Power Lifting

I started lifting at the age of 11 at the urging of my father. When I was younger I had serious issues with anger management, and being a small child (4ft 11in @100lbs) at 11 years old this anger problem was causing problems at school. The older and bigger kids would pick on me, no more so than others, but I would often find myself yelling out obscenities and insults to my bullies which often lead to the beatings that you might expect.

After sometime my father decided it might be best if I could pack on some muscle to hopefully better defend myself, since it appeared I did not have the good sense about me to shut my mouth. We went down to the local Wal-Mart and he purchased a beginner weight bench and plastic/concrete weight set for me.

When I started I was unable to lift even the modest weight provided by the small set of weights, but I began my journey with a set of 10lb bench presses. At 11, I had a ton of energy and nothing else to do with it but lift, thus started my weightlifting obsession. I soon saw big gains in terms of strength and within months I had reached the 135lb bench mark. I was getting stronger and it was an amazing feeling.

I wanted nothing more than to lift, however I soon hit my first major plateau at around 12 or 13. I was unable to press 200lbs; I could lift 195 with no issues but 200 just would not go up. I needed to bulk, though I had no idea what that was at the time. Soon I found that if I forced myself to eat anything and everything I could that I could pack on weight and thus see further gains in strength. This got addicting as I soared past 200 to 225lb press by the beginning of my 9th grade year.

It was at this point that I decided I wanted to be the strongest kid in my high school. I began to eat non-stop and lift three to four hours a day. By the end of 10th grade I weighed about 150lbs and was pressing 260lbs. In my junior year I set the state bench-press record for the 169lb class at 365lbs, and at the end of my senior year I set another state record at the 183lb class with a press of 405lbs. Needless to say I was by far the strongest kid in my school and in terms of raw strength, the strongest in the state at my weight.

I went into college with this same mentality, food could not hurt me; I was invincible and continued on my path. By the end of my college career I maxed out at 210lbs at about 15% body fat. My personal best was 450lb bench-press and a 585lb squat. I imagine this growth might have continued a bit further if not for my graduation.

The Fattening

After college, I did what many have done. I got a full-time job. This cut into my training time severely and I began to skip workouts. Eventually I would stop lifting altogether, but the hunger never stopped. I continued to eat as if I were bulking, but bulk I did and at a very steady rate.

Soon I found myself 20lbs overweight, and that is easy enough to rationalize as a momentary lapse of self-discipline that can be easily corrected. At 40lbs of excess weight I was telling myself, "It's no big deal, 40lb... you can easily work that off, just get back in the gym." But the gym never came, at 60lbs I began to seriously worry that maybe this wasn't going to be as simple as I had originally thought. I was now getting winded doing things I had always taken for granted and this caused me to shy away from activity even more. By the time I was 100lbs overweight I had already accepted my fate and decided not to fight it anymore, from now on I was going to be fat. So I continued to eat and gain weight until finally, 13 years after the weight gain started I now sit at 412lbs.