As I humbly look back over the past 12 weeks, I am blessed to be where I am now at with my life. After placing 2nd in the 18th Transformation contest, I let my life get away from me. My mental health had steadily been deteriorating for the past two years. Stress, anxiety and depression had consumed my life and paralyzed me from living. I was simply existing in a shell, and my successes had become a distant memory. The worst part is the guilt and shame which weighed me down even further. In May of this year, I had reached my breaking point. I either needed to deal with the issues I had been hiding from, or spiral to the point of no return.
The timing of the Transformation contest could not have been more perfect. As part of my new resolve, I took my photos and embarked on a familiar journey. I know exactly what needs to get done when it comes to losing weight and getting fit, but it was the mental game that I needed to fix. The weight loss and rekindled passion for fitness was simply a by-product of my inner healing. I still have the email from Craig from a couple of years ago. A very profound quote, "Each day is a new day to be a better you". This lines up with how I am now living my life. There is no such thing as failure. Mistakes are simply learnings. You can grow from them if you choose to, and not let them weigh you down.
Specifically, I followed three of Craig's programs. TT Meatheads is my go to as it follows a very traditional weight lifting style program with some fun tweaks. I then switched over to the Muscle Mashup and finished up with his Bodyweight Maximum Metabolism Boost. I ate right and followed a diet that consisted of lean proteins and vegetables. When you combine the two, it's a no brainer.
I lost 24 pounds over the past 12 weeks, put on 4.5 pounds of lean mass, lost 5.5 inches off of my waist, and am finally the healthiest I've been in a long time.
Two things that were really key for me were cooking clean meals that taste delicious. I love to cook, and with a little bit of research, there is an endless supply of recipes available to reach all of your nutrition goals. I take a lot of pride in being able to make healthy alternatives to otherwise unhealthy foods (Protein pizza, anyone?) Secondly, setting goals was paramount. If you don't set proper goals, you're setting yourself up for potential failure. Setting outcome goals is important; I will lose 20 pounds of fat and maintain muscle mass in 12 weeks. Next up, it is important to set behavior goals to coincide with the outcome goals. I will commit to at least 5 workouts a week and I will commit to cooking healthy 6 days a week for myself and my family. It's important to know where you want to go and how you're going to get there!
I also started a program called Mindfulness which involves doing daily meditation, and helps to keep you grounded and centered in the moment. I no longer worry about things that are out of my control, and if I have any anxious thoughts, I can tell them where to go pretty quick. I've learned how to forgive myself and am coming to love the person I see in the mirror every day. Ultimately, I'm feeling whole again, and am happy to have rekindled my love of fitness, but most importantly, for life!
Whether it's one day, one week or one year, it is NEVER TOO LATE to start. Stay grounded and focused and you will realize success. Use your mistakes as a chance to grow and to further harden your resolve. Celebrate each success as it comes, and don't worry about things that have happened. Plan for the future but don't worry about things that you can't change. It just doesn't matter!
I would sincerely like to thank Craig for his continued support. He is one of the most genuine people in the fitness industry and he never gives up on his clients. His kindness and words of motivation are a strength that will help you succeed. Lastly, I need to thank my wife. She is the light of my world and has helped me through some of the most difficult things I've ever had to deal with. I could not have done this without her. Finding support is crucial for continued success. It is important to surround yourself with people who will support you and your goals.
So what's next for me? I have finished the Precision Nutrition course which is a very prestigious course to teach me how to make nutrition plans for anyone based on their own goals. I would also like to become a Certified Turbulence Trainer. I believe in Craig's programs, as there's something for everyone and literally enough programs that one would never get bored. Ultimately, I'm just going to keep riding the wave here and am going to enjoy my life day by day!
So that's all for me. Thanks again! I'm going to go stare in the mirror.