Patrick Helped Others, But Was Losing Himself | The Spark


Not all transformations are linear, inspired, or start off with the power of a warrior yell. For Pat Magno, breaking free from a cycle of stress, fast-food lunches, a foggy mindset, and subsequent weight gain didn’t happen overnight.
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“I wish I could say that one day I was really inspired and suddenly made the decision to transform my body,” he says. “But, as I’m sure most would agree, transforming your body is much easier said than done. There were countless times I wished I could lose the weight, but I felt so sluggish and unmotivated. I would start a diet and show up to the gym a few times. Then life would get in the way, and I would fall flat on my face…again.”

For Patrick, things got worse before they got better. “I was working as a protective service worker, and I was finding myself always physically and mentally drained,” he recalls. “I’m usually a very positive person, but I was in a very dark place. I would go home after work each day carrying the guilt that some innocent child has to deal with undeserving pain and suffering.” It wasn’t until Patrick reevaluated his path and questioned what he really wanted out of life that he was finally able to make a change.

This is Patrick’s story.

You Were Active Back In College, Until Work Stress Drew Your Activity To A Halt. Tell Me More About That.

My everyday job consisted of having to remove children from broken homes, abusive parents, and harmful situations. I’ve always loved children and had a strong desire to help others, so I thought this would be a great career choice for me, but work life took a toll. It became a catch-22. There was a lot going on in my life at the time, and I didn’t know if I had gained so much weight because of it or if I was living a miserable life because of the weight I’d gained.

Being mentally exhausted each day led me to stop caring as much about what I was eating or how I was exercising. I tried to escape reality through food and drink. I abandoned the gym altogether. I remember looking in the mirror and not even recognizing myself. I was embarrassed, disgusted, and ashamed that I’d let myself get to that point.

What Made You Decide To Transform?

I’d just returned from one of my worst days on the job. My wife—girlfriend at the time—and I were talking about our day, and she could tell I was burnt out and unhappy. I hadn’t been myself for a while because of how miserable I was; I’d been bottling it all in and finally broke down. I’d invested so much into making this my lifelong career, but I questioned how I could ever live like this when my goal was to have a happy, fulfilled life. After a long talk, we both decided it best I leave my job.

How Did Things Progress From There?

I’ve always been passionate about fitness and sports, although you’d never be able to tell by looking at me back then. I knew about the Bodybuilding.com Transformation Challenge and debated if I should sign up. I didn’t want anyone to see my “before” photos because of how much weight I’d gained and knew that the chances of actually winning were slim to none. But, it was hard to let the $250K contest prize slip by without even trying. I knew I wanted to transform, and I knew what type of financial situation I was in after leaving my job. I decided to take a chance and give this challenge everything—and I mean everything—I had.

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