T Nation

Two Years, Lots of Lessons Learnt

DISCLAIMER: This is not a post meant to say wow look at that transformation, its a work in progress that I’m constantly trying improve. I’d like to thank everyone for contributing both in the forums and the authors here, I’ve learnt SO MUCH stuff, its incredible. If theres one person that I’d have to mention though, its definitely Christian Thibaudeau.

His output and wealth of information is something as a trainer, I look up to and can only hope to emulate one day. Below is the timeline of the transformation.

Skinny (October 2007): 155 pounds
Fat (May 2008): 212 pounds
Now (June 2009): 165 pounds

Wow its crazy to believe its been a full two years since I first started training. The lessons I’ve learnt in that time have been immense ( http://www.omarisuf.com/2009/08/12/twelve-week-body-transformation-keys-to-a-successful-transformation/ ) and its a constant work in progress.

When you are fit, everyone assumes that you always were that way.
Heres the skinny, I was, very, and then I got fat, very, and now, I`m neither.

When I was young, I was very active. Soccer, swimming, baseball, track and field; you name it, I was in it. Then suddenly with high school and other activity, exercise took a backseat in my life. Big mistake. I felt sluggish everyday with no energy. I remember being seventeen, waking up and feeling like a zombie.

I`d skip breakfast, grabbing a bowl of cereal in the morning if I was lucky (of course I chose high-fiber Raisin Bran!), eat a small lunch (a turkey sandwich!) and at night, dinner was a toss-up between pasta, and something random (usually a piece of cheese and some snacks). Frustrated by my lack of energy, I decided to increase my exercise. I went to my local track and tried to do a few laps and nearly fainted; I had no energy.

Confused, I noticed that my brother was working out at the high school gym and seeing great physical changes. He had more energy, more excitement, more passion. Intrigued, I decided to try it myself.

At first I was intimidated by the weights and by others in the gym. I was way smaller and less experienced. I remember hanging on the pull-up bar trying to knock out one chin-up while the guy next to me was lifting three pounds on the bench. It was shaky at first, but I kept at it. Slowly I started lifting more weights, seeing progress and results with my body.

Unfortunately I was not informed about nutrition. My diet during this phase can best be described as the see-food diet; if I saw it I ate it. A regular meal for me was eight eggs, three turkey sausages, three pieces of toast and a quarter block of cheese. This was one meal of about five or six. In about nine months I gained sixty pounds (I looked pregnant- but without the baby).

Mentally, I believed I was all muscle. I lied to myself when I saw my double chin and gut and tried to ignore it. The shocking reality came when I came home from university for the summer�??�?�¢?�??�?�¦and my mother called me fat (hence my love for food: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYTgnPyqPDM ).

It took awhile for me to accept that I was fat. I was in denial for a period of time. However, the running out of breath walking up the stairs made me able to lie to myself for only so long. It was around this time that I started clarifying my goals. Before, I never really established a goal; I was just winging it, doing what felt right.

It was when I decided to set goals and develop habits around those goals that success followed. I decided I was tired of having a gut and that ultimately I wanted to look good, feel better, and be a healthy active person. Armed with this goal, I began pursuing it.

It wasn�??�?�¢??t easy at first, I had many setbacks. Along my journey, there were some trying times; periods when it felt like a grind. Sometimes I felt like giving up; but I didn�??�?�¢??t, I kept at it. It was ultimately my consistency, hard work and guidance from those more knowledgeable than me that helped me succeed.

My journey in fitness has helped me develop a strong work ethic, a higher sense of understanding of myself, and the belief that with hard work anything is possible. It has given me the energy and passion for life that I now possess and for that I’m grateful.

Wow that’s a novel lol.

Yea I’ve learned a lot of lessons too over the last year, though not that extreme. It seems most uneducated people trying to lose weight always attempt the “No Food” diet, you know the one where they starve themselves? Well congrats on getting lean again, now hit those weights hard!

Good to see you lost the ponytail dude, short hair is a nice improvement! oh and goodjob on your body or whatever.

[quote]Nate112 wrote:
Good to see you lost the ponytail dude, short hair is a nice improvement! oh and goodjob on your body or whatever.[/quote]

nah, ponytail was bad-ass looking

[quote]thorax wrote:
Nate112 wrote:
Good to see you lost the ponytail dude, short hair is a nice improvement! oh and goodjob on your body or whatever.

nah, ponytail was bad-ass looking[/quote]

Heeeeeeeeell no.

10 pounds in 2 years? Fuck man.

[quote]hardgnr wrote:
10 pounds in 2 years? Fuck man.[/quote]

that’s exactly what i was thinking…damn.

You don’t look any different imo from your first to last picture. you’ve put on 10 pounds of lbm in two years not very impressive.

You don’t look that bad at 212.

He gained 10lbs on the scale, but obviously more muscle than that. There is at least a 10lb difference in amount of body fat from 1st pic to last. So 20lb muscle gain? seems pretty good to me. And he obviously isn’t scared to put on the weight. Time for another bulk. :smiley:

Good job, keep at it!

keep it up bro, but i agree with hardgnr and some others… only ten pounds on the scale in two years??? don’t just eat, lift your fucking ass off and you will put on more fat free mass. and when you cut, don’t cut like you are doing a show unless you are gunna do one. you are lean in the most current pic and you obviously added more then 10 lbs of muscle, but don’t cut so extreme. move more weight, gain more muscle

why don’t u get a labor job in the summer and then you would’nt be whining like a girl about being fat. Why would you eat a half a block of cheese? Even bulking that seems a waste.

I forgot to add why cut when their is nothing to cut yet anyway.

definite improvement from the 1st to last photo, those that say otherwise are retarded

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
definite improvement from the 1st to last photo, those that say otherwise are retarded[/quote]

Yep, he’s built at least 25 pounds of muscle given the bodyfat he’s lost. Not amazing progress granted, but it’s ok.

Looks like you lost some muscle going from 212 to 165. What numbers were you pushing when you were that size versus your current weight?

Thanks to all who replied, like I said I’ve learnt a lot. To respond, the first photo is 155 at a much higher bodyfat than the latest photo and thats 165 dehydrated, I walk around at 175. Using the ratio of 10 pounds of muscle to 1 inch on your arms (a fairly accurate measure), I’ve gained in the ball park of 25 pounds.

Maintaining strength was the most important goal. From 212 to now I DID lose some strength, here are the before and after stats

Benchpress 225 5x5
Back Box Squat 365 3 x 10
Deadlift 365 5 x 5

Benchpress 205 4 x 6
Back Box Squat 325 3 x 8
Deadlift 345 5 x 5

Nothing incredible, but the major loss in strength came when I did some dumb crash dieting. Now I injured my shoulder so I’m working on that while at the same time trying to add more size through strength. That is always the goal, everything else surrounds it!

grow a pony tail

Fuck you guys, it’s a pretty big improvement.

[quote]jasmincar wrote:
grow a pony tail[/quote]