Some time ago, I asked a longtime friend about his diet. "Why?" he responded suspiciously. Yes, I thought he was fat. Fatter than he'd been in years, and far from his days as a college athlete.
But of course I couldn't say that. So I told him about my eating regimen and how it, along with regular and rigorous exercise, helped me stay fit. After a few moments, when I'm sure he wanted to smack my head off, we talked a bit more and he agreed to make a change.
He's since lost more than 20 pounds and is in his best shape in years. He gets plenty of compliments in the gym from guys who witnessed the metamorphosis, and from the ladies as well.
But he still always says, "They should have seen what I used to look like." Forget that guy, I tell him. He's gone. Forget who you used to be. Get jacked about who you're going to be.
Too many guys stop working out because they aren't seeing the progress they want. Some hit a plateau and lose their passion. Some suffer an injury and grow frustrated at not being able to train at the same levels. Others simply set goals so unrealistic that they stand a better chance of landing a sleepover with Megan Fox than looking like the guy they ripped out of Men's Fitness and stuck in their wallet.
Many of us do the same outside the gym. Especially if we've lost a great job or a hot girlfriend. Sure we go back to work, we start dating again. But too often we lament that we're not where we used to be, or that she isn't as hot as our ex.
Well, forget that old gig, that old girlfriend. Get excited about where life is taking you, through the incremental gains you make every day—in your career, in your relationship, and in the gym. You love working out because it's going to make you look and feel better.
You're smarter than you've ever been (you are reading this magazine, aren't you?), and you're probably eating better than you did years ago. You're going to be stronger, fitter, and healthier, even if you think you don't look as good as you once did.
Forget that guy. He got lucky, maybe benefited from being at the right end of the gene pool. The guy you're going to be will be even better, no luck involved. Tackle today with the zeal you display in your workouts. Imagine if you pushed as hard at work as you did on that last rep or during that last mile on the treadmill.
Imagine if you were as meticulous about your career as you are about your regimen, which you chronicle and track like a mad scientist.
Imagine if you were as curious and diligent in your relationship as you are about what you eat.
Yes, the old job was great. The old girlfriend was hot. Sure, you were once the hottest hunk on the beach.
But if you attack today with enthusiasm, passion, and commitment, those old yous—as cool as they were—will quake in the shadow of the you you'll surely become.
Roy S. Johnson
Editor In Chief