Try and keep my mind off being thirsty and hungry... but more thirsty.
Have some baked potato soaked in 0 cal chemical fake butter along with shredded chicken and broccoli.
Write final essay.
Then maybe some more potato before bed but probably not.
Shave my chest and stomach along with my face.
Dose benedryl to try and sleep.
Will get up around 8 (if I can sleep that long :/ ) and grab a newspaper, same copy as before, and head to gym. Gonna take some photos there for a contest they're running (if they'll let me use my before's from here).
Then I'm gonna patiently wait a few hours and have some potato until it's time to go over to the GF's and take end photos.
Afterward... I feast.
Not sure if I'll be able to update this log tomorrow or Sunday, but it will come.
Some people put twelve weeks of everything they had into this contest. I put twelve weeks of everything I had into ME, and because of that I won this contest.
It’s surreal to look back upon the last twelve weeks and see the blur of discipline, hard work, pain, newly formed bonds, and so much more that lead me to where I am today, but it pales in comparison to the more tangible memory of who I was just twelve short weeks ago. Twelve weeks ago, I was in Arizona to celebrate the holidays with my family, daughter and girlfriend, only I was a significantly different person then back then, unrecognizable to who I am today in more ways than one. Twelve weeks ago, I was a full fifty pounds heavier and surely enough, one-by-one, everyone that I care for in this world pulled me aside to individually express their concern over my rapid weight gain. This issue becomes even more sensitive for my family as my father passed away at an early age due to weight related issues, never getting the opportunity to say goodbye or to meet my now eight year old daughter.
Oddly enough, I didn’t see it then. I had noticed how difficult it had become to stand up or even get out of bed in the morning, but I passed it off on my degenerative knee condition and other lower body injuries and disabilities. Sure I had gotten bigger, but I was just a little bulked up, right? Eventually it wore on me to the point where I agreed to lose weight, if for nothing more than to get them off my back. At the start of the new year, I was linked to this competition by a friend. Thinking it was the perfect kick in the butt to accompany appeasing my loved ones, I ran out to get a newspaper and took my before photos.
It was in those pictures that I could finally see it. I had become completely disgusting. I wasn’t just “bigger” or “bulked up”… I was fat. My face was twice the size that it should be, my stomach hung over the waist of my pants—and by no small amount either—and I was well immersed in an extremely unhealthy lifestyle. Even just for helping me realize this, I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for both Bodybuilding.com and Optimum Nutrition. Between being a 60% disabled veteran (almost all in my lower body, and dominantly in the knees), a single parent, trying to make ends meet, and even a new shoulder injury acquired in early January, I’m no stranger to excuses… clearly, I have lots of them. Legitimate as these excuses may be, I could now see my problems, and I wasn’t going to let excuses dictate my lifestyle any longer. I immediately committed myself to twelve all-natural weeks of the most physically, and mentally, demanding lifestyle I could imagine—no small claim coming from a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
So every idle minute of my day was put to work and reinvested into myself. I multi-tasked to fit more into my schedule, performing calls, meetings, emails and writing from my smart phone to create extra workout time. I turned some date nights into bonding interval training runs with my girlfriend. I put an emphasis on playing outside with my daughter, or playing “Just Dance” on the Nintendo Wii with her. I implemented an extremely aggressive dieting plan where I planned to put myself into a daily deficit of well over one-thousand calories—quite often even surpassing two thousand--and, with an iron will, adhered to it. I started a Bodybuilding.com log in the “Losing Fat” section to help stay accountable to myself and to the community. I went on fasts for over six weeks of the contest where I ate only one solid meal a day, and supplemented the rest of my dietary needs with whey protein shakes from Optimum Nutrition. I rotated workouts from full body to five-day splits. I did miles and miles of fasted cardio in the morning after taking in my ON BCAAs. After intense weights workouts that often left me on the verge on the unconsciousness, and at the very least, seeing stars, I would hit the treadmill for thirty minutes to an hour of high intensity interval training. In the last six weeks of this contest alone, I traveled over three hundred and fifty miles of cardio. To put that in perspective, I could run from my home in Jacksonville, FL, all the way to Atlanta, GA, and still have forty miles to spare… without including weights routines, alternative cardio or my daily activity.
“Transformation” is the perfect term to describe what happened next. I steadily became more mentally focused in all facets of my life, healthier, fitter, my knees began to hurt less as I shed the fat from my body, and even my mood improved. I won’t credit myself because I don’t fully deserve it. I am the one that stayed disciplined, but I stayed disciplined by drawing motivation and inspiration from my daughter and a desire to ensure that she doesn’t have to experience what I did with my father and that I will be around living a long, healthy and active life with my loved ones and to one day meet my own grandchildren. But I received some surprising sources of inspiration and motivation as well. Through being a daily active member among the community on bodybuilding.com and the transformation challenges own bodygroup, along with the neighbors and people at my gym that began to not only notice my tireless effort, but began to join me, I was lifted to even greater heights. In the past twelve weeks, I’ve had marathon runners, bodybuilders, power lifters and athletes tell me that I train harder than they ever have, but still, very little feels better than seeing someone begin to change their life and to have them tell you, “You’re my motivation.” That is a special feeling.
It wasn’t until this final week, however, that I won this contest. After losing an incredible fifty pounds, ten inches off my waist, and approximately twenty percent body fat, on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012, I decided to challenge myself with something I never dreamed possible considering my physical limitations. I decided to do a marathon. My knee conditions forced me to walk the majority of it, but over twenty-six miles later, I accomplished something I had never dreamed I could have—I couldn’t even walk past one mile twelve weeks ago! As I pushed myself through some extreme pain and discomfort, I realized this represented even more than accomplishing a marathon. It represented even more than retaking control of my body. It was really about knowing that no matter how painful or insurmountable the obstacle is in front of me... I can overcome it. One step at a time.
So finally, I’d like to give one last thank you to the people who helped me achieve more than I could have imagined. Thank you to my daughter Taylor, my amazing girlfriend, my family and friends, the Bodybuilding.com community—especially the people that followed my log and helped it to a five star rating with well over ten thousand views!—and the amazingly supportive bodygroup members, the people at my gym that I silently draw strength from their example, my neighbors that are changing their lives as a result, and everyone out there pushing themselves to achieve what they didn’t even know they could achieve yesterday.
I may not know a professional photographer, or a nutritionist, or a trainer, or a chemist, or how this will all be judged, but I do know that no matter the results, I already won this contest, and I did it all-naturally--no testosterone boosters of any kind or even fat burners--through nothing more than hard work, discipline, pain and an iron will.
Thanks guys. It was a really ****ty 12 weeks but very glad I did it. Feel so much better in just about every imaginable way.
Got really sick off that lasagna dinner, so I've been eating much, much, much lighter since (albeit still heavier than the past few weeks of this challenge).
It feels REALLY good to sit here and let my body rest and heal, and knowing I'm not hitting the gym today after spending 12 weeks pounding at my body.
Next goals are to bounce back into clean eating and add 10 lbs of muscle to my legs. The goal is to surround my knees with more muscle to keep strain off of them, but even with 10 more lbs, they'd prob still look underdeveloped lol