96 Days to Gold Coast

96 Days to Gold Coast

Everytime I get a new training program, I can be as excited as a kid getting his Xmas presents. The excitememt always come with the fear of the challenge presents in the new program as well. This time around, I get to play with big boys weight since there will be compound movements with low reps scheme  and short tempo. I must say that I am relief to see no 6010 tempo in sight. Regardless, I can still foresee myself having difficulty using toilet after legs day.

I am really looking forward to play with weights that I have not had played with for a long time. I can’t wait to see some PBs again. Dear my puny legs and flat chest, please grow. I swear I will try my best to show you off more this coming Summer. 

97 Days to Gold Coast

“You only have seconds to impress the judges but it takes a lot more than that to get up on the stage. Months or even years of training. Tomorrow, there will only be one winner on the stage. Regardless of the outcome, own the stage and have fun. You work hard to be here.” One of the judges said during the briefing.

It is true. The hard work. The preparation. The dedication. The burning pain. The rock-hard willpower to keep going. The doubt of the worthiness of the works. The mental strength to get up failure after failure. The brutal truth of no guarantee of anything. Sometimes, trying your best is still not enough. Audience would not see all that. They only see the glorious seconds the competitors have to showcase their hardworks. They will probably only remember the one person who will the crown but the rest will only become a vague background.

But then there is the passion. The passion that has become a drive to live a life with purpose. A purpose that is more than a 9 to 5 sitting job. A purpose that could make your life regretless no matter what is the outcome. A purpose that could make you look back when you’re old and say “I did that”.

98 Days to Gold Coast

Officially, 14 weeks to go. Yes, I don’t need a calculator to find that number. Let’s say I do well with numbers. I seriously cannot wait to be shredded again. And this time I want to have a higher placing. Top 5. Top 3. Number O.N.E and a Pro card. I daydream about the Pro card night and day and constantly visualize the reaction of mine when my number is announced for the number 1 spot. It drives me ecstatically high that I can hardly drag myself back into the reality. 

“Patience is virtue” I keep reminding myself. One thing at a time, bit by bit, brick by brick, step by step, day after day, I will have my Rome built to conquer the world. Like any ambition in life, consistency, persistance and preseverance are the keys to make it happens.

These are my ‘Rome in progress’ pictures.

I was a bit leaner before I gulped down 1.5 litre of Vitargo, slow digesting carbohydrate, during workout. Here I am looking a little bloated for my photos but it is OK. I have faith in the process to get me to that place, where I look down to my people screaming my name like I am a king. I can hear some ultra-epic glorious Hollywood style music pumping loudly in my ears while I am sailing across the sea to claim my throne. 

Oh, I daydream again. Alas, I am listening to the new Game of Thrones soundtrack on Spotify.

99 Days to Gold Coast

Yesterday, I unintentionally posted my fat-on-stage picture on Facebook by sharing my blog post on here. Fortunately, it gathers some likes and a love from friends. Since I have bombarded my facebook friends with countless of my topless pictures shamelessly on my wall post, I decided to have the following picture as my featured picture for today’s post. It closely describes the first world problem that I am now fighting against.

I pick the stair after serious consideration. So here are my Day 2 Photos. 99 Days to Gold Coast.

Even though, I seem to look less bloated today. I can’t seem to shake off the thought of me being fat-on-stage. I am well aware that fat-on-stage is a phase of the process to get to the next level. One part of me can’t wait to start cutting but the other part is fearful of the punishments from the deity of Cardio. 

Anyway, weight hits 82.1kg today. With better abs definition. I bet I can’t ask for more at this stage.

100 Days to Gold Coast

From today onwards, I will post a front photo and a back photo of me on daily basis until my fourth competition in Oct 15. It will be interesting to see the changes. I have been on a very high caloric diet (3,800 – 4,000 kcal/day) to put on as much lean mass as possible in less than 2 months before the 12 weeks cut. Hence, the chubby look but the six packs are still there vaguely. Back in the my head, the fear of being fat again is not as strong as it was when I was prepping for my second competition during my mass gaining phase and I was at similar weight with higher percentage of bodyfat.

“You’re fat with six packs” is more like a joke from coach Ben these days. I still remember than that ‘OMG! We need to fix this’ look when I was putting on too much bodyfat before the cut for my second competition.

Of course, with the high caloric, energy has not been an issue. I have been able to lift heavier from week to week. In some ways, PB some lifts.

Heaviest weight of the day: 81.9kg. I can’t believe I was only 72kg six weeks ago looking like this.

Metamorphosis I: How I lost 20kg in 10 months (II)

Chapter 2: Denial

“You have put on weight!”

“You look bloated”

“You’re fat”

Those were the comments I got. 

“They don’t understand”

“I must keep going”

“Is it how it supposed to be?”

I think to myself

“I should not look like this. I could be better” Sometimes I looked in the mirror and think to myself. I visualized myself as big as a hulk. I dreamed about a body of a fitness model on a fitness magazine with my head on it. Being bigger was my ultimate goal and heavier weight equals to bigger size was my perception.

My eldest sister told me this once. “When you want to do something, you are very determined. That means you are very stubborn too”

I guess she was right.

I was so stubborn. Nothing seems to stop me. Not getting breathless from running 7km/hr pace on treadmill. Not getting breathless from tying up my shoe lace because my guts were in the way. Not even tearing my work pants at work a few times to make me feel embarrassed enough to stop. Until that first of the two incidents happened on my first day of restarting my career path as a fitness professional. It was the first day at school doing my certificate of Fitness. There were signs before the incident.

I walked into my class and I saw a couple of classmates with decent shape. It was a bit intimidating to sit next to them. I was not feeling too well on that day as well. Frequent toilet visit was like a mission for the day. I forced myself to turn up because I did not want to miss out anything on the first day of school. Miraculously, I managed to hold on to my business until the end of the first class even though my focus were constantly shifting between toilet and fumbling for the right words to make my introduction speech less mediocre. Yes, I tried very hard to be less mediocre in everything that I do. Sometimes, in vain. 

After bidding farewell to classmates and lecturers, I dashed off to the toilet like a skyrockets launching its way out of the Earth atmosphere. That is a bit of an exaggeration but I need to be quick to not make a mess in the public. 

I went into the cubicle and it was tinier than a shoe box for me due to my sideways growing frame. It was very hard to move around in the cubicle. Afraid to be locked in the facility after hours, I quickly finished my business and cleaned myself up. Like I mentioned before, it was really HARD to move around. CRACKED! I heard. I felt a sudden sharp like a knife pain sensation on my lower back. I think I hurt my lower back. NO! I hurt my lower back. And the pain has no mercy on me for the next couple of days. I remember that it was painful to get out of bed the next day.

This incident has become the embarrassing ‘Hurt my back in the toilet’story for me to tell my friends later in my life. Fortunately, it was not ‘I broke my lumbar while cleaning myself in the toilet’ story. Thanks, deadlift or maybe squat. Or neither. Just stubbornness in me.

It was the first time to make me realized that perhaps I am really fat.

A few weeks later, second incident followed. It happened in school again. The class were discussing health risks associated with obesity. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other horrible form of punishments from being obese came up in the discussion. We also learned that one of the requirements to be doomed as obese is to have a waist measurement of more than 100cm. Straight after that, we were practising on doing measurement on body parts including waist. I paired up with, Ramon, the guy I had became closest in the class. He measured my arms. I looked at the measurement. It was not as good as I expected. Someone proudly announced his arms number. “My arms are smaller” I thought to myself.

Ramon measured my chest. I look at it. Not 40 inches. I always wanted to have bigger chest. At that moment, I was very disappointed with myself. I start to wonder if all the times that I spent in the gym were nothing but waste of time. I struggled to make sense of what I did in the gym as I had followed many programs promised to add inches on my chest from the fitness magazines. “Should I still consider personal trainer as my future career if I failed to help myself to achieve a muscular body” I doubted. 

Ramon then measured my waist. I looked at the number. I was horrified. I should see that coming as my 38 inches pants felt tighter than ever. 

ONE ZERO FOUR…104 was the size. Tears started to well up in my eyes. I tried to hide my face from the class full room of people. Ramon noticed that something had gone very wrong with me and asked if I am OK. “I am OK” I replied. I wiped my tears dry sneakily and feigned a yawn so no one else noticed that I was in tears. I think Ramon knew that I was not happy with the measurement. He offered to measure it second time to see if he got it right. So we did the measurement again. I was sucking my guts in together very hard till it has no space left between the organs during the measurement. And it was still a disappointing 102.

From that moment on, I could not stop thinking about me possibly dealing with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney failure and other horrible form of punishments associated with obesity. The thought of being the one of five Australians living with obesity according to the statistic back then really petrified. It was like the end of the world for me. I was not indulging myself with cakes, junk food and soft drink. I just wanted to be big, as big and muscular as the guy in the Muscle magazine.

I waited. I hold on to my tears. I put on a mask to hide my sadness and disappointment until I got home. It felt like a frustrating road trip that stretches across the south of Australia. Then, I cried. Very hard. In my own solitary. No one heard it but myself. 

(To be continued)

Soldier On

Soldier On

“I bet your sleeps were horrible. It was freezing in the past couple of days.” I assumed, after the girl who served me coffee told me that she were sleeping in a place without heater and carpet. I can imagine how awful it feels to walk on the cold wooden floor in the morning hours of winter and Melbourne seems to be cursed with 9 months of winter.

“It’s alright. I am here now. I just need to soldier on.” she said, with a slightly jaded but warm smile.

“Soldier on.” I repeated. Those are the two words that I need to motivate me to execute my  plan for the day.

“I like that. That attitude.” I said. My smile stretched from one ear to the other. They said smile is contagious. No doubt, positivity is contagious too. If I am an angel, my halo would be dancing in rainbow color at that moment.

I said my thank, grabbed my coffee and decided to head straight to training Legs for the third time this week. I was clouded with thought of going back to slumber land earlier in the day because I kept telling myself that I did not sleep too well and exhausted from work, thank goodness, it just “puffed” away.

I soldiered on and ticked the leg training off my list. Pumped legs made my day and one more thing that I can do to look better on stage. I soldiered on and ticked the gymnastic training off my list. Consistency of bar muscle up made me happy and arms look enormous from it. I keep soldiered on and ticked off a few other must-do tasks for clients. Clients will be getting excited about what I have in store for them. More positivity.

I hope this “soldier-on”ness is contagious to anyone who need it. Let’s soldier on together.