1. You will have frustrations in your journey…no matter how disciplined and on point you think  you are doing. The body doesn’t always respond how you think or want it to in regards to exercise and nutrition. How you deal with the bumps in the road and deal with the frustrations will determine if you ever reach your long term goals. There were times in the past 9 months I second guessed my plan, what I was doing and if I should give up. Scale weight wasn’t moving for nearly 5 months. But, I noticed a difference in my body (gaining muscle) and that kept me going. 
  2. You MUST be patient. Plain and simple. 4 weeks of better eating aint enough. 12 weeks might not be enough. Do you want to feel and look better for the rest of your life? Then you better start thinking this is life long change. My bulk wasn’t life long, but 9 months can feel like forever can’t it? Stay patient.
  3. People will judge you. People won’t understand why you are doing what you are doing. They won’t understand why you weight your food. Why you won’t skip a workout. Why you go to bed an hour earlier. They might say “You look great why are doing this to yourself?” They won’t understand because they aren’t doing it (unless they are also on the same journey, then they will.) My suggestion is not to try and convince people to follow you on your journey (that only annoys and turns people off), but simply stick to your guns and what you feel in your gut is best for YOU. A lot of people didn’t understand why I wanted to gain weight. Why I tracked my food every day but 8 days since last June. That doesn’t matter to me because I simply wanted to challenge myself and if I am not challenging myself with new goals I am bored. “Boredom is one of the biggest reasons people give up on an exercise and nutrition plan” -Ryan Bloor (in some previous blog post of mine).
  4. Find what you enjoy doing…to some degree. Trying to exercise and eat in ways that you hate doing won’t last very long. If it doesn’t last very long you won’t see results. At the same time though, we are all adults reading this and life is about sucking it up sometimes and doing things you don’t want to do (I don’t like cleaning up dog poop in my back yard but it has to be done). You might not like eating green veggies or eating more protein, but if you wan’t to see a change in your body you better find a way to get those things done. But, if there is something you truly hate, don’t do it. I always give my clients an option of 2-3 exercises that if they absolutely hate doing them I won’t make them do it. But, you can’t use that as an easy way out of challenging yourself. I still think incorporating some exercises that challenge you not only physically, but mentally can only help you in the long run.
  5. Food doesn’t taste as good when you over eat every day. That pizza, that Gelato those chips don’t taste as good when you aren’t truly hungry. I was never really hungry the past couple months but I kept eating for my goals. I noticed I didn’t have cravings for pizza at all. I noticed that candy didn’t taste good. I noticed that everything kind of became blah because I was eating more than my body needed to survive. This “food desensitization” can be very common in people who overeat for long periods of time. Food just doesn’t taste as good when you are eating too much of it.
  6. When you eat 4500 calories a day you poop alot. So, if you’re a guy and want to gain weight just be ready.
  7. Minor injuries will probably (most likely) happen. Things like, tweaking your hamstring, having a little shoulder soreness, knees being achy etc. I am talking annoyance type injuries. My right elbow has been bothering me for almost two months. I honestly think it is from walking my dog. It isn’t bad enough for me to justify not lifting or saying screw it. I simply modified a few things and kept going strong. If you are planning on exercising the rest of your life you need to be prepared to make modifications at times. At the same time, if you are constantly getting injured there needs to be some work done to your program.
  8. Eating 4500 calories a day is fun for a few weeks, but eating 4500 calories of relatively “clean” food options gets old fast. Eating 4500 calories a day also takes a lot of food prep time, which definitely isn’t fun.
  9. It takes a dedicated and very conscious effort to make a change to your body. You won’t just “fall into shape.” No matter what your goals are you need a specific plan and you need to follow it daily. I was frustrated  6 months in with how I looked, but realized I wasn’t matching my expectations to what I had written for my exercise plan. When I got more specific with my plan to match what I wanted to see changed, I saw the results I wanted. 
  10. Finally, and I think most importantly. You need to have realistic expectations for you body, your genetics, your age and amount of time you can commit to changing your body and health. I failed at this. I was unrealistic with what I could accomplish considering my genetics and what I am willing to sacrifice. Everyone has a genetic peak and that is OK. For example, I think for me to put on more muscle to my frame without adding body fat I need to take illegal supplements. That isn’t going to happen. So, I had two options in my mind: be pissed that I basically “wasted” 9 months OR be happy that I still saw progress, gained 8lbs (some muscle/some fat) and learned a lot about my body’s limits. I chose the second option, because choosing the first is just ridiculous. Progress is progress and that will always hold true.
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