This may be the realist shit I’ve ever written for my blog.
I know this because I’m nervous just writing it, let alone physically posting it. But I’ve learned a lot from my mentor Luka Hocevar lately, especially after starting the 90-Day Outcomes program [will be sharing more on this very soon].
I’ve learned that the truth allows you to grow, become a better person and it will always help others so much more than you trying to feed them some bullshit on the latest and greatest fat loss or mindset tools.
Don’t get me wrong, I post things like “5 Best Ways To Burn Fat” all the time and I think that’s great because its honest stuff that actually works.
But sometimes it takes describing the pain or struggles you’ve experienced in life to truly help others get through their pain and struggles. Also just to let others know, they’re not the only ones.
So today I’m going to tell my story on dieting and how it messed with me, mentally and emotionally. How it led me to hating the way I looked, again, and made me feel more insecure than I’ve ever felt…
I was recently talking to one of my nutrition-coaching clients about her struggles in dieting. I understood her pain, deeply and truly understood exactly what she was going through.
But I had a feeling that me saying, “I understand” just wasn’t enough. So I had to share my personal story to her.
It was hard, and I even stuttered to begin the story because many people look at me as a lean, fit, and happy coach. What could I possibly be going through when it comes to weight loss and insecurities… And I get it, because I was hiding from the truth within to portray that look. The look that I had it all together.
So I told her about my experience….
I did a physique competition in June 2014. Before starting this competition, I was in good shape and felt amazing.
I was confident, lean, strong and so happy with my body. I mean, how couldn’t I be?! I was 45lbs lighter than when I graduated high school and was stronger than ever! I could even see a couple abs, it was awesome!
To say the least, I was happy with my body and myself. I had come a long way since being overweight and I know longer hated to look in the mirror, avoided being in pictures or told myself negative thoughts about my self-image.
But then I really started getting into nutrition, the science behind it all and it intrigued me a lot. So I decided I needed to step up my game, study up more and show my community what I was capable of achieving.
So I contacted a nutrition coach to help me stay accountable and teach me some key strategies to get myself shredded.
Then I called up Gene Fox, the greatest photographer I knew, and told him I wanted to do a photo-shoot in 12-weeks.
This gave me enough time to diet, train hard, and monitor the entire process of my transformation.
Few weeks in, my girlfriend asked me if she could join… I was ecstatic!
For one, this proves my ability even more if I can get her shredded along with me and on top of that… there’s nothing sexier than having your girlfriend living the fit lifestyle and crushing weights in the gym by your side.
So for the next 3 months we trained our asses off, did two-a-days, didn’t have any cheat meals, no drinking or social partying, and everything else you can imagine about the “Hardcore Fitness Lifestyle”.
Was it hard? …. Fuck yeah it was!
Sometimes it sucked, but we were seeing results we’ve never seen and it was rewarding and worth it.
Weeks are going by and we’re about half way there, when my co-worker Dee suggested a competition… At first I said, “Nahhhhh I could never do that…” but in my head I considered it because I’ve always wanted to give it a go.
She said, “There’s a show the same weekend you have your photo-shoot… in fact it’s the day before!”
I thought for a second, and then decided to go for it. I mean why not? It will push me even harder to achieve the dream body I wanted!
I asked Kirsten if she was in, and of course she was! So it was set. We would compete side by side in the physique and bikini class. This made me even more pumped up, it’s like the perfect idea… two people in love, fit as hell, and getting on stage together to show it off.
One day we’re sitting in Starbucks for lunch, eating our tuba-wear of chicken and green beans with black coffee, and we decided that we needed to reward ourselves after this process.
The process was starting to get tough… packing 6 meals a day, eating the same damn thing daily, doing all this while maintaining a motivational and positive attitude at work… not to mention we were BOTH doing this. So we were starting to bicker at each other over the stupidest things.
So we got on my iPad and booked a cruise. It was cheap, tropical and we’d be able to get away from dieting and training for a week. We set to leave the day after our photo-shoot.
So the weekend of the 23rd of June we had a Saturday Physique Competition, Sunday Photo-shoot and set sail on Monday! Holy shit… Perfect timing! Right?!
Fast forward through the next weeks leading to the show… we needed to shred up, FAST.
That means cardio every single morning, training hard at night all but one day per week. Cutting more and more calories out of our diets, you know… the whole “Classic Bodybuilding Life”.
Well part of this whole sweet experience that is left out is the feelings, emotional and physical.
We felt like shit. Straight up, shit.
Low energy, low libido, low hormonal levels, cranky, losing strength and then some.
So it caused fights and honestly, a bad relationship when it came to dieting as a couple. This is NOT what I signed up for…
But we got through it. We did it all and whether we felt like shit or not, we made it on stage looking RIPPED. I’ve never been so lean, it felt fucking great!
Now that the show was over, everyone backstage is talking about their cheat meals and how excited they are.
But Kirst and I, have a photo-shoot at 11AM the next morning… So that meant another chicken, broccoli and rice cake meal with a sip of water so we could stay “Dry” and avoid bloat.
But again, we did it. Accomplished that goal too and did the photo-shoot. In fact, we actually woke up looking even better than the day of the show! Which was awesome.
We did have fun with the shoot, probably because we knew we were going straight to Trapper Sushi on our way home!
We went to eat, had an amazing meal at the restaurant we had one of our first dates at and is our staple cheat meal spot to this day.
Then we went home, packed up and got a good nights rest before we set off to California to hop on a cruise ship!
So we went on the ship and were ready to party, drink, eat whatever we want and not look at our phones for an entire week! So exciting… but something was on our minds still….
After all that hard work, training, and dieting, the only thing on my mind was “Don’t ruin this. You’re going to get fat, again. You can’t eat that!! You better train Cody!”.
So every morning I woke up, I HAD to train… Like really, I HAD to do it. It caused some fights, rightfully so, because we were here on vacation to relax. But it was a mental thing I could not resist or fight… What the hell is going on with me?!
So every single day on the boat, I woke up and trained. I would worry throughout the day about my body getting ruined. Then by the end of the night I’d say, “Fuck it”.
I binged on all the buffets and alcohol I could find on that ship.
This was the cycle, every single day.
Now I don’t want you to take it the wrong way, we had a TON of fun on that ship.
My mind would drift away from the body issues and eating thoughts and just be on her. We truly enjoyed so many things from activities, fancy drinks, fine dinning, dancing, partied and all the things we planned on doing. It was truly a blast.
But it was getting to me, really bad. And it was hard because I grew up as “The fat kid” of the group. I lived getting picked on about that shit and the scariest part about it, I didn’t care nearly as much then as I did at this moment.
How could I now, looking leaner then ever, hate my body MORE then when I did growing up overweight… I vividly remember having body image issues on a regular basis as a teenager… and now its back, possibly worse?!
One night, Kirsten called me out… she noticed my mood shifts and me binging a little and told me she thinks I have acquired an eating problem because of this show. She saw my worries, then the binge, then the training and the repetition of it all.
It was hard to have my own girlfriend say something so embarrassing and shameful to me, but I knew she cared and she’s an amazing girlfriend for calling me out.
So I agreed and decided to not look in the mirrors, worry about it all and just have fun. So we did and it made the world of a difference… until I got home.
We got home and I went to my room to put shit away and change. I looked in the mirror and for the second time in my life, legitimately felt depressed at what I saw.
I gained what looked like about 20lbs or so, I was too afraid to touch the scale so I don’t know exact numbers.
This is where this whole journey came to a fucked up ending…
Did I do all that work, training and dieting, to destroy my body?
Or did I be a normal human being and have fun for a week on a tropical cruise ship?!
The answer is the later, but my mind said the opposite.
So I went back to very low carbs, two-a-days, training my ass off, and bottling it all up. I even took the mirrors down for a week or two until I could look at myself again.
This is the hard part for me to say, I was legitimately depressed with myself….
And now I was doing what created the issue, all over again? Holy shit….
It went on for weeks like this. Kirsten hated it, I could see it… and it took me a while to finally realize that I was just digging myself deeper mentally and potentially harming my amazing relationship.
So after about a month or so, I stopped it all… I restructured my diet to be more flexible and allow me to go out socially. I went out with friends, I stopped the cardio and I tried my best to not be so worried and anal about everything I ate…
And guess what?!
I lost body fat!! I got leaner again. But this time I was stronger and happier and more confident than when I went into the show! How is this possible?!
Well my hormones were working, I was happy, and I could enjoy the process of dieting and training again.
It’s now December and I have crushed every single PR in the gym [meaning I have lifted more weight in every single lift then ever in my life], I am eating double the amount of calories I did before, I train less but harder when I do train, I don’t do extra cardio at all, and my relationship is damn near perfect.
So I guess the moral of the story is to relax a bit, find a balance of dieting that you can ENJOY and LIVE with and just trust the process.
I hope what I am sharing with you today can help you in some way…
I hope it allows you to love yourself for who you are and focus on how far you’ve come already rather than focusing on where you should be or better yet, where you THINK you should be.
As a guy, its hard to admit that I struggled with dieting and body image… that I attained an eating disorder of binging and then under eating and over training to make up for it… that I was depressed about something as dumb as looking in the mirror, at myself.
But as a guy I am also very proud to say I over came it. I learned from that process and am happier than ever and I believe that if I keep doing what I am doing, I will be leaner then I ever was again, very soon, but healthier, stronger and happier then I ever was.
Take my advice; find a coach who doesn’t put you through anything you do not feel happy doing. And if you are, tell your coach how you really feel. I’m sure he/she doesn’t yet know and that he/she will help you… if not get a new coach.
And don’t put yourself through this type of process like I did. Don’t bottle it up, ignore the signs and pretend you’re ok so you can accomplish something that can be accomplished down a safer path.
If this helped you at all please share it, comment below, or email me telling me your story, if you feel comfortable. I would love to hear it.
And if you feel I can help you with your diet, training, mindset or anything in the fitness lifestyle please click the picture link below. It’s a free chance for me to help you and the more people I can help, the more successful I am.