My Journey: Therapy

huston7bOver the course of this whole experience of losing weight and later, deciding to lose even more weight to get into competition shape, I have learned a couple of things. You may, or may not, find them useful if you find yourself on your own fitness\weight loss journey someday.

First, junk food is exactly that – JUNK! While this may not surprise most of you, what might surprise you is if you actually look at the nutritional information on some of your favorite goodies. Virtually all candies, gummies, sweets, treats – whatever you call them, have around 30g of carbs per SERVING. 30 grams! While that may not seem like much, for most candies it’s about 6 pieces, 14 gummy bears, whatever it may be, a mouthful! On my current diet I only take in 100g of carbs a DAY. T,hats three mouthfuls of gummy bears give or take a few! Don’t waste your macros on empty, insufficient food that will leave you with an insulin spike and feeling quite worthless for having caved in shortly after. Trust me, I know!

Skip the junk! don’t do it! It’s not worth it!

While I have been trying to lose weight I have also learned a valuable lesson with the scale. That is I don’t live by it. I don’t mean to say don’t use it, or don’t pay attention to it at all, because it can be a very useful gauge for weight loss goals. It’s not the be all end all though. Go by how you feel. This past weigh in for example, I felt terrific! Very lean, muscular, quite ripped in fact! I was sure I’d lost 5 pounds or more! Awesome! Cant wait! However, when I jumped on the scale, I was quite disheartened to find out I was barely down ONE pound!

How could this be? I thought to myself, only one pound? After such a great week of dieting and cardio. I worked my but off for a pound? I felt cheated almost! 70c8k6Then I looked in the mirror.

I look leaner. I feel leaner. I look great! I feel great! That’s what’s important out of all of this! How you FEEL! If you’re relying on the scale to tell you when to stop, keep waiting, it wont happen! We get so caught up in this idea of “If i make it to such and such a weight, I’ll be ripped!” and then we’re disappointed when we get to that weight and still haven’t achieved the look we want!

Use the scale as gauge, to help you judge what you need to do. You need to decide when you’re happy with how you look. I’m very satisfied with how I look at 170. I love it! Could I win a bodybuilding contest? Not a chance, but I know that I’m close, and I know that I can safely come back to 170 afterwards and feel comfortable with how I look!

You need to be the judge. Don’t let a scale dictate your weight loss goals or judge you.

Last, but certainly not least, working out should be FUN!

I love my time in the gym! Sure it’s too early some morning, or too late some evening, or I’m tired, or hungry, or grumpy, or whatever! The point is, when I get to the gym and I get warmed up, all of that goes away.

It’s like I’m taken to another place entirely. I forget about all of my problems and stresses, my mind is clear, and all I have to do is workout. The gym needs to be your sanctuary. If you’re not looking forward to your workouts, then something needs to be changed.

A workout for me is a stress release, anger management and meditation session all in one! My mind is cleared in between sets. If there’s something bothering me, or I’m worried, shoulder-shrugs-neveuxI use it as motivation, or fuel, to push me through to the next set. Usually by the time I’ve finished the set, I’ve forgotten what I was upset about in the first place. My mind is cleared again and I’m ready to recover. The only thing on my mind is catching my breath and getting ready for the next set.

From the time I walk through those doors, until I walk back out and get in my car, the only thing on my mind is that workout and for that reason, and that reason alone, I have chosen to compete in bodybuilding. It’s very therapeutic for me to try to shape muscles, build them slowly, tighten my waist, focus on different parts on different days.

Some people say its obsessive, narcissistic, shallow. To them I say no more so than a car collector, or someone who enjoys golfing or fishing! It may not be the same sport, but it’s a hobby or past time people use for therapeutic reasons to de-stress and be taken to another place.

People fly all around the world for fishing trips, spend thousands of dollars on flights, charters, accommodations, all in an effort to go out on the water, in the middle of nowhere, in peace and quiet. Many people say they don’t fish to catch anything, simply for the piece of mind it brings, and the clarity you can get from being out on the water.Hunter_0615A

That’s me in the gym. When I’m there I’m a million miles from everyone else. I’m on my own, with a clear mind, focused on lifting my weights, and shaping my body.

Call it whatever you want. It’s something I have come to love and will continue to love for a long time to come.

Happy Lifting!

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3 comments for “My Journey: Therapy

  1. February 24, 2013 at 5:36 am

    I’m with you 100% on this one Luke!

  2. February 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Good job, keep it up!

  3. February 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Congrats on your journey so far, Luke – whether you ever get onstage or not, you’re already a winner! Yes, people will call you narcissistic, obsessive and a lot worse, all to justify to themselves why they’re too lazy to do the same. Just remember that’s THEIR issue, not yours – you NEVER need to apologize or justify being in great shape & trying to stay as healthy as possible!

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