Why I Got Started
I was sitting with my family (wife, daughter and newborn son) one day and we were looking at videos and pictures from a long weekend at the beach. I had had a really great time with my family, but it was not evident in the photos. I noticed that I did not look happy in any of them and I actually wanted my wife to delete most of the photos that I was in. She asked me why, and after a few moments, I realized that I did not like how I looked, nor did I like how I felt in my own skin. I did not know just how bad I looked until I saw myself without a shirt on.
In my early 20's I would go to the gym off and on. I would pick up some weights every now and then, but I never really cared to learn about how to do anything in the proper form or for the best results. I was never in that great shape that I'd dream of having, but was doing OK, not as awful as I saw myself recently. I also never thought I looked bad until our weekend getaway. I somehow let my body get out of control and I decided then and there that I needed to change my body and even my life.
I also decided that if I did not do it before I turned 30, I would never have the willpower or ambition to actually get it done, and I will have to just accept the fact that I'm always going to be another obese individual, I decided I wanted to give myself my own personal birthday gift - a gift no one else could get for me. I wanted to have a new body, and I knew it had to begin right away, before it was too late.
How I Did It
My wife and kids travel abroad for 6 weeks every year, and normally this is not a happy time for me. However, due to my new goal, I was excited and decided to use their time away to get a jump start on my birthday gift. There was going to be much fewer responsibilities, I'd and full control over my time and eating habits. Before they left, I decided I needed to educate myself, to get the best result in the shortest possible period of time.
For almost a month I read a lot about proper nutrition and how greatly it affects whatever goal you work to achieve, and how important cardio is for those who desire to lose some serious weight. When finally the moment came, on my way back from the airport I started a major grocery shopping right away for my new diet. I already had everything planned, down to the portions of every meal. I didn't even tell my wife about it, as I planned that my new shape "if I succeeded" would be her welcome-back home gift. I stocked the house with tons of fresh veggies, chicken breast, lean meat, eggs, etc.
I started the same day, eating right, got my gym membership and started cardio the next day. It wasn't easy at first; it was physically tiring, emotionally too. I hated being the out of shape guy at the gym. But I have to admit that all the sweat and restricted diet really paid off in a matter of 6 weeks. I was so proud of myself, picking my family up from the airport in my down-4-sizes pants, and my wife was so shocked. I owe her a great thanks and appreciation; after she was back she was a great support, seeing what I did on my own for just six weeks, dropping down almost 20 pounds.
She decided to push me even further, so she changed the whole house's eating habits to fit my healthier lifestyle. She was waking me up, and pushing me to do my cardio on the days I felt down. I couldn't have gone that far without her support. It wasn't easy to wake up at 4 a.m., work out twice a day, and eat 5 times per day.
One amazing thing about this new lifestyle, as I like calling it, is that as you see yourself progress, you have this momentum you don't want to stop, you really want to get better and better and it actually gets easier once you get used to it. When I first started, it wasn't even in my plans to know the percentage of my body fat, or how ripped my 6-pack has to be, I just wanted to look better and be healthier for my family and myself. But, here I am on my 30th birthday with around 10% body fat, and for the first time ever in my life I can actually see my really hard-earned 6-pack.
I don't want to get back to how I was, or give up what I have now. It just feels amazing to be my age and have the teenagers at the gym looking forward to having your body, especially after how bad I used to feel in the same gym less than six months ago!
Suggestions for Others
- It's never too late to start the change you know you want.
- When it comes to losing weight, forget about all the TV ads and the new miracle machine or pill. The answer is, and will always be, cardio and dieting. There is no such thing as a short cut.
- There is no such thing as spot fat reduction; you lose the fat all over the body, starting even with your internal organs.
- You are at the gym because you have a goal you are determined to achieve, save the chit chat for later.