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6’0” 196lbs > 176lbs = 20lbs
Squat: 354 lbs
Bench: 186 lbs
Press: 107 lbs
Deadlift: 354 lbs
Rows: 180 lbs
Looking at myself in the mirror was and still is the hardest thing for me to do. People calling me fat has been a major issue to my self esteem since elementary school all the way to high school graduation, and I believe it somewhat still affects how I view myself in other areas besides physical appearance. When I entered high school, I decided to make a change by lifting weights. However, I was completely lost in the gym and diet was a completely different issue that I didn’t want to deal with. In the end I just followed what everyone else was telling me, and I had no clear direction since many times people would claim conflicting advice. I finally made some progress when I did some serious research online and devoted myself to a strength training program called Stronglifts 5x5. Furthermore, I cleaned up my diet by Intermittent Fasting and eating paleo (I try to at least). After a year of dedication I’ve lost 20 lbs with 14% body fat, and I’m very pleased with my results. There are a few important lessons I’ve learned through all this:
1. There is no clear consensus among professionals from the diet and fitness industry, and you have to reach your own conclusions about what works for you by trial and error.
2. In order to achieve success, you must set a goal everyday to perform a little bit better than before and follow through with it. You must also always have a clear direction of where you want to go. Good things take time.
3. A lot of people are very judgmental (especially on physical appearance), but you must ignore them when you’re trying to improve yourself otherwise you’ll be stuck in the same position you were always in.
4. My mom cooks really good food.
5. If I were to suddenly lose all my gains over the year, I am confident that I can start over and come out even stronger.
6. Even though I’ve learned a lot, I know there is still a lot of information that I can learn and apply which I will have to do for the rest of my life. I will find an answer as long as I keep searching for it.
7. Practical Programming for Strength Training is an awesome book.
My fitness goals are now to move on from SL 5x5 to the Texas Method and stick to a normal sleep schedule. Lately I’ve also realized that not only was I physically unhealthy in my youth, I was mentally and spiritually as well which I’ve ignored until recently last year. Therefore, for this year I’m focusing most of my efforts on developing my work ethic, EQ, conversational skills, and expressiveness; being mindful and appreciating others; and ridding myself of any sources of negativity or limiting beliefs that I hold about myself. I’ll post another picture of myself a year from now, but I doubt most of my change will be actually visible.