Growing up, I was made fun of all the time for being fat. I was not athletic at all and I enjoyed lots of spaghettio’s and ice cream. I never knew about calories, eating healthy, how to exercise the right way or where to even begin.
This all changed when I started playing football in 8th grade. All the daily practices and running helped me shed a lot of weight. I played until my junior year, and that is when I got serious into fitness.
At age 17, I got a pair of adjustable dumbbells from Walmart and, armed with the latest Muscle & Fitness magazine and the internet, I began weight training in my bedroom after school. I got serious results- in 6 months, I had a nice looking back and could see my abs coming in. In addition to lifting 5 days a week, I was doing cardio every other day-riding my bike, running, or jumping rope for at least 20 minutes.
I wish I would have continued with that pace. Once I got those results, I had nothing else to achieve. Eventually I quit lifting and started partying. By this time I was 18 and out of high school. In just a year I had started, made awesome progress, then quit. For the next 4 years, I regressed. I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, drank every weekend, and my diet was not good. I also did no form of progressive resistance training or cardio anymore; when I felt like working out I would.
This coupled with my aimlessness towards life and jumping from job to job started to catch up to me. I was not living the life my 17 year old self would have envisioned. My health and habits were disgusting.
I decided I needed to change. I slowly but surely built myself back up and today I am proud to say I haven’t missed a workout since then. I quit smoking cold turkey, track my workouts and eating, entered my first powerlifting meet, do cardio,and am much better off than I was 3 years ago.
^Clips from my first powerlifting meet^
You could sum up my life to this point as learning the hard way. I started off overweight, unhealthy, and out of shape. I was never physically gifted at a young age. I don’t have perfect genetics. I am not a record holder in powerlifting. I used to start things and quit them all the time-but not anymore. I chose to take my health and fitness into my own hands. Deciding to do so and becoming disciplined in the kitchen and in the gym has taught me a lot about myself and what it takes to achieve success in any area of life.
I believe we all should strive to be the best we can in all areas of life, and taking control of your physical health is a great place to start.
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