As a Christian Fitness Ministry we like to honor and highlight Christians that are stewarding their temple exceptionally well; people that are wonderful examples for the community. This Testimony Tuesday, meet Matthew Thomas, once combat warrior, now warrior for Christ leading a Combat Recovery Ministry here in Charlotte. 

 

Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas

 

Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas:

“I’ve realized Health is like time and money: if you don’t manage them, they will manage you. I realized early on in my time with MissionFiT that I had my priorities backwards. Like most leaders, I tend to put everything else first, and had no energy or time to focus on my own wellbeing. I now put my health and wellbeing FIRST, and I’ve realized the healthier I become, the healthier other parts of my life have become, especially my marriage. Three months into the program, I’m sleeping through the night (most of the time) and I’m experiencing less nightmares from my time in combat. My moods have also stabilized, and the symptoms of “PTSD” are diminishing. I’m no longer on medications for symptoms of PTSD. I’m also no longer self-medicating. I want other veterans and their families to view Kellie and I as a living example of how focusing on health and wellness can be a huge part of overcoming PTSD and combat trauma. Once I surrendered my TOTAL health to God, I’ve experienced Him in a much deeper way. Scriptures tell us that our body is a living temple, and I want the Holy Spirit to have the healthiest place possible to operate.”

 

Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, nighttime shot of soliders working in the street

……

My name is Matt Thomas, I’m a combat veteran and former US Marine (2005-2009). I’ve been married to my beautiful wife Kellie nearly 3 years; we met in 2011 after my time in the Marine Corps. We have a black lab, Rosie, who we take everywhere! Kellie and I lead a combat trauma healing program here in Charlotte called Reboot Combat Recovery. REBOOT exists to help combat veterans and their families heal from the spiritual and moral injuries of war associated with post-traumatic stress and combat trauma. My career is in Executive Recruiting, I currently work at TalentBridge in Charlotte. Kelli is an instructor and office manager at Pure Barre in Huntersville. My strengths are leadership, teaching, and outreach. I am passionate about bringing healing to other combat veterans and their families through Reboot, and now in partnership with MissionFiT!

 Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, Matthew and his wife each standing on a side of the Reboot sign

 

When I think of my fitness journey, 3 words come to mind:

consistency…lifestyle…transformation 

 

I played soccer in college. Then got into bodybuilding for a period of time around my time as a Marine. In 2014, I ran a half marathon and continued down the running path but my pattern of fitness has been up and down for the last few years…until finding MissionFiT!

 

I’ve loved developing a relationship with Kelsey and Dale. I’ve been amazed at Kelseys dedication and commitment to my overall health and well being (mind, body, AND soul). I’ve also enjoyed how my working out with MissionFiT has positively impacted other aspects of my life, especially my marriage. Kellie (my wife) and I now spend time together meal planning, and have a Saturday routine that includes a trip to Whole Foods with meal prep for that week. Our focus on healthy living has brought us together in a new way.

 

Cutting out the gluten has definitely been a win for me. I’ve seen less allergic reactions and lost nearly 10 pounds in just a few short months! I have more energy than I’ve ever had! I am sleeping through the night (most of the time) and I’m experiencing less nightmares from my time in combat. My moods have also stabilized, and the symptoms of “PTSD” are diminishing. 

 

Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, Matthew during his days as a Marine, he's on a tank with 15 other guys riding aroundTestimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, Matthew sitting in an aircraft with several other marines

 

MissionFiT: Matt, what’s been your favorite least favorite things in the program?

Favorite – Waking up in the morning feeling refreshed! (And also the first time I tasted Bulletproof Coffee. It’s a God send) 

Least-favorite – 4:30 am workouts!”

 

My biggest obstacle has been finding time and space to workout. I work a full-time job along with leading the ministry, so I have to get really intentional about my workouts. Even if that means waking up at 4:30 am and doing the workout in my living room!

 

The biggest area of growth has been with my diet. I was always “too busy to worry about what to eat.” I never planned meals, I ate when I could, which meant a lot of fast food or processed junk in the form of “meal replacement” bars. Through MissionFiT, I learned how to properly plan for meals and grocery shop. Kellie and I spend a few minutes on Saturday planning every meal for the week, then do our shopping at Whole Foods together. It’s become one of our favorite “together” activities!

 

Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, Headshot of Matt with sunglasses on in uniform

 

The hardest areas for me to overcome have been finding 8 hours of sleep, and kicking my coffee habit. I LOVE COFFEE!

 

I’ve realized Health is like time and money: if you don’t manage them, they will manage you. Living the healthy life God calls us to live motivates me to pursue this wellness journey. For the first time in years, I’m no longer on medications for symptoms of PTSD. I’m also no longer self-medicating. I want other veterans and their families to view Kellie and I as a living example of how focusing on health and wellness can be a huge part of overcoming PTSD and combat trauma. We cannot minister to others if we aren’t walking the walk!  

 

Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, Matt with his unit in the desertTestimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, Matt in uniform with two others standing

 

My support system has been wonderful.

Kellie – my wife. She’s a fitness instructor herself (Pure Barre) and she knows what it’s like to live with me when I’m not healthy. As in all areas of my life, she’s my biggest supporter and will do anything necessary to ensure we’re living a healthy lifestyle.

Kelsey – Her passion for helping me has sometimes been what motivated me to continue, even when I wasn’t motivated myself. 

Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, Matt sitting on wooden stairs with his wife, Matt is in a red tshirt and Kelly in a white tank top

 

Investing in my wellness has had a major impact on other areas of my life for sure. I realized early on in my time with MissionFiT that I had my priorities backwards. Like most leaders, I tend to put everything else first, and had no energy or time to focus on my own wellbeing. I now put my health and wellbeing FIRST, and I’ve realized the healthier I become, the healthier other parts of my life have become, especially my marriage.

I’ve also seen a great impact on my spiritual health. Romans 12:1 encourages us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, as this is how we truly worship God. Once I surrendered my TOTAL health to God, I’ve experienced Him in a much deeper way. Scriptures tell us that our body is a living temple, and I want the Holy Spirit to have the healthiest place possible to operate.

 Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, Matthew right after being baptized with his hands raised

 

MissionFiT: What do you feel the connection between faith and health is?

Both are a daily, step by step walk. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) Just like with our faith, we may not see the immediate results in our fitness journey. We still have to make daily decisions for our health trusting they will pay off in the future. Finally, both faith and health are about the journey, not the destination. In faith, and in health, it’s about doing the small things daily in effort to become more of who God created us to be.

 

MissionFiT: What reasons would you give another to begin a fitness journey of their own?

First, God calls us to lead healthy lifestyles. This includes spiritual, mental, AND physical health. That should be reason enough for anyone in ministry! Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians to Glorify God with our bodies.

A second reason, and probably most important, you owe it to yourself to be healthy and happy.

Finally, your family, marriage, and God deserve the best, healthy version of you!

…….

Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas

 

To learn more about MissionFiT’s programs, click here.

To learn more about Reboot, click here.

To learn more about Reboot here in Charlotte, please visit www.facebook.com/RebootCharlotte.

To get connected immediately, please call 704-230-7307

Article on Reboot here in Charlotte:

http://www.lakenormanpublications.com/ucity/recovery-advocacy-group-focuses-on-veteran-care/article_2a69c2f8-35b0-11e7-850c-b7a1c7a2d641.html

 

Testimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, standing with another soldier in the desert next to machineTestimony from Combat Warrior, Matthew Thomas, group of soldiers with their guns