That photo on the left isn't an Abercrombie Ad. It's a 2003 photo of me taken for some unknown reason, and I recall my girlfriend at the time thinking it was hilarious. But yeah, this was me my junior year of high school. I played football, wrestled and had gotten serious about working out. I'd always been a scrawny kid with a high metabolism, and it felt great to finally see my muscles filling out.
For the next 15 years I told myself I'd get back to that level of fitness... one day.
But that day never came. And I don't think I ever really believed it was possible.
For over a decade, I would slog through law school, battle anxiety and depression, reboot my career, and work like an animal to get back on track financially. Now I was 32 with a 1 year old and the typical dad bod to back it up.
I'd worked out sporadically over the years. Tried new supplements. Reached decent levels of fitness, but my physique never got anywhere close to those Abercrombie days. Looking back through my old Evernote catalogue of goals, there are quite a few like this one.
Not sure what this even means, but it's absolutely not actionable. No concrete plan. Just wishful thinking that somehow I could will the body fat away magically in 8 weeks.
There were other false starts too. These were mostly focused on shortcuts or someway to get ripped with some kind of short-term hack. It's hard not to laugh when I look back at this next one.
"Take 2 tablespoons of glycerol in can of full-sugar soda" WTF. 😅
Evidently I'd found a bodybuilders pre-competition regime and figured I could somehow incorporate that to change my physique quickly. There were quite a few other shortcuts I attempted to take over the years. But none had staying power.
So years ago, when I first heard colleagues talking about radical changes from embracing a Keto diet, I was naturally skeptical. But I couldn't argue with the evidence I saw. (See my Keto Skeptic to Zealot post).
When I started back in June of 2020, everyone said "oh nick, don't you know this is just another fad diet" and I think my wife rightfully rolled her eyes (after watching so many false starts over the years). But this time, I kept at it because I set a concrete goal to do it for 90 days (see 6 pack abs in 6 weeks). And it changed my life so I decided to keep at it.
Today I'm proud to say I've been on a strict keto diet for over 2 years.
I'm now twice as old as I was in that Abercrombie era photo (35), have two kids, have started a new business which means there's little time for the gym. I only workout once or twice a week, and I lift heavy weights when I'm there. No treadmill or traditional cardio.
With that in mind, what are the chances that I could achieve the dream of harbored for the last 10 years – achieving a better physique than I had in my aspiring Abercrombie model days?
I'd say pretty good.
There are still naysayers who tell me it's not sustainable. These are the same people who give me an excuse as to why it won't work for them. All I can say is the results for me are clear. It's a sustainable long-term way of eating, and I have no plans of stopping anytime soon.