By findthegrind
3 years ago

Fat to Fit: My Journey So Far (2)

EPISODE 2 - Linebacking.

So, the end of episode one saw me in the difficult position of wanting to be a Linebacker, when nothing about my physical condition suggested that it was a good idea.

I have also mentioned before, my belief that everyone trying to support me in weight loss was actually a factor in why I was unable to lose the weight. So, for the first time, I would like to say 'thank you' to everybody who told me I couldn't do it. I remember the first time I told anyone that my plan was to change position. We were at a BBQ, one of the team coaches, and about 5 other players were sat with me around a table, and I blurted out 'I want to play Linebacker next year.'. Hilarious. Or at least, that's what everyone else thought, I had to be joking, right? My statement was met by laughter, and the opinion that I couldn't be serious, did I realise that I had to be fast and agile, and, well, not fat to play Linebacker? Well, of course I did, I had watched enough NFL and Ray Lewis videos to know that I wasn't cut out to be a Linebacker, but I was also aware that I wasn't going to take no for an answer.

So, after the laughter fiasco, I decided not to tell anyone else my plan. I also decided that I was going to let as few people see me during the transitional period. This was for two reasons, partially in case I failed, but mainly because I wanted people to be shocked if I succeeded. Don't ask me why, I have no idea, I just thought it would be better to keep it all secret!

So, up until this point, I had been quite a heavy drinker. Being part of the rugby community generally goes hand-in-hand with a certain drinking culture, university in general is known to be an environment in which heavy drinking often takes place. At this stage, I would say I was drinking most days, and heavily probably 3 times per week, sometimes as many as 5 heavy sessions per week.As a result, I knew that the first change I had to make was to drop alcohol, so for that summer (approximately April to September), I went more or less T-total, Other than that, I did absolutely loads of cardio, I was doing cardio sessions twice per day everyday except for the day after training legs, and weight training pretty much everyday.

At this stage, I have to admit that the way I went about my weight loss wasn't exactly healthy. In hindsight, and knowing what I know now, I would have used a controlled calorie deficit and exercise to lose weight safely and healthily. As it was, I had a goal which left me with a short time frame for change and a desperation to succeed, and you know what they say, desperate times call for desperate measures and all that! As a result, I think it would be fair to say that I became at the very least, obsessed, at worst, I would say anorexic. I basically starved myself on some days. When I got hungry, I would go into the gym to make myself too busy to be able to eat. On other occasions, I would go to bed really early and sleep to avoid meals, and the extra sleep was handy as I was taking in so few calories my body was exhausted. At this stage I would say I was eating between 1000 and 2000 calories a day. I have to say that making yourself run 6 miles twice a day, and lift weights for 2+ hours per day on that calorie intake was literally brutal! It was an insane, exhausting summer, but whenever I wanted to stop, I reminded myself of two things: 1) I hated how I looked, and 2) I had people to prove wrong. I have to say, everything else aside, these are the two things I still remind myself of when I want to cheat on my diet or training.

In the spirit of proving people wrong, I remember a conversation between myself and my friend Frankie. Towards the end of the summer, he was asking around for what number people wanted to play in, the coming season. At this point I had lost around 30kg in the space of 4(ish) months, but I was more or less the only person, other than my family, who knew that. I told Frankie, who had heard my Linebacking plan, that I would need a number I could play Linebacker in (If you're unfamiliar with American Football, there are certain numbers which relate to certain positions, some numbers can be worn by a variety of numbers). The conversation was along the lines of:

'Bro, you're not going to be playing Linebacker'., 'Ok. But, what if I do?' and with reluctance, he told me 'Alright, go for a number in the fifties, then you can play O-line (where I had been playing) or Linebacker.'.

I obviously knew that Frankie didn't believe I would be able to change enough to play Linebacker. When I started trying to transform my body, I don't think I believed I could. In fact, since then, people (or maybe just Marcus) have asked me whether I knew I could do it, and I definitely didn't. As I told Marcus, I was really surprised when I started seeing results, as for the first time in my life, my attempts to lose weight was being successful. So, I understand why Frankie didn't believe in me, there are no hard feelings there!

Anyway, the summer came to an end, and it was time to go back to uni. After about 4 months of serious effort/unhealthy obsession, I had lost 5 stone. I was faster, more agile, more athletic, and ready to go! What I wasn't, was prepared for peoples' reactions. I had seen myself everyday, so whilst I could see the change which had gone on, I still saw myself as me. The difference was, though, that everyone else pictured me as the obese guy from the year before. My housemates didn't recognize me. I know Ellie, Emma and Liv all saw me and didn't know who it was. In fact, once I remember walking towards and past Liv without her recognizing me. I waved at her, she looked at me weirdly, I walked right up to her, said 'heeeeellllllllo' to her, and then she suddenly realized who I was at the last minute. I had lived with her for a year at this point!

The best part, though, was going to training for the first time that year. I went with Marcus, as always, and I've been told everyone thought that Marcus was bringing a new friend with him to try American Football out. It wasn't until I was right up to them that Aiden realised who I was and said 'Will, is that you?!'. It was me. There was general disbelief, Archard couldn't form words, it was emotional! About 2 weeks after that was my first session of training with the Linebackers. I went on to become a starting Linebacker, and never looked back!

Thanks for reading,


P.S. sorry about the photo, I don't think it was ever meant to be made so big!
3 years
Flutterbydee Wow, bring on the hot, slimmed down guy! Five stone is a massive loss... well done doesn't seem a strong enough comment! The photo is fine on my screen :)
3 years
3 years
findthegrind Ah that's good, it was really blurry on mine! Thank you, it was a really brutal summer, but worth it!
3 years
3 years
LAFFINGKNOME Well done to you!
3 years
3 years
ze2000 Well done man
3 years