This Working Out Thing Isn’t Working Out

Working out sucks. Let me rephrase that: Working out is the devil. You pick up something heavy, then you put it back down. You do that a bunch of times at a bunch of different angles, and then it makes you tired and you go home. Then you come back again everyday, over and over again, and you eventually feel and look amazing. Right? Right????

Actually, yes, that is correct. I have been working out for years. I started when I was in 7th grade. It all started when one day, my father took me into the garage (that is where we had our serious talks away from my 3 sisters). He told me something that I have held on to my entire life:

“Son, you are a fun guy. People like you. Girls like you. You naturally draw a lot of attention to yourself, and even though you may not mean it to be forward, people are not always going to take it positively. Girls are going to be drawn to you and guys are not going to like that. Normally that is fine, but you are also a good person. You stand up for your sisters and you protect the little guy. That is going to lead you to a lot of issues. Also, you have a mouth. You talk a lot and say some dumb shit. So that’s going to get you into trouble too. As your father, I cant watch you get hurt. So, you have 2 options: 1) you learn to quit running your fuckin’ mouth, or 2) you need to get bigger. “

So, I started working out. I worked out a lot. I was under the impression that if I worked out a lot I would eventually get bigger and stronger. This is not correct information. I worked out for years and though I got healthier, I never reached my goals. It was a hard struggle that I constantly put effort in and wouldn’t get the results I wanted. I put in years of effort and it caused me years of constant stress. I tried and tried and then, bad things happened.

I got stressed. Really stressed. In 2016, I was graduating college early to start a job to help my family. My mother was losing her house and needed me to come home and help support some of the burden. I was so stressed that I lost 15 lbs in 3 days. I stopped eating, and I couldn’t sleep. Ended up losing 25 lbs. I went from weighing 195 lbs to 170 lbs. I know this might not seem big deal but at 6’5″, I was a walking skeleton. I was tired always. My girlfriend at the time literally told me that having sex with me was “gross”. It just added and added stress and eventually you just say, “Enough, I’m done. I am unhappy and I need to make a change”. This was exactly what happened and I will be damned if I didn’t throw my heart and soul into it.

For the first time in my life, I did the research. I was basing my life off the regular 2000 calorie a day diet. Apparently, this is completely wrong for someone my size. My goal was to reach 200 lbs. I have never weighed that much and for my height it was completely reasonable. Turns out, I needed to be eating 3500 calories a day to maintain 200 lbs. I had been working out all these years, and all of these years I was nutrient deprived. All of my self deprecation and frustration was all due to me under eating. I felt like a complete idiot.

I started eating. I started eating a lot. I started eating everything. I had 4 protein shakes a day. I practically inhaled peanut butter. I ate every vegetable I saw. I even went so far as to set an alarm in the middle of the night so that I could wake up, chug a protein shake, eat a chicken breast, and fall back asleep.

I gained 40 lbs in 4 months. It was amazing, It wasn’t great (healthy) weight, but it was weight and it was necessary. It changed my life and my confidence. I needed to make a change so I did the research and it changed my life.

I now weigh 230 lbs and am trying to reach 250 lbs (a high goal with a healthy diet). My goal is to gain this weight and then drop down to get more cut nut maintain size. It has been a struggle and a journey but I cannot express how my confidence and life have changed since getting a body that I actually feel comfortable looking at in the mirror. It is life-altering feeling to be proud of who I am.

Moral of the story: put in hard work but do it smart. Don’t waste time. Do your research. Listen to everyone, but trust yourself and your body. I something doesn’t feel right, then stop and look it up. It is possible to accomplish your goals and to grow but you need to understand that it is going to take work. I believe in you. I believe that you can do it and I believe that your life can be better if you choose to make it so. Dedication, hard work, and research will make your life better. Be your own hero.

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