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On this day exactly one year ago I began my fitness program…

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

January
6
2004
January 6, 2004

January 6, 2004

January 6, 2003

January 6, 2003

It was exactly one year ago today that I lugged my fat, bloated, out-of-shape, hung-over, pasty, broken-down body out of bed and in front of the camera for the first set of my daily transformation pictures. I remember that morning well. Let me tell you, I was shocked when I saw those first two pictures. I suppose that I’d grown accustomed to ignoring my reflection in the mirror and not giving much thought to putting up with the acid reflux, wheezing and stomach problems (among other ailments) from which I was suffering. Looking at those first two photographs made me realize that my physical condition could no longer be avoided or rationalized. Because of those pictures, my poor health and appearance seemed less abstract and somehow far more tangible: they served as permanent and unbiased external reminders of the reality of what I’d done to myself through years of neglect.

I’ve never posted this picture before, but I think it’s important that it be seen. One year ago I was pretty close to rock bottom, in more ways than you know. Now, just one year later, I’ve never felt better, both physically and mentally. Listen, I don’t care how far gone you think you are, you can change.

Getting back to the first morning of my transformation: I remember staring in disbelief at those pictures on my monitor and thinking, “This is how I look right now, and I will continue to look like this (or worse) unless I am strong enough to make some big changes in the way I live my life.” That was a tough morning because I knew I had a long, difficult road ahead of me, but I also knew the only thing that could stop me from succeeding was me, and I was not about to let that happen…

…366 days, 732 pictures and a hell of a lot of workouts later, I’m very proud of myself for sticking with my program. I didn’t skip a single day of updating this web page, planning my meals or taking my pictures. With the exception of my unfortunate shoulder injury, I only missed two workouts all year, and those were both due to the flu. Looking back over the past year, I can honestly say I put everything I had into my transformation. It was not just a transformation of my body: I’ve changed how I eat, how I exercise, my mental attitude, the way I relate to people, the way I live my life, and my self-image. I can’t really point to the exact day that I stopped thinking of working out and eating right as “work”, but at some point that change did happen. Now this is simply the way I live. I can’t imagine ever going back to the way I once was. Why would I ever want to?

Most importantly, I want to thank each and every one of you for the unbelievable amount of support you have given me over the past year. Aside from the surprising number of people who keep me motivated simply by visiting this site each day, I’ve received thousands of emails over the past year offering all kinds of encouragement and support, and people asking for my advice. Honestly it’s all been so overwhelming that I’m still not quite used to it yet. I mean, look at my pictures from just one year ago! Who EVER would have thought – least of all me – that I would be in a position to offer fitness advice to anyone?! Amazing? Maybe. But one thing I’ve learned over the past year is that amazing things can happen if you let them. Look, I’m just an average guy who happened to document in detail what a strong desire to change coupled with hard work can accomplish. There’s not a single person reading this that can’t accomplish the things that I have, or even more. I encourage each of you to push yourself to your limits this year, and then go past them. See how far you can take it – you will probably be surprised at what you’re capable of doing.

Over the past few weeks I’ve thought a lot about stopping the daily updates to this page at the one year mark (today). The daily pictures seem redundant because change doesn’t happen all that quickly at this point, and of course sometimes it is a bit of a pain to update the page everyday when I’m already pressed for time. The more I thought about it the more I was leaning towards switching to weekly updates, but yesterday I thought to myself, “why should I stop doing something that has had such a positive effect on my life, and (hopefully) other people’s lives?” I’ve decided that the daily updates will continue for the foreseeable future. I’m looking forward to the new year and seeing what I can accomplish, and I’m also looking forward to hearing a ton of wonderful success stories from all of you.

Best of luck to each and every one of you, and my most sincere thanks for all your kind support this past year

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