For the last couple months, I have been trying to be more active on social media, particularly facebook and instagram, because social media is a large part of marketing my personal training and online coaching.
I believe I’ve done a great job of creating original, high quality, and educational infographics. Yet, these days I find it difficult to post pictures of myself.
I always workout wearing a hoodie and sweats because after being in condition for a bodybuilding competition, I haven’t been satisfied with my body. Well, last week I took my hoodie off to take progress pictures and video during my workout.
After seeing myself in picture and video form, I realized exactly what this past year of sub-par workouts has done to my body.
Ever since I had my back injury over a year ago [and the smaller ones in the few years before that], I have had to baby my back to keep from injuring it again.
I have thrown my back out multiple times since the injury which has put me in bed for many days or sometimes weeks as well as keeping me out of the weight room for a few more weeks each time.
I now go into my workouts each and every time with an err of caution. As a result, I do a fraction of the exercises with a fraction of the weight and intensity that I used to.
I expected my legs to atrophy (lose muscle) due to not being able to do any effective lower body workouts, but even my arms, shoulders, chest, and back are heavily atrophied.
I’m down to the lowest weight I’ve been in years, which sounds great until I realized it was all due to muscle atrophy. I actually weigh less with a higher body fat percentage than I did a few years ago, all due to losing so much muscle.
I’ve become “skinny-fat”. I feel like I’ve lost all of the work I spent many years working my ass off for.
And I can’t help but think… surely this isn’t the only way it has to be. I know every time I turn the intensity up in the gym for a couple weeks it starts to affect my back health… or is that just all in my head?
I used to hate talking about myself and my achievements. I was fine with people seeing what I had achieved when they happened to see it. Now that I feel I have nothing to show for myself, I find myself telling people about the “glory days” and using my back as and excuse for why I’m not as great as I used to be…the same way every elderly man tells me how athletic he was in high school.
Is there any chance I am using my back as an excuse because I’ve gone soft and don’t want to work hard anymore? Have I become fine with just telling people how great I used to be in place of challenging myself now to show them instead?
This thought has been running through my mind an awful lot these last couple of weeks and it’s haunting. I’m really not sure anymore if I really am as helpless as I tell everybody I am or if it’s all in my head.
I’m holding back tears as I write this because of the uncertainty. Uncertain of how bad my injury really is. Uncertain of if I will ever be able to perform at my peak again. Uncertain of if I will, from this point on, be the man going around telling everyone how great he used to be.
I didn’t mean for this to become such a pity post. It was meant to be motivational when I started. I guess if you get anything out of this post, it should be this. Don’t take your health for granted. Make sure you are taking care of your body. If you don’t, it will catch up to you and I don’t care if you’re the kind of person who thinks you live without regrets, but neglecting your body is one thing you will regret, I can promise you that.
If you have any personal stories about injuries and overcoming them or even if you are still struggling with them, please feel free to share them.