When my friend Alexander of coal.photography asked me to be the model in his “gritty fitness photoshoot” I was honored and terrified all at the same time. I was honored because he thought of me as someone fit enough for this and I was terrified because I wasn’t entirely sure I was fit enough to do a fitness photoshoot that involved me taking my shirt off for the world to see.
We’ve all seen those guys and girls in Men’s and Women’s Health Magazine, and let’s be honest, I’m not one of them. In fact, I’m far from it! I’m just an average guy who works out and eats well. Those people are specimens whose job it is to be in shape 24/7 and they have a special type of dedication and discipline that most of us don’t have. I’m also going to suggest that most of them weren’t 100+ lbs overweight at one point in their lives, which means they don’t have the loose skin around their stomach and arms like I do.
So, with all of that racing around in my mind, I questioned if I could I really do this?
We all know I love a good challenge, so obviously I accepted. I wanted to see if I could get myself to a point where I was happy with my appearance and comfortable to be in front of a camera. This is partly where the Sober October Challenge came in, because I knew that it wasn’t going to just be about training hard in the gym, it was going to be 65% diet that was going to help me to look and feel good in front of the camera.
For 4 weeks I trained my ass off, ate perfectly and I was feeling awesome! Up until about a 10 days out from the shoot that is.
I started to get paranoid and self conscious and I started doubting myself. So, I started researching what professional fitness models do before a shoot and I was surprised how much science and research has gone into this. Carb cutting and water loading. Sodium cutting and specific workouts. Then water cutting and carb loading. Eating a snickers bar before the shoot? What?
Because I was so determined to look great for this, I decided I was going to do what the models do for the last 7 days before the shoot. I did the strict eating, water consumption, carb cutting, exercises and blah blah blahs and was bitching about it on Facebook and Twitter daily. I then got a message from a very good friend of mine saying “why don’t you just be yourself?”. Initially I was pissed off because I couldn’t figure out how I wasn’t being myself by simply cutting some carbs and water and I was insulted that he said that to me. But then late on Wednesday before the shoot, what he messaged me actually sunk in.
Shooting with Alexander was an awesome experience. He had some amazing visions and we worked well together. We ended up shooting for about an hour and fifteen minutes and I feel like we could have shot for 4 hours, easily. I’m not sure if I would do another photoshoot, but I’m glad I did this one. I may not look like a fitness model, but I sure am happy with what came of the work I did. I’ve come far on my journey and I’m glad I decided to just “be me” for my shoot.