T Nation

Do I Want It? Should I Bother

Im in a right conundrum. Last year I got married on a beach and turned 30. Before this I dieted and trained hard for it. I got to around 6% bodyfat@77Kilos. Arms were 16 inches, waist 28-29inches. I really did nail it. I looked f~~~ing awesome. I’m only 5’8 with a small frame. I swore i’d never diet again like it. I was miserable for 20 weeks. I couldn’t socialise properly.

I looked awesome but felt absolute crap. I loved it on holiday, the looks the reaction, the adoration, all that stuff. But i was adamant i wouldn’t do it again. I feel I had peaked (especially in terms of bodyfat levels) I cant get any better. Get the picture

I’m not asking for advice on how to do it again, I know how too. I recorded the lot, along with modifications to improve it.

Now my conundrum is this. I really don’t know if I should bother again. I have been gradually dieting down again for about 10 weeks to about 13% bf with socialising meals here and there. But i done these intelligently by training 1 hour or two before the meals. I have 12 weeks til I go away again to same resort for 2 months.

Seeing the same people, who have seen me year in year out making improvements. My head is spinning. I haven’t enjoyed a summer here in years (ya know, ice cream bbqs etc)I somehow feel i’ve peaked but at the sametime i would let myself down and other people who expect it, if i didn’t try again. I have been supplementing and eating clean most days… but i just f###king want to do what i enjoy…eating good wholesome food.

Not junk, but homemade kebabs, bbqs etc. I cant get anywhere near last year by doing that though i know that. I’ve read pheonix rising, physique clinic and just about anything else i can find. My head is spinning. By the way My fire was cancer at 21. Also I am bored with just about everything else in life. Job, Living with wifes mother, where i live and also I haven’t got many friends. Only a Turkish couple who cook fantastic food!! That is the reason for going away for thjree months to try and sort my life out.

Please help sort my head out. I’d appreciate your wisdom Shugs.

The question is, I think, what is your goal? If your goal is to live comfortably and enjoy what you’ve explained, that continue to do so. I remember in one of Shug’s blogs that there was an inventor of some clothing line who liked to climb mountains and surf. The man wasn’t in excellent shape, but he wasn’t in the same boat as everyone else (or so it seemed from Shug’s writings). Yet he was doing what he wanted to instead of performing regular tasks that people feel their obligated to do such as a job or train.

Personally, I have a goal of competing in a BB show one day. I’m only 162 pounds, so I’ve got a ways to go, but its what I want to do. If you really don’t want to train with insane intensity, that’s your choice. You seem to still show a desire to lift regularly and stay active, so I don’t think that your health is going to take a divebomb.

However, the main factor that you should base your decision on is your goal. If its to impress those people and get into great shape, albeit for a short period of time, then do so. But if you don’t want to make the effort, those people will probably not much care because you haven’t let yourself go. They just won’t be impressed.

That’s really all I have to say. Hope I helped.

Most people don’t stay THAT lean for long. I think it’s unrealistic for them to think that you really look that lean all year and it’s unrealistic for YOU to feel like you have to look lean for them. Look lean for yourself or only if looking leaner is an asset (like a contest or a photo shoot). You sound like you don’t want to do the same old shit anymore.

And 3 months away with even half-assed training and dieting won’t ruin you for the rest of your life. It might just be what you need to know for sure yourself, but for now I don’t think you want this again bad enough.

It sounds to me like training is the only thing that brings you satisfaction. It would be a mistake to give that up. You will regret it. You have to have a goal to work towards.

[quote]azza30 wrote:
By the way My fire was cancer at 21. Also I am bored with just about everything else in life. Job, Living with wifes mother, where i live and also I haven’t got many friends. Only a Turkish couple who cook fantastic food!! That is the reason for going away for thjree months to try and sort my life out.

Please help sort my head out. I’d appreciate your wisdom Shugs.[/quote]

So… your problem is that your life is boring and bland except for a turkish couple who cook fantastic food???

It seems like you have bigger problems than just whether or not to diet.

And calling out shugs is damn near retarded. He’s just a guy like anyone else. He works for the business I buy my supplements from. He’s not Jesus.

Do what drives you. Subsist until you figure out what that is.

Oh, and keep lifting.

Guys everything you’ve written is great advice. I think that toddthebodd hit on something saying its the only thing that gives me any pleasure. Its my biggest sense of satisfaction when i’m on that beach., nothing else in my whole life. but is that because every summer i don’t socialise, drink, etc to not give myself the option of ruining my diet???

[quote]azza30 wrote:
Guys everything you’ve written is great advice. I think that toddthebodd hit on something saying its the only thing that gives me any pleasure. Its my biggest sense of satisfaction when i’m on that beach., nothing else in my whole life. but is that because every summer i don’t socialise, drink, etc to not give myself the option of ruining my diet??? [/quote]

You already seem to know your answer. Nobody can maintain 6%bf for long…and for you to neglect the social aspect of your life is a poor way to balance things. You should have absolutely no problem having a drink or two, the occasional ice cream or greasy foods and maintain a year round bf level of about 10-12% If you can strike that balance, you’ll only need to diet down for maybe 6 weeks to reach a nice single digit number. It’s called peaking, and it’s how the pro’s do it!

I agree with Jeffe. If you got that lean, then you (or anyone else for that matter) can certainly afford leniency with diet/training. You can have several drinks and loosen up your diet, and perhaps not hit the gym AS hard.

I don’t see why you can’t maintain around 10% or so, still look great (no one expects you to walk around Earth 365 days at 6% bf), and enjoy life. Hell, abstaining from alcohol for me is precisely because I gain fat easily and already am well above 10%. I dream of the days when I perhaps finally get that lean and I can go out more and not worry about eating every 3 hours or worrying about what that pizza will do to me at 2am.

I think you are certainly capable of striking a healthy balance once you get that lean.

I disagree with the mentality that it’s all or nothing when it comes to diet. For me moderation and striking the right balance are the keys. It does sound like you’ve got other things in your life distracting you from finding the best balance for you. No doubt gaining some clarity there will make setting realistic year round diet goals a lot easier.

Also bodybuilding is something that I have been successful in. But sometimes i feel i dont have any thing else. I left school at 16 with no qualifications and couldn’t really settle into work because they were all menial jobs and also i discovered bodybuilding, so for some stupid reason i wouldnt take/ or stay in jobs that ruined my training!!! Stupid i now know.

But at 20 i managed to get a job in a bank, at the bottom of the ladder, but i was thrilled and motivated to do well…until i got the cancer. I was off work a long time and eventually they let me go. So my confidence took a beating. After i recovered there was one thing i could rely on…bodybuilding. Physically it built my confidence, but at the same time it allowed me to bury my mental problems. And this is how it remained until last year, when i finally really beat my cancer and built an astonishing physique. This is why i wanted to end my bodybuilding. But now i have this turmoil… if i don’t do it what do i really have instead. I’m still in a job i hate, i live with wife’s parents and haven’t got many friends. So I think, “do it just one more time?” I have nothing else.

My only advice is to LIGHTEN UP.

Jesus man. This is ridiculous.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
My only advice is to LIGHTEN UP.

Jesus man. This is ridiculous.[/quote]

I appreciate your comment mr popular, and i know it seems ridiculous. I can’t get any good advice from anyone at home. my wife isn’t really interested, as she thinks i should make the decision myself. As towards the end of my diet last year i really got stroppy, arguementative etc, so she doesn’t want to be involved.

I really feel down about this though, probably need a good ass whoopin and a counsellor!

You seem to have some serious issues…
I suggest finding a proper path.
If the only place you feel alive is the gym, you are almost dead.

I think you’ve been given all the answers that most on this forum are equipped and qualified to provide. Your story comes across as so melancholy it’s difficult to tell if it’s even real. If it is, the last and best piece of advice I think we can offer you is to seek professional help, and find people close to you who are willing to help. You have significant mental baggage holding you back that no amount of weightlifting will alleviate.

[quote]Jeffe wrote:
I think you’ve been given all the answers that most on this forum are equipped and qualified to provide. Your story comes across as so melancholy it’s difficult to tell if it’s even real. If it is, the last and best piece of advice I think we can offer you is to seek professional help, and find people close to you who are willing to help. You have significant mental baggage holding you back that no amount of weightlifting will alleviate.[/quote]

Well its 530am here in uk so i’m up before work to do some cardio. This will make me feel good for a while, being the only soul willing to get up at this time in the morning to improve my physique.
But everybody, this is completely true. I started to notice these feeling two years ago when i got to around 9% bf for my holiday. I had the photo’s done, but for some reason i didn’t get that sense of euphoria that i’d always imagined would happen when i finally looked like a bodybuilder. I just felt shit. No one was REALLY that impressed, it was quite dis-heartening. Most people wondered why i bothered putting myself through the weeks of diet and just thought it a bit weird. Then last year pretty much the same, but i done it for reasons last year, (beach holiday, turnining 30). But i just wanted to beat the year before so i dieted and trained even harder. Again i had some initial looks of dis belief at my physique, but then questions of why and looks of ‘arrogant bodybuilder’

This point is to all those who are trying to get to that ‘Walking on the beach and REALLY standing out’ physique. PLEASE don’t chuck away money, jobs, social life friends for bodybuilding. It personally hasn’t gained me the confidence i was always led to believe. Maybe its just the jealous society we are in now, but after weeks of hard dieting and training 98% of people don’t understand it and cant understand why we do it. I don’t get it anymore.

I have nothing left to prove which is why i dont know if i should bother. Very few people realised the fire burning inside me from what my cancer done. I discovered it on my 21st birthday. It was testicular. I told very few people as I was embarressed at the time, like a denial thing. Ijust disapppeared for a while, and then eventually went back to the gym with my fire alight. To this day few people know what i went through, and now its to late to share things with them.

So last year was my pinnacle in beating cancer, but no one really understood what i had done meant something. At 21 i battled cancer for one year. At 30 I was physically lightyears ahead (on the outside) of 99.99999% of the population. But has it helped??

[quote]irongutted wrote:
You seem to have some serious issues…
I suggest finding a proper path.
If the only place you feel alive is the gym, you are almost dead.[/quote]

x2

It sounds like you need the kind of help that you won’t find on an internet forum.

It sounds to like to me that if you are that dissatisfied with your job and most of the things in your life you need to make some kind of change. Im not sure how easy it is to do in the UK but to me the best thing for you to do is go back to school. Its sounds like you know what you are talking about when it comes to BB and getting into shape why not look into becoming a strength coach or a physical trainer.

Getting back in to school will allow you to meat ppl, get out of the house and give you something to really focus your energy on.

Also I would sagest trying to find another hobby to go with the BB. Try golf, I know that sounds lame but golf really is fun. I suck at it and dont get to play much but when I do i have a blast. Hell take your wife with you, if you can both get into it then it would be something you could share and help smooth some things out when your dieting. Lets face it we are dicks when we are cutting.

(Edit) - Also I know EVERY one likes to be looked at and admiered and there is nothing wrong with that but if this is the only thing you really have to look forward to then you should really do some self reevaluation and find out what it is that will make you satisfied with you

[quote]Himora22 wrote:
It sounds to like to me that if you are that dissatisfied with your job and most of the things in your life you need to make some kind of change. Im not sure how easy it is to do in the UK but to me the best thing for you to do is go back to school. Its sounds like you know what you are talking about when it comes to BB and getting into shape why not look into becoming a strength coach or a physical trainer.

Getting back in to school will allow you to meat ppl, get out of the house and give you something to really focus your energy on.

Also I would sagest trying to find another hobby to go with the BB. Try golf, I know that sounds lame but golf really is fun. I suck at it and dont get to play much but when I do i have a blast. Hell take your wife with you, if you can both get into it then it would be something you could share and help smooth some things out when your
dieting. Lets face it we are dicks when we are cutting.

(Edit) - Also I know EVERY one likes to be looked at and admiered and there is nothing wrong with that but if this is the only thing you really have to look forward to then you should really do some self reevaluation and find out what it is that will make you satisfied with you

[/quote]

Thanks mate. Its really helped getting this off my chest a bit. Im gonna take advice from everyone thats contributed. I,m gonna lighten up, diet 6 days hard and train hard, and have a nice meal once a week on my deadlift/ back day. I’ll also do farmers walks. I’ll socialise a little more, like a fancy dress party my wife and i are going to and maybe have one drink but no shit food. I’m 12 weeks out probably around 12% bf, so at 8 weeks i’ll go strict. On holiday for 3 months i will re evaluate my life and take advice on re-training in something…maybe personnal trainer, i dont know yet. I’d like too but most pts are dicks in my gym.They all prescribe the same old stuff 3 excersises split routine 3 sets of 10-12 etc etc. and these guys are qualified. But to get into the profession i will have to ‘learn’ all this bs. And yes another hobby definitly. But when i get back thats it. I’m gonna become a turkish food cook!!

Just a quick question. I may do a blog on my next 12 weeks as reg as possible, but i dont have my own computer so may get irregular. Will probably help mentally as well. Would anyone be interested. I’ll give as much info as possible to help you guys that wanna get in good shape. I will call it “12 weeks of not Knowing why i’m doing it-but I am any way!”

You ask yourself why you do it? If anyone ever asks me that, I give them a funny look and ask ‘why do you NOT do it’.

However, unless you’re really going for a contest, I don’t get the whole thing about making serious, serious sacrifices. Even if I was aiming to get really lean, I’d still eat tasty (all be it healthy) food. It’s ballshit you can’t get ripped and eat tasty food six times a day. Hell, you could even pig out once a week and drink beer and still be in good shape.

What do you eat during these extreme diet phases?