How I Started My Rebuilding Process

I started my rebuild a few years ago. I don’t think I realized it at the time, but there was a definite point when I decided to make some changes in my life.

We were visiting my grandmother in West Virginia at the house where I spent much of my youth running around and playing outside.  One of the main features of the back yard is an oak tree my sister and I used to climb.  My daughter was old enough to start climbing through the tree that Spring.  I placed her in the tree and made sure to spot her for the first couple of limbs.  After that, she was on her own and climbing like a monkey.

That’s when she asked me to climb into the tree.  I tried my old route up and then another entry.  I couldn’t get into the tree.  In fact, I pulled my triceps muscles trying to pull myself up.  I knew then I had to make a change.

How was I going to keep up with my then 5 year old daughter?  I was too fat and out of shape to even climb into a simple tree.  She was a ball of energy and I was a bump on a log.  I needed to make a change not only to be able to play with her, but to be around for her graduations, marriage and grandkids.

At that point I was around 255-260 pounds and I’m only 6 feet tall.  I’d like to tell you I was a fit individual, but I was far from my highschool days of playing football and tennis.  Years of being lazy, drinking to excess and eating to excess had finally caught up to me.  It was time to make a change.

Making the Change

The first step I took was making sure I could at least climb that tree.  I invested in an olympic weight bench, barbell and rack.  I always enjoyed barbell lifts and weight training, so I put all of the equipment in the garage.  I had no excuse not to step into the garage and get in a workout.

After a few weeks of getting back into the basic lifts, deadlift, bench, overhead press and bent over rows, I bought a Muscle and Fitness magazine.  It’s a little embarassing to checkout at the grocery store holding a magazine with a ripped dude on the front.  Especially when you’ve got a 40 inch waste.

I spent time using some of the barbell routines and studying about supplements.  The next thing you know, I’m purchasing protein powders and containers of pills (vitamins and minerals).  And it started to work.  I quickly shed 15-20 pounds and felt much better.  On the next visit to my grandmother’s, I was able to easily climb into the tree and run around with my daughter.

I stuck with this system and routine for the next 4 years.  My lifts progressed, I would get injured occasionally, and my weight would yo-yo from summer to winter from 230-245 pounds.  I felt fine, but I wanted to progress.  205 was the next number that I had in mind.

Work Hard, But Diet Smart

More research on the internet led me to evaluating my diet.  Somehow I came across Jason Ferruggia, and I honestly can’t remember how or why I clicked on his link.  It was the Renegade Diet, a name like that usually wouldn’t appeal to me.  Honestly, a guy like Jason usually wouldn’t appeal to me.  He’s a meathead Yankee and I see myself as a laid back Southern gentleman.

His diet made some sense, but I didn’t feel like it fit for my family.  Anything that I’m going to do needs to work with my family for it to stick.  However, I did start listening to his Podcast and entered a world of accelerated learning on life improvement.

He was an honest guy and was being brutally honest about his short comings and his own journey towards change.  At the time, he only had 15-20 episodes and I listened to them all over a week and wanted more.  I branched out to other podcasts of his guests and also took some of his book recommendations.  Jason opened the door for me to discover others like Aubrey Marcus, Lewis Howes, Joe Rogan, and Mark Divine.

I’ve taken knowledge from all and continue my journey today.  They have all had a big inlfuence on where I am today and what I’ll be in the future.  There’s a multiplying effect from listening to a few and then branching out to those they believe in; each adds to the others.  Most of what I hear from these “coaches” is the basis of what you’ll see posted in this blog.

Hopefully this catches you up to where I am in this journey.  Hopefully you are too.  Please comment on these posts.  It’s helps to know if I’m being helpful and what readers would like to see on this blog.  Also, be sure to recommend this blog to friends if you think it can help them.