I have always had a pale and skinny body, and I came to accept that. I would rationalise the situation by labelling muscular guys as ‘dumb jocks’ and myself as the ‘smart geek’ who didn’t need muscles.

According to my BMI, I was borderline underweight. But I thought this was healthy because it meant I had a low risk of heart disease. I was also eating little, probably 1,500 kcal per day. But I was happy with this too. I found eating boring and a hassle, and I knew that low-calorie diets extend your life span.

But people kept telling me how skinny I looked. My brother and sister visited me in Canada and they were shocked at how thin I was. Here’s a photo from around that time:

To be fair, I don’t look too bad in that photo, so I don’t know what the fuss was about. Okay, so I wasn’t Christopher Bale’s Batman, but I certainly wasn’t Christian Bale in The Machinist either.

The Revelation

My brother has always been skinny too. His spine protruded from his back like the spines of a stegosaurus. His chest looked like the remains of a cow ribcage from a Western film.

Last year, I visited home. I hadn’t seen my skinny brother for over a year, and this time, it was my turn to be shocked: he was now muscular. He was a swole gym bro. He had an extra 20 kg of pure muscle over me. Here’s a picture of us:

My brother asked if I wanted to go the gym and lift weights with him. I thought, “Fuck it, why not”. So off we went. He showed me how to do a barbell bench press and a dumbbell bench press, and possibly many more types of bench press too.

I thought to myself, “If my brother can do it, then so can I!” After all, our genetic-relatedness is 50%. He’s practically a clone of me.

Today’s situation

Well, I’ve been going to the gym now for a year. Here’s before and after photos:

And here’s some statistics from since I started on 2 May 2016 to today:

  • I’ve been to the gym 78 times. That’s 1.5 times per week.
  • I started at 62 kg and now I’m 72 kg.
  • My BMI has increased from 19.1 to 22.2. I’m no longer borderline underweight.
  • I’ve spent £297 on gym memberships. I know I could have spent this money on rent boys instead, but personally, I think the gym has been worth it.
  • For the dumbbell chest press, the most I could lift when I started was 14 kg. Now I can lift 40 kg. I’m practically superman.
  • Same deal with the bicep curl.The most I could lift when I started was 10 kg. Now I can lift 20 kg.

Some charts showing that I can lift more now in each gym session:

To keep making progress, I know need to do more barbell exercises, like barbell squats and deadlifts. I just hope I don’t do my back in and end up as a handsome cripple.