit to yourself when others depend on you so much. I love my kids and want to be there for them, even when it means personal/professional sacrifice.
- How have you been able to overcome those obstacles? What’s your plan to achieve these obstacles? I decided I needed a changed, I needed some mechanism to force me into a commitment. I was successful once losing the weight on just a diet and what I realized that helped keep it off for a while was the rigorous exercise that followed. My plan to achieve these goals was to not focus on weight but instead focus on what bothers me and what I’d like to see different. I wanted to inject fitness and diet into a plan. Initially my plan was as follows: Step 1: Buy fitness stuff and come up with a diet Step 2: ? Step 3: Be healthy But who knows what step 2 was. I decided that I needed help and opted to hire a personal trainer. Honestly, I had no idea where to look. I’m not a member of any gym. I tried googling but found that search results for personal training was horrible. And the ones that would pop up, ended up looking like a really bad infomercial. I was serious and wanted to be serious and not follow some bull shit lose weight quick scheme. Now my step 2 has now become a personal trainer. I found Mike on Thumbtack and reviewed each personal trainer’s response and background to decide he was the right one for me. I have chosen to have an external voice to kick my butt along the way and make sure I am progressing toward a goal.
- What is your goal? I have a few goals actually. I really needed some visual goal to go after. In my closet was this pretty new shirt for the band, Social Distortion. Not that I have some extreme affinity for the band. I just want to be able to wear the shirt comfortably. As it is now, the shirt is so tight, I can’t wear it without feeling fat. Today it stands on a hanger on my closet door as a reminder of where I want to be. My long term goal is to get closer to 200 lbs. This is really an arbitrary number, but a number I feel is a healthy weight for someone fit and strong. I don’t want to be rail thin, but I want to reduce my overall fat percentage here. Building muscle will get me there. I want to increase my metabolism. In order to keep the weight off, one thing I need to do is have my body be more efficient. People say as you age, it get’s harder, your metabolism slows and losing weight is no longer a simple thing. Once I get where I want to be and build a strong core, my metabolism can assist in keeping me there. This also means, I need to be fit for life. I need to continue to have a strong core and maintain that new healthy lifestyle. My kids are a goal. I want to be the great grandpa that lives to be 100 and talks about “back in my day, I went uphill both ways in the snow to get to school…” My great grandfather, Great Grandpa Stratton, lived over 100 and he was active most of his life. I’d like to be like him. I have also set goals for certain exercises like, my body weight in a squat, 40 push ups a minute, and 140 seconds on a plank. I’d also like a 34-36″ waist, even more so than weight loss.
- What/who motivates you? In work? In life? In exercise? My family motivates me the most. I want to be there for them as long as possible. They are my passion and inspiration. This is so important to me that I have signed my wife up with Mike to join in the journey together. My old, now gone beagle, Talyn. The last 4 years of his life was rough. I saw him balloon up to 55 lbs and succumb to diabetes and cataracts. The last 4 years of his life, I had to manage his insulin every day. It’s an eye opener when you have to inject insulin with a needle every day. It’s also an expensive and dangerous disease. He had to change his diet and learn to live blind. In the end, he experienced ketoacidosis, which was basically his bodies way of dealing with his diabetes. My plug. Mike has been an awesome motivator for me. He’s kicking my butt and keeping me honest. It has been a pleasure and great reward to have someone there to continue to motivate me.
- Why now? Are there any specific events coming up or that have recently occurred to spark your interest? Honestly, the realization that my dad is now diabetic and my grandfather has been for years. I have also had a lot of indigestion from being unhealthy. It has also been a bit challenging to tie my own shoes. Many things have culminated to this decision. Ultimately it boils down to a few rules from Zombieland: 1. Cardio 10. Don’t swing low 18. Limber Up 20. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, unless it’s a sprint, then sprint 26. A little sunscreen never hurt anybody 29. The buddy system 32. Enjoy the little thingsWe recently sold our house and are currently building a new house. It would be nice with all the changes to make that leap forward. I’d also would like to get back into things like rollerblading and to be able to take a whole day skiing with my son in the winter months without becoming exhausted. Mike also found a 10k rollerblading event in the Spring. That would be a fun litmus test to my success.
- What achievements have you made? I have lost 3 inches from my waistline from 47″ to 44″. I can now do more than 10 push ups. Just today, during our workout, we were doing exercises based on 52 cards in a deck. I know that I could do the pushups from a full suit of cards from Ace to King, i.e. reps of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, (J)10, (Q)10, (K)10, (A)11. I have had very little to almost no heartburn since I have started this journey. Since starting my workout, I just haven’t had much need for Tums. It’s more than just food I would eat. My body just plain feels better, if not sore from working out. But hey, it hurts so good. I have also been tracking my food intake like a hawk. I force myself to eat breakfast every day and have only had one doughnut for breakfast since undertaking my journey. I actually find it harder to hit calories than to go over these days, though I definitely need to still increase my protein intake.
- Favorite activities? I really enjoy going on bike rides with my son, running with my daughter in her stroller around the park. I also really love long hikes. I need to get in a 14 mile hike up Mill D North Fork to Desolation Lake in Big Cottonwood before winter hits. Oh and who can forget Winter skiing is a must.
- Some things you have learned while working with me? Mike has primarily shown me that: 1. You can work your butt off with very little weight or no weight 2. Having obtainable goals and stretch goals are good 3. Good attitude leads to great success 4. Constant tracking is going to help (watch what you eat, especially on holidays) 5. Goals are obtainable in a reasonable amount of time 6. Adjust when things aren’t working right 7. Ultimately, I am solely responsible for what I do. If I can’t own up to it, the rest is just an excuse 8. I really, really can’t do a full pull up…yet 9. Squats are fun
- Anything you would like to add about your experience? Mike is fantastic. He’s super happy and motivating. He will care about you and your health and enjoys seeing your success. I only wish I had gone with a personal trainer years ago, but then I probably wouldn’t have had the pleasure of working with Mike if I had. You need to be open and honest with your trainer and yourself. Also be willing to follow the %80/%20 rule. It’s ok to enjoy yourself once in a while, just keep the eyes on the prize.