posted a bit called "got as far as I could on my own" that explains how I got from a year ago to now, but before that point...
I got shot down by many a lady, and thought "well hot damn, if I get abs I'll get the girls." so I did the million situps, crunches, leg raises, and so on. lots of pain, lots of throwing up, but no abs. then I discovered (cue the angelic music) T-Nation.
I read, but didn't speak up (first mistake). I did my squats, bench press, power cleans, pullups, and cardio. But I neglected the deadlift and was too embarrassed about the weight I used to do much barbell work.
so imagine a medium-fat late teenager using nothing but dumbbells, and with poor form. I still ate brownies and cookies, so that didn't help much, but I lost some fat and gained some muscle.
Then I moved to college with a lifting buddy. He saw that I lost fat and got muscle (over what? 8 months?) and asked for some pointers during the summer. Once we moved in together at college, I practically became his coach. OK, now I have to know what the fuck I'm talking about.
That's when I really started reading not only the articles here, but individual posts. I also started to stay away from the desert table after gaining a whopping 12 pounds in 3 weeks, little of which was muscle.
I ate tuna and chicken, and learned the importance of deadlifts, deep squats, front squats, and barbell work along with the dumbbell work. I favored chest workouts to back workouts, so I developed a posture problem. Again, ask T-Nation for help.
Spring came around, I got a summer job, and my roommate transferred to another college. I took this as an opportunity. I figured, I can't have him to push me anymore, I have to do it on my own, and I did. With the help of T-Nation and the fine unofficial members who help out people like me.
I'm actually quite proud of what lifting has done for me. Not only has it changed my appearance, but I walk with confidence now, and I know it carries over into other areas and influences others as well.
For instance, a martial arts class I'm in, we separated into teams for the last week to do "team deathmatch," if you will. My team not only won every match, regardless of who was on my team (several days = several different teams) but every time we played "VIP" (from Halo; hey, I go to a technological college ) I was unanimously voted VIP.
I know I'm not the only one who can make these changes, but it doesn't stop me from being proud of myself. I also notice I have a shitload of energy now.
Not enough to qualify as having ADHD, but I'm much more willing to be active with friends, or bounce and sing with the song in the weight room when I'm the only one in there. I also don't mind taking my shirt off in front of the ladies now, especially now that I actually have ladies to take my shirt off in front of!!