My Weight Gain Journey
When I used to think about gaining weight, I used to freak out, and I would have mini panic attacks. I was always told not to gain too much muscle or weight because I would look "too big." For the most part, I listened to people because I was afraid of being judged. If I got heavier than that particular number I had in my head, I would go in no carb diet mode for the next few weeks.
Back in 2014/2015, I walked around at 155-158 with very minimal muscle. I was told that 125-130 would be a great weight for me. I am 5'7 with very long limbs. I have a long torso and very long legs so if my weight went under 145; I looked like a starving child who needs 15 pizzas and two dozen doughnuts. I knew I didn't want to be a walking stick. I wanted to get stronger but didn't want to gain a lot of weight in the process because I was still afraid. I had just started powerlifting in August 2014 after a few years of doing bodybuilding style workouts. I decided the 148 class would be right for me because I thought it would be a good goal weight to drop down to. I competed in the 148 class for only two meets before I decided I was done trying to kill myself to cut almost 10lbs to make weight. My best total at 148 was 745lbs in May 2015. I knew I needed to be gain some weight and muscle if I was ever going to make any progress on all my lifts.
I started worrying about my lifts more than my body weight and ate what I wanted. In the first six months, I went from being 150 to 169. I liked feeling fuller, bigger, stronger and I loved it. All my lifts went up but with the weight gain came the unwanted fat. It was a mind fuck at times. I would still look at myself some days in the mirror and wonder if gaining the weight was even worth it.
In the summer of 2016, I was dealing with really long hours at work and more extended training sessions that went well past midnight. I was in meet prep from September 2015 to July 2016. I did five meets almost back to back without any breaks. I am a stress eater and I was stressed out beyond belief. I wasn't used to doing so many meets in such a short amount of time, so I started eating more and more. Before I knew it, I was 183lbs! 35+lb weight gain in almost a year! I remember the day I saw that weight on the scale; I had a panic attack. I had reached my goal of totaling 1000+ in July 2016, but at what cost? This time the weight I gained wasn't the proper type of weight. It was the unnecessary weight that came with back rolls, double chins and all. After my last meet in July 2016, I decided I was going stop worrying about my lifts for a few months, focus on my weight loss and get back to where I was mentally and physically. I was miserable with myself, and I was determined to get back to being comfortable in my skin again. I always had that "never settle" mentality, and I noticed I was starting to lose that. I had the "oh well" attitude most day and I remember being so mad at myself for stooping that low.
I decided to hire someone to help keep me accountable for my weight loss. She put me on a great plan where I didn't starve myself and ate enough to where I never felt hungry. I lost more body fat and inches off my body than weight. I went from being 38% body fat to 26% and a 37-inch waist to 29 inches. She helped me realize that focusing on the scale wasn't how I should track progress. She made me take progress pictures, and I remember cringing while sending her my first one. Two months goes by. As I’m sending her my weekly progress pictures, I get a text from her right away with a side by side comparison of when I first started up until that point. I hadn't realized how much body fat and inches off my waist I had lost. I was shocked because I couldn't see the progress up until that point. I was so focused on the weight I wasn't losing that I never stopped to realize that I was making tremendous progress in other aspects, even if the scale wasn't moving as fast as I wanted it.
My body weight now a days fluctuates between 175-178. I still look at myself some days and wish I was smaller, but then I think back on all the amazing things I've been able to accomplish in my short time as a powerlifter, and I stop stressing for a little while. I don’t think my journey will ever be done. I will always find new things to improve on each day. I just have to keep reminding myself that I am not 21 anymore and my metabolism is not what it used to be.
Moral of my long ass story is BE HAPPY WITH WHO YOU ARE IN ALL STAGES OF LIFE! Be whatever weight you want to be as long as you are happy in your skin. Even if it is not where you want to be now, enjoy the process. You can't appreciate the good days without the bad. Use the bad days as motivation to be better. As my friend JP Carroll once told everyone "Embrace the suck." Be OK with the now but never settle!