It has occurred to me that to properly set the stage for the content of my transformation story, it would be useful to have a frame of reference, a history of where I came from, and how I came to the day it all started!
Writing this was terribly difficult for me, as I am not proud of it, and am rather embarrassed to admit it to the world, in front of all to see!
However, it is the truth. What I describe below, sadly, is only the cliff notes out of the need for brevity, the details summarized below could go on and on for days. What is represented below – multiply it by 1,000 times, and that was the reality!
Turning back the time clock……..
I was an athletic person…. as a child I practiced Tae Kwon Do, later played high school football, track, and weight training. Later I found myself in the US Army Infantry, stationed in Germany. Those were the days of EAS’s heyday, when the Denver Broncos wore their logo, and I became interested in bodybuilding.
Unfortunately, despite my interest in bodybuilding, stationed in Germany I became MORE interested in Beer and the nightlife. That followed me home, through college, career building, and in to the present day.
Despite being raised in a lifestyle of sports, outdoors, and healthy eating as a child, I spent 1993 through December of 2012……. Nearly twenty years……. fighting a constant battle against my weight. I would go through periods where I would lift for mass, eat semi-clean, supplement, and would drop some weight – but never got very lean, or any better than “smooth”. Then something would happen to knock me out of my routine in the gym, and would indulge in unhealthy foods and enjoy cocktails a bit too much – and put the weight right back on. As time wore on and career pursuits took over, I found less and less time to be fit and healthy. I was constantly working 12-17 hour days, one or two huge meals, and after a stressful day at work, relieve tension by going for a couple drinks. This is a recipe for disaster.
I became the typical city dwelling workaholic, very entrenched in dining and nightlife and social arenas. I had started a new company that I was growing and invested all my energy in to it, neglecting myself. Though I grew to be successful professionally, I was a physical disaster. I wore a 38-40 inch waist, which spoke nothing of the far larger belly I carried above my waistline. I couldn’t perform most crossfit type exercises, it was physically & mechanically impossible. In fact, to my embarrassment, I had to hold my breath to bend over far enough to tie my shoes, it was a strain getting around my belly. My blood pressure had risen to the point of needing medication. At one point, the stress had deteriorated my health to the point where I was losing blood via my GI tract, had ulcers, and stress tension causing pinched nerves making me think I had had a stroke when part of my face went numb! I was working myself to death, and bandaging it with cocktails.
The mental and emotional effect was far worse……. I KNEW I was unattractive. I was embarrassed to go shirtless at the beach or pool. I had to creatively wear cloths to hide my gut. I looked OLD. I was aware of my lack of mobility, and that jogging across the parking lot would have me breathing hard. Women were no longer interested in me, and I had grown quite lonely. Pouring myself in to my work, I realized I had no life left – no hobbies, no activities, no travel, adventure, all that had been lost years ago. I had become miserable with myself.
Even when I was “doing better” and able to find my way in to the gym, all the progress I made during the week I would completely and thoroughly undo during the weekend by eating poorly and drinking. It was like I was in a time warp – two steps forward, three steps back – and losing ground. Meanwhile I was surrounded by competitors at The Gym, and saw the example they set. I witnessed the progress, the growth, the trials and tribulations, the discipline, the camaraderie. I wanted THAT life! I wanted to be a part of that team, that culture. I wanted to experience it, to live it. I began to say “one of these days I’ll do a show”…. “when I get the office settled down, I’ll do a show”, “when I hire someone to free up the time, I’ll do a show”. No one believed me, with good reason! Finally I realized……. I was making excuses, and I was a “someday” guy……… a “wanna be”.
I was on the verge of becoming professionally and mentally burned out, and having an emotional breakdown. I had lost myself. I was miserable.
This was the sad state of affairs, when I decided something had to be done. Something drastic, positive, difficult, uncomfortable……….. to reclaim my life, and find myself again.
This was where I was….when it all began.