Before my transformation my life was very limited. I did not participate in any school athletic activities. I had friends, however I usually just used my weight as a way to have them laugh at me and be funny.
I would use food as a hobby basically. I would eat a whole pizza for dinner as a normal meal as early as the 3rd grade. And my only activity during the day would be P.E. class at school or walking between classes.
I used most my free time to play video games or watch TV. When I got into high school my go to lunch was Wendy's chicken nuggets and French fries. I would order chicken nuggets and a large fry and usually a large frosty after all that.
I used food and eating as being the only thing I felt like I could do well. We would have social events between my group of friends where we would go out to eat and I would order 50+ chicken wings and eat them all and usually some fries too.
I was overweight my whole life as a child through high school due to the obvious reasons listed above, but I never thought I had what it took to make a change. My weight at this time was around 240-260. I can't say what i topped out at because I didn't weigh myself very often because I was embarrassed but the highest I personally saw was 259lbs.
Please Detail Your Turning Point
My turning point was when I entered college. I got away from home and my usual friends and entered a different town and had to make new friends. I realized at this point that life wasn't about sitting behind a TV or computer and eating pizza, French fries, and pasta.
I started doing other activities such as hunting and fishing with new found friends. I started to just not think so much about food and eating because I was busy thinking and doing my new hobbies. I went home for summer break that year (2009) and all my old friends saw me and said I looked like I lost a little bit of weight.
I hadn't started dieting or working out at this point but was pleased to hear this from people. This caused me to weigh myself for probably the first time in a year and was surprised to see the scale say 225lbs, however I still knew I was very overweight for my frame. And knowing I had very little strength and muscular development under the fat.
I then decided if I could lose 20 or more just being more active in my daily life, I would make a change and start to try and better my life. I started watching what I ate and counting my calories, and I started running. And doing some weight lifting after my runs.
I then went down from 225 to 150 pounds, which took around two years. I developed some muscle over this time but had very little knowledge of nutrition and training. I was eating at around 1600-1700 calories a day and running 3-4 miles daily and lifting some weights to get to my lowest.
Friends and family started to tell me I was getting too skinny. I also realized this but I didn't know how to add muscle mass and try to get in better shape beyond running and lifting some weights. I then started to read forums about bodybuilding and watching YouTube videos and reading magazines and articles about bodybuilding and how to gain muscle mass.
This is when I started my second transformation from skinny weakling to my current state. I started bodybuilding in 2012 and am still working to continue to grow in strength and size naturally.
What Were Your Major Struggles or Challenges?
My major struggles were primarily patience and most my friends were the types of guys that could eat whatever they wanted and not gain any fat at all so balancing life with my goals was hard. I also was blessed and cursed at the same time with a old fashioned mother who was a fantastic cook and baker.
So getting through to her what my goals were was extremely difficult for her to understand when I would go home for family dinners and such.
Detail Your Workout and Cardio Plan During Your Transformation
My workout program started out as primarily only cardio and some full body workouts including primarily machines at the start of my transformation. Since I gained knowledge of nutrition and training from forums and YouTube videos (many by Marc Lobliner and the Tiger Fitness channel), I did a typical bro split for my first two years of bodybuilding.
More recently I have moved to a push/pull/legs program. This allows me to get some more frequency in and try to change things up a bit.
Detail Your Diet/Eating Plan During Your Transformation
My diet and eating plan at the beginning of my transformation was like many people's. When thinking about nutrition, my first thought was go to the store and get everything that was labeled healthy on the box. I just assumed that if it said it was "healthy" that it was.
I then started to do more research and through the help of many different forums and magazines and YouTube videos I grew in my knowledge and I started to count all my macros and use the My Fitness Pal app to track all my macros. I started by just thinking about food as calories and learned to think of food as macros (protein, carbs, and fat).
I learned that in order to put on muscle mass and retain what I had, I wanted to stick with a certain level of protein a day and that fat should stay consistent with some healthy fat sources. These sources include nuts, nut butters and avocado and other healthy fat sources. From there, depending on my goals, it was primarily adjusting your carbohydrate intake.
Detail Your Supplement Plan During Your Transformation
My supplements never went too crazy. I stuck with with the basics for the most part and I didn't start supplementing until I began the bodybuilding portion of my transformation. Whey protein always after my workout.
I started taking creatine as well. Five grams a day and a multivitamin and fish oil daily. I also usually have intra-workout BCAA's.
What Was Your Major Accomplishment, or Major Milestones?
My major milestone was when I hit my low weight of 150. And then where I'm at now. I am constantly hitting milestones. After my first bulk, I looked at pictures of myself from before and after and the muscle I put on it was a incredible feeling.
Detail Your 3 Biggest Mistakes
Biggest mistakes was not doing more research in the beginning about nutrition and training. Also being impatient was a big mistake as well.
My last big mistake was taking some of the information I learned too seriously and not using enough moderation at times.
3 Biggest Things You Learned During Your Transformation?
- I learned a TON about nutrition and macros. Beforehand I knew little to nothing.
- I learned about training and bodybuilding and how you need to be in a surplus to put on lean mass. Before I thought that you just had to lift weights and drink a protein shake or two to gain muscle.
- I also learned a TON about myself and how good it feels to feel confident and my mental toughness.
Never give up on your goals because it seems to big or too much to undertake. Never tell yourself you CAN'T start your journey because it's too big or that you don't think you can do it.
Anyone can do it if they put there mind to it and really want it bad enough. Read and listen to others. Watch the the Tiger Fitness YouTube channel and read articles.
Learn as much as you can buy also remember that everyone is different so piece together the knowledge and use it the best way YOU can use it to help yourself reach your goals.
Thanks Tiger Fitness and Marc Lobliner for all the motivation and knowledge that your Tiger Fitness articles and YouTube videos supply me. I still learn something every day regarding fitness and bodybuilding and I LOVE this lifestyle now. And couldn't imagine my life any other way. Thanks as well for the best damn tasting protein on the market and the whole line of effective, quality supplements!