"Can I Gain 20 lbs In 16 Weeks ?"

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I was sitting in the the Westin Hotel conference room in Las Vegas this last weekend with a group of 46 other personal trainers and nutrition coaches looking to level up and make an impact on the health and fitness industry.

At the front of the room was our business coach and mentors Jason Phillips and Chasity Snowden.

I was in the “hotseat” going through my goals and actions for the next 120 days discussing an idea I had to purposely gain weight and document the journey. 

The purpose of this weight gain experiment is to step into the shoes of so many people who lose and regain weight, and better understand what they've been through. 

As a result of this vicious weight loss and regain cycle a lot of people develop a negative mindset around their body, an unhealthy relationship with the scale and a fear of food. 

I want to understand this mindset from the inside out , and help those of you struggling with this to overcome it once and for all. 

My mentor and coach Jason asked me “Exactly how much weight are you going to gain in the next 16 weeks Alex”

We were being pushed to challenge ourselves and set big goals, and honestly without thinking I said “20 pounds”

Immediately when I said 20 pounds a few people looked over at me with that have you lost your fucking mind look…

Jason wrote  “Gain 20lbs” on the whiteboard, and immediately I tensed up  when I saw the number written down, in the back of my mind there was a big “Ohhhh shit what did you say” moment happening between my ears. 

So I said out loud exactly what I was thinking “Damn after seeing you write it that number makes me a nervous.”

“Why does it makes you nervous” Jason asked me

“Because that’s a lot of weight, and I’m going to gain a lot fat”

That’s statement of being fearful of gaining body fat is one I’m sure a lot of you can relate to.

What helps to explain this fear for me is that I grew up a chubby kid with crooked teeth and struggled in school.

Not exactly the best recipe for booming self confidence.

I was very self conscious about my body body, and had really low self esteem and very little confidence. I used to be the class clown to divert attention away from my struggles in school a lot. 

I was hesitant to take my shirt off, especially around girls...I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about.  

As I got older went through my own nutrition and fitness journey I became more educated in nutrition I started to change how I ate and then got into jiu jitsu and thai boxing in my mid 20's.

After putting my knowledge about nutrition and training to work I started to lose a lot of weight, and was getting lean enough to see an abdominal muscles and started to feel a lot more confident as a whole.

Those  changes in my body came with big changes in my mindset and confidence.

Even years later I still have fear of returning to that fat kid I once was.

I still  associate that low self esteem and lack confidence with how I felt when I was fat, and that’s a big reason for me to tackle this fear head on and take you all along for the ride with me. 

Over the next 16 weeks I’m intentionally leaning into that fear and gaining 20 pounds ...

I need to lead by example and let you know that I’m just like you and have a fear of gaining weight again, and show you exactly how I’m going to overcome this fear along the way. 

I’d be lying if I didn’t say this scares me, but to gain a better insight into your journey’s and make one of my own I need experience this first hand.  

I’m going to head through this all while being totally transparent with you guys about what I’m experiencing... the food, the highs, the lows, mindset and body image changes and emotions. 

This will be tough, and you see me at some vulnerable and raw times in these next 16 weeks.. Which is exactly why the weekly vlog about this journey has to happen!

In the vlog I’m going to give you an insight into my weekly nutrition, training, struggles and vulnerable moments to let you know you’re not alone and we have our own struggles!

Stay tuned as episode 1 of the Beyond Bulking: The Transformation blog series drops on Monday!