U.S. Marine, husband, father, First In Family: Albert Martinez

We have no problem putting money away for 20-30 years down the road, but we’re always hesitant to be First In with ourselves and make sure we can be there for our families today. I’ve never been more there for my family, and I know FIN has helped me reach a whole new level of potential I didn’t know was possible."

Tell us a little bit about yourself... ​

My name is Albert Martinez. I’m 39 years old, and I’m from central Texas. I’ve been in the Marine Corps for 21 and a half years and currently preparing to retire in the summer of 2024.

My wife, Christi, is also a FIN family member; we have three boys. We’re currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and enjoy being outside, at the beach, and just taking in all this beautiful piece of paradise has to offer.

I won’t sit here and say I’m a runner, but I do enjoy challenging myself, and running challenges me both mentally and physically.

What brought you to the First In Family initially?

I heard about FIN from my wife. Her friend (now Coach Kelly) had been talking to her about it for about 6 months.

When Christi decided to give it a try, I told her I was in too.

She was surprised to hear this but by this point, I had already tried everything else. I had quit drinking about 6 months beforehand and I needed something else to help me get my life in check.

I’ll admit, I walked into FIN blind. I had no idea what FIN was about, what they taught you, or what they provided. I knew my wife really wanted to try it and I had nothing left to lose (other than a lot of weight, lol).

Tell us a little bit about your background and history with food.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with food. It made me feel good when I was happy, good when I was sad, and good when I was hungover (which was more than times than not).

It didn’t matter, I could always count on food to be there for me. For this, I loved food. This also caused me to hate food at times.

For years I said that I would gain weight by just looking at food. I always struggled to maintain whatever fad diet I was on.

No carbs, no sugar, no this, no that. I could do it for a bit, but I’d always fall off and then dig myself deeper into whatever hole I was in. I attribute a lot of this to having food as a coping mechanism and comfort for all things.

Food and cooking have always been a part of my life. The more the food, the better.

What was the turning point in your life when you realized you needed to make a change?

The turning point in my life was when I couldn’t even step on a scale because I knew I wouldn’t like the number I saw.

By the time I worked up the courage to do so, I had been “dieting” for about a week or two and felt like it would be okay. The number I saw shocked me.

I came in at 253.2 pounds. Keep in mind, that I was still an active-duty Marine, and my maximum allowable weight is 202 pounds. I knew I had to do something, and I needed to do it quickly.

It ultimately took me another year and a half before I signed up with FIN. During that time, I turned back to all the fad diets from before with no results.

What was the journey like and what changes did you make?

My FIN journey started out half-ass at best. I knew I wanted to do something different, but I wasn’t sold on the “slow” process. I wanted to see results overnight and I wasn’t getting that. I didn’t track everything because I thought the little things didn’t matter.

After about 2 months of doing it half-ass, Jonathan reached out to me to see how he could help me get back on track. It was around this time I really decided to focus and do this thing. After I really committed, the rest just took care of itself. It’s like an internal fire was lit and the weight just started coming off.

I think the beauty of my FIN journey, and what has been the main reason why I’ve been able to have great success, is that I still enjoy all the foods I ate before. I haven’t cut carbs, in fact, it’s the opposite. My coach has me eating more carbs than I thought I would ever eat. I think in general we’re programmed to think carbs and fat are the devil.

I joke all the time that my coach is a wizard with my numbers because he’ll be increasing my numbers as my weight continues to go down. Not even sure how that’s possible but I just stick with it. I have increased my training while with FIN. After about 8 months of strictly focusing on my nutrition, I decided to give the personal one-on-one training a shot. It started off with F4D, but I needed something more.

What I really enjoy about the one-on-one training is the custom training plan and weekly adjustments to the plan to keep me physically performing at a level I’ve never performed at before. Sounds cheesy, but having a custom training plan makes me feel like more of an athlete. And having a coach who’s handling your nutrition and training plan is a no-brainer for me.

I haven’t been perfect with my plan all 94 weeks. I’ve had some really good weeks and some that I would have rather not admitted to. But this journey isn’t about being perfect. Life isn’t perfect and neither is our nutrition. But having the knowledge of how to succeed is what keeps me going and sticking with it. FIN is sustainable. That’s what sets it apart from everyone else.

How do you feel after making those changes?

What started out as nutrition has turned into so much more. The mental wins of sticking to your plan and doing the work pay itself forward in everything you do.

The things you thought were impossible are now attainable. I would have killed to look and feel the way I do now.

The goal weight I wrote down when I joined was a pipe dream when I wrote it. I thought I was 10 years removed from that goal.

I haven’t won every day, but I have far more wins than losses, and in the end, I know I can stack more wins by sticking to the plan and doing the work.

What did your friends/family think of your transformation?

Overall, my family and friends are all happy and excited about my success with the program and my physical transformation. My wife and I have tried explaining how FIN works but I think people think it’s another fad diet.

I don’t allow that to discourage what we do.

We just keep showing and demonstrating what it’s like to follow FIN and let our actions and appearance speak for themselves.

Were you active or did you workout during your journey?

My activity level and workouts have increased significantly over the time I’ve been with FIN. I have more energy and have strength to get me through some difficult training sessions.

What does being First In mean to you?

To me, First In is a mindset. You must be First In if you plan on doing what you know is right when it comes to your health.

If you consistently put yourself on the back burner or last in the priority stack, you can never expect to be First In.

First In is not being selfish and only thinking about yourself. In fact, it’s the opposite.

When you learn to be First In with your well-being and health, you put yourself in a position to be there for your family long-term and when they need you the most.

Being First In means I consistently put in the work so when I’m required to put it to the test, I have the mental strength and physical toughness I need to grind it out.

Where do you think you'd be right now had you not joined the First In Family?

If I had not joined FIN, I’d still be at least 30-40 pounds heavier, depressed, wondering why I can’t catch a break and how unlucky I am with my weight.

I’d be saying everyone else is so lucky with their perfect genes and stress-free lives. I’d have already jumped on no less than 2 or 3 different fad diets thinking that’s the ticket.

I’d still be on high blood pressure medicine and probably taking some diet pills because that’ll do the trick.

Had I not altered the course I was on, I would not be in the position I am today to undertake the physical stress and rigors of life.

What was the biggest challenge or change when you started with First In and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I had when I started with FIN was trusting the process.

We live in an instant gratification society, and I was no different when I started FIN. This stalled initial progress because I thought I knew what was best for myself more so than what my coach was trying to teach me.

Weighing everything initially seemed like a huge task, but like most tasks, with more repetition, you get faster and it becomes second nature.

What do you feel kept you from making the progress you desired before First In?

I’ve always been told I’m very coachable. I enjoy leading, but I also know when and how to follow.

Nutrition to me is one of those situations where I feel I’m a better follower than a leader. This of course can lead down some dangerous paths, but with FIN, this is the best path I could have followed.

If you showed me a picture of what I look like now when I started, I would have called you a liar and said that’s not possible. Years of not knowing what I was doing led me to believe that I couldn’t do it. My confidence level was as low as it could get when it came to my appearance and nutrition.

What’s next for you and where do you see this journey taking you in the future? ​

Next for me is the Marine Corps Marathon virtual 50k in November.

Remember how I told you I wasn’t a runner? Well, nothing’s changed, I’m still not. But I’ve never undertaken a physical challenge like this before, so I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other until I finish.

Prior to FIN, I would have never taken on such a challenge, but FIN has shown me what it’s like to have a win every day you put in the work.

Doing one-on-one personal training with Adam has also shown me the same is true when it comes to my physical stamina and strength. I intend to remain with FIN as long as I have the means to do so.

What are your top 6 "secrets" for success?

1. Trust your coach and trust the process: News flash, you didn’t get here by knowing what to do. Now’s not the time to start thinking you do.

2. Always plan for dessert: If dessert isn’t your jam, plan for whatever is, and you’ll never feel like you’re missing out. If you know you must have cookies or sweets with coffee, then plug that bad boy in your tracker ahead of time and plan around it.

3. Always have go-to snacks available: Go-to snacks come in clutch when you’re hangry and want to eat whatever’s in sight. This can help prevent you from going off the rails when you should be taking the time to measure and succeed with whatever meal you need to cook/prepare. This leads me to my next point.

4. Always have lean protein cooked and ready to heat and eat: Most people early on (me included), thought I needed to drink 2-3 protein shakes a day to meet my goals. This typically left me hungry soon after and “needing” more food. I’m not saying supplements are bad, but I am saying that I should have listened to my coach when he said that he prefers to eat his numbers than drink them. Having some quick and easy lean protein allows you to stay on track and enjoy those fun macros in other ways.

5. Fail to plan, plan to fail: Copy and paste in your tracker is a beautiful thing. If you find some things that work and you don’t mind having them for a few days, stick with it until you have time to plan out something new. You should be going to bed with about 70% of your next day planned out. Never try and plug and play with your day as it’s happening. If you don’t know what’s for dinner (remember you should already have dessert planned), then leave yourself some room but have everything else planned out.

Any advice for someone thinking about getting started?

Do it and do it now. Don’t think, just do. If you’ve come this far, then you know it’s time for a change and if you’re truly ready to invest in yourself, you will, and you need to do it for the present.

When we hear the word invest, we think of the long term. Probably think savings, IRA’s, and the beach. Likely think 60-70 years old and living on a good nest egg.

What if I told you that you can not only enjoy those years in the traditional sense of the word but also physically and mentally if you took the time to invest in yourself for today?

We have no problem putting money away for 20-30 years down the road, but we’re always hesitant to be First In with ourselves and make sure we can be there for our families today.

I’ve never been more there for my family, and I know FIN has helped me reach a whole new level of potential I didn’t know was possible.

Come join us and learn how to be First In for you and your family.


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    Testimonials were given freely and service members did not receive any preferential treatment, discount, or other benefit due to the nature of their service, rank, or position and in no way are the views or beliefs of any branch of the armed forces or uniformed services.