About 4 or 5 months ago, I made the decision that I was severely under eating for my goals. A combination of being comfortable fasting for hours on end and an extremely stressful job lead to many days with a single, sub par meal leaving me depressed and unable to recover from the high volume, high intensity training I was doing and always have done.
That's always been one of my biggest downfalls. I love to train and I love to train hard. I'm not a fan of taking days off. Not because I'm hardcore or something arbitrary like that, just simply that I enjoy working hard. I enjoy the mental and physical demands of testing the limits. Training to me isn't training, it's part of my life just as much as brushing your teeth is to yours. But I digress.
I was severely under eating and I knew that If I wanted to get bigger and stronger, I needed to begin eating more.
So that's what I did. In fact, I even bought some Icon Meals so that way I would have quality meals already made for me. That way I had no excuse. Eventually it got me on the track of eating more regularly. Fast forward 4-5 months later, the eating coupled with some new training techniques and I'm literally the strongest I've ever been in my life.
No seriously, I feel fucking strong. I set PR's every time I go into the gym, and they are big ones too. I've put about 80 lbs (belt-less) on my squat and I've set new bench press records every time I lift in terms of weight AND reps. It's awesome to say the least.
There's one catch: I've gotten fat.
You know I've struggled with my weight my whole life. I know you probably hear that mamby pamby bullshit all the time, but it's true. It's the reason I got into it in the first place. I figured, since I was overweight, I'd do something about it. Luckily I was exposed to a great gym and trainer which encouraged me to lift hard and heavy, which turned me into who I am today.
I've gone up and down with my weight. When I was a laborer, I often got close to that elusive 10% body fat range. It was awesome. But now, times have changed, and I don't do that anymore. The food I eat has a much bigger impact on a day to day basis since I spend so much on my time static (I have a standing motorized desk, thank god).
For a couple months, I've noticed myself putting on weight. My shirts getting smaller, etc. the whole bit. But my training was conducive of putting on muscle. The strength was there so I ignored it and just rode the lightning.
Well last night, I took a progress pick just to make sure I wasn't lying to myself. Turns out, I was.
I'm not going to post a picture, because I wouldn't expect you to do the same. And quite frankly, I'm embarrassed. Likely the same feeling many of you feel, all the time.
Last night after I took a long hard look at my picture, I began to have all of these thoughts run through my head. All of the tricks I had up my sleeve, all of the diets, all of the new training I could do.
-Fasting, cut out carbs, begin tracking, increase protein, increase veggies, do hiit, buy clenbuterol....
All of this bullshit running through my head along side of my shame and anger and disgust.
Then I decided, I needed to practice what I preach. I spend all of this time writing and suggesting ways that people can make sustainable changes, but I often don't do them myself. Last night was a perfect example.
If I wasn't educated on this subject, today would likely include the following as days have in the past:
I'm no exception. These things run through my head all the time despite the fact that I know it's not optimal. But, there is a difference in that I'm not going to do those things, at least at first.
What I'm actually going to do (and am doing).
Rather than jump the gun and doing all of these crazy things. I'm first coming up with a plan of action. This will not only put things in perspective, but also ease some of my anxiety. Knowing you have a plan of action and goals to meet will literally dissolve your anxiety, or the fear of the unknown.
My plan: Current Bodyweight - 230 lbs.
This right now is my plan. It went from crazy, disoriented thoughts to an actionable, reasonable and logical plan that I can work with and execute.
These are things that everyone, (including myself) should be doing. This also goes for increasing muscle mass and strength. I should have thought out a plan 4-5 months ago. If I had I probably wouldn't be in the situation I am in.
Remember that even people who spend their whole lives dedicating themselves to fitness and nutrition can struggle. This shit is hard and we aren't all Instagram hard bodies.
The truth is, some people were dealt a good hand. For some people, losing body fat or maintaining a low percentage came relatively easy. Some people worked their ass off. For me, I was gifted with being pretty strong, but I still had to work my ass of for it.
If you are frustrated with where you are, do something about it. Make an actionable plan and make daily steps to achieve it. You know all of those people you follow and loathe because they have great bodies? They are out there working on it, not sitting on Instagram wishing for it (something I often find myself doing).
Your body transformation goals are 100% attainable and likely something you can achieve in a couple month's time. Don't let your fear of the unknown prevent you from even starting. A couple months down the line, you'll thank yourself.
As a side note, If you are interested in some direction, be sure to check out our 1 on 1, online training options. No matter your goal, I'm happy to help you reach it.