Many of you will be able to relate to this post. It’s the never-ending dream of reaching the perfect body – no matter what it takes. I was at that stage – but changed my mentality. This is going to be a longer and personal post, so I hope you enjoy it!
This is one of the endless picture from my Instagram – RasmusBak1992. This specific picture is about 2 years old – September 2015. Back, when Bodybuilding was my #1 passion, back when all I could think of was – the gym.
Like many others, I’ve spent my fair share of hours in the local gym, trying to make “gainz”, to look better and get stronger than yesterday. At one point, my focus wasn’t on anything but the gym, the weights and my gym buddies at the gym. It still is, but back then it was almost fanatic.
Before we go into this fanatic stage of my fitness/transformation journey, let’s talk about why this is such an important topic for me.
Overweight and emotional
Yep, that is me. I used to look like that and I’ve been looking like that all my life. Overweight and with no confidence whatsoever. No happy Rasmus, no taking off my shirt, no going to the beach, no going to the mall to shop for clothes because I couldn’t fit it anyway.
When you’re 14-16 years old and has to buy XL shirts and pants that never fits you – you get emotionally torn down and it eats you up inside. I was never happy with my body, but I didn’t do anything about it at that point.
Back when I was younger, and at the beginning of my weight loss fairytale, I think it all kind of started because of my mom dragging me to a consultant once in a while. Here they would weigh me in, I would have my own weight notepad and I remember, every time I’d lost a certain amount of weight since the last visit, they would pay me back my memberships fee. Great motivation.
I think that was the time, I really started thinking about what I could do, but I still didn’t do anything about it at that time.
When I was around 15-16 years old, I was sent to boarding school where I lived for a year. I loved every single minute of it, but it wasn’t a great time for me, physically. See, the school was an athletic/sports school with gymnastics as their main program. I didn’t like that, because we had to wear tights at the shows – and I didn’t have the confidence to do so – so all year, I had to fake a knee injury, so I wouldn’t have to participate in the shows. I’ve actually never told this to anyone, so here you go world, honest Rasmus.
“A huge part of losing weight is believing you can do it and realizing it’s not going to happen overnight”
For a long period of time, I got so sick of myself that I just had to do something. My physical state was out of this world – total shocker. I was so overweight, I ran out of breath when I had to tie my shoes. So I started running. Running like Forrest Gump, or, at least trying to. I ran 5k every day and started slowly to join the gym. I wanted to see what this gym world was about, meet the gym rats and see what kind of people they were. I started following people on Facebook, Instagram and on YouTube to get motivation. Motivational videos with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, C.T. Fletcher etc were a big part of my every day life and still is. All the guys that has or had that amazing body.
Running took over and I didn’t go to the gym that much. I started eating healthy and I quickly saw, how this was all of a sudden possible. I actually lost weight and started to fit my shirts again.
Once I had lost a lot of weight, I felt the eager to learn and try something new. I had followed certain people for a long time online and I decided, I wanted a personal trainer.
It must be said that at this time I had started joining the gym more and more, but no way near what I could have.
I wrote to this guy, Jens – a massive beast – if he could help me out. He sent me some forms in which I had to fill out my information, like weight, height, activity level etc. The worst thing was, he needed pictures for progression. Even though I’d lost weight, I still never took of my shirt, so having to sent pictures of my body to a complete stranger, was way out of my comfort zone, but I knew it had to be done.
In the beginning it was hard. I had to complete change my lifestyle. Now I actually had somebody who was watching me, checking up on me, making me eat 5-6 times a day and go to the gym 5-6 times a week without abusing the treadmills – pure weightlifting – and I loved it!
At this point of my life, I loved the changes. Having been the overweight kid all my life, I actually started getting the attention I thought I deserved, but it wasn’t enough. I really had nothing on my mind except from when to eat, when to meal prep, when to go to the gym, and when to go to sleep to get my 8 hours of beauty-sleep. I didn’t go out with friends on Friday nights because I had leg day on saturday. I couldn’t skip that? I wouldn’t skip that!
I quickly grew muscles and I quickly got leaner than I’d ever dreamed off. I was so fit, I started doing pull ups, flying around in the gym lifting heavy-ass weight, eating chicken, broccoli and rice 3-4 times a day and loved it.
My state of mind grew and grew to nothing but the gym, nothing but staying at home in the weekends, sleeping, eating, training and loved it. I didn’t realize that my social life was down the drain and that I didn’t remember the last time I went out to have a beer with my friends. I went to the one bar that I loved – the barbell.
Change of mindset
Getting older (I’m only 24 and sounds like an old man), I realized I might had to slow down a bit. I totally forgot about the dream of travelling and didn’t concentrate in school. I realized that I had to do something different – so I did. I still went to the gym 5-6 times per week after school, but I allowed myself to go out and have fun with my friends, maybe even skip a workout or two once a month.
It was all good for a long time and the balance was fine. It all worked out. Until I travelled to Lisbon where everything went to shit again. I tried to stay healthy, but the social life really started taking over my life and my goals. I went drinking every weekend, bought the white-bread sandwich in the canteen instead of my chicken, broccoli, pasta, didn’t go to the gym once, and I quickly gained weight again – without realizing it.
After 6-7 months in Lisbon, I came back home and I had to start from scratch. I had gained all the weight I had lost over the last couple of years and I hated myself for it.
I’d slightly changed my mindset and it took over, just like the reversed situation when I started going to the gym and saw the results. But this time I knew, what I could do – I knew what I had to eat, I knew how to go to the gym and my mindset quickly turned back to the better – I had grown mentally to be able to cope with the situation.
Today, I’m not where I want to be. When I moved to Dublin, I made sure that the first thing I did, was to sign up for a gym – so I did. I signed up for the Raw Gym in Dublin, which is very close to my apartment and I’m going there 4-5-6 times a week and I love it.
I’m still struggling with the food aspect of this lifestyle + me being a sucker for the social life, Guinness and bad food – it’s going to take me a while, but I’m slightly adjusting and it’s growing on me. I’m very happy with my lifestyle right now, even though it’s not in perfect balance. Growing older I’ve been able to accept most parts of my body and just take one day at a time. I will reach my goals one day, but now I want to enjoy life as an Expat.
My point is, you don’t have to settle for one thing. I focused only on the gym and being healthy – I loved it for a long time, but realized I actually didn’t have a life and hated myself for that. Then I changed my mindset to let loose – I loved it for a long time, but quickly realized that I’d just gained all the weight that I had been fighting to lose.
Find the perfect balance in your life and realize that you’re unique. Even though you can always be better at whatever goal you choose to go after in life – you’re unique. Take one step at a time to find your perfect balance and never give up on your dreams.
Me today at the Raw Gym in Dublin 2017. Not lean, not perfect, but accepted by myself.
It’s Sunday – which means leg day. Go kill it!