Before my transformation I was always able to give 110% at anything I set my mind to. I was the captain of my football team when I played, an all-star on my baseball team, and also very good at the video games I played. You could almost say that I was obsessed with hobbies that I would take on.
However, even while playing sports I was always small, skinny, and unhappy. It did not help that I was a bit of an introvert and never really could fit into either fit completely in the 'jock group' or 'nerd groups' while in school... since I really enjoyed both gaming and sports!
Anyhow, once I got to college I partied far too much. I joined in a fraternity which only aided in my downward spiral. When my best friend passed away during my freshman year of school... it was a breaking point, and the lowest part of my life.
Please Detail Your Turning Point
It is hard for me to believe that I struggled with depression and alcohol. My best friend had passed away my freshman year, and without a strong support system I was left to deal with my issues on my own.
For months I simply wanted to party and forget about grades, homework, and even exams. However, one day as I sat there, I had an epiphany. It just came to me (probably as I was finishing a bottle of aristocrat vodka), and I realized that all the self-destruction I was engaged in was not what my deceased friend would have wanted.
In my mind I could imagine him explaining how precious the time we have on this earth is, and that I should use every spare minute that I have to my advantage. Rather than take the easy road for the things I want, I should work hard and achieve the goals I set for myself in this life.
So I decided that I would stop drinking so often, work hard to pull up my grades, and find something that would allow me to employ my spare time to my advantage.
What Were Your Major Struggles or Challenges?
Overcoming my depression and partying habits was by far my hardest struggle, however, I took it as I took any challenge and made different steps to aid in overcoming my obstacles. One of these was joining more after school clubs such as the chess club and pre-law club.
In addition, I took on a part time job at the campus library where I requested to work every Friday and Saturday night. Although I was not perfect even after my struggles, I made enough changes in my life that I received a continuing excellence scholarship, made the Dean's List, and graduated on time in 4 years (Receiving my Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Law!)
That is saying quite a lot after being put on academic and behavioral probation after my first year at college.
Detail Your Workout and Cardio Plan During Your Transformation
My entire transformation began with just one baby step. I found Kris Gethin's 12 week workout program, wrote down all my lifts and weights, and before I knew it I finished all 12 weeks! So I ran it again!
Then I found other plans, one after another, and just have been enjoying the journey ever since. Since I started lifting I would workout 4 or 5 days a week rain or shine, although in the beginning I was not quite as dedicated. I know there was at least one summer and winter break home from school that I hardly lifted at all.
Year three was when I really found more focus and decided that I wanted to incorporate fitness into the rest of my life. I became much more dedicated to my workouts, and watching everything that I ate. At year 4 I became certified in personal training through NCCPT and began working at the local YMCA on the Wellness Floor helping to train others soon after that.
Detail Your Diet/Eating Plan During Your Transformation
I have tracked my macros on and off throughout my transformation. However, the easiest thing for me to do was to go by how I felt and looked. When I am on the heavy side, and feel like my abs aren't as defined as I would want them to be, I would lower my fat intake and keep a very close eye on my macros.
My diet has not been perfect, but by consciously keeping my goals in the back of my mind, I make healthy choices more often than not.
The good choices add up over time!
Detail Your Supplement Plan During Your Transformation
During my transformation I have always taken a protein supplement, pre-workout, and BCAA's. Since I was a broke college student I did WHAT I HAD TO DO! That means that I would purchase recently expired supplements online, on Craigslist, and other stores as 'open boxed' items.
Most of the packages would be slightly dented, but perfectly fine saving me money. In addition I would enter contests over and over again on Facebook, and won quite a few contests. As I became more active on formus I found that many companies were happy to have someone log their products in return for a 'free' supplement!
That not only helped me try different things, but helped me stay accountable to myself as I took the time to make a detailed account of my diet, workout, and reflections each day.
Effort pays off, and I was selected to become part of the HIT supplements team. A couple months later I was selected to be the team leader and now organize promotions every week for my company!
What Was Your Major Accomplishment, or Major Milestones?
My major milestones would be becoming certified in personal training through NCCPT in 2014. I did this for my own knowledge, but it helped me find a job at the local YMCA and I plan on obtaining other certifications in the future
In 2015 I became the lead supplement representative on a major bodybuilding forum.
Through my job at the YMCA I have become certified in First Aid, CPR, and AED use.
Detail Your 3 Biggest Mistakes
- Not learning proper form from the beginning. It took be a LONG time to not go 3/4 of the way down while bench and not bounce the bar off my chest.
- Another big mistake (building on mistake #1) was specifically while doing barbell shrugs. I jerked up on the bar and have an issue on my right side. (Not a hernia, but overlapping muscles that bother me at times).
- Last big mistake was being self conscious! After starting my workouts I found that most of the 'muscle heads' at the gym were more than happy to give advice or lend a spot!
- Form is everything. It will help you prevent injuries as well as see much more progress! 1/2 reps equals half results!
- Diet is everything. If you don't fuel your body correctly, you won't see nearly as much progress.
- Effort is everything. If you only give 10% at the gym, and are talking to other people or on Facebook the entire time, you will see 10% of the results
Get started now!
Nothing in life will ever be handed to you, if you want to make changes, and see progress, it is up to YOU to make the effort. Find a workout plan that fits your schedule and what you will be comfortable with! As soon as you start to enjoy the journey, and motions become habit, you will find out you dread skipping workouts rather than heading to them!
Small steps add up to MILES!