As a guy that has trained on and off for over 10 years, you’d think one would not let themselves slip into such a terrible place. But I did. Life was moving along with my career and a new relationship. But as life always does, it changed. In late 2010, following a bad breakup, I found myself depressed and turned to alcohol. From late 2010 through early 2012, I drank more than 20 beers a day every day! I was miserable, tired, sad, and something needed to change.
It was Saturday, February 25th and a friend was over to watch UFC. We were driving back from an event and I asked him to stop at a grocery store so I could “grab a few things.” But the truth was I just wanted to buy another 12-pack. I acted like I didn’t realize I had nine beers in the fridge at home. Later that night, an argument started between us. I spent the day looking back at all of the things that “went wrong” in the last year. 95% of the things that happened were my fault and it was time to address it.
I had read a book about self-awareness and it said that the first step in changing is uncovering and truly addressing the problem. I stood in my bathroom shirtless and just looked at myself thinking “How dare you ever point the finger at other people…you did this.”
Then I snapped this picture.
I was 206 lbs. and around 24% body fat. I stopped drinking that day. I started training very hard and my diet was tight. My training partner turned me on to Quest Bars and I immediately picked up two boxes. Over the course of the first 3 months, I watched life vastly improve.
I underwent a complete turnaround on my diet! Before the changes, I did not have a grasp of macros or really a good way to track what I was eating and the importance of getting a good split of fat/carbs/protein daily. I started by taking a step back and completely starting over with what to eat and when. One major change was outlining meals for each day and making sure it was prepared every day. I sat down and wrote out that I needed 2350 calories a day (or around that) and then broken down the macros to get there. My diet included eggs in the morning, Quest bar for a mid-morning snack, chicken for lunch, etc. I stopped drinking alcohol and soda completely.
For my training, I started using the 5/3/1 program and did that for a few months followed by the Ryan Hughes BlastFIT training program. It’s based on huge volume training and focusing on one muscle group per workout. An example would be for a chest day – flat barbell bench with bodyweight on the bar for 100 reps and however many sets it takes to hit it. There are a lot of the workouts that involve hitting a certain number of reps in as many set necessary. I did this type of training the majority of time.
When deciding to make a positive change in your life, it’s very important to sit down and become completely aware of what needs to be done. For most people, I think this list is very long, as was mine. The second thing is work as hard as you can to become as self-aware as possible. People, friends, family girlfriends can all tell you every day that you’re “fine” or whatever but until you become completely aware of why and how you are doing things, it makes changing and addressing them far easier. Lastly, plan out your meals! This looks simple but I found if I left the house without at least 2-3 meals with me, I have already failed. This doesn’t seem possible in theory but it made an absolute difference. One additional note: surround yourself with positive and supportive people.
Now, my happiness level is as high as it’s ever been. My relationships are strong, I’m earning respect with peeps, my career path is on the upswing and I’m very proud of all these things.
I eventually decided I would give a shot at physique competing which will be featured in part two of my transformation story. My built has improved as has my strength and I’m really enjoying my 6 days of training a week.