I didn’t just wake up one day and look this way. It was a gradual yet inevitable increase in body fat over a 2-year period. At the time, I was putting in 50 hours-a-week running a gym, an extra 15 hours-a-week getting my MBA online, raising a 1-year-old, and another on the way. Looking back I’m convinced that the reason I gained so much weight was that I never had a plan put in place as all my responsibilities grew. Something had to give and because of that eating healthy and exercising took a back seat to all my other duties and responsibilities.


After our 2nd child was born it was actually my wife who encouraged us both to lose weight together. She was struggling through postpartum depression and thought that losing weight and creating a healthier lifestyle would be something that we could both benefit from. It was only a few months later that I gained the courage to tell my wife that I too was struggling with depression. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for her support as she helped me seek professional counseling to figure out why I was so depressed. Til this day I choose to see a therapist to help me navigate all these feelings I have.


By posting this BEFORE & AFTER photo I’m not trying to act like I’m better than someone else just because they aren’t healthy or fit. In fact, I still struggle with insecurity which is why you will rarely see me with my shirt off. 

I am posting this picture to give SOMEONE hope. Because if a gym owner like me, the status symbol of elite fitness, can struggle, it’s okay if you are struggling to live a healthy lifestyle but you don’t know where to start.


For me, my journey started by admitting that I wasn’t happy instead of pretending that everything was alright. Secondly, I had to truly believe that I had complete control of being a fitter and healthier person again. The rest was in the details. We worked really hard and supported each other along the way.

As crazy as this sounds we tried to enjoy the painful process of changing habits that got us overweight in the first place. We were never perfect. In fact, we planned being imperfect by scheduling our cheat meals every Friday during date night. Slowly but surely the weight on the scale began to get lighter and lighter. In total we lost 60lbs!


We have been done dieting for months. We learned alot about ourselves and each other. There are certain habits that we created along the way that have turned into who we are. We don’t have to work as hard to make healthy choices like we did when we first started dieting.

As our friends and family began seeing the results they couldn’t help but ask how we were doing it together with two kids under 2. That’s when it dawned on us!


My wife and I are going to offer a 4-Week Facebook and Instagram Live series over the next month detailing how we worked together to lose weight, eat healthy, improve our fitness levels (even with 2 kids), and most importantly strengthen our relationship together. 

We hope you get a chance to JOIN US. More details to come. Just keep following or email me at mario@marioashley.com and I’ll remind you hours before we go live!



  1. Cat Davison March 12, 2019 at 12:38 pm -

    Amazing story, thank you for the honesty and inspiration! It’s comforting to know that outside of the gym we all have “things” we are dealing with that can sidetrack our progress, but if we stay true to our goals and more importantly ourselves then we too can break through the plateaus.