I'm Fat and Strong, Not Filtered and Fake
Hop on any social media platform and search for fitness-related posters. You'll find meal prep posts, gym selfies, maybe a selfie at the beach. You'll see all of the hot fitness models, ripped dudes, and people who struggle to lose weight.
If you search for powerlifting posts, you'll see genetic freaks deadlifting 900 pounds, monsters front squatting 800 pounds, and you'll watch elite athletes bench pressing over 1,000 pounds.
Then there's you.
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I'm fat, relatively strong, and I see a lot of fakes and filters. All of the airbrushing, the perfect angle for a selfie, the perfect lighting... that's the stuff you don't see. You don't see an Instagram model take 30 different pictures to find the "perfect one." What you see is the finished product... and it seems perfect.
So what about the rest of us who want to improve our health?
Are we doomed to forever being out of shape and feeling unworthy? Maybe, but only if you fail to realize how many fakes there are. You have to see all of the sellouts and people who lie to your face with one hand and take money for lying in the other.
Look, I'm the king of yo-yo dieting. I started at 370 pounds, got down to 255 pounds, and decided I was tired of dieting. I let all of my bad habits kick in and after a couple of years I was back to 400 pounds. I weighed in today at 246 pounds.
I know what it's like being fat. I know what it's like being strong. I've been involved in the fitness industry for over eight years and I want you to know that most of the crap you see posted on social media isn't going to help you achieve your goals.
Most fitness personalities don't go over the grueling hours of meal prep, learning how to cook, learning how to lift, and learning how to count calories and macros. You see the polished end product and you're supposed to be jealous.
And you are.
But here's the cool part — you can be like them if you quit idolizing them. They are just people like the rest of us. Most aren't doing anything special, many of them have the same food struggles as us, and many of them may rely on a coach to keep them on track. See through the fake and start taking posts for what they really are. Put yourself in their shoes — how many people do you know try to find an "Instagram worthy" dish that they cooked?
I'm not perfect, and you aren't either. But I wanted to write this article to wake you up. All of the time you spend scrolling through social media to see what the next new fitness craze is, you could have been learning to cook, prepping meals, and actually positively impacting your health instead of wishing. Trust me, I spent years reading and learning, but I only started losing weight when I started doing.
If you want to start making progress on improving your health, here are some tips that have personally helped me lose over 120 pounds twice.
Tips to Start Today
- Download MyFitnessPal or grab a journal. I invite you to download the app because most foods are on there and you can even scan the barcode and it will automatically put it in your log. It's stupid easy.
- Be consistent with everything. If you want to start lifting weights, figure out how to make it work with your schedule and go. It doesn't matter if you feel up to it or not, you go into the gym and make an attempt. Some exercise is better than none.
- Start walking. Walking improves your health, your mood, and helps burn calories. Speed walking improves your conditioning so you don't feel like dying walking up a flight of stairs.
- Learn to cook. Seriously, there's no excuse for you not to be able to cook basic foods. Learn to cook your chicken, beef, pork, and turkey on the grill, stove or oven. You'll never have to eat another blah dish when you learn to love cooking.
- Craft meals with protein sources, healthy carbs, veggies, fruits, and fats — create fresh versions of the processed foods you adore.
- Make a plan. Making a plan and sticking to it is important. My plan is to eat no more than 1,800 calories. If I go over 1,800, I know what's going to happen. Create a plan that follows some basic principles and stick to it. Don't let the scale deter you — it's supposed to be your tool. Once you have a plan, you can execute it similarly to writing your workout and weights down before you step in the gym. You go into robot beast mode and get out of there.
- No negativity. I never lost a pound by complaining. I never got to my 605-pound deadlift by telling myself I couldn't. I visualized, practiced, and increased my strength until I could. It didn't take as long as I thought it would, and it was more glorious than I ever could have hoped. I've never hit a new personal record by saying "I don't think I can do this" before I tried. Cut out the negativity because no one will be your fan if you aren't your own fan.
I want you to take a serious look at your habits, what you do every day, and what you can improve. It's going to suck seeing your shortcomings, but that's the start. Be honest with yourself and start working on improvement. Nothing has to be perfect, just think improvement.
You can't stop.
If you're still wondering how I lost 120 pounds but gained 145 pounds back, it was due to giving up and depression. You see, I tried to take the easy way out — eating myself to death. I thought it was the perfect crime... but all it did was make my body hurt once I snapped out of the depression.
I got a grip, got a coach, and started being consistent. My goal is to hit 199 and I'm going to. You can't let small roadblocks keep you from reaching your goals.
Write your goals down, plan it out, and make it happen. Seriously.