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Old 01-04-2014, 10:43 AM   #1
Quietmarc
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Default I'm not TOO quiet...

Hi everyone,

I found this forum courtesy of the bearded beast of dulac's youtube channel, and specifically his recent post about surrounding yourself with motivating people. I'm doing that in real life, and figured why not check out some forums as well.

I'm at an interesting point in my life where I've been making big changes over the last 2-3 years, but it's been a long time in coming. I feel like I am finally able to achieve some of the dreams I've had my whole life, and as exciting as that is, there's still a lot of fear in there as well.

This post is long and self-indulgent, but I like to think that my story might help others somehow.....

*

I'm 36 years old, and until 2 years ago I was a regular binge drinker. I was what you'd call a "functioning alcoholic", in that I held a job, and paid my rent, and most people might have thought I had a little drinking problem but had no idea how I was barely holding things together. I would get wasted at least 3 times a week, drinking a case of beer (that's 12) plus whatever hard liquor was hanging around each binge. I kept telling myself I would cut down, but it never happened. I'd drink alone, because I couldn't trust myself around other people, and I would watch TV and order junk food. No wonder I was ballooning up to 270lbs and a 52" waist.

I was miserable, for a lot of reasons. I was going nowhere in my career, I had very few friends, I was fat. All my life I've struggled with low self-esteem, and the choices I was making were making things worse. I knew that something had to change, but I was never able to get that change started.

In October, 2011, my little brother got married. Because my dad hates public speaking, I was chosen to give the speech for our family to welcome my brother's new wife into our family. I love both of them, and it was an honour to have that responsibility. I took it seriously. I spent the weeks leading up to the wedding preparing what I was going to say, looking through old photo albums for memories, talking with my family about my brother and what we loved about him. Maybe the most significant was that I spent time thinking about good things to say about my little brother. Anyone who's an older brother knows how hard this can be.

The time of the wedding came. We tried on tuxes. I'd been measured a couple of months before, but the tux had to be taken out. My brother and his friends are all skinny assholes, and standing next to them I looked like the fattest penguin in the world. A bunch of bowling pins and one round bowling ball.

At the reception, I avoided the booze. I knew that if I started, I wouldn't be able to stop, and I had a job to do.

I watched everyone enjoy themselves, drinking wine and champagne, laughing, relaxing, and I watched every single sip. I wanted to drink so badly. I was miserable.

I gave the speech. Some people cried. I went back to my seat and continued to feel miserable.

Why was I miserable? This was a happy day for my brother. The whole family was there, cousins I hadn't seen in years, everyone was happy, it had been a gorgeous day, the bride was beautiful, my brother looked respectable for once....but I was miserable. And I was miserable because I wanted to drink. What kind of an asshole spends a day like that being miserable because he has to be sober? Me. I was an asshole.

Three days later, October 5, 2011, I had my last binge and my last drink and I've been sober since.

*

It wasn't just the drinking that I was upset about, it was everything. All my life I'd wanted to be a bodybuilder, since maybe the first time I watched a He-Man cartoon. I got my first weight set when I was 14 or 15 (around the same time I started stealing beer from my dad's fridge). I always felt I was fat, I wasn't great at gym, I was a lonely and bookish kid, but I did learn about lifts and form and nutrition.

But in a battle between booze and bodybuilding, guess who wins.

I was never consistent. I would go to the gym for 3 weeks, then flake off for 3 months. I knew how to read food labels and eat healthily, but every binge I would order an xtra large pizza or two poutines, and chow down. I was the guy who knows a fair bit about fitness but could never be taken seriously because he was huge, and not in a good way.

So, when I gave up drinking, I made a second commitment to myself. I decided that I would give fitness a real shot. I thought about my life, and what might happen when I'm 85 and looking back on what I've accomplished. I've spent a good part of my life wanting to build muscle, and I knew that if I never gave that a decent shot I would hate myself.

The first year, I went to the gym 4 times a week or more. If I travelled, I used the hotel gym. If I was sick, I went lightly or else was back as soon as I could stand. I marked each day on the calendar, so I could look back and see my commitment. Being sober and getting fit were connected for me, and every check on that calendar reminded me of what I was trying to do.

I left my job and lived on savings and government assistance until I got my life together (and I'm thankful that I live in a country where that was possible), and tried to figure out what to do with my life.

In my first year I lost 25lbs and probably 5" off my waist. It was a start.

The second year, I got a personal trainer, because now I had a goal. I wanted to enter a bodybuilding competition. And because of that trainer's help, I had a second goal: I wanted to be a personal trainer, too.

Today, a bit over 2 years from my brother's wedding, I am about to take my written test to be certified as a personal trainer. I am 50lbs lighter at 220lbs, and my waist is under 40" and shrinking every day. My bodyfat went from over 40% down to about 20% and by this summer I'll be in the mid-teens and will have a decent set of abs for the first time in my life. I'm sober, and that means I am able to be a better brother, son, and (eventually) husband to my boyfriend who's been with me through this journey. Even though I have no cash right now, I'm happier than I've been in a long time.

I will compete in a bodybuilding competition within the next 2 years, and I have a long term goal of owning my own community gym one day where I can help other people like myself - people who were never jocks, people who think they can't ever get the body they want - to reach their goals.

There have been challenges, I've had to defend my life changes to others (an acquaintance once asked me if everything was ok, because I was making "so many changes"...he wanted to hold an intervention because I...stopped drinking and started working out? Weird.), but I'm better now than I ever was. Like anyone who starts late, my only regret is that I wasn't able to start sooner. But the flip side is that I've started and can only get better.

Thanks to anyone who read this. I'm gonna take some time to learn about this community and hopefully carve out a small place for myself in it. I hope that maybe sharing all this can help somebody else in some small way.

Take care and happy lifting....

Marc
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:09 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Marc. Great to have you on board. Hope you will make yourself at home and start up a training log.

Quote:
I will compete in a bodybuilding competition within the next 2 years, and I have a long term goal of owning my own community gym one day where I can help other people like myself - people who were never jocks, people who think they can't ever get the body they want - to reach their goals.
Great goals. Make a plan and get after it. We've watched many men and women hit the platform or stage for the first time here at MAB. Let us know if we can do anything to help.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:13 PM   #3
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Welcome Marc!
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A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

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Old 01-04-2014, 01:42 PM   #4
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Welcome Marc, I'm dealing with the same type of "rock bottom" feeling myself so it was inspiring to see how well everything's turned around for you. I can't wait to see more posts from you!
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:04 PM   #5
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Hi
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for the welcome guys. I wrote that post when I was supposed to be studying for my CanFitPro written exam to be certified as a personal trainer here. As luck would have it, the exam was administered by a woman who was my first ever bootcamp (fitness bootcamp, not military) instructor way back in 2006 or 2007. It was great to see her, because it reminded me of how far I have come.

I think I aced the test, and if so I just have to do a practical exam later this month and I'm in.

Cutty> Quitting drinking was (and still is) the hardest thing I've ever done but it is still the BEST thing I've ever done. I don't know what your bottom is about, but whatever it is just know that as hard as it gets, it is SO worth it to keep on going. Times get dark, but when the dawn breaks, it is the best feeling in the world. You can't drink, snort, or smoke the value of being a whole and healthy person.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:25 PM   #7
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Hey man! Reading your story was fantastic and I honestly hope you get to open a gym one day that is successful! I've learned over my short period in the lifting world that a lot of guys come from non athletic backgrounds and turn out doing incredible things in this world.
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