Each day I would consume over two liters of soda. I somehow managed to pick up smoking in my late 30's. I used a botched hand surgery as an excuse to become even worse. This lasted for a year before I finally decided to do something about it.
Old, Fat and Not Taken SeriouslyAround this time I was joking around with some friends. A younger guy said I was old and fat. He wouldn't even listen to my suggestions about lifting.
He was right because I certainly didn't appear as if I had any idea about fitness whatsoever. But when I looked in the mirror I still saw myself as athletic.
After his comment I could only see myself as pathetically out of shape. It was then that I decided I had to change things immediately.
A younger guy said I was old and fat. He wouldn't even listen to my suggestions about lifting.
No Gym, No Problem!My biggest setback was finding somewhere to lift weights! The county I live in doesn't have a single commercial gym. I built a small platform outside, put a roof over most of it, and built one wall to shield the sun when it sets.
I would say the weather has been a constant struggle but one I have seen as another challenge to overcome. I have worked out in the heat of summer, and with a rain jacket on. I've even done bent rows standing in snow while it continued to snow on me.
A couple weeks ago the temperature dropped to 12 degrees for the session. I was layered up!
My first major milestone came when I took my first set of progress pictures after lifting weights and walking for four weeks. Those four weeks were a frustrating, grueling, painful, and awakening period that were filled with doubt.
When I compared those first pictures I could see an improvement. Certainly not what I wanted the finish product to look like but my body had responded to the exercise and nutritional changes.
That gave me the encouragement I needed to squash those doubts. I liked the pictures so much they became the wallpaper on my computer.
Running, But Chasing MusclesI had a basic idea of what I wanted to do when I first started. I had been in good shape most of my life but I was a soccer player that had "some" muscle. Now I wanted to be able to run, but muscle was what I was really chasing.
My immediate goal was to try to lose some fat. My long term goals were to be more muscular than I had ever been. I had lifted weights when I was younger and I hit the iron with everything I had.
My first workouts in the transformation were embarrassing but that changed rather quickly. I walked two miles a day, every day. Regardless of weather. Eventually I worked jumping rope and running with my dog into the program.
My biggest mistake was losing focus. For a little while I was lifting too much without getting enough rest. I followed a 12 week program where I worked out twice a day, five days a week. Another program had 10 weight sessions a week.
Now I see these as a bit extreme but I used an extreme mentality for my transformation.
Using a 30/50/20 PCF Ratio DietIn my initial research for my diet I came across the 50% Carb, 30% Protein, 20% Fat ratio from several sources I trusted. I have stuck pretty close to that for over 17 months with success.
I cook all of my own food so I know exactly what is in every meal. I am a fan of protein shakes. They help me reach my daily protein goals and I don't mind drinking a good weight gainer shake when I need a convenient source of carbs.
My supplements include:
- Fish oil
Success Beyond My Wildest Dreams, and Dealing With HatersI certainly feel that I have successfully changed my body beyond the point I originally believed I would. As my abs began to show I started doubting if I could bring them in. Same thing for certain body parts.
I still feel that my body needs improvement and I'll probably always be on a journey to improve something.
I couldn't believe how many haters have shown themselves at every opportunity. There seems to be a constant source of negativity but I no longer pay that any attention. I have been focused on what I have been trying to do.
I help people who are helping themselves and want help. I ignore those who are negative because I don't need that in my life.
Laugh, smile, and walk away!
Keep honest logs of your diet. Proper diet is key to losing fat and/or gaining muscle.
Finding Motivation and 3 Tips For SuccessI believe it is extremely motivating to see improvement. Progress pictures will allow you to see improvements you don't notice as you look in the mirror 10 times a day. Logging your workouts allows you to track your improvement over time and helps you find and correct problems.
Keeping a log of your diet motivates you to eat healthier because you can see everything that goes in your body. This will motivate you to eat healthier when you notice how much proper nutrition improves the body.
Here are my 3 best tips:
- Keep honest logs of your diet. Proper diet is key to losing fat and/or gaining muscle.
- Believe in your long term goals, don't look for the quick fix or the shortcut.
- Learn to ignore the reasons to stop. There is always some justification to not workout, skip a workout, or ignore your diet. Don't do your best, do what needs to be done.
Moving Forward and Looking BackI am much happier with myself now that I have lost most of my fat. I can move around without getting tired and I feel better about myself.
My current goals include more definition in several parts of my body and perhaps a little work somewhere in the fitness industry.
I feel I am training smarter than when I first started. I have adapted the "quality not quantity" mentality with the weights, although I do love a good volume session!
I eat fresh food that I make every day. I can't imaging going through a drive through but I am not against going out for a good cheat meal every now and then. My definition of cheat meal has drastically changed over the last 18 months.
I blame my previous attempts to make positive changes to my body on my inability to honestly address my problem and create a plan for success. Once I wrote out the plan I was going to follow with my diet and training I had a blueprint to follow and I could visually see what I was eating wrong or where I was slacking in the weight room. I followed my plan more and more as I saw the improvement.