For close to a decade, starting in my late teens and going into my later 20's, I was into strength alone. I competed in a sport called Strongman, and despite some international shows in Canada, my main accomplishment was doing very well as an amateur. This article will just be a visual journey of where I started at 26 and finished at 28 as I lost the weight, lost a lot of muscle, and switched athletic endeavors before ending up in CrossFit.
I actually don't have a picture of me at my heaviest of 330lbs. I reached 330lbs several weeks before 2011 Amateur Strongman Nationals but lost 15lbs in 3 days from a stomach condition. The picture above is of me somewhere between 305-315lbs.
Im now at 275lbs. The muscle really hasn't gone away as I was still lifting as heavy on most of my lifts when I was at a body weight of 310lbs. Mass moves mass but fat moves little. This was the start of my lack of interest in Strongman. Let me clarify that statement: I still LOVE strongman but my interest was in turning pro. In order for a person of my dimensions to turn pro I would have had to weigh 380lbs. When that reality settled in after taking second, and not turning pro, at the 2011 Amateur Strongman Nationals then my thinking started to shift.
Summer of 2013. I most likely lost 50lbs or more of muscle easily. I still remember squatting 700lbs, pulling tow trucks with deflated tires using only my hands and arms, flipping 1300lbs tires, and generally being able to move whatever stood in my way. My fitness and life was so one sided that my quality of life was gone. My body was old and not working at 27. It was this reality with the knowledge that I would need to gain more weight that caused me to change.
- I was hungry ALOT as I dropped the weight.
- I drank as much water as I could stomach just to keep me feeling full.
- I was tired ALOT as I dropped the weight.
- I ate for the muscle that I was going to have (200lbs or so) and not for my current weight or hunger levels.
- I kept lifting as heavy as I properly could to save as much muscle as I could on the way down.
- I would allow myself one day or one 2 hour window, depending on my will power, to eat whatever I wanted and how ever much I wanted. This was purely to keep sane from the cravings and the memory of eating enough food for a small family.
- I knew the results were not going to happen soon.
- I knew the journey was not going to be what I wanted. When you drop weight its not a joyful experience with muscle loss, hunger, mood swings. Everyone who is fit is smiling. Everyone who is dieting is grumpy.
- I had to forgive myself ALOT for messing up. My weight would go up, my muscle mass would go down. I had bad months (plural) and great weeks. Over a timeline of a couple years did I loose weight and not over the course of a month or a couple days.
- I was stubborn. What we want in life never seems to be easy. This could be from us getting in our way or from other people not wanting to see you succeed so that they can feel better about their shitty decisions. When the easy comes take it with joy. Always prepare for the hard. Be stubborn.