In August 2020, Mark Beckwith, 50, looked in the mirror and wasn’t impressed with the 250-pound man staring back at him.
Right then, he decided to make a change.
“I cleared everything out of the house and planned our meals for the week,” he recalls. “When I started, I was tracking everything I ate and being super strict with it.”
Mark set a goal to lose 80 pounds by his 50th birthday, which gave him six months. He turned to a Keto diet, paired occasionally with an OMAD (one meal a day) fast, and an intense at-home workout regimen.
“I was all in, I was going to do it and set myself up for the best success long term rather than give myself outs from the beginning,” he says. “I was changing my entire lifestyle. That’s how I approached it from the beginning.”
With gyms closed due to COVID-19, Mark found a workout program offered by Dustin Myers, Ohio State’s strength and conditioning coach, called the 28-Day Shred: Lockdown Edition.
“It’s usually six days a week and one active rest day. It’s grueling,” Mark explains. “But, it was amazing the difference I could see in myself. I would take pictures week to week, month to month and compare them.”
Mark posted his photos to Instagram, which held him accountable and inspired others. His longtime friend, Rahul Patel, happened to be working toward the same goals, “Both of us would feed off of each other and keep one another accountable even though we didn’t work out together. That helped tremendously.”
With 10 years of service in the United States Navy and a nursing degree, you might be surprised to learn that Mark works full-time installing and repairing dental equipment. However, it’s a career choice that affords him the flexibility to coach high school wrestling at Memphis University Schooldo, which he loves.
“It goes back to the kids. I’m expecting a lot out of them and I didn’t want to be one of those guys on the sidelines telling them what to do so they’d be looking at me like, ‘He’s not doing anything.’ I know how kids think,” he laughs.
Inspired by the impact his dad had as a baseball coach, Mark hopes he can leave a similar legacy.
“Every young boy wants to be like their dad, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. When he passed, we had to have a viewing over two separate days because there were so many people who wanted to pay their respects to him. He made that much of a difference in people’s lives,” he says. “Seeing the kids do so well and really enjoy it, makes me feel so good. I always tell them, ‘I’m not here for me. I’m here so you can be better than I ever was.’ They know that’s true.”
The words spoken at his father’s funeral are what motivates Mark to continue investing in himself and his student wrestlers. The preacher encouraged everyone to “live their dash,” referring to the dash between the two dates on a headstone.
With that wisdom in mind, Mark and his dog, Toby, wake up at 4 a.m. every morning.
“When you start your day earlier, you’ve done what most people do all day before they even get out of bed,” he says. “Be the best version of yourself you can be every single day. If I’m not trying to get better every single day, then what did I do that day? Why did God give me another day to be here if I didn’t use it to its fullest?”
Mark maintains that consistency was key when he got started, and that’s his recommendation for others who might be wondering where to start.
“Every day, get up and make yourself a little bit better. I think it’s important for people to see where I started. I didn’t just show up like this. I was obese, but I got up and made myself better every single day.”
Mark exceeded his goal two weeks ahead of schedule, weighing in at 169 pounds and his body fat percentage cut in half. Now, Coach Mark is on your team.
“I’m rooting for everyone out there to win. I’m rooting for you; I want you to succeed. The more we do well as individuals, the better we’ll do as a whole.
Book recommendation: “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds” by David Goggins. Follow his Instagram (@coach_mark2112) for inspiration.