I finally did it last night. I swallowed my pride and took my first set of offseason pictures. I was shocked to see what I really looked like. I noticed the most dramatic improvements in my back width and my quad sweep, two areas that have always been in desperate need of improvement. As I've mentioned before, I'm not too happy with the fat that I seem to be holding in my midsection, but given what my diet consists of, the overall consensus is that it's not fat and is more likely water rentention. Plus, my dramatic weight fluctuations from week to week (despite a consistent diet) point to being bloated. Another indication that it's probably not fat is that my face hasn't blown into a watermelon like it did last year when I was about this weight--my chipmunk cheeks have not quite yet reached epic proportions. Now, the million dollar question is what is it from and how do we fix it? I'll leave that up to the expert to figure it out.
Out of curiosity, I decided to do comparison pics from 16 weeks out last year when I weighed about the same. DAAAAAAAMMMMMNNNNNN!!!! It was like looking at another person entirely (except for my awful, post-workout rat's nest hairdo). Making that comparison really highlighted exactly how much progress I've made in the past 8 weeks. There is absolutely truth in the fact that you're highly anabolic when you come off a contest diet, and I seem to have been able to capture that and take full advantage of it...and it feels f'ing great. The only thing I really did differently in my training was to experiment with FST-7 for my back and quads. I figured, what the hell? It's all the craze now. So what do I have to lose by trying it out? They're already my weak body parts, so it can't make 'em worse, right? I'm typically stick to traditional training and rarely experiment with "fads," but hey, who knows? Maybe this actually helped. Either way, I'm glad I sucked it up and took those pictures. It was a huge boost my mental state, something I REALLY needed as of late.