This is not your ordinary motivational article that tells you the things you need to do to attain a better life. Nor is this a rags to riches story like those that you would normally find in the pages of many-time bestseller "Chicken Soup for the Soul". So what is this? This is me, my life, my story and my journey to achieving that better life and physique.
You may have read my initial article entitled "The Menace Called Obesity". And just like what is written on that article, I am morbidly obese. I am 267 lbs., standing 5'9" inches and have a body fat percentage of 36% using the old, unreliable Body Mass Index (BMI).
You are probably thinking, what the h#ll is a obese guy doing in this list of writers? Besides, well-known fitness publications provide fitness advice and good bodybuilding programs that work for free.
So why on earth would Bodybuilding.com feature articles from a obese individual? The answer is quite simple. Some businesses are finally ready to help people like me fight our way back to a healthy and meaningful lifestyle. And I am going to be the first guinea pig of this concept.
Who Am I?
Let me introduce myself first, though I will be using the pseudonym PURONGPINOY. I am a Filipino thus my pseudonym. I am currently 33 years old and obese. Was I like this before? The answer is no. I was into bodybuilding before and I started at the young age of 17.
I weighed 142 lbs. and stood 5'7" when I started pumping iron. I was quite competitive then as I have participated in powerlifting contests. I was an in-shape, in-form bodybuilder for 4 years when tragedy struck. I dislocated my shoulder and ruptured my left rotator cuff during contest prep. And it ended my bodybuilding career abruptly.
After the injury I sustained, I was forced to stop lifting weights and working out. This was the worst blow that I suffered in my life. I went from hitting the gym 5 times a week to being confined to my home rehabilitating my injured shoulder.
From an ideal weight of 142 lbs., I ballooned into a 200 lbs. behemoth. Lots of food and no exercise. That was the perfect scenario for obesity. For 2 years, I was a walking, talking lard. Then I decided to take another crack at bodybuilding.
At 212 lbs., I returned to my old gym and started an uphill battle to regain my previous body. I started a painful and slow process of shedding the fat and getting back the physique I wanted.
This time, I focused on bodybuilding alone and not on powerlifting. And it was a very redeeming period. From 212 lbs., I was able to cut it down to a respectable 180 lbs. in 3 months time. Using a combination of muscle confusion and HIT routines, I successfully regained self-confidence and self-respect.
I was doing so well at the gym. In fact, I was considered to be one of the top bodybuilders in our local gym. That was the time when human nature started to creep into me. That was the time when being physically good became not enough for me. And just like your old renegade bodybuilders, I turned to roids.
I tried one cycle of injectable roids that was given to me together with B-12. And my, it was good at the get-go. I was smashing my personal bests in the gym. In just 5 days after I took the roids I went from bench pressing 160 to 190 lbs. I went from military pressing 90 to 150 lbs.
I was really starting to feel like Superman in the gym. Throwing weights around and adding plate after plate each and every workout session. My weight was down from 180 lbs. to 165 lbs. And I really loved it because it seemed like I found my fountain of youth after being obese 6 months ago. But something suddenly went terribly wrong.
During one of my basketball games that I used to play with my friends, I suddenly collapsed on the hard court. My heart seemed to skip a beat. I fell down clutching my chest and chasing for air to breath. I thought I would die at that very point.
Good thing my father and friends were all there and they were able to help me regain my breathing. And when I saw the doctor, it was as if the wrath of heaven fell on me. I was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
Arrhythmia or Irregular Heartbeat is a condition wherein the heartbeat is either too slow or too fast. Mine was a case of too many palpitations which could have been a direct effect of my steroid use.
The doctor told me to stop any stressful activities. No working out in the gym, no basketball games, no running. Anything that would put a stress on the heart was prohibited. It was a sequel of my first weight problems.
From 165 lbs., in a span of 2 short months, I grew to a humongous 250 lbs. person. My body's metabolism was so insane that even if I ate just the right amount of carbohydrates, it wasn't able to quickly churn it in. I became weak, stressed out and obese. But the bad luck didn't seem to stop.
A couple of months after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, I was then diagnosed with Hepatitis A. Hepatitis is a liver sickness. An accusing finger was again pointed to my dates with the steroids. So I needed to rest and eat healthier, more energy-packed foods. From 250 lbs., I grew to a monumental 280 lbs. of fat and soda.
I was like that for the next 10 years. A busy professional career has prevented me from taking any active role in the gym. I tried to get back by enrolling myself in Fitness First but the demanding nature of my work prevented me from pursuing it further.
The frustration crept in and I decided to call it quits. The only exercise I did was playing basketball every Saturday. That's it. No jogging, no pumping weights, no calisthenics. Just play ball.
Being obese became a norm for me. It just didn't bother me anymore. My weight was playing between the 250 to 280 lbs. range. I believed that as long as my blood pressure remained ok, I didn't need to worry about anything. I had a girlfriend who later on became my wife and she wasn't bothered about my obesity. She simply loves me. Period.
But my life had a glaring turn when my son was born. He is an active kid. At the age of 1 and a half, he runs a lot and would want me or my wife to chase him around the house. When he turned 2, he became more active and closer to me. He wanted me to play basketball and soccer with him.
This became the turning point. I couldn't last more than 15 minutes standing up running after my son without stressing my legs and joints. My obesity was taking its toll on my feet. And it also caused me to get sick often. It could have been stress at work, fatigue or the weather. But a constant factor is my unhealthy lifestyle. My obesity is slowly killing me.
My Wife, My Constant Companion
My wife, full of love for me, talked to me one night. She pointed out my obesity. I never knew that she was constantly longing for me to start changing my lifestyle and stop being obese. I never knew that she was constantly longing for me to start changing my lifestyle and stop being an obese. But the fear of her losing me due to complications that can be brought about by my obesity made her talk to me.
With love, she asked me to lose weight. She told me that she would help me in this battle to be healthy. At that point, I realized my mistakes. I have been awakened to the fact that I have been so selfish and self-centered for the past few years.
More than 10 years of being overweight yet I did not give a d@mn about it. More than 10 years of not thinking about myself and my family's future. More than 10 years of my life has been wasted eating and drinking like a pig. Yet my wife stood beside me and is now ready to help me change the course of my future.
My Holy Grail
When I was planning how to start my fat burning regimen, I utilized the easiest tool that could help me get tons of information on how to do it: the internet.
I searched Google for the best possible advice that I could get from people who are known in the fitness circle. I registered on different fitness forums just to get those ideas on how to lose fat the easiest. Then I stumbled upon Bodybuilding.com.
Most of us would probably think that these online fitness publications are just an on-line supplement store. I also thought like this at first. But when I entered their SuperSite, that's the time I found out that this is more than a profit center.
Bodybuilding.com offers a variety of ways to help people like me in our fight against the scales, such as BodySpace, the forums, the fitness articles and finally the store.
Through BodySpace, you can track the progress in your program. It has a workout tracker, a social networking feature that allows you to add other members, body stats which are good in tracking how your body parts are developing and a comments feature which allows other enthusiasts to take a peek at your program and to give insightful comments on how you are progressing.
The fitness forums consolidate some of the most active and friendly people in the fitness circle. From new bodybuilders to certified fitness gurus up to your old reliable product reps that help you on about anything that involves bodybuilding, fitness and supplementation.
The fitness articles give you an in-depth look at the different viewpoints of the resident fitness gurus and it also features articles from bodybuilding enthusiasts like me who want to share the journeys that we had in aspiring to have better control of our health and our future.
And finally, you have the on-line store wherein the top bodybuilding supplements are available at the lowest price. I am currently an active member of the forums, a frequent on-line shopper and an active contributor to the articles. I even have my own BodySpace account that I am using to track my progress.
Check Out purongpinoy's BodySpace Account Here.
Where Am I Right Now
You might be wondering whether I am still obese right now. My answer, yes. But there's a ton of a difference from where I was at 1 and a half months ago. Before, I was obese, nothing more, but definitely less than someone to look at. Now, I am 13 lbs. down and still losing the unwanted flab.
My physique is looking a little bit better now and I plan to continue aspiring for that overall healthy look. And I have a secret to tell you. I am planning to compete either in 2009 or 2010. All of this won't be possible without the love of my family and the support of the online fitness community.