GuysLikeU regular Matt Oakes reveals how he found more confidence by shaping up and getting healthy. 

We all get into a rut sometimes when our lifestyle becomes so pressured, hectic or damaging we lose focus, get lazy and pile on the pounds. The result, we look in the mirror and feel even more down about ourselves. And the lower we feel, the more we likely we are to reach for that very inviting bar of chocolate sitting in the fridge with our names on it. And so things go from bad to worse.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Sometimes, we have to find the strength within us to stop this destructive lifestyle pattern, get a grip and change our lives. Not so that we end up looking like a buffed up model in a porno, but just to feel better in our body and souls.

GuysLikeU regular Matt Oakes says he lost confidence several years ago after a series of personal issues left him feeling insecure and vulnerable. And the less confident he felt the less inclined he was to look after himself. But one day, he decided enough was enough and worked out that if he was going to be happy again, he would have to take control of his life again. And so he did. But, as he tells us, it was hard work.  

What made you decide to start shaping up?

My confidence was at an all-time low due to personal issues but a huge factor was my weight and fitness levels. My waist was a 36 probably more a 37, as for my weight I have no idea I was always too embarrassed to find out. I wasn’t just overweight, I was very unfit and ate very unhealthilyIf you’re not comfortable in your own skin IT SHOWS. So I made a decision to make a change.


What regime did you decide upon?

I did my research first. There are a lot of different regimes out there and you have to find one that suits your needs and goals. As I wanted to lose weight I wanted something that would shed the fat and improve my health and fitness. I started on Insanity, a DVD fitness programme that used a mix of HIIT training, cardio and tabata training. It was HARD! But it worked; I lost 4 inches off my waist. I now continue to go to the gym, use weights at home, do HIIT training, tabata training….anything to keep my in shape!

And did you change your diet in any way?

At that time I only made small changes to my diet – small steps. I cut down on fizzy drinks, less sugar in my tea and coffee, drank more water, and slowly started to weed out snack foods. Now I track my calorie intake, protein, carbs etc each day to make sure I’m not over indulging. The diet is the hardest part of changing to a fitness regime, if you want results you have to put the work in

Was it hard to start with? Did you fall off the wagon?

Yes, it was beyond hard! The first few weeks were the toughest just because it is such a change to your normal routine – your body is just not used to it! It’s all about training your body and once your body becomes accustomed to the change, you increase the intensity! But once you start noticing the results; looser clothes, better skin, more energy, you really get that drive to carry on. I fell off the wagon once. After I finished the Insanity programme I hit brick wall. I had become so reliant on their workouts I hadn’t planned ahead what to do next. So I became lazy again. But as soon as I realised what I was doing I picked myself back up and gave myself a good kick up the ass and got back on it.




When did you start to see a difference?

Probably after the first two weeks. If you put the time in and really keep yourself motivated you will notice the changes in to time! it can be hard to squeeze in workouts when you have a busy life but it can ALWAYS be done, don’t keep giving yourself excuses as to why you cant! Thirty minutes is all you need to start making a huge difference in your life. You have to decide do you want to be happy for thirty minutes sitting on the sofa watching TV but continue being unhappy with your body/health or do you want to push yourself for thirty minutes and start feeling good about yourself?

What are ur stats now – over what time

After a good two years on and off I’m now a 32 inch waist and I still have no idea what I weigh! For me weight is just a number and as muscle weighs more than fat it gives no real indication of how fit or healthy you are. For me what is important is liking how you look and feeling good about your body – no matter what your weight. But I am continuing my fitness journey and still working hard on my body, so keep an eye out for my progress

What else do you want to do?

I’m now focusing more on building muscle, getting that good ab definition and working on my pecs. I definitely want to be bigger and once I’ve bulked up I will work on my definition. I am also training to become a Personal Trainer so I can help others who are unhappy with their body and help them achieve their goals



What’s your fave body part?
Lol none! Im never happy

Which part are not happy with?
My chest needs a lot of work; I had an injury about a year back that stopped my working out my upper body for a good six months. So that is my main focus now that I’m back on form

How vain are you?
Not in the slightest! I quite happily go out rocking some old sweatpants, hair all a mess, looking like something the cat dragged in. Though looking at my Instagram you might think otherwise. ha!

Do you wax / shave chest?
Sometimes. It’s another thing I’m relatively new to. But just depends on my current mood. Never waxed before though, not sure I could handle the pain!

Do you manscape?
Yes! Has to be done! No-one wants a 70’s afro down there

Boxers, briefs or nowt?
Nothing! I hate everything all restricted. Let it swing! But briefs on special occasions and I do workout in my underwear most nights too though

What grooming product can u not live without?
Love the Bull Dog moisturising range. Great for the skin and cater for sensitive skin too. Also love Fish hair products, can’t get enough of that coconut smell