Matt Kirkham Bellhouse CrossFit Transformation

Who are you? Be sure to include something that most people don’t know about you.

My actual name is Philip Matthew Kirkham. In the 70s, my grandfather loved watching Gunsmoke. His favorite character was Matt Dillon. I have not gone by Philip my whole life. 

I started CrossFit when Chris opened the gym. He used to work with us at Baytown Ace. My step son, Josh, who worked with me was also doing CrossFit at the time. At first, I was not interested in joining because I did not want to pay for a gym. I thought I could do it myself. When I learned about the founder rate and opportunity to help a new business in town and get in shape myself, I decided to join.

Joining the gym and becoming something bigger than myself aligned with my goals. The genesis of everything began in 2018. I had decided for my 50th birthday I would be fit and walk around a cruise ship without a big fat gut. Being one of the first people here in the facility was my entry into the whole thing. Josh started coming soon after, then other coworkers came. It was a lot of cameradie seeing my associates coming into the gym!

Why do you keep coming back to Bellhouse CrossFit?

My goal is to be under 200lbs by my 50th birthday. I am nearly there. I have lost 50 pounds since October 2019. I love the people here! Even in a full class of fourteen other members, the coach makes you feel like you are the only one. I am not just a number working out. The coach actually takes interest in me as a person and an athlete. If I am told to do something different, I trust Blair or Chris, and change the way I am moving. I feel safe.

What are you proud of physically, mentally, and emotionally since joining the gym?

Physically, I love the fact going from a XXL shirt to a L, and a size 38 pant to a size 31! To me that is just mind boggling. I used to not be able to even hold myself off a pull up bar. I thought I was so far gone that I could not possibly get back into shape. I have tried all sorts of exercise programs in the past. None of them worked. Here at the gym, the coaches, specifically Chris has been helping me with my mindset. I can get better and I have gotten better!

Mentally I feel like I can do anything. Before, anytime I needed to move I got tired quickly, I would get sore, I would run out of breath. Now I am not afraid of anything. I can run without getting tired. I played racquetball this past Sunday. It was the first time I played since 1992. I want my wife to get on track with everything as well. I hope that she will get on the healthy track just like me. 

Emotionally, I have no fear. I have confidence. What makes me feel good is seeing somebody who has not seen me in several months or years, and they hardly recognize me. My body has changed a lot. I still have some body dysmorphia and see myself as a fat guy. It is something I will be able to get over. My kids were blown away by seeing me in this kind of shape. 

How did you overcome some of the obstacles in starting your health journey?

My biggest obstacles are doughnuts and pizza at work. They are always feeding us there. One of the ways to get around it is not being to the kitchen where the food is. I fight the food battle every day. This 800g challenge has helped me tremendously. I feel full eating the fruits and vegetables. And eating doughnuts has nothing to do with being full. 

The hardest part is the mind game. I go to the gym, run everyday, do all this work. I think sometimes I deserve it. I would lose 10lbs, then I would go and have a doughnut. I would fluctuate my weight so much. I am committed to my goal. I want to walk around the cruise ship confidently with my shirt off. 

What is your current focus or goal on the gym?

Right now my goal is to get under 200lbs and do a muscle up. To go from not being able to support my own body weight, to being able to do a pull up is one thing. Now to do a muscle up I feel like I will be more aligned with what a CrossFitter does. I don’t know what will happen afterwards. The 200lbs is an arbitrary number. I wouldn’t mind if I was 215lbs of muscle. It is just mentally that when I am under 200lbs, I think of it as being in shape. My initial goal was to be under 220lbs because I want to go skydiving. I am going this Saturday. 

Tell me a joke.

There are two biscuits laying in the oven and the first biscuit says, “Man, it is hot in here!” The second biscuit says, “Holy crap!!! A talking biscuit!!!”

When was the last time you felt embarrassed?

In 2016, I was a truck driver leaving Kansas coming back to Houston. There was nowhere to stop during a certain stretch and I needed the bathroom. Eventually I made it to the rest stop and ran in to use the john… then it dawned on me I had not seen any urinals. I was in the women’s bathroom! Walking out, there was someone coming in. I looked her dead in the eye and said that she was in the wrong bathroom. 

What do you want to do when you retire?


Mountains or Ocean


Last show you binge watched

Polar Opposites. A show about aliens that crash land on Earth. It is quite the commentary on our social society. 

Favorite stretch position

Child Pose 

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