April 4, 2015 (first pic)
Insecure, self-destructive, unfit, low self-esteem, mentally unstable, depressed, lack of direction, purposeless, no independence, upset with life. All words & phrases to describe that man in this picture.
September 25, 2018 (second pic)
Independent, confident, self-driven, self-loving, purposeful, high work ethic, fit & healthy, mentally secure, goal digger, dream chaser. Words & phrases to describe the man I am today.
Oh boy, where do I even begin. Let me just start off this post by saying that fitness is more than the way it makes you look. It truly has transformed my life & has helped me evolve in to the man I never could have even dreamed of becoming. Let me explain.
I was a very very very insecure person. Even years before I started working out. If you’re reading this & you went to high school with me, you might be surprised. I was a popular kid in school, I had a beautiful girlfriend, & I was an outstanding athlete in baseball & football. First thought, man this guy has it made right now. I did not. Not even fucking close dude.
Fast forward to the end of my freshman year of college, this was me.
This was by far the lowest point in my life. Emotionally I was very unstable & mentally I was extremely self-destructive. I gained a little bit of weight, was going through a nasty breakup, & was at a new school miles away from home feeling extremely alone & depressed. It was time for a change & I was ready for it.
There were a few aspects about myself that I did not like & wanted to change. 1) the way I viewed myself. 2) my happiness was dependent on others 3) my lack of direction in my life 4) my weight gain 5) the confidence level 6) & my priorities in my life. Honestly, I thought working out was only going to change #4, but it has surpassed my expectations.
These pics were taken on April 4, 2015, right after my first ever lift in my fitness journey. Holy shit was I in pain, hahahaha. I weighed about 170 pounds, roughly 30 pounds heavier than when I graduated high school. No bueno.
I can remember how sore I was the first month of working out, but kept telling myself to fight through because I had one goal in mind & that was to drop 20 pounds. I told myself I’d reach it before starting my sophomore year & I can proudly say I achieved my goal!
You ever seen a tan ginger before? Kind of weird/cool at the same time haha. This was a day after my trip to Hilton Head Beach in South Carolina. Fun ass trip with a good group of friends.
But besides the point, my confidence sky rocketed so much! I set a goal, dropped 20 pounds, & started my fitness journey right & ready to continue.
New goals were set. It was time to get beefy. Aka, gain some muscle.
A few months in & I was really starting to make some progress! I was lifting consistently, eating what I thought I should be eating (college diet lol), & was looking pretty good! Except there was one downfall, my mentality was not where I needed it to be. Let me explain.
I was on this nasty cycle where I would weigh myself every single day. My whole focus was on how I looked & what the scale said. Don’t get me wrong, the scale is a great way to determine progress! But, the way I obsessed over it was not healthy. Bigorexia is a real thing my friend. The complete opposite of anorexia. My focus was on gaining weight, but I was eating like shit & when I did not see the scale move day after day I would mentally destroy myself. Not good, not good at all.
I knew that if I wanted to keep working out & reaching my goals of gaining muscle, something had to change. That’s when I decided to say “fuck the scale” & focus on the way I felt in & out of the gym instead of what the scale had to say.
Holy shit, gamechanger!
My mood improved, I became a happier person, confidence started to climb, & I truly found a lot more enjoyment out of fitness when I switched my focus from the way I looked to how I felt. This is when my philosophy as a personal trainer came to fruition even before I was a PT.
Everyone wants to look good. That is universal. The issue with that is people want results & they want results now. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
This took my over 3 years folks… patience is key.
My philosophy as a Personal Trainer is to get you healthy not sexy. If the focus is switched from sexy to healthy, adherence to a fitness lifestyle will be higher. We’ll start to appreciate little gains more such as not being out of breath when walking up stairs, fitting into a pair of jeans, hitting a PR on squat, or realizing that you’re starting to love who you are. These small gains make huge impacts on our confidence & give us a strong belief that we WILL be able to reach our goals. But also have fun doing it at the same time. And by nature, the longer you stick to a fitness journey, the sexier you’ll get (;
This philosophy has helped me continue & is what I stress to every client that comes to train with me.
Right, had to rant about that real quick. Let’s move on.
This mentality shift was 1 of 2 pivital moments in my fitness journey. The next one is coming up.
July 2016 (first pic) September 2016 (second pic)
These two pictures play a huge role in the way I train today. The left pic was days before a serious low back injury & the right pick was months after recovery from it. The set back was huge, but the comeback was bigger.
I’ve been struggling with low back pain every since I was 16. There is degeneration in my L4 & L5 vertebrae in my lumber spine. If you’re unfamiliar with your spine, this is the lowest point & the most weight bearing part of it. In March of 2016, I went to Florida for spring break with Kent States Club Baseball team. Sitting in that car for hours on end completely torched my back. My stubborn ass ignored the issue for 5 months until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I kept lifting on this injury with a lot of squats & deadlifts that tear up your low back. I was in pain every single day, but my ego kept myself from holding off from working out.
Days after the first pic, I stopped working out completely for a month straight. For three months after, I started working out again, but only bodyweight exercises. No lifting. Lifting weight is my passion, my therapy, my me time. You don’t know how demoralizing it was during this time. But two things came about from this setback that has changed my life.
This is when I knew I wanted to become a Personal Trainer & this is when I knew I wanted to become a social media influencer. I started recording my comeback & have a lot of unseen footage from this period in my life. Here are a few videos of my rehabilitation workouts.
This is crazy to me looking back on these videos. I was so passionate & so driven. Even though I was far away from my goals (still am) it’s the fact that I had to start somewhere in order to get to where I want to be. I look so young, but my drive to reach my goals surpassed what my young age said I can or can’t do. Everyone starts somewhere.
It’s crazy what a moment in your life can do to you. A little motivation for you, don’t let a set back determine your failure. It’s only a fail if you let it be one. Use it as motivation to live, learn, & comeback to be better than you ever were before. If it wasn’t for my back injury, I would not be making this post right now or doing what I am doing today.
The start of January in 2017 is when I started to lift again. Oh boy was I happy. I really tested the waters to see what I could do. Slowly, but surely I worked my way back to where I wanted to be!
Getting back to that beefstick status! Btw, I also grew my hair out. RIP to the man bun ):
This post is getting long so I want to skip towards some recent pics of where I’m at now with my physique.
All pics were taken in August of 2018.
We’ve made a lot of progress since the start of my journey! I’m happy with how I’ve progressed in the gym, but will always be hungry to make gains! That’s what fitness is all about. Taking time out of your day to work on you to become a better version of yourself day after day.
There are a few takeaways that I want you to grab from this post
- Reaching your goals takes time, discipline, hard work, & a lot of dedication. Don’t be looking for overnight results, because that simply won’t happen & you will fall short every single time.
- Fitness is not all about how you look. Understand what it is doing for your body. Me personally, I focus on what it does for my mentality. I struggle with mental health issues & fitness has given me mental liberation & security that I never thought I would ever have. For that reason, I will never stop working out for the rest of my life.
- Learn to love yourself. Fitness has helped me do this because when I workout I’m working on me. I’m loving the process that I’m in & love the fact that I’m giving my body a stimulus to grow from. I love who I am & it’s taken a lot for me to say that.
- Don’t let a setback determine your failure. Use it as fuel to ignite your fire higher & stronger than ever before!
- Understand that fitness is an investment for yourself. You’re getting stronger, healthier, sexier, happier, evolving into a better version of yourself, & giving you a greater opportunity to live longer & make more memories with your loved ones.
- Have fun with it (:
To wrap it up, fitness has completely transformed my life. From the insecure, purposeless, self-destructive Noah into the confident, self-driven, purposeful Noah. I owe all of that to working out & eating healthy. I can finally put myself first & finally love myself for who I am. I can’t explain how much that means to me because of the dark place I used to be in. I’m a living testimony of the benefits from fitness & what it can do for you if you let it (:
If you read this whole post, I just wanted to say thank you for reading my story & I hope it has inspired you to start working towards your fitness goals! The longer you weight the harder it will be. If you want to train with me, you can find all the information you need on my Working With Me & Online Coaching tab. If you’re ready to start your fitness journey with me, fill out my Let’s Get Fit form & I’ll email you shortly with more information (: thanks again ❤