It Takes TIME

I've been lifting weights for a LONG time. 10 years ago I honestly never thought that scrawny little me would look the way I do today. Not that I think I look amazing or anything(and I still feel scrawny most of the time!), but I have come a long way in all those years.

The changes in my body were not drastic. They sure didn't happen overnight. I never had huge weight fluctuations or measurement changes, just very minimal changes from year to year to year.  There were many times when I felt like I wasn't really seeing any change at all, but I kept on, and now looking back at photos throughout the years, I can see the progress I've made.

The last 2 1/2 year's progresss 2010-2013

It's much harder and takes longer to build UP than to diet down! Especially while staying relatively lean. And the longer you've been training, the slower your progress will be. 2010 was the year I really "cleaned up" my nutrition. I got leaner but somehow still managed to gain muscle and actually weigh about 5lbs more now than I did in the first photo from 2010. In the last 5-6 years, I've gained about 8lbs.
 
The results that I achieved are simply the result of training HARD consistently and eating right for a LOT of years, always knowing that there was no "end" in sight. I just loved lifting weights and the feeling of accomplishing a goal and being strong and fit. I focused on getting better and stronger over time; I pushed and challenged myself continually by setting new goals and learning new things; I began to make better nutrition choices, a little at a time. As a side effect of those things, my body has changed and evolved over time.

I never did really did the "bulking" thing, but I did make sure to eat a lot because you do have to EAT to build. You will not gain a good amount of muscle if you are trying to stay super shredded with 6 pack abs. One bit of advice someone told me a while back that stuck with me was don't try to get abs before you've built the muscle you want first! Makes sense.When I started eating real, quality food and more calories was when I really started seeing results. But I DO think you can build muscle without doing a major bulk(as in eating whatever you want and gaining 20+ lbs of what will mostly be fat), as I have done for the last 3 years. I've just trained hard consistently, lifted progressively heavier weights and ate a lot of healthy food without going overboard.

So what has my nutrition been like the last few years? Well, I have never followed a diet plan, or obsessively tracked calories, or weighed and measured my food. I do watch what I eat, but I'm not super strict 100% of the time, and my goal is to never get into the "dieting" mindset. I do, however, have a few guidelines that I follow that help me stay on track: eat every 3 hours, protein at every meal, carbs mostly around training, eat mostly real foods, and 1-2 treat meals per week. This is what works for ME.

Now I'm at the point where I just want to maintain where I'm at as far as my bodyfat, and continue slowly adding a little more muscle, just as I've been doing for the last few years. I'm not striving for a 6 pack, and I'm no longer trying to have the perfect physique. I just want to enjoy my training and enjoy my food and not obsess over getting bigger or leaner. I want to stay in relatively good shape without being obsessive or super restrictive. Of course, I'm going to continue training hard and lifting heavy, and if changes happen, they happen! My journey isn't over-I'll never stop, but I'm content with being content where I'm at right now.

My body has transformed at a very slow but steady rate. And that's the key: you will get the results if you're doing the right things consistently over time. I've been training hard for the last 10 years, and it's taken me that long to get to where I am. If you're in this just for the physical results, you're not gonna last. Because when you don't see results fast enough, you'll quit. When you feel like your body isn't changing, you'll give up. If  you're not willing to be in this for the long haul and willing to accept that the results will come with time-lots of time-only then you will succeed.

So the moral of the story is: don't rush things and just enjoy the process! You'll get there. Don't compare where you're at in YOUR journey to where someone else is on their journey! Don't become obsessed and so focused on just the physical results that you forget to have fun along the way! Train hard. Be strong. Be patient. And most of all, have fun. 

Comments

  1. This is probably my favourite post of yours! It's so inspirational to see your progress over time. My biggest regret is probably doing a large bulk. I wish I had stayed lean and just tried to build muscle gradually - it would make getting rid of this fat a lot more pleasant..

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Well, the good thing is when you lose the fat, it'll be easier to maintain and stay lean! That's probably the biggest thing that keeps me staying lean-I know how hard it is to lose the fat! ;)

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    2. I just happen to come across your post and I'm so happy I did.
      You wrote some very useful and encouraging advice so I thank you for that! I have struggled to gain muscles through my years, I am now, 48 years old. One thing I have learn from my long journey is too, never give up. I will be where I need to be if I continue eat healthy and "attempt" to lift heavier weight ( I suffer from a bad shoulder injury). With that said, thank you, again!!
      BTW...great scriptures to live by :)

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    3. Thank you, I appreciate that! Keep up the hard work! :)

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