From Fat to Fit to Fat to Fit to Fat and so on…
A decade of finding my fitness
Amazing transformation right? Only if the order of those pictures were chronologically correct. Here is the correct order:
And before that, was this:
And originally I had accomplished this:
So here’s what I’ve learned about fitness in the past decade of experimenting, learning, failing, and repeating:
- Fitness is more than just aesthetics
- Fitness is more than just working out
- Fitness is more than just a temporary tool to achieve a short term goal
- Fitness is PERSONAL
I started my fitness journey a decade ago in 2009. At that point I weighed 190 lbs with very little lean body mass. Guilty to say, I bootlegged a home workout video program and completed the whole thing twice. Granted, even after two go abouts at it, I did not end up looking like the people on the video, but I did drop 30 lbs!
Now, if you just saw me at that point I could and did look like your average Joe, but to me I felt amazing. I continued fitness dabbling in everything from crossfit to running. My next goal was to get shredded. That’s when I hit my all time lowest body weight of 147 lbs!
Once again looking back in hindsight I could have easily blended right into a crowd, but once again I felt like I was hot shit! I think I spent most of that year without a shirt. Looking at the photo at this moment, I realize that my body composition was no where I remembered feeling and that’s probably because to get to that 147 lbs, my diet comprised of kale salads, shakes, and very dry tuna equalling to a whopping total of 800-1200 calories a day! Needless to say I quickly got back up to 155 and hovered around there for a while.
This brings us to present times. After years of experimenting on my own, I decided to get serious and hire a coach. I went from 155 to 180, with a pretty dirty bulk if I have to admit. Protein intake was high but so was everything else in order to get in that 4,000 calories a day!
Cutting was a different story. Nutrition this time around was on point, but far from sustainable. Nine months of strict dieting and a caloric intake of about 2,500 calories, I was able to get down to that 150 lbs mark, and become completely shredded! I culminated my journey with a show and did considerably well for my first time, 2nd place in two classes.
As the celebrations proceeded and my bid of strict dieting completed, I easily jumped back up to 165 lbs. Once again I felt amazing for what I had just accomplished, but quickly felt uncontent and left wondering what was next.
With no goal in mind, I was left going through the motions of the habits I’ve built while following a very loose, if any at all, nutrition plan. I couldn’t help but look back, just as I am now looking at my photos, and comparing myself to others. Others moving more weight. Others with larger muscles. Others with more defined physiques. Pretty much comparing myself with all other who I perceived were doing better.
As critical as I am looking back at my journey so far, I can also say that I’ve accomplished quite a bit as well. There’s a saying that “comparison is the thief of joy,” and that couldn’t be any truer. With all that I have achieved and the lessons I’ve learned in fitness, it didn’t seem to be enough. Attaining one goal after the other didn’t quite seem to satisfy my thirst for success in whatever it was I was chasing.
This is when the lessons that I stated above become apparent. Aesthetics were subjective. As much hard work as I had put in and despite being in the best shape of my life on that stage, I subjected myself and my accomplishments to the opinions and preferences of the judges. From the various weights, body compositions, and modals of fitness activities that I’ve been through, I realized that fitness was more than just moving weights and exercising, but a commitment to a type of lifestyle. Not to be used as a tool to achieve a particular goal, but rather having the goals as milestone markers on the journey itself.
And lastly fitness is personal. At each milestone of my journey I can remember the feeling of accomplishment because I knew where I was before and the effort and work it took to bring me to where I was currently and that’s something no one else, but myself will ever know or go through.
None of us begin on the same starting lines or are faced with the same challenges. We’ll all have different goals and reasons as to why we’re doing what we do. Our perception of success will vary from one to the other and the ways we tackle obstacles will differ. No one way is right or wrong, good or bad, just as long as that way is personal.
So there it is, a brief summary on a decade of finding my fitness. I’ll elaborate more on specifics of the journey in other post, but this will suffice as a high level overview of what I believe to be some of the most important things I’ve learned so far. I’m happy with where I’m at, celebrating the achievements, commiting to the process, and enjoying the progress. On the road till the next rest stop, hoping to meet you there.
If you need some guidance in finding your own fitness, feel free to reach out, firstname.lastname@example.org