I'm not 35, but my life probably has a lot more in common with you guys. I'm 27, work full time in a pretty high-stress job, have a fiancee, townhouse, 2 cars and 2 dogs. I'm all "settled" as it is.
I started hardcore bodybuilding in 2001, when I was 16. I quickly found out that I put on muscle without trying. When I started training, I weighed 140 at 5'6". I've attached a photo of me in 2006 at 170lbs after 6 weeks of dieting. Six months after this picture was taken, I graduated college. I said good bye to compliments from guys and girls. Bye to being the "buff guy" that other guys wanted to be like. Bye to girls squeezing my biceps. Superficial as it was, I always appreciated the acknowledgement of my work.
In the 5 years since Ive graduated, I just stopped caring. With work, having a social life, and wifey wanting me home all the time, its really hard to find any motivation to lift. I dont have girls to impress. I dont have friends to keep up with. Most "adults" (forgive the term) just dont really care about physical exercise, especially if they're not grossly overweight.
I guess what I'm trying to ask is: What keeps you guys motivated? If you're already in decent enough shape, what pushes you to diet/train like it means something? Do competitions help? Did you decrease lifting and take up a sport like BJJ or community rugby? I just moved to Southern California and it seems like outdoor, endurance sports are all the rage (running/triathlons etc.) Not sure if that's an avenue to pursue but I've always sucked ass at cardio and my build is not long and lean like the people I see on road bikes.
I've just reached a point where I go to the gym, look at the plates and bars and think: what's the point?
Maybe I'm just venting. Maybe I'm being a bitch. But after being a loyal T-Nation reader since 2001, I figured I'd come here and see if anyone else has been in my rut and how you got out.
Thanks for reading.