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Firefighter, husband, father, First In Family: Greg Payeur

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The Fam provides a community of amazing, like-minded individuals who have gone through the same things and are more than happy to help share their tips, tricks or maybe give you the encouragement you need to get through the day.”

Tell us a little bit about yourself... ​

My name is Greg Payeur. I am 40 years old and currently live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I serve as a Captain for Pittsfield Fire, where I have worked as a full-time firefighter for 22 years. I am a fourth-generation firefighter working for the same department my grandfather helped start in 1948.

I also work as an instructor for START Rescue, MUSAR Training Foundation, Emergency Respons Solutions International, Interstate Rescue and The State of Michigan Bureau of Fire Service Training during my off time. I primarily teach technical rescue disciplines; vehicle extrication, trench rescue, structural collapse, and heavy rigging. It is an absolute privilege to travel the country, sharing the knowledge, skills, and abilities I have acquired over the years. There is no greater honor than to have someone trust you with their education, and it is truly humbling when you think about it.

I have been married for nine years to my beautiful wife, Murphy Payeur. We have two beautiful children, Maureen and Thomas. While the fire service is my passion, our family is my life. Being a husband and father is hands down the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done. I am blessed to have an amazing wife who puts up with my crazy schedule, raises our children, and keeps us moving forward.

What brought you to the First In Family initially?

It all started with a Facebook friend request. I watched daily as my brother Jonathan Montgomery walked the walk. My man was constantly dropping these Facebook posts that would talk to my soul. It inspired me to start making some changes in my life and start tracking my food.

So for about ten months, I worked by myself, tracking my food every day and working out like a mad man. At the time, I thought it worked pretty damn well. In ten months, I managed to lose 20 pounds. Then came November. I gained 35 pounds from November 1 to December 26. I looked in the mirror, and I realized I was the fat guy who did not know he was fat. I was pissed off and wanted to change that immediately, but I knew I could not do it on my own.

Admitting I could not do it on my own was the thing holding me back the entire time. What I was looking for was a lifelong change, not a quick fix, and I knew First In was the way to do that. I knew this because I had watched Jonathan do it for the last year and a half. I immediately signed up for First In Nutrition and messaged my boy Jonathan to let him know I was joining the fam.

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

I began my career in the fire service at the age of 18 and a whopping 135 pounds. I quickly realized that if I was going to be effective at this job, I needed to add strength. So I picked up a muscle & fitness magazine and started following one of the workout programs. Through some trial and error, I finally figured out that nutrition was an essential component in achieving my goal. So back to muscle & fitness, I went. I found an article on nutrition with a complete “nutrition plan” and started following it. This plan was hardly sustainable. It gets boring only eating chicken, tuna, rice, and broccoli. While I did not stick to the plan, it certainly helped build my eating habits as an adult. My nutrition plan was the “bro diet”—lean protein, starch, and veggie all week long as a young adult.

Friday and Saturday, I crushed the booze at night, hit the pizza joint at 2 am and recovered with a big ole greasy breakfast. As I got older, this evolved into the dad version of the “bro diet.” The weekday habits mainly remained the same, but the weekend booze turned to BBQs and ice cream. As life continued to get busier, those weekend splurges turned into weekday splurges, and I would find myself at the gym trying to outwork these indulgences. Outworking poor nutrition quickly became the norm for me. I would often justify these indulgences by saying, “I work my ass off at the gym so I can have this second bowl of ice cream.” Not a shocker that this type of behavior lead to massive weight fluctuations and increased belly fat.

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

I gained 35 pounds in two months. I looked at myself in the mirror and was disgusted. I had worked my ass off for ten months to lose 20 pounds and gained it back +15 in two months.

At that moment I realized, I would never let that happen again. I wanted permanent, lifelong change.

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

First In changed everything, and it completely changed the game for me. I started this process very humbled, with open ears and an open mind. I began by following Coach Adam’s instructions to the letter. I would ask him questions, and he would give me great nuggets of information to help me succeed. In the beginning, I was not very active in the First In fam Facebook group. Then one day, Coach Steve made a post that struck my soul and made me think. So I started being an active member in the group, and wow, did that change things for the better.

The fam provides a community of amazing, like-minded individuals who have gone through the same things and are more than happy to help share their tips, tricks or maybe give you the encouragement you need to get through the day.

During my first eight months in the Fam I utilized an app-based workout routine, and I had used this app for years and was always happy with it. In August 2020, I was lucky enough to be part of the Beta group for Fully Involved Training, which was another game-changer in my journey.

Following a properly structured training regiment provided the strength and muscle mass increases I had been working so hard to achieve.

How do you feel after making those changes?

Confident, healthy, happy, and strong.

Confident in my skin, not afraid to take my shirt off, these days, I look for reasons to take my shirt off.

Healthy, I have more energy, and according to my Doctor, my blood work is better than guys half my age.

Happy to have a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

Stronger than I have ever been and able to work circles around the young guys on the job.

What did your friends/family think of your transformation?

Something crazy and unexpected happened, I inspired them to make a change. People kept asking what I was doing and how I was doing it. Many people have taken the wait-and-see approach like I initially did, but a select few took the leap.

My wife joined the Fam shortly after I did and is crushing it harder than I am.

One of my good friends and co-workers joined and is making massive changes.

My sister joined the First In fam and is loving it.

Were you active or did you workout during your journey?

I have always been very active and lifted weights, which has not changed during this journey. However, how I train has completely changed ever since I joined Fully Involved Training.

Utilizing a well-structured and programmed training program like First In Training has allowed me to make massive gains in strength, endurance, and physical appearance.

What does being First In mean to you?

First In is family.

Good day or bad day, the First In Fam is there. They cheer you on when you are successful. They are there to help pick you up and get you back on track when you fall. We hold each other accountable when we need a reality check.

You will genuinely understand First In when you know that these things may or may not pertain to nutrition.

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

Same place I had always been, talking about what I was going to do.

Tomorrow, I am going to start eating better. This week I am going to the gym every day.

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

Forgetting everything I thought I knew about food and nutrition. Over the years, I had equated negative connotations to certain foods such as sweets. Understanding I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as it fits within my numbers, took me some time to wrap my head around.

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

I was drowning in information and starving for knowledge.

When it comes to nutrition and weight loss there is no lack of information available. However, understanding what is real and what is a well-disguised marketing scheme becomes a challenge. In the modern world, you can find an article that will support whatever bias opinion you want it to support. Deciphering this information to determine what is tangible is a monumental challenge.

First In is a cheat code and provides you the blueprint of what to do regarding nutrition.

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

Honestly, I have no clue. One thing is for sure, I am First In for life.

I will continue to grow and get better, whatever that means. I hope to help inspire others to make changes and improve, much like Jonathan did for me.

Continue to walk the walk and see where it leads me. What are 5 tips, based on your experience, that you’d give to new members of the First In Family, or anyone starting their journey, to help them see success early on?

What are your top 5 "secrets" for success?

1. Build a good foundation – Read the emails, then re-read them. Thoroughly read all the info in the “getting started” tab on the first in member portal. Watch the videos on the “week 0” tab on the first in member portal.

2. Listen to your coach – Your coach has walked the walk and has been there before. They are full of great tips and tricks. Ask questions and thoroughly read their emails.

3. Buy the good scale and weigh everything – Measuring is not the same as weighing, and weighing is easier and far more accurate.

4. Plan – Plan your day, and this is indeed the trick to hitting your numbers. When things don’t go as planned, you adjust. Logging as you go will work but will often leave your numbers off course, making it much harder to adjust.

5. Do the work – None of this works if you do not do the work. Do not cheat yourself and guess at the weight of that chicken breast. Do not cheat yourself and not log that handful of chips. Do not cheat yourself and lie about your numbers. Do not cheat yourself, and do not no take the progress photos. Do the work, build the habits, and win that damn prize!

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Any advice for someone thinking about getting started?

If you are looking to sustainably improve your nutrition and meet some amazing people while doing it, this is the way.

ARE YOU READY TO BE FIRST IN?

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ARE YOU READY TO BE FIRST IN?

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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.