I was one of the original 27 6WT-ers 8 years ago. At the time, I was a Junior in high school with a pretty serious weight issue. Three months after my 16th birthday, I was the highest weight I’ve ever been, just a hair under 170lbs. My brother was the first in my family to train at Varsity House; and I remember the day that my dad went to pick him up from training and came home with a flier and an ultimatum that would, quite literally, change my life. My options were to fully participate in every aspect of the challenge (workouts, nutrition, etc.) or walk 3 miles home from school every day and keep in mind, this was November. I guess you can deduce which option I chose.
I can remember sitting in between both of my parents, surrounded by equipment I had never seen, looking at four gigantic men who were drafting names out of a football helmet for the team draft. I had never worked out, run, or lifted a weight a day in my life. My athletic career came to a screeching halt after 3rd grade town recreation softball. I was overweight, out of shape, and scared out of my mind. My “nutrition” was even worse than my athletic ability. I was, by all means of the word, a carb-o-holic. My diet consisted of only, bread, pretzels, chicken nuggets, candy, and maybe an apple…on VERY rare occasion. I didn’t eat vegetables (8 years later and I’m still working on that one), and my idea of a healthy snack was an entire bag of microwavable popcorn. To say the least, I was in bad shape. Oh! and to top it off, I had Joe as a team coach…FIGURES!
The first week of the challenge was one of the most difficult weeks of my life. Everything hurt, I was hangry, cranky, and I fought my parents tooth and nail about going to the classes, but, like with everything else, it got better with time. After about four weeks, the food didn’t taste TOO awful anymore, the workouts got easier, my pants fit better and by the end of 6 weeks I was down 8lbs.
After the 6WT I was addicted to the “workout high”. I continued taking classes after the challenge was over, participated in Joe’s “Bonus Christmas Challenge” and that following spring I joined my school’s track team. Because of the impact VH had on my life, I found a love of running, I’ve run countless 5k’s, 8k’s and one 10k, and while every year I say I’m going to do a half marathon, I still haven’t done one…maybe next year will be the year! Because of Big Mike’s Heavy Metal class, I’ve PR deadlifted at 205lbs (the goal for now is 225lbs…and who knows maybe eventually 2x BW) which is something I NEVER could have thought I would have been able to do. I have completed the 6WT as a competitor 4 times, I’ve seen my name up on the Challenge Boards 3 times, placed in the top 5 once and this time around I’ll be doing it as an employee of Varsity House. Varsity House and the 6WT changed my life. From the time I started the 6WT in high school to my freshman year of college I dropped 50lbs, and while I have definitely put back weigh on since then, the 6WT was really the kick in the butt I needed to change my life.
For this 6WT I’m looking forward to really dialing in on my nutrition. My body is a machine and I want to feed it with only the best whole “fuel” possible. I will be coming for more classes (I’ve been slacking over the last few months), but nutrition is my main goal for this challenge. I don’t have any specific weight I want to hit, I just want to know that I can be as healthy as I possibly can be. Every 6WT I’ve completed has instilled a lifelong change for me, this one will not be any different. I look forward to working for you and alongside of you over the next 6 weeks! No matter who wins that Cancun vacation, we will all be at that final victory party celebrating together!
All the best,
– Phoebe Muggeo
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