My name is Nate, and I have been a fitness enthusiast since 2005. I love the idea of pushing the human body to its limits because of its amazing adaptability. The human body can perform some awe-inspiring feats when trained to do so, and also recover and repair itself with amazing efficiency. And, in this age of information, we can use scientific data to "push the envelope" even further.
Ever since I was a young teenager, I have been interested in improving my physique AND my athletic performance (even though I don't really care for competitive sports). During the beginning of my "training," most of my exercising would consist of long-distance jogging aimed to reduce the fat around my waist. At the time, the internet was just coming out of its infancy, and article headlines for various fitness magazines which I turned to for information touted steady-state cardio for fat loss, weight lifting for muscle-building, and virtually nothing on nutrition.
So I went on like that for a few years, inconsistently running a few miles during the day with no real objective or purpose other than wanting to lose belly fat. Never seemed to work, and although I think just exercising in general made me feel better, I definitely didn't look any better than when I started, probably because I compensated the exercise with extra amounts of food. I can remember eating three to four large bowls of sugary cereal like Lucky Charms before bedtime during that period of my life. For some reason, I didn't put all the pieces together and notice that my intake of food was proportional to my enlarging stomach.
In 2005, my junior year of high school, I signed up for weight lifting as my elective class... not really for the fitness benefits but more just because the other classes did not interest me. Little did I know how much I would take a liking to the "iron game." Although the coach of our class didn't encourage competition among classmates, my goal was to be the strongest person in my weight division. My initial goals were as follows: 200 lbs. bench press, 135 lbs. incline press, 200 lbs. squat. Rather paltry numbers, especially for the squat, but I was a kid.... I thought I knew it all at the ripe age of 17. In any case, my body started looking more like what I wanted it to look like, and my appetite started to change from sugary drinks and snacks to beef, chicken, potatoes and salad. Something changed my palate when I started weight lifting, and I just couldn't get enough of those four foods.
Anyway, after that year of weight lifting, I started to drift and lose focus... mostly due to an acceptance of how my body looked, work, social habits and fear of ridicule at the gym. So for about four years, I did almost nothing in the way of fitness. My job was (and still is) a high physical activity job, which, along with eating like a bird, helped me keep fat from packing on, but I also lost a lot of the muscle I hard earned years before.
I got back into the iron game when my girlfriend purchased a gym membership for me as a birthday present in 2009. I started hitting the weights hard again, and started eating a TON of food. At 6' tall, I went from a skinny 155 lbs. frame to a 200 lbs. semi-fat frame in a period of two years. Once I hit 200 lbs., I was not happy with the goal I had chosen simply because I felt more out of shape than ever, and even though I was way stronger than I had ever been, my body wasn't the way I wanted it to look.
Finally, here I am at present day, a new beginning. I have since moved away from the gym I worked out at for two years, and have no equipment other than household items and my own body weight. I plan on starting from the absolute bottom of the workout chain and move my way up. Coupled with my nutritional and exercise knowledge from people like Alan Aragon, Lyle McDonald and other professionals in the field, I hope to finally build that body that I aimed for way back during my teenage years.