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Okay, I've said for over a year I would finally get new pics online, so it's about damned time!

 

Let's start with the classic shots from the tail end of my strongman days, circa summer 2006 before the repeated back injuries and eye problems. Near the high side of the days of being big (around 272-275 lbs. in the photos), but also very bloated and far from being lean.

 

http://www.veganessentials.com/images/Poser1.jpg

 

Next up, photos from just a bit under 2 years ago. That was the low point - I would injure my back every few months and have to start all over, I was coping with my eye condition early on and still questioned whether or not I should even keep lifting, stress was at an all-time high. Barely trained much during those days, and what training I did, it wasn't very good. Photo is me at about 265 lbs., lots of muscle lost, but got a bit fatter than I was in my first photos.

 

http://www.veganessentials.com/images/RyanPics.jpg

 

Then, finally the current day. Dropped about 35 lbs since the photos from 2 years back (came in at 230 lbs. on the mark today), strength is up from those days, and things keep getting better for training. Still not as lean as I'd like (I'd prefer to drop another 10-15 lbs. of fat over the coming year or so to be where I'd like), but I don't feel ashamed in my own skin any longer. It's the start of things to come - the rest of the year is going to be on a mission of rebuilding, aiming to get back to 240 with little to no fat gain while adding more quality mass and getting my strength back to the old numbers. That will also keep me in the range of the lightweight cutoff for strongman (231 lbs.), which I can get down to in time for a contest if I get back in the game next summer.

 

http://www.veganessentials.com/images/Me2010.jpg

 

So, that's how I've been bouncing around this last few years, finally getting my diet under control via cutting carbs periodically and removing sugars and starchy stuff from my diet when I want to drop some fat. I don't have it perfect, but one day, I'll get it there!

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This is the first time i have seen photos of you except for your avatar and 1 with Robert at a store or something.

 

Your inspiration so much man.You look better than you did in the first set of photos.

 

Keep up a journal everyday and if you miss a day i will troll you lol

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Thanks, Cold Fission! Yeah, I now see that for a good stretch, I simply thought "If I keep eating tons and keep getting stronger in the process, it's all worth it", but when you get a kick in the pants and realize it's no longer feasible to stay that way, something's gotta give. I feel MUCH better at a more moderate weight with a lower bodyfat level - I'm doing a slow-and-steady process this time, not the eat-until-I-want-to-puke method that helped me put on 15-20 lbs. in a single year When the friend that got me into lifting saw me at 285 and said "Holy shit, you got huge but you also got totally fat!", it made me realize my old approach may not have been what's best. Even if it takes me two years to get back to 240, I'll be content as long as I don't end up feeling bloated and sluggish like I used to. Though, I do have fond memories of those days of eating 2000 calories of junk food at night in the name of "getting huge"!

 

You won't see a daily log since I'm only training 3-4 days/week depending on my schedule, but nevertheless, I'll always keep it updated here, good or bad!

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Wow! How did you get that big in the first place by only eating vegan food?! I want some of that mass! I also eat until I want to puke, but I never put on weight You've made great progress and you look much better now: still big, but in very good shape. Congratulations!

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Looking awesome there! I know what it feels like to finally get back on your feet after being injured for a log time... I bet you feel like a million dollars, congrats!

 

BTW... what on earth do you eat to get 2000 calories in one eve?

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Thanks much to everyone!

 

Zack - glad you enjoyed the gift, I told Robert to let you know that if you think it'll be useful, let me know and I'll make sure there's more where that came from

 

Vege - I come from a line of people who put on weight just looking at food Seriously, though, my metabolism sucks, and I gain weight eating over 3000 cal./day easily enough. 4000 cal./day and above, what I was eating during the bulking years, allowed me to gain VERY quickly, but it came with a lot of fat, too. Finding the best balance has been tricky with my love for snacks, but I'm getting better at it!

 

beforewisdom - my back issues started with my first strongman comp, tried to hold on to an overhead log press too long, it bent me backward and everything cracked in my back from top to bottom (which stated the issues with a strain on my QL, which still haunt me but it's getting better). Taking the bulk of a year or so off from much squatting and deadlifting has helped, and then having Kirk (trainer and friend) teach me how to stretch my QL out properly and rebuild slowly vs. my usual "Let's get to where I used to be in a hurry" mindset. It's getting better, but that's not to say one false move couldn't re-tweak it again. I just have to be much more careful - after having about 8 re-inuries of it during the past few years, it's a pain I prefer not to revisit!

 

jcdenton and Northstar - thanks to both you you as well for the comments. For the 2000 calorie meal, you have to consider that I'm surrounded by aisles of all-vegan foods all day and night, so there's temptation everywhere Just put a pint of vegan ice cream in front of me, a few packs of vegan jerky and some Go Max Go candy bars and I can make 2000 calories disappear in about 20 minutes. For good, clean, whole foods my appetite is reasonable. For junk food crap, I can eat mountains of it without ever feeling full. That's how I got into the mess of being fatter than I wanted to - when it came to getting strong, I just figured that the more I ate the better the progress, and I didn't pay attention to bodyfat levels until it caught up with me.

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Hey Ryan!

 

I was away from the computer all week hanging out with the boys in Alabama.

 

Great progress! I've seen you each of the past 5 years so I've seen a variety of your physiques over the years. You are looking leaner than I've ever seen you. I noticed that the moment I rolled up to the www.veganessentials.com office a couple of weeks ago.

 

You've inspired so many. That is why I thought about including you in a book 5 years ago and why you're in my current book. You've inspired me and so many on this forum. You've also been on the forum longer than pretty much anyone. Thanks for all that you contribute to this community!

 

Looking forward to the next workout with you and Kirk!

 

-Robert

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Robert - thanks for the kind words, as always You get at least a yearly glimpse of wherever I'm at with my physique, and I figured I was on the right track after you and all the folks at Sequel were commenting back at the Expo in March. Feels good to finally be doing things in the right way this time around! Of course, I still need a crash course in getting to your level of leanness, and just as well, I still want to find a way to bottle your energy as I'd be 3x as productive if I had the drive that you do!

 

xChrisZx - I'm a hair under 6' tall, something like 5' 11.5" last time I was checked. Maybe less now, those years of heavy squatting might have squashed me down a bit more over time

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xChrisZx - I'm a hair under 6' tall, something like 5' 11.5" last time I was checked. Maybe less now, those years of heavy squatting might have squashed me down a bit more over time

 

For some reason I thought you would be like 6'4" or something like that.

 

We are about the same height / body type. You have about 10+ pounds on me right now though.

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The doctors predicted I would end up really tall (6'4 or so), but somewhere early on, the genes just gave up working to make me taller and decided that I may as well be wide I think I hit 5'11" in 5th grade, then I pretty much didn't grow from there on out.

 

Get some pics up, xChrisZx - we need more big guys to show their stuff on here!

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The doctors predicted I would end up really tall (6'4 or so), but somewhere early on, the genes just gave up working to make me taller and decided that I may as well be wide I think I hit 5'11" in 5th grade, then I pretty much didn't grow from there on out.

 

Get some pics up, xChrisZx - we need more big guys to show their stuff on here!

 

Sounds similar to my story haha. My dad is 6'4 and my two younger brothers are 6'4 and 6'3. For whatever reason I ended up shorter but I do have a wider chest of the 3 of us.

 

I will get some pics up soon!

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Can't believe I missed this post. You've always been an inspiration to me man, remember seeing your photos the first time I was on this site and thinking "that guy's effing huge!", along with other guys on here you're all the reason I started lifting!

 

You look even better now, glad the progress is back on the UP! Looking forward to seeing more progress in a year or two when you've made your target fat loss and leaned out even more!

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I know Ryan better than anyone here and I don't know if he's capable of being in a bad mood He's one of the most positive and upbeat people I've ever met.....but if he were to get in a bad mood...you're right....stay out of the way! He packs a lot of muscle.

 

Hey Ryan......train in Boston?

 

Or wait til Anaheim?

 

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