Shawn Powers is not your typical man; Shawn Powers is a Silver Wolf. Find out how he went from an unhealthy, obese 30-something to a healthy and capable 50-something.
In early 70’s I was slender, quick on my feet, into sports and a very active kid. At age 13, I was intro- duced to lifting by four older cousins and a neighbor. These guys had old school ideologies and I looked up to them.
From where I stood, they were older, wiser and se- rious minded athletes. They even demanded that I call them coach during workouts. The coaches back- grounds were wrestling, boxing, tactical athletics, strongman lifting and bodybuilding. I was opened up to a whole new world of badass.
As these guys trained, my coaches took turns work- ing me, the kid, with their own brutal (but fun) fight- er/strongman/obstacle coarse/bodybuilding regimen training. As I look back, This would be considered Unconventional, CrossFit and Spartan-type training. The training regimen was so serious that my house was nicknamed “The Yard” by the neighborhood kids.
As my four cousins/coaches left home one by one, my neighbor (“Coach #5”), continued my training. He was pro bodybuilding from the late 60’s through the early 70’s. He gave me the secrets and the ways of the old world lifters. By the time I was 18, I was a solid 200 pounds and had a classic physique admired by many and the strength to back it up. My coaches al- ways made me write down workouts and take notes.
For next 10 years I kept up my rigorous training, never forgetting the hard lessons that I learned from my coaches, now etched into my soul.
Ten more years passed, and life changed dramati- cally. A career, marriage and kids were now my first priority. Along the way, I lost my path to well-being as it took back seat to making a living for my family. In 1998 I was a heavy 260 pounds and diagnosed as clinically obese, extremely high cholesterol and had high blood pressure. To make things worse, my doc- tor promised that if I didn’t change my current life- style, that within 5 years I would either have a stroke or a major heart attack or both. So in 1998 I restarted my mission to be the healthiest person I could be.
My first step was to find out the real cause of my crit- ical health issues. I had to be totally honest with my- self, and I found that it wasn’t all about stress. It was food choices, a lack of self control, and a sedentary lifestyle that were the culprits. I desperately needed a lifestyle change.
The second step was educating myself on proper nutrition. I knew the current lifestyle I was living took years to accomplish, and to undo all those years of self taught bad choices and habits, it would take me years to retrain my mind.
I didn’t seek out easy or quick solutions. I started to educate myself through many trials and errors on proper food choices and portion control. As a kid, I was told to eat everything on my plate and not waste food. How many times have we heard from our par- ents, “There are starving people in the world that would beg for the food you just wasted.” Chang- ing this ingrained mindset was a challenge. I had to dig deep and retrain my mind not to think that way, plus not put so much food on my plate.
The third step, was how do I tackle weight loss us- ing food as the source. No fad diets or starvation was going to get me to lose weight and permanently keep it off. Through research and self tests, I learned that better ingredients and food choices would benefit my body, help me lose pounds and keep me healthy. So in short, Organics, Non-GMO foods plus proper meal portions got me to my first 20lbs loss!
A major struggle in 1998 was that Organic, Non- GMO, Gluten Free, Free Range, and all of the other terms associated with today’s packaging did not exist. Learning to read nutrition labels showed me what food to stay away from. Also, in 1998 your normal food chain store didn’t carry any of these healthy items. It wasn’t until I accidentally walked into Whole Foods Market that I found a whole new shopping experience.
There I learned about “farm to fork” shopping, but as you can imagine eating this way in 1998 was super expensive. Even so, this was a life or death choice I had to make. In time, I figured out that with proper meal portioning and ingredient measuring that I could control how much food I needed to purchase weekly. With a small budget, I didn’t shop middle isles and kept my meals very basic.
Step four was learning weekly food prepping. I dis- covered that I could now pre-make my meals, stay within budget AND not eat outside my meal plan. Now that I lost 20 pounds, kept it off, had my food and portioning under control and meal prepping set, I was ready to hit the gym and start training once again.
Even with my 20 pounds of weight loss I was at 240 pounds and very out of shape. I started out just walking on the treadmill 30 minutes at a time to get my body used to moving again and get my heart stronger. I did this for one month. Month two, I started jogging and a few weeks later started run- ning. I knew through experience that I shouldn’t over do training. I had to hang my ego at the door and take it day by day. Within three months I start- ed lifting again.
Now that I was back in the gym, healthy enough to lift, I dusted off my old notes and workouts and went back into training mode. My mental state was strong and determined. It was the start of the new millennium, and being 30 years older, I started seeing the 18 year old me taking shape before my eyes.
Now I had everything going for me, proper nutri- tion, portion control, and i was back to training dai- ly. Every 10 pounds I lost I went back to the draw- ing board and reinvented my eating habits and training techniques to accommodate the next 10 pounds to lose.
My transformation took years, not days, to achieve. I did this with no fad diets, meds, surger- ies or drugs. I just went back to the basics, was patient, and stayed the course. Did I miraculously see results overnight? No! Did I expect that with- in 90 days I would be competing in bodybuilding? No! But I didn’t let that stop the drive to be the best I could be. I just kept going and I’m still going to this day, 15 year later.
Even to this day, I still educate myself on proper eating habits and training. It’s a never ending les- son that anyone can learn from daily.
If you’re thinking the following, you need to change your mind:
If i only had the genetics or dedication to achieve the physique of my dreams, I would get fit.
If only I wasn’t so busy/lazy/stressed, I would get fit.
If you listen to society’s rhymes and reasons and the rules of the land as if they apply to you, then you have already given up! There is no wonder why you will never get above your potential. It’s not until you say to yourself, “No, they’re wrong,” that you’ll be able to shrug off the “norms” and start becoming an above-average man.
You have to re-write your own history in life… stop listening to everyone who says “that’s the way it is!” and just get it done.
Find out more about Shawn Powers at www.UnconventionalBodybuilding.com
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