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- Growing Up Bronx
There was a period in time where I was so fit that I was tapped on the shoulder to appear on Men’s Fitness Magazine. Granted, these guys did a solid number on me and switched my story around. Instead of fat to fit, they made the story say, fit to fat. Perhaps they saw the future and ended up jinxing me! In any case, the point is I was in such great shape I made it into the same mainstream magazines all the superstars were in.
Those days are now gone. So here we are some 15 years later, and 100 pounds heavier!
I’ve attempted to get back in shape several times, and though I have experienced small successes here and there, I always end up failing in the end.
I even went on a television show which I believed would be the turning point for me. Even so, that turned out to be a flop, all show and no real help came of it. I believe I made a very big mistake in choosing the chef I picked as the winner, and I ended up paying for it.
Later, I worked with a great trainer for a few months, Tom Ram, and made really significant progress with him. Then I was laid off from work. It was no longer convenient or feasible for me to train at that location, so I had to move on.
Once again, it came down to Angel training Angel. Really though, at the end of the day, you are responsible for your success.
So here we are, one month in.
I’ve been eating relatively clean, and training consistently for about an entire month now. I’m feeling so much stronger; my endurance and resistance are getting far better. I am once again working with a trainer; his name is James Kiang, and we met years ago when I first started training Brazilian Jujitsu and Mixed Martial Arts. I know him. I know his work ethic, and I immediately signed up to work with him. We train two days a week together, and I train the rest of the time on my own.
The work with James, much like it did with Tom Ram focuses on functional, core, and the newly added MMA style training. I’m not only getting a great workout with him, but I’m also honing my mediocre striking skills. We train on footwork, hand drills, combinations, defense, and incorporate all sorts of drills that mimic MMA fighting. It’s really good stuff, and it’s helping my conditioning.
James said to me, “Angel, you are mentally tough. You are extremely out of shape, and most people in your position have to pause during these sessions. They can’t keep up, but you don’t quit even when it is clear you are struggling.”
If we set a target during training, for instance, 20 reps, then I will not stop until I hit the target, even if it takes me forever, I won’t quit. That’s how I train. I do not quit. If he set the number, then as far as I’m concerned, he believes that I should be able to make it to target, and I do not quit until I make it to target.
As I mentioned, my recovery is getting better, my conditioning is getting better, I’m starting to see lines in parts of my body that I haven’t seen in a very long time, and it is only the beginning.
This Friday I stepped on the scale, when we saw the number, James and I both said “freak!” The scale said I weighed in at 250 pounds. Just a couple of days earlier it put me at 242 pounds. It bothered me, but I shrugged my shoulders and told James, “Don’t sweat it man; we got this.” I know the scale can make or break your spirit, and it has done me in before. I will not allow it to do so again. I shook it off, and I went and did some extra cardio on the row machine on my own. I still had energy and wanted to burn it off.
Later that day I went to the bathroom FOUR times, FOUR times! I’m not talking little visits; I’m talking FOUR proper, toilet bowl filling visits if you know what I’m saying! I texted James and told him, “I was heavier because I was literally full of sh*t!” Friends, do not let the scale discourage you. If you are eating clean, training hard, and allowing your body time to recover, then the gains, losses, or whatever your targets are will come. Be patient and give time, time!
I didn’t balloon up to 250 pounds overnight; it’s been a slow process. I cannot expect my body to change overnight either.
Another thing to note, when training, use the mirror too! Ask yourself, “How do I feel?” If you feel better, you are moving faster, doing more reps, and so on, then you are making progress. If you look better in the mirror, even slightly, you are making progress. Don’t let the evil scale throw you of your game!
Consistency is the key my friends! I am starting to enjoy being at the gym again. I’m also starting to meet people and make friends, and I’m starting to enjoy eating healthy again as well. Today I had a cheat day; I ate some pizza, and it was very anticlimactic. This is a great thing; I am not craving or freaking out for it. It was “ok” at best, but didn’t give me any great pleasure.
So here we are ladies and gentlemen, one month in, and many to go! If you have any questions, comments or even advice you’d like to share, please comment, or reach out on social media. I am plastered all over the site and pretty damn easy to find.
One final note, an adjustment that I am going to make is dropping the number of berries I put in my protein shake. I believe that I am consuming more than I should be in that meal. I’ll be cutting back a bit on those fruits, and slightly, SLIGHTLY cutting back on my carbohydrate intake. I’m doing this all slowly. My body cannot do the things I did when I was 21. Though I have the knowledge and tools to lean out, I need to adjust that knowledge to reflect the body that I have today.
Growing Up Bronx