“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” I remember reading that quote not too long after I took my first step. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and I knew it was going to take a while, but I also knew that I hated myself, I hated how I felt and I hated what I saw when I looked in the mirror. Taking that first step was my only option, but little did I know that the changes that were about to be made wouldn’t only be physical but they would be mental as well. This isn’t just a picture of a physical transformation of the body, it’s a transformation of the mind too. This is nearly 10 years of maximum effort and a whole lot of sacrifice. There was no balance, there was no moderation and there was no giving up because I had one goal and that was to be and give my absolute best every single day and I was willing to do whatever it took to achieve that. If that meant not having any friends, never going out, not having sex, not doing anything “normal” or what any other kid my age would be doing, never having any cheat meals or even having a bite of my birthday cake, never missing a meal or a training session, training with a level of intensity that’s so high that I puke or pass out, taking the bus and walking to the gym every day regardless if it’s 3am and there’s 2 feet of snow and a storm I have to walk through, and constantly having to battle against mental and physical setbacks through it all. If it meant having to do and go through all of that and more then so be it. I can never really put into words the whole process and the things I’ve done and gone through along this journey. I didn’t do it for recognition or social media or because I wanted to be the center of attention. I avoided all of that, I put my hoodie on I kept my head down and I just worked fucking hard and gave it my all even if nobody was watching or there to “cheer” me on because I did it for myself and I loved it. Some people may say the things I’ve done and still do aren’t necessary but to me I needed to know without a doubt that I was doing everything I possibly could to be my best and I refused to be outworked, otherwise I would feel as though I failed. That’s the mentality that I had and still have. To be honest I’m not happy when I look at either one of these pictures, the first thing I do is pick it apart and see what I need to work on and improve. The main reasons for that is because I’ve set such high standards and expectations for myself and I know what I’m capable of. I can be proud with how far I’ve come but I’ll never be satisfied. My pride and constant desire to improve and become better is what keeps me going, knowing that there’s still plateaus to break through and new levels to achieve is what keeps me going. This is only the beginning, and I’ll be grateful, work hard and enjoy it every step of the way.