Weight: 180 lbs
Body Fat: 21+%
Weight: 160 lbs
Body Fat: 12%
Why I Got Started
Ultimately, the real reason why I got started was because I wanted to live a longer, healthier life. I was too young to die. I was never really the healthiest kid on the block. My parents had me spoiled for McDonald's and Burger King for every meal. Anything and everything I wanted to eat, it was handed to me on a silver platter.
At a young age (about 10) I was heavily overweight. My parents took no action to stop this and let it continue. After all, it never really bothered me. I didn't know a lick about nutrition or physical well-being. They probably thought me playing bantam league football was enough physical exercise at that age.
As I grew older, I tried out for football at my high school and was on the team. At 5-foot-4, 170 pounds, I wasn't the healthiest kid on the field, but I could play some ball. I played until I was about 16-years old, and I quit because I felt as though I wasn't getting enough playing time for the amount of time I spent busting my butt on the field for practice.
It all went downhill from there. I was staying home and eating anything in sight. Little debbies, honey buns, fast food. Whatever I wanted I received, no excuses. When I started to tip the scales around 180-plus pounds, I wasn't the least bit worried until I started hurting.
One day at school, I was walking the halls and it felt as though something just jumped up and stabbed me in my chest. I stopped what I was doing, frozen in place, and sat on the floor trying to catch my breath. It felt as though I was being stabbed repeatedly in the heart with a knife, and my chest felt as though it was closing in.
I couldn't breath, I was scared, and I had no idea what was going on. After a while, it settled down, I stood up and, without hesitation, ran toward the nurse's office. This is where it all started.
After telling her the symptoms, she contacted my parents and arranged for a visit to the local heart doctor. This is where I found out I was in a deep mess. At 16-years of age, I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension, High Blood Pressure, Enlarged Septum, and Leaky valves.
16-years old with a messed-up heart, overweight, and not physically active was not a good combination. The doctor strongly urged me to find some sort of physical activity and diet plan to follow to get these conditions under control. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do.
I was always fascinated with the weight room, and weight lifting in general. When I was young, I would watch my dad workout and would mimic his movements with much lighter weight of course. I aspired to be just like him, I looked up to him so much, I wanted what he had. Strength, muscles, power, I wanted that.
Why I stopped lifting in the first place I don't know, but I knew it was time to pick it back up. So, when I was about 16-1/2-years old, my dad bought me a Bowflex (that's right, a Bowflex), my very first piece of gym equipment.
How I Did It
Slowly, I began incorporating workouts within my week. It came with a book that had many different exercises and routines to follow, and my dad stressed to me to workout one muscle group per week, so I followed his advice and picked up from there. I truly had no idea what I was doing in terms of reps and sets, but I just did it until I felt the burn.
For some reason, I loved the burn, I loved the pain. I hungered for more. Every week, I would try to increase the intensity in terms of time completed and weight. I was pushing myself to the limit.
After about 3-4 months of just working out, I had stripped several pounds, but I was still eating like trash and not running. I was still not happy with my body, and with the thought of pre-existing heart conditions in the back of my mind, I decided to cut out my soft drinks and do a little cardio every day.
At about 6 months in, I stumbled across Bodybuilding.com as I was slowly getting more and more interested in physical strength and size. I began reading articles and browsing the forums, not posting, just lurking. I decided to join in March 2006, still using the Bowflex at about 7 months in. The knowledge the site gave me managed to help me achieve my goal.
After a year of hard work, exercise, and diet, I managed to go down to 145 pounds at about 5-foot-6. Still, I was not satisfied. I looked too skinny, and I wanted size, I wanted muscle. I wanted to be big. So, In December of 2006, at 17 1/2 years old, I bought a gym membership. The rest is history.
- Bag of Peanuts
When I enter the gym, I love to do something different each workout. Different exercises every week tend to give me a feeling of enjoyment when I workout. I never know what I'm going to do until I enter the gym. Granted, I still stick with a routine to keep some order, but the exercises, set ranges, weight used and reps are completely out of order.
Monday: Chest & Triceps
Tuesday: Back & Biceps
Thursday: Abs & Forearms
Friday: Shoulders & Traps
Suggestions For Others
Stay motivated, no matter how much life throws at you. Look toward the bright side, the positive side of things in life. Look for what makes you happy about physical exercise, and live it, live it like it's your last day on this planet. If I can manage to turn my life around, so can you.
All it takes is dedication, motivation, and determination. Granted, you will be knocked off the mountain on your way to the top many times, but this is where your willpower comes into effect. It's not about how much you can dish out, but how much you can take.
Are you going to stay at the foot of the mountain, moping in your own disgust, or will you stand back up and proceed to summit? It's never too late to live your life. The time is now, it's yours and mine.