Meet Andrew McKee

Certified Trainer, Strength & Conditiong Coach and Health Coach

Meet Andrew McKee

Certified Trainer, Strength & Conditiong Coach and Health Coach

Meet Andrew McKee

Certified Trainer, Strength & Conditiong Coach and Health Coach

My story

This is my story of how I went from an overweight, unhappy, unhealthy, self-concious, self loathing man who transformed his entire life to a healthy, happy, fit and confident person. My life transformation was a hard road to navigate but I did it and so can you.

To begin my story we need to take a few steps back so I can set the scene for where I was in my life, I look back now and I can’t believe I found my self in the position I was in but like many of us, we don’t notice these things happening until one day we get the shock of our lives.

I was like most 30 somethings, working very hard to buy a house, had a nice car, took annual overseas holidays, surrounded myself with great friends and a loving family.  I was working for a multinational IT consumer security company. I was working from home mostly due to the timezone differences and spent a hell of a lot of time in aeroplanes, airports and swanky hotels.

“Working in this way can be quite isolating not to mention the toll working weird and wonderful hours can take on your body. I found myself always eating at strange times of the day and constantly snacking – Tim Tam’s were and still are a favourite of mine but nowhere near the volume is consumed these days”.

One Sunday I was off on my regular flight to San Francisco, I arrived at Sydney airport, proceeded to the check in counter. This particular day turned out to be my lucky day. I was given a free up grade to business class. So onboard I go, I’m grinning from ear to ear like a Cheshire cat. I find my seat pretty quickly and step in front of my seat.

The reality of being overweight

My carry on is sitting on the seat next to me and I take a seat. The only problem is it feels kinda strange like I don’t quite fit. Oh wait that’s probably because I have sat on the blanket and pillow that the airline provide. I quickly stand up and turn around to discover the issue is the not the blanket and the pillow. Its my big fat butt! I honestly remember this moment like it was yesterday. My butt was so large and wide that it was a tight fit in a business class seat. OH my God! What the hell has happened to me? When did i get this big.

This moment really sticks with me as the moment when my world came to a screeching halt and I realised I was fat! I think like most people who have had or are having issues with your weight you have moments when you think you’ve put on weight but mostly you adapt your life to work around your ever-expanding waist line.

I would often drink to the point I wouldn’t remember the night out and this in turn made the next day rather hard because I was so hung over and then I would have to apologise to my friends for my poor behaviour or inappropriateness of the night before. Life was quickly spiralling downwards, suffering from depression was a daily occurrence and everything in my life began to suffer. Something had to change. Otherwise the outcome would be tragic.

Getting my house in order

Arriving home in Sydney after this trip my whole world seemed a lot darker. I continued to dwell on my weight issues and how it was making me feel. It seemed the only way to make things better was to eat more. I began to pull out of a lot of things I was invited too because I felt so ashamed of myself.

“Some days later a friend and I were having a coffee at a cafe. He handed me a flyer and said in a less than subtle way “you should give this guy a call. you really need to do something about your weight” Angrily I grab the flyer out of his hand and said yes I would call him.I realise now I wasn’t angry at my friend, I was angry at myself for finding myself in that position. Often anger and frustration would be directed at others when in actual fact it was me who I was angry at. Only now though can I see it”.

So I made the call, I arranged for my first session with the trainer, Matt. We seemed to gel almost instantly. Something that made me very comfortable and confident that Matt was the right guy for me. The first session was probably the worst. For more reasons than what you would think, obviously I couldn’t move the way I wanted to, I became breathless almost instantly and more than a few times I thought I was going to vomit. I held it together and got through it. A few days later I remember thinking “oh god, what have I done” I could hardly move. I decided to book in for two sessions a week. Those two sessions quickly became three. Usually a 6am start, done by 7 and I was home working by 730am. The best way to start the day. The training sessions in the early days became highly addictive, I was loving the endorphin rush that I was getting after every session. The weight started to come off and I thought that I was doing very well. Little did I know what was ahead of me and the challenges that I would have to face.

My life changed for ever

First one being emotional health. I can distinctly remember four sessions where I “lost it”. This was due to nothing else than my head not being right for training. I had other issues going on outside of training that were clouding my mind and not enabling me to concentrate on training. Often those sessions would end in tears (me not Matt although I think he could have cried to given how difficult it was for him too) The tears came from frustration at my lack of ability to complete exercises.

“I didn’t realise that there was so much more to losing weight and being healthy than just the exercise. I had to get a handle on my emotional health and also address issues I had with alcohol and emotional eating. Matt and I worked had at each session and when the results started to slow it was clear that I had other things I had to address”.

I remember this one day when all I had to do was a plank for a minute. Seems easy enough but no, not on this day. I couldn’t even manage 15 seconds before I dropped. At first it was a little funny. Then as I repeated the same result a few times, Matt became frustrated and started to really push me, and push me and push me. Before I knew it I was yelling at him, telling him to “f” off. He just stood there calmly and told me to try again. And again, until I gave up and that’s when the tears happened. Matt knew there was so much more going on in my world than I was willing to share but he knew I had to address those things before I could progress any further with my training. There is another session that I will never forget. It was a session involved soft sand running. Sounds hard but on this day this task was almost impossible. We ran south to Collaroy along the water’s edge which wasn’t  too difficult, I was a little breathless but nothing out of the ordinary. On the return trip Matt wanted to up the ante. And boy did we. We began running on the hard sand at the water’s edge now it was soft sand all the way back. I started off ok but quickly faded. If you’ve ever run in soft sand it drains your energy very quickly. I think I lasted about 20 metres before I stopped. I think my first excuse was my feet hurt, the second excuse was I couldn’t breath and these repeated a few times over. Matt became very frustrated with me. He used as much motivation as he could. He asked me if I was ok and of course my answer was yes.  Nearly at the end of his tether Matt resorted to pushing me in the back to make me run. As you can imagine this was like waving a red rag to a bull. It angered me no end. Matt knew how important for my overall development completing this task was. So he kept pushing me . He even ended up rubbing his knuckle into my spine to get me to move.

“By this stage I had enough and yet again I lashed out at him. Again I was not angry at him, it was things away from training that were holding me back. One thing Matt constantly did was stood by me during every session, making sure I progressed at every opportunity and he never gave up on me”.

Even when I called him every four letter word under the sun or told him I was done with training he calmly agreed with what ever I was saying and just let me have my moment and he was back again for another session the next day. One very important lesson I learnt with Matt was finishing the job. Sounds weird I know but in exercising it is even more important to ensure that you finish the job. What does this mean? Well its as simple as doing all the exercises set out for you, if you’re on a run and the finish line is at a certain point, you finish at that certain point. It’s not a metre short or you do 10/12 reps because that close enough. That is not good enough. It’s a metaphor for life, if you finish short in something you will never succeed. I distinctly remember one day coming back from a run from the car park where we regularly trained to the stairs at North Narrabeen. I remember feeling less than great on the way home but I had done a mental deal with myself and said if I got all the way back to the start I could stop just as we approached the end. Well obviously I didn’t let Matt in on the deal I had done with myself and when we approached the end, I stopped maybe 5 metres from where he had told me we could stop. He turned to me and yelled “What are you doing? That’s not the finish. The finish is up here. Keep going!” My response was pretty swift, “Heres fine, it doesn’t really matter!” You can only imagine his response. Its one of the very few times were Matt was not only angry at me for giving up, he was very disappointed. He threw my towel and keys at me and said “We are done!” He immediately left and drove off. Never in our time training together did he do that. I stood there thinking, what have I done? Have I offended him? There was a subsequent flurry of text messages to and from each of us. Matt was very clear in his point of view and I got it. The issue was dealt with swiftly and we never spoke of it again. It was indeed one of the lessons that does stick in my mind and a story I use with my clients all the time.

Happy, healthy and smiling

Addressing some of the issues that I had away from training was so very important in improving my life. Getting rid of toxic relationships, getting out of a job that I hated, overcoming emotional issues, addressing emotional eating, learning self-respect and giving my all to everything I did were just some of the things that I learnt whilst training with Matt. I can’t thank him enough for coming into my life at a more crucial time. I can only imagine what may have happened if I hadn’t enlisted his help to get my life back. I know this may sound melodramatic but he did have a major impact on my life and I am forever thankful. I don’t underestimate the amount of work that I have had to put in and continue to but I am not sure I would have come so far without him.

“Working with a trainer who was more than just about the number of push ups I could do or how good they look at the beach was what worked so well for me. Matt had a better understanding than most of what it takes to be the best version of yourself. He prides himself on doing everything to the best of his ability and in turn instilled those attributes in me. Being fit and healthy for me is more than just having your body in peak shape, it’s about addressing all those things in your life that are disabling you from being the best you can be.”.

I remember having a conversation with Matt over a coffee about how bitterly unhappy I was with my job. Yes sure it paid extremely well, but i felt that I had no emotional connection to my job anymore and I really didn’t want to do it any longer. He suggested I leave and become a personal trainer. Given what I had gone through to get to where I was he thought that experience would enable me to be a great personal trainer. At first I laughed at the idea and was a little embarrassed to entertain the idea. But over time the idea stuck with me. It took all my courage for me to quit my corporate job. I had improved so much in my health and fitness and this seemed to be one of the last hurdles I overcame. You can imagine the inner turmoil i went through in making this decision but I did it and didn’t look back (well not really look back).

After spending the best part of 20 years working in a corporate job, the thought of going out on my own not only filled me with fear it also excited me at the same time. Starting any business is hard enough but when you’re starting one that you believe in from the ground up having gone through the journey your clients do I think there is added pressure especially because my clients are placing their trust in me that I will take them on that journey and help them achieve their goals. For me this company is more than a business, it’s a privilege and an honour to be able to help my clients reach their goals.  Looking at the picture where you see me in November 2007 at my sister’s wedding and then a picture from June 2015, I honestly cannot believe that I am the same person. The one on the left looks tired, sick and very unwell but above all very sad. I remember when this photo was taken. It was of all the family. I deliberately chose a position at the side of the image so as to not be the focus. I still feel sad when I see it. That feeling though serves as a reminder of what I don’t want the rest of my life to be. The guy on the right well what can I say. I am extremely proud of what I have achieved. I now like the guy I see looking back at me.

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Transform your body in just 15 minutes a day. No equipment required.

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