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The last three years: A retrospective.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

November
1
2005

As everyone who even occasionally visits this site already knows, today is the first day of my bulk and the end of my SGX cutting cycle. As I begin this next phase of my lifelong fitness journey, I thought it would be interesting to take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the highs and lows I’ve experienced over the past three years…

 

January 6, 2003: This is where it all began. I had a plan, and I thought I knew what I was doing. As it turns out I really didn’t have a clue, but at least I was highly motivated and very determined. Shortly before I started, I came up with the idea to take pictures every single day to help gauge my progress and keep me motivated. I had no idea what a huge impact that one (seemingly small) choice would have on my life!

January 6, 2003

January 6, 2003

Get in my belly!

Get in my belly!

March 10, 2003: Apparently suffering from brain damage due to lack of calories, I let Lisa wax my chest and bleach my hair. The waxing created bleeding welts and skin irritations that would last almost as long as the horrible hair color. The ridiculous bleached hair left bruises on my ego that have yet to heal.

March 10, 2003

March 10, 2003

May 2, 2003: I remember this day! After a very long slumber under countless pounds of adipose tissue, this was the day I first noticed my abs were starting to show. I was still far from ripped, but considering how I looked just 4 months prior, I was very proud of myself. Of course I still had that horrible hair, and was starting to look like a poster-child for muscle loss.

May 2, 2003

May 2, 2003

June 4, 2003: At the time I remember thinking that I looked great, but now I can hardly stand to look at pictures from the summer of 2003. I had a six pack alright, but I had less muscle than the average 8-year old girl. I was also spending way too much time in the sun trying to get tan (George Hamilton even called and told me to chill). I suppose I was going overboard because after being fat and pasty for so many years, I instinctively wanted to go as far as I could to the opposite extreme.

June 4, 2003

June 4, 2003

October 6, 2003: Finally recognizing that I needed to put on some muscle, I started bulking. At the time I remember thinking I was fat in this picture, but now I think I was suffering from “former fat guy distorted view syndrome”. Unfortunately I injured my shoulder the following month and was unable to do much upper body work for almost a year.

October 6, 2003

October 6, 2003

January 6, 2004: One year anniversary! I think this is one of my better early pictures. January and February 2004 were huge months for the site: I was popping up in newspapers all over the world, doing interviews and my site was being posted on a lot of heavily trafficked sites such as Fark. Due to popular demand, the forums were born on January 21st. Thanks to incredibly fast growth and massive bandwidth requirements, on February 14th the main site and the forums were given a brand new server and moved to a dedicated co-location datacenter. A few months later a second server was added in order to handle the ever-increasing load.

January 6, 2004

January 6, 2004

April 28, 2004: This was a significant day for a few reasons. First, it was the last of my “daily pictures”: ever since the first day of my program, I’d taken a front and a profile picture every single day for 479 consecutive days. I never missed a day, and I was never once late updating my site by my self-imposed deadline of 9:00 AM. It was bittersweet announcing the end of the streak, but it was unavoidable: A few hours after this picture was taken I underwent surgery to repair a hernia. I still update the site 365 days a year (and am always adding new photos), but now I only take posed “daily” photos once each month.

This is also one of my most lean pictures. I was probably around 7% body fat even though my logs show I was at 8%.

April 28, 2004

April 28, 2004

August 6, 2004: My inability to do upper body workouts for almost a year was continuing to take its toll on my body. I was wasting away again, and was very frustrated. Thankfully my patience and months of treatment on my shoulder would soon pay off: A few short weeks after this picture was taken my shoulder was “good enough”, and I began my most successful bulk to date, adding around 20 pounds of muscle.

August 6, 2004

August 6, 2004

December 4, 2004: My bulk was going great! My shoulder was feeling fine, and I was adding mass like my life depended on it.

2004 Bulking Progress

2004 Bulking Progress

January 1, 2005: The end of my 2004 bulk, compared to my pre-bulk photo. Lisa calls the January photo my “big boy” picture. 🙂

August 6, 2004

August 6, 2004

January 1, 2005

January 1, 2005

July 1, 2005 & November 1, 2005: The July 1, 2005 photo was my first picture after coming back from vacation. Not a good picture: I’d lost some size, and my definition was poor. I was still cutting from my bulk, which had ended six months prior. I admit that I was rather lax over the summer: I worked out, but my diet was loose as I enjoyed the long summer days. Hey, nothing wrong with that! Anyway, about six weeks after the July photo was taken, I knew it was time to get serious again. I partnered with SwoleCat and started his SGX cutting program. I expected to get ripped on SGX, and I did. I did not expect to add lean mass, but I did that, too. The November 1, 2005 picture was taken the morning after completing the SGX program.

July 1, 2005

July 1, 2005

November 1, 2005

November 1, 2005

Today: I appreciate everyone who has shared in this journey with me. I want to thank each and every person who’s ever sent me an email, joined our community, supported my sponsors, flamed me, encouraged me, donated, inspired, ridiculed, praised and/or critiqued. I owe each and every one of you a huge debt of thanks. My life would not be the same without you.

So, there it is! Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me. It was a lot of fun for me to create, and I hope you enjoyed it. It is on this note that, with regret, I must say farewell. I will no longer be updating JSF after today.

Heh, just kidding. Suckers! Train hard and, as always, I’ll see ya tomorrow!

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