Editor's Note: This article was written by Matthias Waggener. In addition to being one of the infamous four Waggener brothers, he is a world renowned artist. His hex paintings have sold for hundreds of dollars to collectors across the globe. You can see his artwork on Instagram @werewolfhexologist and follow his fitness journey on our Facebook page. Final note: this nutrition plan will NOT give you dreadlocks like Matthias.
16 weeks ago I sat down with my brother Seth, owner and founder of wild/STRONG, and had a long talk about goals - how to achieve them and what methods would work best for me. I was at a point where I had been working out for a long time and although my style of programming for myself had always been effective, I was ready for something new.
In January I was at a high point - hitting PRs on all my major lifts, weighing only 10 lbs below my highest body weight ever - and packing a little extra fat at about 17%. I was eating everything in sight with little regard for cleanliness, always relying on my good genes to keep me from being a disgusting fat body. Its been a long running joke that I eat like a 600lb diabetic.
Editor's Note: For his entire life, Matt has eaten like an a--hole. He is a human garbage disposal. If you've ever visited a truck stop gas station with a Cinnabon in it - it is an experience that will traumatize you for life.
At the beginning of February 2016, I started to notice something was off, something was wrong with my body. After two trips in as many weeks to the ER for what was assumed to be allergic reactions, I woke up one morning - my skin and eyes as yellow as a Simpsons character. Something was going on with my liver and the doctors weren't giving me any answers. I had a consult with Craig Williams, a personal friend and Ayurvedic healer. We tackled the problem through a specific diet geared toward liver health and rejuvenation. It was 3 months of hell. I couldn't work out because the bile salts coming through my pores made me unbearably itchy, and my diet was basically rice, leafy greens and some fruit. I lost 34lbs and by late May i was a shell of my former self.
Editor's Note: I saw Matt at a weightlifting meet in Cheyenne during this time. It was honestly scary to see. My girlfriend called me before I got there - just to warn me that it was pretty shocking how much weight he had lost and how yellow he was. The whites of his eyes were so yellow, it was hard to have a conversation with him without focusing on it. His face was gaunt - he was nothing like the Matt I had always known - muscular, athletic etc. He was constantly scratching at his chest and arms. It was painful to watch.
The diet worked - my liver health returned to normal, the yellow hue to my skin and eyes disappeared and I finally stopped itching.
It wasn't all great though - my first trip back to the gym revealed I was weaker than i was at 15 years old. I went on a short trash food binge over the next couple of weeks - ballooning me back to near my normal bodyweight, but it was a disgusting representation of 205lbs.
Being on the liver diet had taught me one very important thing. I could stick to a diet that wasn't fast food and donuts - or required emptying out gas station hot dog stands. But i also knew there was a small window - that if I didn't establish good habits, I would slip back into the way I always ate, which had gotten me where I was at now.
I had just watched Seth make an incredible transformation by simply changing his diet to something he called a "macro approach." I knew he could help me come up with a plan of attack.
We sat down for about an hour and talked food and goals. I needed to add lean muscle while still supporting and adding to my raw strength numbers. My body fat was getting out of control quickly so I also needed to be eating a diet that brought that down. I left with my new nutritional program in hand and started out on my path to recovery - the results have been beyond my wildest expectations. In a little over a week I will be finishing my first 16 weeks using the approach Seth laid out for me. I am back to matching all my old PR numbers from when i was 215lbs, but i am a shredded 190lbs. My body fat dropped double digits and I have cuts and vascularity that Ive never had before. I am running a personal best in the mile and I look as big as i ever have. After getting these results from changing the way that I ate and adopting the wild/STRONG nutritional approach, i will never go back to eating the way i did. The best part of this experience is the excitement I have towards sitting down and planning my next 16 weeks and knowing I am going to achieve the results Im after.