Post Atrophy Revival.
As you might have gathered, 2009 was one rough year for me. In late 2006 I had finally concluded my National Service in Singapore, having left the infantry after 2 and a half years of compulsory service. Such is the fate of all owing their birth to that little tropical island-nation. After a few months of gap/break, I spent another year or so working full time in Singapore before finally enrolling at University in 2009.
I spent that full-time work year further honing my flesh and turning it into something of a machine. I had gone into the military - an unpopular nerd fresh out of high school, 6 foot tall and all of 50 or so KGs, mostly bone and sinew. In the infantry I learned the value of fitness and how you could not be respected by others until you first respected yourself. I left not a boy, but a man born anew, walking astride others, 65KG strong.
My full-time work year saw me focus my efforts on improving myself even more still. I shared an apartment with my friend Colin and spent considerable portions of my income on food. I was eating 5 or so meals a day and hitting the condo’s gym almost all the time. I drank nearly 2 litres of milk daily, and did so religiously. Before I knew it, I was at my peak: 75KGs and approximately 3% bodyfat. My back and shoulders were broader than they have ever been, my stomach and chest about as ripped as ever. Obliques, delts, the lot. 20 full chinups came easy and the stomach press machine didn’t stand a chance, even with every single weight slab piled on.
Then I quit my job, flew back to Perth and enrolled at my University. Many great things happened in my first year of Uni’: I settled in nicely, met a lot of quality people who I am proud to call my friends and met my girlfriend, whose amazing qualities the enormity of which I am still attempting to fully comprehend. I was however, fighting my own secret battle behind the scenes. Despite my father’s lucrative occupation, my parents have nonetheless ever been serial mismanagers of money and financial strife has always been my steadfast companion for as long as I have been under their care or support. I knew full-well what would happen upon moving back home, and I accepted it with a very heavy heart.
Finding a part-time job to support myself proved impossible last year and the results were inevitable. I averaged one meal a day, the nutritional value often being dubious; bread or instant noodles, it mattered not. I scraped through on a meager pittance, being without many books and scraping the bottom of the barrel for even the funds to pay for my bus money. Some days I didn’t eat at all. I could feel my months of hard work atrophying beneath my skin. If not for the generous benefaction of an Aunt abroad who takes my education a lot more seriously than my parents, I’d have not been able to remain enrolled at university at all.
The effect was decisive. I shrunk, unable to hone my flesh. To do so would further tax it, causing it to scream for the nutrition I could not possibly provide to slake its thirst with. And so I withered. I still have a lot of my muscular definition, but I am currently a wiry shadow of my former glory.
But the dice have favoured me, for once.
This year, I have finally secured a job, relieving me of a considerable amount of burdens. Once again I am cramming my face with food, and upping my caloric intake, targeting high-protein items.
The going is tough, and the first couple of workouts after an extended hiatus are always agonising, but I can once again feel my flesh hardening into steel. I have hereby set myself the goal of achieving 72-75Kgs by year’s end. This post exists to hold myself accountable to my pledge and to humour the curiosity of onlookers.