Throughout my entire life I battled my weight issues. I must’ve gained and lost more times than Larry King got married. I’d get super focused and lose the weight in a matter of months. You’d be surprised what a man can accomplish fairly quickly when you put in the work.
I would lose the weight, feel good for a while but then eventually I’d grow unhappy with my body, even at the lesser weight. Sure, I’d be skinnier. But I didn’t have that athletic build I so naively thought would be hidden away underneath all that flubber. I was skinny fat with no curves or cuts.
You see, I was never athletic. I was not into working out. I wouldn’tn’t dress for gym class. I didn’t play sports. I was never any good at simple calisthenics. I was a big fat weakling who was in denial. I used to think because I was big, I was big and buff under all that fat. I was big boned. Husky! Nah, I was just fat!
I’d look at Body Building dot com and admire all the chiseled men with physiques I dreamt of having. I’d get inspired by all the transformation stories they shared. I’d read articles, build routines and buy all kinds of supplements and go to work and boy, was it work and I didn’t have the strength. It wasn’t working… what’s wrong with me?
I wasn’t strong. I couldn’t bench shit! Fuck, I couldn’t even do pushups or pullups or dips. My upper body strength was nonexistent. How could I compete or compare to my peers? I wasn’t even a man, but a weak boy trapped in a man’s body. But I was big and when you’re big you’re supposed to be strong. So what gives?
Well for one, there was a ton I needed to learn. I’m still learning. Two, I had this twisted mindset that if my peers can bench 225lbs than I should be able to as well. You always hear you have to lift heavy to see results. I just never realized that heavy is subjective. What’s light to some, may be heavy to another and that’s perfectly fine! We all start somewhere.
One reoccurring theme I would see in those amazing body transformations was all the guys seemed to have come from a place of former athleticism. They either used to play football, baseball, wrestling, hockey or were into body building at a young age.
At some point either an injury, a career or a lifestyle change took them out of that game and made them pack on the pounds. All they had to do is take that formerly learned, trained, muscle memory and put it to work and voila! From chunk to hunk!
I would search and search and search for stories of lifetime fatties like myself that were never athletic. Never strong. That never once had a sexy Beachbod. But that search seemed to always come up with no results. Maybe it isn’t even possible.
Soon I would become defeated and throw in the cards. I would settle for maybe this is just who I am and who I’m supposed to be. I’d put down the weights, cancel the gym membership and return to my old comforting lifestyle of food and lethargy.
I completed this cycle several times throughout my teens, twenties and thirties. Each time always missing the mark. Missing the point. Not realizing maybe I didn’t know it all. Not admitting that maybe I need to start with tiny, wimpy small weights and progress from there.
Not realizing this is a lifestyle switch, not a temporary inconvenience to get me to a destination and then I get to get off the ride and return to my regularly scheduled fat fuck programming. It was programming too. You just have to end the cycle and change the fucking station. Consistency is key. Self compassion is key. Keep moving.
Fast-forward to 2021, 42yrs old, 140+lbs lighter and here I am in the best shape of my life. I let go of my ego. Started lifting small and worked my way up. I now have a fairly athletic build, cuts, more muscle than fat and much happier/confident in my body than ever before. I have fucking abs in my 40s for Christ sake! I’ve never seen them my entire life!
I don’t claim to know shit, but I’ve got a better understanding. I still don’t have my shit completely together and I’m not sure I ever will. I can’t strive for perfection or compare myself to others. We’re all unique. I’m perpetually a work in progress. We all are. We just have to learn to be patient, consistent and compassionate to ourselves.
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