Charles’ Transformation

“I would wake up and state out loud my value, my purpose. I would add, ‘I am exercising to become the healthiest possible me.'”

Friends, Clarissa asked me (Charles) to share my transformation story. It’s difficult to be vulnerable and share. I’m sure you can relate when you’ve told stories of your past. The main point I want to make with this story is consistence. I’ve accomplished what I have through consistency– more than skill, talent, genetics, or any other variable. The best part? Anyone can be consistent.

I have high metabolism. My brother has it too. It burns through everything I put into it like grass in a furnace. In the fitness world of men, we most often focus on “losing ___ pounds” or shredding off fat to get ripped, etc. My situation, and the situation for a lot of unspoken for men, is that gaining muscle weight is as hard for us as releasing weight is for others. We often have to eat much more food than others just to maintain our weight– let alone to put on muscle.

In high school I was 5’11 and weighed 130 pounds. I was super skinny and had very little muscle. I loved to play basketball. I was dang good too. Unfortunately, no team would look at me because of how light I was. I was told multiple times if I wanted to play any team sport I’d have to put on at least 20 pounds. That’s a 15% increase of my total body weight. It sounded impossible.

A few years later I went on a crazy regiment with my best friend. We worked out at a gym for 1-2 hours, 5 days a week. Daily we ate 4-6 meals, our caloric intake was 4000+, and we were pounding 250+ grams of protein. After a month of that I gained 5 pounds, but could not gain any more.

I remember feeling I was less appealing as a man. I wore tighter clothes to look bigger than I was. I felt all my friends were bigger, stronger, and therefore better than me. I didn’t bring girls around my friend group because I was worried they’d be more into them than me (which actually happened). Guys, it got bad.

Did I really look that unattractive? Did I have it worse than most? No. But you know how insecurities work. You’ve likely felt something similar at some point in your life. Maybe you still do. For me, I didn’t see it, so it didn’t matter. I still felt the way that I did and I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted.

I knew something had to change. I was unhappy and not progressing. I sought for a solution, and I found it in consistency.

I have exercised 5-6 days a week for years. That type of consistency will always yield good results. However, that wasn’t enough. The missing consistency was my mental perception of exercise and healthy eating.

Simply put, I stopped exercising to arrive someplace. It’s not like after my 10,000th pushup I’d get a parade; if the scale finally said 180 lbs 8% body fat I’d be drafted by the Utah Jazz; if I finally completed P90X as peppy as the instructor, a line of ladies would be outside begging me to ask them out. All these things were extrinsic validations. No matter how hard I lifted, how much size I put on, or how sexy my abs were, it was never going to satisfy my insecurities. I was never going to be enough.

Some people hear a motivational speech and it changes their life from that point on. I’m not that way at all. I have to fight so hard to incorporate a new idea or perspective into this stubborn head of mine. You may feel the same. I learned about some tools that would help me overcome my insecurities, so I got to work on myself.

My consistency at the gym was a good foundation, but what caused my transformation was my mental consistency. I would wake up and state out loud my value, my purpose. I would add, “I am exercising to become the healthiest possible me.”

My mental routine took awhile to take hold, but the consistency began to lessen the resistance. I began to believe what I was saying. After a few months I felt so much more relaxed about life. I was filled with confidence. I felt less stress, anxiety, and obligation to live up to some whimsical expectation I had created in my mind.

Can you guess what happened next? Results. When I stopped trying to change, I began to change. It is such a strange paradox. This must have triggered something in my body to get on board with building the healthiest possible me. I gained 15 pounds over 4 months. When I wanted to take it the next level just to test my limits, I put on another 12 pounds of muscle in 6 weeks. That’s the type of power that comes from that type of consistency and mental health.

Since then I’ve reached some pretty amazing milestones:

  • 4% body fat
  • 12 pounds of muscle in 6 weeks
  • Completed Spartan Trifecta taking 4th in the Sprint
  • Won UVU Ninja Warrior Competition
  • Mentored others on physical fitness

The power of consistent mental health exercises are just as (if not more) important than the physical exercises.

If you’d like to learn about some of the mental and physical exercises I do– shoot a DM to me on our Charles and Clarissa page on Facebook. I am always willing to help. Thanks for reading.

Best regards,

Charles Mace

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