Cover Story:

JOHNNY MATTERN

LOST 80 POUNDS, EARNED TOP

TRANSFORMATION AWARD

& BECAME AN IPL PRO

PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS BY BEN YOSEF

In a world often defined by setbacks and challenges, Johnny Mattern’s journey stands as a testament to the power of determination and resilience. In this INSPIRE Magazine cover story interview, Johnny opens up about his awe-inspiring transformation, shedding an astounding 80 pounds, earning a Top Transformation Award, and ascending to the ranks of an IPL Pro. Now, armed with invaluable experience and a newfound purpose as a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, Johnny is poised to pay it forward, offering guidance and inspiration to those embarking on their own transformative journeys.

"When I saw 230lbs on the scale, that was the eye opener for me. I looked in the mirror and told myself, 'I need to fix this.' I didn’t want to be a statistic..."

INSPIRE MAGAZINE: What inspired you to embark on your incredible transformation journey?

JONNNY MATTERN: When I saw 230lbs on the scale, that was the eye opener for me. I looked in the mirror and told myself, “I need to fix this.” I didn’t want to be a statistic and start having serious health problems by the time I was 40. And when a fellow co-worker asked if I wanted to go to the gym with him, I was totally ready to make the change.

INSPIRE: Can you share some of the key moments that motivated you during your transformation?

JOHNNY: One thing that motivated me during my workouts in the beginning was having a training partner to push me past my comfort zone. Once I got past the initial hurdle of the immense pain in the beginning, I told myself, “I have to keep going.”

"Waking up in the morning, first thing I would do is get myself outta bed and do an hour of cardio. Things that made me stand out and at times made me feel alone. But I knew what I was doing was the best for my health."

INSPIRE: What were some of the biggest obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them?

JOHNNY: Working at a restaurant was definitely a challenge. Being around all the foods you’re not supposed to eat, with the constant temptation to cheat on my diet I set for myself, was a daily struggle. I overcame this by drinking lots of water and eating the same thing every night, which was chicken, pico, jalapeno slices, and shredded cabbage.

INSPIRE: How did your experiences as a Marine Veteran help shape your approach to overcoming challenges in your personal life?

JOHNNY: Doing time in the Marine Corps instilled a kind of discipline not many people have. Being part of an elite group of warriors helped me push beyond my limitations, so I knew what I was capable of achieving. Being consistent and disciplined, saying “no” to burgers and fries. Saying “no” to going out with friends for a night of drinking, and going to the gym at 1am when I would get off work instead. Waking up in the morning, first thing I would do is get myself outta bed and do an hour of cardio. Things that made me stand out and at times made me feel alone. But I knew what I was doing was the best for my health.

"I was inspired to keep going, to not settle after I made my first major goal losing 50lbs in 90 days."

INSPIRE: Your story highlights the importance of support networks. How did your family and mentors contribute to your success?

JOHNNY: I had so many brothers and sisters in the Marines that kept me motivated and praised every small achievement. I was inspired to keep going, to not settle after I made my first major goal losing 50lbs in 90 days. Also, the knowledge I was gaining from my mentors about exercise, nutrition, and wellness, with a “no bs” approach, really helped me with a new set of values and choices I made, and continue to make for myself to this very day.

INSPIRE: Transitioning from personal struggle to professional success is remarkable. What advice would you give to others facing similar challenges?

JOHNNY: Always set reasonable goals for yourself. And when you achieve those goals, set new goals and get right at it. Don’t reward yourself with junk and cheat yourself. You should always push for improvement and being better than you were the previous day. Get sober. Substance abuse will bring nothing but negativity. Drug use will be your downfall and hinder any kind of meaningful success you can achieve.

"The benefits people gain just from being active are mind-blowing...being the one that motivates them and seeing them succeed is so rewarding."

INSPIRE: Becoming an IPL Pro is a significant achievement. Can you share some insights into your contest preparation that lead you to victory on stage?

JOHNNY: I fasted very strictly the last 2 weeks. I trained 6 days a week in a fasted state in the morning. Then I would do another session in the afternoon, usually running between 4-6 miles 5 days a week. I took carbs completely out of my diet during this time. The last week I fasted for 20-24 hours every day. I then took out salt from my diet and began water tapering.

INSPIRE: With your newfound career as a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, how do you plan to inspire and support others on their own transformation journeys?

JOHNNY: Tell people who say they are struggling with their image or not happy with themselves to try physical activity of some sort. The benefits people gain just from being active are mind-blowing. Going through someone’s transformation journey by their side and being the one that motivates them and seeing them succeed is so rewarding. The satisfaction and excitement these people now have, with a more positive outlook on life, honestly outweighs any kind of monetary value. INSPIRE

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