I was always the fat kid struggling with weight and eating problems. I reached more than 300 pounds at age 16 and was on a very dangerous path. I once ate 34 slices of pizza at an eating contest (I won). Being overweight and eating so much as a teenager was very risky. My body is still covered in stretch marks. I always hated them and tried to find ways to get rid of them. Now, I love them. They're my tattoos; scars I'll have for life as constant reminders of how far I came.
I was teased and made fun of at school growing up. I was terrified to take my shirt off in public and would fake being sick when we went swimming for class. I didn't enjoy the beach because I couldn't take my shirt off like my friends and classmates. I knew I was different and that people looked at me differently. One day I had enough and vowed to make a change. I had a dream that one day I would have one of the most amazing bodies people have ever seen.
I saw people on the covers of fitness and bodybuilding magazines and pictured myself looking like them. I wanted a body sculpted out of stone; the body of my dreams. After being self-conscious for years, I wanted something exceptional to happen to me. I wanted to change my body and I was willing to work as hard as possible to make it happen.
Nobody believed in me at the start. How can a fat kid who can't stop eating have an impressive body? No one believed I could lose any weight, let alone have a sculpted six-pack. The doubt and hate made me want it even more. I wasn't doing this for myself; I was doing it to prove everyone wrong. I had faith that I could achieve anything I put my mind to. I had a dream and I wasn't going to let anyone or anything stand in my way.
I use a five day on, two day off split, concentrating on one muscle group. It gives each group a full week to recover, which is great because I like doing more weight every week. I do lots of drop sets and love the burn.
I like doing abs between sets to increase my intensity and metabolic rate; I don't like to sit and rest. I mix it up with weighted Swiss ball crunches, rope crunches, hanging leg raises, cable twists, and planks (front and sides). I work abs three times a week.
I tried every diet possible when I was overweight. I starved myself and gained it all back when I returned to my normal habits. The key was changing my lifestyle. I enjoy eating healthy because it makes me feel and look a lot better. It took lots of trial and error to find out what works best, but right now this diet works great. I follow an all-natural diet with lots of chicken, steak, eggs, fish, sweet potatoes, rice, fruits, and vegetables. I eat every 2-3 hours and incorporate carb cycling. On days when I work a lagging body part, I increase my carbs and decrease them on rest days.
I stick with the basics. I'm a big fan of pre-workouts because they give me great energy and focus in the gym for my brutal workouts.
Bodybuilding is my life and the gym is my sanctuary. The first time I ever picked up a weight, I was in love. I love everything about it; the rush, the pump, releasing all your strength and power. I played four years of college basketball and a few years of pro ball overseas, but the love of lifting took over.
I've been lifting for about five years now, but this is the first year I really dedicated myself fully to bodybuilding. I can't wait to see where I go with more experience. There's something about it that I can't get enough of. I always look forward to my next workout no matter how sore or tired I am. When I'm at the gym, all my troubles disappear; it's just me and the weights.
I wanted to look the best I could and was willing to sacrifice and put in the work needed to achieve my goals. A big motivator for me was the doubt people had in me. It pushed me even harder to achieve my goals and dreams.
Growing up overweight makes me never want to look like that again. I made a promise to myself and I'll never go back. I love being fit and healthy. It's my passion in life and I enjoy it more than anything.
I want to motivate and inspire those who want to get in shape; to show them you can do anything you put your mind to. I have a fitness competition coming up later this month, and I'm competing in a big show in March. I'm currently looking for a sponsor and have a few photo shoots lined up. My dream is to be one of the top natural bodybuilders in the world. With hard work, perseverance, and faith, anything is possible.
Everybody knows about training hard and dieting, but taking it to the next level requires a dialed mentality. Bodybuilding is more mental than physical. You must be able to push yourself beyond your pain threshold and be tough as nails when it comes to the gym. Your body will go as far as your mind does, so push yourself mentally every day.
It helped me with everything. Bodybuilding.com is where I educated myself about training and nutrition. It helped me get to where I am today. I wouldn't be here without Bodybuilding.com. I love the articles and have learned so much through the years. I buy all my supplements from the Bodybuilding.com Store and I'm on BodySpace.