wanted a thread to map out my fitness journey.
The early years:
As a kid I was small for my age and slowly grew sideways until about 13. Then in highschool I started to get taller, played two sports and by the end of it was only an inch smaller than I am now and weighed 155 pounds. Still had plenty of baby fat though, never had low enough BF to have a six pack or anything like that.
In college I grew another inch and packed on 30 pounds really quickly. I was just still developing, it wasn't all fat, I was starting to look more grown up. But then the weight kept going up to about 200 pounds. 200 became my equilibrium weight in college and in the years that followed. If I started running a lot, I could drop it down to 185 ish, but from 1995 to 2003 my standard weight was about 200 pounds.
At the end of 2003, I was 27 and was particularly inactive and things seemed to be changing, my weight was creeping up to 210, 215. This was something new, my plan was to just start running again. I was engaged and wanted to be in good shape when I got married in summer of 2004.
Finding John Stone's website:
It just so happened that as I was at my heaviest weight with no good knowledge or plan of how to change, I found John Stone's website. There was no forum yet, but I immediately knew that I stumbled upon something awesome. I immediately stood up, pushed aside the bag of m&ms I was munching on, took off my shirt and had my fiance take the first photo that you see below. I was horrified by what I looked like.
How often do you take a shirtless photo of yourself and look at it. It is somehow much worse than just looking in the mirror. Looking in the mirror each day, I had been able to fool myself into thinking things weren't that bad, maybe a live image has the ability to blur the problem. But the photo was something I couldn't ignore; I looked bad. Couldn't see myself as I thought I looked in my head.
The forum started just in time, I didn't even know what a forum was but it was everything I needed. It quickly became a huge source of information and motivation. During my initial transformation I was a man possessed. Changed my diet completely. Any change was good. I use to have doritoes, pizza and a normal coke for dinner. Every day would be: no breakfast, a big meal at lunch and then at night, you really couldn't call it a meal, I would start with some big meal, and then just eat snacks until I fell asleep. It was amazing that I was able to stay at 200 pounds through most of my 20's. I think it was starting to catch up to me, and probably just would have gotten larger and larger.
Initial transformation, Jan 2004 - June 2004:
It was a huge transformation of lifestyle, I went from 211 pounds at 27% BF to 170 at about 15% BF. Took me about 6 months. I weighed myself everyday, it was huge motivation. I just couldn't believe it each time I dropped another 10 pounds. I looked great just in time for my wedding and honeymoon. It was amazing. I really owe a lot to this website. The methods that I used are chronicled in the fat loss guide I eventually wrote.
Challenge #1, Mar 2005 - June 2005:
About 8 months after my initial transformation I read body for life and was introduced to the concept of a challenge. I really like the idea and set myself a 12 week challenge. I had not been lifting much, so I took this opportunity to revamp my weight lifting routine with all dumbbell moves, also I continued my habit of walking to and from work every day (2.8 miles one way). Also focused more on eating 5-6 small meals each day. This was an extremely successful challenge. I got down to the lowest body fat I've been. At the start I was 172 pounds at about 15% BF and by the end was 164 at 10% BF. The crazy amount of walking that I did probably really helped me in getting to the very low body fat levels.
The troublesome years, Nov 2006 - Sept 2009:
Over this period I had a lot of ups and downs and starts and stops. Never quite getting back to my worst state in 2004 but never getting back to what I considered my best state in June 2005. A lot happened in this time, I finished my doctorate and moved twice to brand new cities in search of work. Had a lot of issues with tendonitis of my ITB in both legs. Over this time I would say that my ideal level of fitness continually alluded me.
Challenge #2, Sept 2009 - Dec 2009:
This challenge was good, not great. I was starting from a much worse state than my first challenge and am now back in the 170s for the first time in over a year. Started at 194 and 23% BF and ended at 179 at 18% BF.
I'll be maintaining through the new year and am looking forward to starting challenge #3 in January. My goal will be to get to the lowest body fat % so far. I also want to work on flexibility. My sports of choice right now are rock climbing and snow boarding, so strength and flexibility are my two main goals. I won't use this thread to document day to day stuff, but I wanted a thread to put a top level description of the overall journey.