By: Connor C
Everyone has a starting point, some are underweight and want to gain muscle while others are overweight and are embarrassed by how they look and how others look at them. That was me.
I have always struggled with being overweight, I was closer to 300 lbs than I would have liked to admit. I lied to myself about my weight and after looking in the mirror and feeling pitty, I decided it was time to change.
When I first started working out, I was embarrassed–not because I was the fat guy at the gym–but because I didn't know where to start. When I told friends and family I was going to the gym, they just laughed and said it wouldn't last long.
When I was at the gym, people would look at me and judge me because I was overweight and didn't exactly know what I was doing. It wasn't until I met a couple of people at the gym and started to ask questions. This is really when I started to understand what I was doing and how it was helping me.
After about four years, I've lost almost 100 lbs and couldn't be happier. My friends and family don't see me as the same person, and when I see myself in the mirror now, I'm not ashamed. I'm proud.
I had a point where it was hard to get out of bed, to put on pants, to even walk up a few stairs. I understand the struggle. I have seen it all. I want to be an image of hard work and dedication. I want to be the voice that helps others. I want to make sure that other people don't have to wonder if they will have heart disease or diabetes at 25 or 30 because they were 300 lbs at 18 and continued to spiral out of control.
Mantra that kept you going?
I remember watching Arnold in movies as a kid and thinking, wow he's huge, I want to look like him one day! My main mantra is a quote by Arnold. It is, "I've failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed." It pushed me to see that even if I fail, it's okay. I'll try again. I'll learn and adapt, and try again tomorrow. It's more than a hobby to me. It's my life now.
Where are you in your journey currently?
Currently, I am a student at Washington State University and I am pushing as hard as I can while on a college budget. I go to the gym 6 days a week. I tell others my story and try to help in any way possible.
I went from about 285 lbs at my highest to about 180 lbs at my lowest. I am at 210 lbs, coming off a bulk and will be trying to cut back down to under 200 lbs.
My journey is far from over, I hope to compete some day so that people in the industry can see the stretch marks on my stomach and see that I put in the hard work, plus a little extra. I want to show my others that your life can and will change, you just have to try. If you can't physically do it on your own, you can ask for help.
One piece to advice for others with same goal?
Ask for help. Everyone starts somewhere. I didn't know where to look or what to do in the beginning. I learned that it's not embarrasing to ask questions. And when I failed, I didn't see it as a setback, I saw it as a ceiling that I was going to shatter.
We are all in this together so have fun with the journey, and one day when you see someone who is just starting, you can be the voice that guides them through the dark and helps them become happy and healthy.