The first picture is me just over a year ago (December 8, 2012). I was about 180 lbs.
The second picture is me now, December 2013, at 163 lbs.
When the first picture was taken I exercised irregularly, three times a week or so if I could manage it, almost entirely strength exercises with free weights. I didn’t really watch what I ate at all.
My resolution for 2013 was to earn the body I wanted. I continued doing weight exercises three days a week, with focus on arms, back, shoulders, chest, and abs. I spent the in-between days either running or practicing taekwondo for cardio. I started watching my diet, eating healthier and upping my protein intake.
The results were promising at first. I stayed at the same weight but began to bulk up, putting on a visible amount of muscle. I liked the feeling of being in shape, but I still had more flab around my stomach than I wanted. More importantly, while I appreciated the results of the exercise, I absolutely hated the actual act of exercise -lifting weights and running were a chore, an ends to a means, not something I actually enjoyed.
By the summer of 2013 I was at around 175 lbs. In mid-July I moved across the country to Los Angeles. I spent a month in a cramped hotel room with no exercise facilities, feeling my muscles atrophy and going slowly insane from cabin fever. In a fit of boredom and frustration, I decided to take advantage of living in a metropolis and looked up gyms for a martial art I had always wanted to try but had never had the opportunity to: Muay Thai.
For those not in the know, Muay Thai (or Thai Boxing) is a martial art from Thailand. While most striking martial arts utilize four “points of contact” (hands and legs), Muay Thai has eight, adding elbows and knees to the fighter’s arsenal. It’s a brutal, pragmatic style that delivers fast, powerful blows from every angle. Performed properly, the movement of Muay Thai is as breathtaking as it is deadly.
I joined Muay Thai America Gym in mid/late August. The coaches were helpful and extremely skilled, and the other gym members were friendly and encouraging. I’ve been going three to four times a week every week for nearly four months now, and I absolutely love it. I’ve been pushed to my physical limits and past them, and I derive immense satisfaction from seeing myself improve both in my fitness and in my slowly growing skill in Muay Thai.
We’ll see where I am a year from now.