Everyday I saw my physique change!

How did you do it?

For as long as I can remember, I have always had an underlying interest in big muscles. As a kid, I was constantly seeing how many push-ups and sit-ups I could do, thinking that it would make me look like Rambo, Rocky, or the Terminator. It wasn’t until a couple years ago, however, when I was introduced to the sport of bodybuilding. After witnessing the abrupt transformation of a bodybuilder’s physique, I knew that there would potentially be a moment in my life when I too, could consider myself a bodybuilder.

The night before I started my “journey” of becoming a bodybuilder, I sat down with my family and explained to them that the Indiana State Bodybuilding competition was coming up in seven weeks, and I wanted to compete. My family then replied with a disgusted “Why?”—a question that soon became repetitive throughout the course of my diet. Not quite getting the response and support I wanted from my family, I knew that if this were something I was going to do, I would have to be my biggest motivator.

After a long night of thinking, I woke up the next morning at 3:00 am to meet Kevin at 4:00 am for an early morning walk. During our 45-minute walk, I was basically given my instructions for the next two months. We discussed what I could and could not eat, when I should exercise and when I should rest, and the over all discipline that would be necessary to show up the day of the competition in the best shape possible. Concluding our walk, Kevin announced that he would be there every step of the way, which quickly translated to me his expectations and my own commitment to following his instructions. It was at that moment when I physically, emotionally, and mentally dedicated myself to a particular course of action –I was a bodybuilder.

The diet started off rough, but continued to get easier and easier as the weeks progressed. I felt like I was getting into a “zone,” and the routine of planning out my meals actually became fun. Everyday I continued to see my physique change, and it was the subtle transformations that left me striving for more. It wasn’t before long and I was getting comments from others, as they too could see that I was getting leaner and in better shape. About three weeks into my diet I began getting compliments from total strangers. One guy asked me if I ever thought about personal training; and he actually offered me a job, another guy asked me if I was training for a competition; and I quickly realized that he was one of the judges for the Indiana State Competition.

Although the diet got easier as the weeks progressed, there were however instances when it was difficult. More specifically, it was difficult to maintain a social life when I knew I would be surrounded by individuals who did not particularly diet, or have the same goals in mind as I did. I found myself missing out on meals with my family, unable to stay out late with my friends, and at times, unwilling to place myself in a situation where I would be tempted to cheat my diet.

It was’t until the week leading up to my competition when I felt as though I had an answer to that earlier question of “Why?” To me, it was the feeling of success that finally made this experience worthwhile, as the end was near, and my destination was in sight. However, success to me did not necessarily mean I wanted to win a bodybuilding competition, but rather, I would define success as the fulfillment of my commitment to Kevin, and the ability to discipline myself. Success to me was defined when the people I lived with, worked with, or even when total strangers saw and witnessed what I had achieved in seven weeks. Finally, success to me was formalized when my own strides and accomplishments became a motivating factor in the lives of others. No longer was it a question of “Why,” but it became a question of “How?”

–Abe Newblom

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