Have you faced moments during your body transformation when you felt like you’re not making any progress? Like your stuck and have hit a plateau? Of course you have. We all go through those experiences from time to time.
In these moments, a little dose of perspective is exactly what the doctor ordered.
At 42 years old with nearly 30 years of lifting experience under my belt, building muscle is a VERY slow and steady process no matter how well I optimize my workouts and nutrition for maximized muscle gains.
When I compare my physique to one month ago or even three months ago, it’s very difficult to see the visual progress I’ve made.
If I didn’t know any better this would be a moment when I could cast doubt on myself. Wondering if I truly was doing all of the right things to build a more impressive physique and look completely jacked.
This doubt would only be fuelled more if I bought into the hyped up claims you often see on the cover of fitness magazines and muscle building websites. You know… those workout programs that promise 20 to 30 pounds of lean muscle gained in just a couple short months.
But I do know better and I don’t buy into misleading marketing.
Muscle gains have slowed down for me and I’m more than cool with that. Because, while my physical growth has slowed, my mindset growth has accelerated.
I’ve learned to truly embrace the process. To get lost in the moment. To marinate in every rep. To savour every bite.
I’ve learned to find progress in other areas that I was blind to when I was solely focused on the physical changes.
Because of this I’ve grown more as a person during the past 7 years than I did the previous 20.
I’ve gained a healthy fascination with the capabilities of the human body. I realize that just because the mind wants to quit at times, it doesn’t mean that your body isn’t capable of stepping up to the challenge and pushing further.
I’ve also gained an appreciation for rest, recovery, and knowing when to pull back on the reigns.
Most important I’ve gained a lifelong outlook. Everything I do is in an effort to keep me enjoying this process for as long as possible. It’s my hope that I’ll still be curling dumbbells up to my final day on this planet.
But as much as I can appreciate the slow muscle gains right now, it sure helps to get a healthy dose of perspective by reflecting on how far I’ve come in this journey.
This picture captures the difference in my appearance between the time when I was 18 years old vs 42 years young.
I’d say I’m aging gracefully 😉
That’s a 25 pound difference in lean muscle between the two pics. It took me more than half my lifetime to accumulate that kind of mass. It may not be easy for me to build muscle, but it’s clear to see that my hard work has paid off. The best part though, is that I’ve enjoyed every step of the process.
That’s the perspective I’ve gained from the muscle building process. Now onto some reflections from my fat loss journey…
7 years ago I made the decision to get my shit together and finally carve out a physique that was congruent with who I AM.
There’s a 40 pound difference between the two photos. But the expression on my face captures the deeper transformation.
My confidence was at an all time low. I was uncomfortable taking my shirt off in public. My stomach always felt full and bloated. My body was not a reflection of my core values.
I had already dropped 12 pounds before taking that ‘before photo’ and by normal standards I looked pretty damn good at the start of my journey. But nobody ever accused me of being normal 😉
I admit that I hold myself to a higher standard. I own that shit. I’m proud of it.
This isn’t me trying to live up to what I see in the magazines. It’s simply who I am and who I’ve always been.
Life may have kicked me in the ass during that time in my life when I packed on the 50+ pounds of fat, but I believe it happened for a reason.
Not only can I relate to my clients on a deeper level, but I’ve grown beyond measure from the ongoing transformation process. It’s really brought out the best in me. I’ve learned to become much more in-tune with what makes me tick. My level of awareness has been heightened and I am much more grounded in the moment.
7 years later and I’m still learning and growing. That’s the beauty of this lifestyle. You get to explore your limitless potential.
As you can see, a little perspective can go a long way.
It blows my mind to see the achievements I made during my fat loss journey. I’m even more taken back when I see the improvements I’ve made to my physique from the muscle building journey.
But the earth shattering perspective is when you combine both the fat loss and muscle building journeys. Reflecting on everything that happened in order to get me to where I am today.
Success rarely, if ever, happens over night. It’s not until you take the time to peel back the layers that you truly see how all of the obstacles, set backs, challenges, mini victories, and moments of clarity went into sculpting the person you’ve become.
So take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown. Then take a moment to think of how you want to continue growing. Then ground yourself in the moment and soak up this incredible journey. Because it’s rewarding beyond measure.
Sculpt a Masterpiece,