Body Transformation: Lifting To Live
WEIGHT 190 lbs
BODY FAT 19%
WEIGHT 172 lbs
BODY FAT 5.8%
Why I Decided To Transform
I have bipolar II disorder. About 15 months ago my life was a complete disaster, as it had been for the better part of two decades. The constant excessive erratic behavior became too much for the people around me to handle. As a result everyone was separating from me.
Since I was actually diagnosed in 2003, like many bipolar patients, I had tried dozens of medications. They would work for a short time and then it was right back on to the emotional rollercoaster. My body would adapt. The last couple of years before I decided to pursue an all natural treatment, I was taking the maximum legal dose of lithium. The lithium took the highs and lows away, but it also took away everything in the middle.
I was basically devoid of all emotion. I was non-affectionate to my family and basically just sat on the couch for two years doing nothing. This is common, but not good enough. In March of 2011, I filed for divorce, lived in a 300-square-foot apartment, and only saw my son for a couple of hours on the weekends. I made the decision to take my life back.
In coordination with my doctor and physiatrist, I started a solid nutritional plan including supplements that promoted mental health. Under my doctor's care, I stopped taking the lithium slowly. After eight weeks of dieting and some trial and error to find the right supplements, it was time to incorporate exercise.
The first two weeks were extremely difficult, as is often the case when people embark on training programs. I knew in my heart that if I failed the result was prison or the cemetery. It had become a matter of life or death, and I simply refused to quit. I was learning how to train properly when I came across Kris Gethin's 12-Week Hardcore Trainer.
Although I've had to modify his nutritional plan significantly, I follow the basic principles of the plan and train just as he did. I've completed the 12-week program three times now and have never felt better physically and mentally. I haven't been this stable this since childhood. I'm a true believer in the mind-body connection. If your body is in bad shape, your mental state is at serious risk.
I had come to a point in my life where it was do or die. As a bipolar patient, the threat to my life was from an emotional standpoint. I was not obese or in physical danger, but the emotionally instability was just as dangerous to my health. My 6-year-old son deserved better than what I was providing.
I use my gym time as a form of therapy. I use my son as motivation. I think of tragic thoughts, lost loved ones, and terrible things that I did in my past to get one more rep. I shed tears on more than one occasion in the gym. My son is my life, drive, and purpose.
How I Accomplished My Goals
With the blessing of my doctor and physiatrist, I started with the diet. After eight weeks, I incorporated a training program. Through trial and error I was able to find a program and nutrition plan that worked for me. My doctor closely monitored my mental health. One wrong step could've had a very dramatic effect on my mental state.
After two weeks in the gym, I was addicted. Like most bipolar patients, I've struggled with addiction for most of my life. This time was different. I was addicted to something positive. The natural high I get from an explosive workout is simply unmatched by any controlled substance I've put in my body.
My mental state is very closely tied to my program. If I miss a meal or get dehydrated for any real length of time, I'm very susceptible to a change in mental state. That drives me to stay on track. It works.
Supplements That Helped Me Through The Journey
Diet Plan That Guided My Transformation
My diet was extremely well-researched and involved a nutritionist and my doctor to ensure I was getting what I needed. As a bipolar patient, low-fat and low-carb diets were not an option.
Training Regimen That Kept Me On Track
I always train to failure.
What Aspect Challenged Me The Most
My biggest challenge is the war inside me. It really boils down to fear. Fear that I will fail. We all know training involves many failures on a daily basis, but I'm talking about fear of big picture.
In the beginning I was afraid this would fail to manage my bipolar symptoms just like everything in the past. It had the opposite effect. Not only does it increase my health by a significant margin, but it feeds my addictive personality. The euphoric feeling I get in the gym exceeds any illicit drug I was addicted to before.
My Future Fitness Plans
I look forward to Neil Hill's Y3T 9-week trainer. It's a program I can follow year-round.
Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers
Nutrition plans fail 100 percent of the time with one exception: when you follow them. If you're looking to treat a mental condition through diet and exercise, you should consult your physician and physiatrist to make sure you have everything you need in your diet. In my situation, the body transformation is a side effect of the goal: mental and physical health.
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals
I can't thank Bodybuilding.com enough for providing information to the average Joe. Following Kris Gethin's 12-Week Hardcore Trainer was simple from a logistics standpoint. I did it three times in the last 15 months.
Get with the program today!
I would like to thank my friends and family for supporting me though my journey. Without them I'm in prison or a cemetery.
Most of all I would like to say thank you to my son Anthony Jr. He's only 6, but he's my heart and soul. He doesn't know it yet, but without him I have no purpose. His smile makes my world turn.
Shout out to Energy Fitness in Paducah, Kentucky for their excellent facilities and Renee Padilla Studios for taking the time to work with me.
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My hats off to you Anthony. I was also very close to someone with bipolar disorder at one point in time. She didn't know it at the time, but I remember first hand, the highs and lows. I am happy to say that she did eventually get treatment and now has a family of her own.
Keep going strong, keep training hard, and keep that diet in check. It makes such a big difference! Good luck!
Wow. I am on day one. I was looking for motivation right before my first workout in a year and eight months. Your title caught my eye "Lift to Live". I am here to fight severe depression. I lost my husband to suicide in March 2011. Thank you so much for telling your story. Fitness can save lives. It is so valuable in the fight against depression. And anyone who has ever battled it knows that it is a hellava fight. I hate depression it stole my husband. It stole my joy. Thank God I knew fitness before he died or I would have never know the healing that can happen in the gym So today I begin a journey back to health. Back to me :) Thank you for telling your story. Its awesome....it really is! Congratulations on so many levels
wow....this really hit home with me. i am also BP II, and ive been struggling with alcohol addiction and going in and out of the gym for a while, medications and such. This really inspires me. Thank you