I originally wrote my story with greyed out details and only parts of the truth, because I was actually embarrassed about elements of my past. I was also fairly cautious about how I worded things In order to avoid making a bad impression. I’ve made a few breakthroughs lately, however, and I've decided to re-write my story without fear of what others may think – just the full and honest truth. My desire to help others is sincere and I shouldn’t have to hide anything.
I’m 25 years old at the time of writing, but 23 of those years have been spent drifting along in a state of “numbness”. Throughout school I was definitely one of the ugly kids. I had a pot belly, bad acne and I was very self-conscious. I remember multiple occasions in which people would just randomly comment on how ugly they thought I was, like it was just some casual thing you bring up in conversation. I didn't have the most pleasant experiences and suffice to say my self-esteem took a beating. Now I don't know whether I was genetically predisposed to depression, if depression came as a result of my experiences or both. Nevertheless, I got very low and I just couldn't see any point to life. There didn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel and although I never attempted suicide, I wrestled with the idea frequently.
Because of my independent nature, I never sought help or confided in anybody about my situation. I guess in my mind, asking for help would solidify my problems as ACTUAL problems. I kept things to myself and thought “there’s people going through far worse, what right do I have to feel like this?… Man the f*ck up and stop feeling sorry for yourself!” However, that doesn't help with depression, it's kind of like trying to heal an open wound by punching it.
So I continued to drift through life in an aimless unconscious haze, I didn’t want to feel anything. I wanted to protect myself from potential pain so I pushed everybody away or kept a safe emotional distance from anybody and everybody.
After leaving school I tried to change myself for college, I struggled desperately to think of myself as a different person. I even cut contact with anybody from my past because they reminded me of who I used to be. I wanted to be alone until I could re-invent myself; to become a socially acceptable person that was attractive, confident and outgoing. This worked to a small extent, but I hadn’t really dealt with my issues I'd merely swept them under a rug. This is when I first started getting into exercise, to help with my self confidence and improve my appearance. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I just joined a gym and trained erratically.
I graduated college and drifted into a string of minimum wage jobs, my exercise habits dropped off with the “no-time excuse”. I continued to drift until I ended up in an office job. It seemed like a blessing at the time because it was the ultimate comfort zone job, which came with the perfect mind-numbing environment to zone out from life. After two/three years of sitting around in an office, I'd let myself go and reached an impressive 35% body fat. On reflection, I’d say this was my wake-up call from the haze I’d been in for so long. I remember the epiphany I had like it was yesterday "What the f**k am I doing here, there's got to be more to life than this!" So I decided to turn things around.
My first goal was to drop the body fat and get in shape, so I began searching tirelessly for training and nutrition information. I read every forum, article and book I could get my hands on. I had a strong desire to get in shape and nothing was going to stop me. I went to the gym with a huge surge of motivation, I trained my ass off and achieved leaps in progress quickly. Nevertheless, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t seem to stay consistent with any approach for longer than a few weeks or months at a time.
I always got off to a great start, yet there was always something to halt my progress such as injuries, sickness, holidays, social events, people offering me junk food and so forth. From that point, I would feel like I'd blown all of my progress and start over. I couldn't understand what was wrong with me or why I kept sabotaging my hard work. It seemed like no matter how far I got, I would always spring back to exactly where I started.
After more than a year of zigzagging back and forth. That's what frustrated me more than anything, I had learnt so much but I couldn't stay consistent with what I'd learnt!
At the time, I assumed my problems were a lack of will power, motivation or knowledge regarding training and nutrition. In hindsight, I found that it had nothing to do with any of those things!
So after another fruitless quest to find yet more diet and training info online, I came across a chap named Tom Venuto. I liked his articles and decided to get his book "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle". After reading the book, I realised that if I wanted to transform my body, I had to transform my mindset first. So I put the recommend changes into action. I set a goal and began yet another attempt to transform my body. This time, however, I was armed with a well defined goal, a new mindset, and an understanding of how to apply my knowledge consistently.
I kept things slow and steady this time around, no jumping into insane routines or diets – just small manageable changes. So my initial progress wasn't as fast as it had been in previous attempts.
I managed to go from this (November 2011).
To this. Managing to drop 10 inches off my waist (June 2012).
To some this may be impressive, to others, you may be thinking how I managed to take so damn long. To me, It brought tears to my eyes when I finally broke that cycle of self-sabotage. It reinforced the belief that I could achieve my ultimate goal, and that if I could break one barrier I could break any barrier. It was a series of mental breakthroughs more than anything else.
I remember being so excited when I finally passed the point i'd usually sabotage my progress, it almost didn't feel real because of the amount of time I'd spent going going around in circles. At the time, I actually felt like I was destined to stay the same no matter what I did. After reaching my first goal in (June 2012), I continued applying the principles I'd learnt and continued to make progress (September 2012).
Now I know i'm not going to win any body building competitions, but i'm continuing to progress and accelerate my results with everything I've learnt.
Now that I understand how to break the frustrating cycle of self sabotage, I've made it my personal mission to help others overcome the same problem. I no longer suffer from depression, I feel great. I’ve faced many of my greatest fears throughout this journey, even posting this story and having others criticise it used to be a fear of mine. However, I no longer let fear hold me back from achieving what I want in life, or from using what I've learnt to help others. I’m only just getting started with many of my goals, but I’m excited by the road ahead. I hope you enjoyed my story and I hope it’s given you greater insight into why I’m doing what I’m doing.
If you’re currently in a similar position to how I used to be, please feel free to contact me and I’ll help in any way I can. Don't keep things to yourself like I used to, it's not healthy to deal with EVERYTHING on your own and I'm genuinely more than happy to help where I can (I wouldn't put this here if I wasn't!)