About 18 months ago I was 70 pounds heavier and carried around 20% more body fat than I do today. I met Chris Albert, co-owner of Metroflex Gym Long Beach, and he started me down the path to living the bodybuilding lifestyle. From October 2011 to April 2012, I lost 70 pounds and dropped a ton of body fat. I stepped on stage for my first ever bodybuilding competition.
As you can see I leaned out a lot, but this just inspired me. I realized that bodybuilding was a lifestyle and not a short-term fix to long-term problems. I hooked up with my current preparation coach, Ken Turchek, and have started to live the bodybuilding lifestyle.
I continue to watch what I eat. Some of the time I am more strict than others, but I am always thinking about what I put into my body. I continue all of my supplementation routines. I take the things I need to take to stimulate muscle growth in my body. I train intensely at all times. I have goals for improving certain areas of my body. These things are now a way of life for me.
I have heard people close to me joke about my terminology — bodybuilding lifestyle — but they don't truly understand what it means to me. A good friend of mine, Valerie Gilb, just posted on my Facebook wall a comment regarding a picture I had posted of another bodybuilder. Like many people who are not involved in the bodybuilding world, Valerie (and rightly so) commented “don't find that attractive. Yikes, must have custom made clothes.” I thought about her comment and realized that for many people that is their feeling about bodybuilding. I realized that my goals are eventually going to make me “one of those guys” and that people will think of me as odd. But that's OK with me because I think bodybuilding is a tremendous sport and art form at the same time. My response to Valerie was this:
” Valerie Gilb it is more about the hard work and dedication it takes to get to the point he is at in that picture. Spending time around bodybuilders I have learned that they understand their bodies better than anyone else. The knowledge they have is tremendous. I am inspired by the hard work and dedication they show. I have so many great friends who are living this lifestyle (@Katrina Mclellan, Sasha Brown, Ken Turchek, Chris Albert,Tonia Moore Ifbb Pro and many others). They don't “diet” or “exercise” they live for making their bodies into a work of art. I know that to most women the huge muscles are not attractive, but when viewed as a work of art, it is a tremendous accomplishment in my opinion. This is why I am writing a special blog post today about the bodybuilding lifestyle and how it has changed my life for good.”
That sums up my feelings about the bodybuilding lifestyle. The people who compete like those listed above are hard-working, sincere individuals who love their sport and have a passion for helping others. I have become “one of them” already. I have befriended many bodybuilders and seek to learn about the sport from them. I love them like family. It is an amazing and wonderful thing.
So what has the bodybuilding lifestyle done for me? Have a look at this 2 month old photo of me and compare it to the one above from my show in April 2012.
Now, before one of you bigger guys rags on me, have another look at the picture from my April 2012 show. Compare that to the progress I've made. Anyone involved in the bodybuilding lifestyle knows that this is a process not a destination. I am working hard every single day to achieve the goals i have set and I am extremely proud of the progress I have made. Go ahead and make fun of the “little guy” but this guy is a 48 year old man who didn't start bodybuilding until he was 47 years old. Check back on me when I am 50 and let's see if you are still laughing!
I am thankful for this wonderful sport that I credit with saving my life. I was so overweight and unhealthy and now I can do things I never dreamed possible. I have gotten a personal trainer certification and I am now able to help other people achieve their goals. Nothing could be better.