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Name: Ben Bloom
Before Weight: 310 pounds
How I Gained It: I grew up with a complete disregard for physical activity, employing any excuse I could to avoid gym class. I was most comfortable sitting around playing video games as a kid. My diet was horrible as well: I drank bottles of iced tea and soda and snacked on junk food every day. Favorites included anything deep fried or made entirely of sugar. I was fat my entire childhood, and things only continued to get worse as a teenager. I was often the butt of jokes and rude comments. The people who weren't rude to me didn't take me seriously.
Breaking Point: At age 17 I went for a physical to get my driver's license. I stepped on the scale reluctantly, revealing my weight to be over 300 pounds. After some blood work, the doctor revealed that I had high blood pressure and that diabetes was looming. This wasn't my main motivation though. The mirror was. I looked at myself, horrified. "Who is ever going to take me seriously?” I thought. "How am I ever going to get a girlfriend?"
How I Lost It: I began lifting weights in high school and never stopped. It took me a few years to learn what I was doing, but I never quit. Every single exercise was something completely new to me. I had some great mentors at my high school, kids who already knew what they were doing and a couple of really cool coaches who took me under their wing.
I lost around 130 pounds the first year and a half of lifting. My senior year of college, I decided to get more productive academically and physically and really learned how my body works. As I took more of an interest in weightlifting, I began teaching myself about nutrition. I've been training heavily and keeping my diet in check, allowing me to make more great progress adding muscle while staying lean. Now, after much trial and error, I follow a very bodybuilding-centered lifestyle, hitting every muscle group and following a strict diet of meats, veggies, fruit, eggs and nuts, with carbs only to fuel workouts, not for indulgence. The key to transforming your physique is to transform your lifestyle. There is no other way.
Everything has turned around 180 degrees. I've achieved a build that is well above that of the average Joe walking around the streets. I'm a pretty big dude, and with that comes automatic respect from strangers. Before, I would get harassed for being fat. Now, I'm often asked, "What sport do you play?" or "How often do you hit the gym?" It's a really nice contrast to be respected rather than ridiculed.
After Weight: 190 pounds
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