There have been a few times recently where someone asked how and/or why I started getting into this. I know I've written about it so I went back through all the old blogs looking to just repost it but couldn't find the full story, just references to the year I started training.
Maybe 1998 or 99... Hard to remember. I was a year or two out of high school and not really doing much. Not doing anything really. I didn't go to college and worked at a local car dealership in the city I lived. Well, not doing much may not be true, I was doing a lot of eating and drinking.
In high school I was around 260 but somewhat solid. I had some chub but I wasn't sloppy. Within a few years after, I somehow ate and drank myself to around 325lbs without noticing. I remember looking in the mirror one day and seeing a stretch marks on my side... That was a low point but somehow still not a wake up call.
(That last sentence alone just made me stop typing for a second... Imagine that. You think you're "ok," then you look in the mirror and see stretch marks on your "love handles," and it NOT bother you. Seems unreal.)
I probably had quite a few moments that should've gotten my attention and made me change things but it didn't happen. I truly have no clue where my head was and what I was thinking back then. I guess I needed that moment to absolutely slam me in the face and knock me out hard... A moment that changes things.
It eventually happened and I'm thankful for it. I experienced that "rock bottom," moment where you sit and your completely beside yourself and there's only one thing to do... Change.
I joined a local ballys w a friend who also needed to lose some weight. We pulled a few workouts out of magazines and started doing what we thought was best, the typical Monday-Friday, chest, back, legs, shoulders and all that, straight sets w some cardio.
I remember trying to run 1 mile... I couldn't do it. I jogged a little then my feet cramped and I was breathing heavy and wanted to quit. Even worse, the track was surrounded by mirrors and I had to see myself the entire time... That was hard. But I didn't quit.
I went out and bought better shoes.
Being consistent was important. Some days I would try to run a little, some days I would swim, some days I would elliptical. All with little success. I was eating better, i was "working out," and I was hitting the cardio... Or so I thought.
One day, two guys approached me and asked to see my workout. They said something like "hey, we see you here all the time..." And basically said "throw this bullshit away, you're wasting your time." They weren't trainers or at least they didn't try to sell me anything. They met me the next day w a new workout plan.
No more swimming, no more elliptical, just run. No more straight sets, no more bicep curls, just big fast lifts. Squat, bench, deadlift, pulls and tinker in a few random moves and again... RUN.
I didn't miss a day. They told me what to do and I did it. If I had a question, they helped.
I think I started my training in the fall and by June, I was 90lbs lighter right around 230-235lbs.
Why is that event relevant?
I was extremely obese, 325lbs. Thats not attractive, thats not healthy, thats not safe.
I hit the bottom and fought. I ate salads and protein shakes everyday. I measured out my meals, every meal. Zero cheating. Zero alcohol.
Why is it relevant? Maybe I don't even know, maybe you know. Had I grown up ripped, maybe you'd see things different. I've always said and say "I'm on the path too." Maybe I try to get up front and lead a little but I'm on the path. I don't act like I'm too good or on another path all together. Looking at where I am now... I have about 30-40lbs to drop. Hold me accountable.
(No, do not bust my chops to jump in a boot! If I get in, it'll turn into an hour of push ups and tire flips. I won't be able to focus on the session while sweating my ass off and breathing as hard as everyone else)
Why is it relevant?
I know the struggle too. I know the pain it takes to do it. Part empathy, part ass kicker. I feel you and also know what it takes and you can't quit. A pat on the back and a kick in the booty :)
Personal note: in rereading that... In some ways I'm still living off of that. I need to do more, right now. Time for another change and another level.
New goal pic below... Hey! It's cheesy, borderline man crush, but if we're working towards a goal, it's good to have multiple inspirations, and this guy is definitely one of them.