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In the past 2 years, I have lost over 120 pounds. Never once did I quit. For me, the secret to losing weight is exercise and diet. It is that simple. I believe in eating whole foods and avoiding most carbs and sugars. My diet consists of chicken, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and water. While I still have another 40 more pounds to lose before my skin removal surgery next year, I’m determined, now more than ever, to succeed. My one piece of advice to anyone who is looking to lose weight is to do it naturally. Don’t cheat by drinking “shakes” or taking diet pills. These are only quick and temporary fixes that won’t do you any good and will leave you disappointed or discouraged.

A lot of people ask me who my motivation was during my weight loss journey. I don’t know who the majority of people in the fitness industry are. The only person that I went to for inspiration was Mark Wahlberg. Every time he was featured in a new fitness magazine, I would make sure to pick up a copy and read up on different workouts that he would do. I started becoming a fan of Mark Wahlberg at the age of 13. “Four Brothers” was and still is one of my favorite movies of his. Most of the movie was actually filmed down the street from my house, including the house that they brothers lived in! It was actually the first movie of his that I saw in the movie theater. After that movie came out is when I became a huge fan of his work. I work in the television and film industry in Canada. Mark has been someone that I look up in the entertainment industry because he works very hard at trying to accomplish the things that he’s passionate for. He gave me the drive and the push it took to get into this industry in Canada. He definitely instilled a good ethic in me when it came time to working in the television industry. Thankfully, to this day, I’m still working in the business and I still have a lot of love and passion for it.

Ironically enough, the first time that I met Mark was at the same place that I’m working now. I work for Bell Media in Toronto. Mark appeared on a live television show, which was called “Much On Demand” on Friday, March 16, 2007. I was 15 years old at the time. Since I was too young to attend the show inside, fans were welcome to wait outside during the live taping to watch Mark co-host the show. This show always brought their guests outside to say hello to fans. I got to the studio early so that I could get front row. Luckily, though, I was one of the first people to arrive that day. When Mark came outside, he made sure that he said hello to as many people possible. He offered to sign a picture that I had of him and we also took a photo together. I met another fan of Mark’s that day while waiting outside. Her name is Victoria. Because of Mark, we become really close and we’re still friends to this day. Meeting Mark was one of my biggest dreams come true.

Fast forward to Monday, September 9, 2013. I got to meet Mark once again at the soft launch party at the new Toronto location of Wahlburgers. I waited hours to meet him that day. Thankfully, once the party was ended, he came outside before getting into his limo to sign autographs and take selfies with fans. We took a selfie together that day. Can you tell how excited I was?

On Monday, September 10th, 2016, I ran into Mark Wahlberg at the Toronto International Film Festival. As I was waiting to meet him the day before his premiere of “Deep Water Horizon” at TIFF, I was wearing a t-shirt of a brand that wears and supports; TICDA. There was a very nice girl who was standing beside me. I asked her if she could get Mark’s attention and point to the shirt that I was wearing. She did what I asked. She yelled, “Mark! Chris is wearing your t-shirt!” There was kind of a far distance between Mark and I, but as the girl got his attention, he looked directly at me and realized that I was wearing the TICDA t-shirt. He smiled at me and waved. Mark then got into his limo and drove away. As I was about to leave, he made his limo driver stop his vehicle. He then rolled down his window and yelled at me to come over to him. I didn’t realize that he was talking to me at first, but then he yelled at me again to come over to him. As I ran over to his limo, he thanked me for being a fan and then hand gave me the t-shirt that said Performance Inspired (the company that he is a co-founder of. I thanked him and then he drove off. Obviously I was on cloud 9, but what happened to me this past Friday, February 17th, 2017 was the icing on top of the cake.

I got in contact with staff from Performance Inspired last year and shared my story to them, including my TIFF story. They were the only nutrition company who genuinely cared about what I had to say and cared about my weight loss journey, where as others just wanted to use me as a number and a follower.

I decided to buy some products from Performance Inspired. Since I have a gluten allergy, a mild case of celiac disease, and dairy sensitivity, I had to make sure that the products were what they say they are… Natural. I can guarantee and promise you that all of their products are natural. My body can’t handle more than 95% of proteins are out there except for some vegan ones. I am so thankful that the Ripped Whey Protein by Performance Inspired has been a great protein for me. I have also noticed a huge difference in using it for my weight loss journey.

I recently bought some new products to stock up on. I really wanted to show my thanks and appreciation to the amazing staff at Performance Inspired, including Mark Wahlberg and Tom Dowd. I did a photo shoot at my local gym with the products that I bought, along with a YouTube video that I made. The social media pages for Performance Inspired shared my video and my photos. They helped get my message out there, which I will forever be thankful for. On the night of Friday, February 17th, 2017, I opened the Facebook app on my phone and saw that Mark Wahlberg had posted about me on his Facebook page. To say that I honored is an understatement. Everything that I had gone through during my fitness journey all became worth it at this very moment. I was not only recognized by Mark’s company, but I was recognized by Mark himself. I will be forever grateful for him sharing my story on his Facebook to his current 17 million fans and followers.

If I could be an inspiration to at least one person after reading this, then I have truly accomplished something. I hope this inspires others to reach their fitness and nutrition goals. If you have any questions or want advice and wish to talk to me privately about anything, feel free to e-mail me at: I am not a professional by any means, but I’ll try to answer all your questions as best as I can. I also have an Instagram fitness page where I post pictures and videos of my weight loss journey. You can follow me at: @chrisgotfit. To any of you who are reading this – If you’re worried that you can’t lose weight, just know that you can. If I could do this at the weight that I was, then you can too. If you’re willing to do the work, you can do anything. Get a goal, get a plan, and get up off your ass. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Don’t give up. Always remember to breathe in and breathe out. And, finally, natural is better… Be better. My name is Chris Tarpos, and I believe in health and fitness.