That was me ten years ago. I’ve been told that I looked like the kid from Up, except fatter. I hated exercise like Garfield hates Mondays. Seriously, all 220 lbs of me hated it more than anyone I knew.
It’s not that I was lazy either; I had passions, like computers, playing the piano, other typical Asian kid activities that didn’t help my street cred. But walking up a flight of stairs? I’d rather stab myself with a fork. (But not before using it to polish off dessert.)
The funny thing is that my parents are Medical Doctors (Sorry for throwing you under the bus, mom. I know you’re eventually going to read this.) and always told me to “eat less, move more,” whatever that means. And that, I tried to do, to no avail.
Eventually, I decided to practically starve myself. Sound extreme? Yeah you bet, but for the first time, I saw progress. I was elated. I added a ton of cardio to my regimen and within a few short months, I lost 60 lbs. Looking back, I was probably running 4-6 miles/day and eating under 1,000 calories. I lost weight in a hurry, but I still hated the way I looked.
I made a conscious decision to do something different. I was going to approach fitness cerebrally. Now, I don’t remember where I was or what the thought process that led to it, but I decided to do what any nerd does and geek out over a subject. Except, instead of StarCraft or computers, the topic was fitness.
So I read. And read. And read. I’ve spent thousands of hours reading about fitness to this day. In the short span of four years, I competed in my first bodybuilding contest. I’d successfully executed the knowledge part of the fitness equation.
Now, here’s where the story gets interesting, and I don’t share this very much in the media. But since you’re here listening to me yammer, I’ll make sure to reward you.
In order to get to the shape seen in the picture above, I dieted hard. I used every last ounce of willpower that I had and was in the best shape of my life. And then… not more than 2 months after the contest, I gained 40 lbs back.
I was so embarrassed about my lack of self-control and discipline that I don’t even have pictures to demonstrate. Needless to say, it was depressing going from ripped to the Pillsbury dough boy in just a few months.
For the next few years, I yoyo dieted worse than Oprah. I oscillated between extreme period of discipline and getting lean, then losing all self-control, feeling absolutely guilty, and gaining weight. This period of time would eventually prove to be invaluable to me as a coach.
Through reading and experimentation, I learned a mix of physiological and psychological techniques that helped me break this pattern. These techniques include Intermittent Fasting, negative thought pattern disruption, and exercises like “creating a totem.” Some of them are heavily rooted in science, some of them are things that were made up by me and just plain work.
Oh right, in between figuring this all out and co-founding Fitocracy, I became a fitness coach and have trained everyone from Miss America to Everyday Joe.
I specialize in helping people reach fitness milestones that they’ve never reached before – whether that’s your first 20 lbs or competing in your first bodybuilding competition.
By the way, I’ve transformed a lot mentally, but ultimately I’m the same person I was at heart. I still love consuming ridiculously huge quantities of food, and I still hate taking the stairs.