A Long Journey to Building Myself
I began working out in my junior year of high school. A time of insecurity, lack of confidence, and a clueless sponge ready to learn and out in the work.
Over the years I faced many setbacks, misdirection, and inconsistent dedication and discipline to get the results I wanted.
Luckily as time went on, I began to piece the puzzle together. I studied to become a licensed trainer and nutritionist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and learn the practices of discipline and consistency.
Now I can proudly say I’m on the right path to achieving the fitness goals I’ve always wanted.
Who is Bokey?
My name is Daniel Castillo and I’m Bokey. Since I can remember, my older brother had always called me Bokey for whatever reason.
Even to this day, I don’t have the full reason for where this name came from or why he didn’t just call me by my actual name.
I’m the middle child of 3 with one older brother and one younger sister. We grew up moving a lot early in my life all over Los Angeles and eventually settled in Texas.
It took a while to adjust since the culture is much more different, but eventually, we managed.
We grew up as active kids running around the street playing tag, football, or whatever random game we thought about trying to play. I was always the shortest and skinniest of the bunch though. All the way up to my sophomore year of high, I was about 4’9″ and probably weighed 100 pounds or under.
I remember in middle school when being in the weight room for off-season football, my coach had to individually tell me my weight for the bar since I was so underdeveloped compared to everyone.
As a kid, I didn’t care much about being skinny since most of us were. But throughout my high school days, I would grow to become more shy and insecure about how I looked.
I felt powerless.
And so it begins
I first learned about working with my brother. His style of training was geared toward bodybuilding and strength training. In the past, I only knew about working out for whatever sport I was playing at the time.
Most of the time they were conditioning drills or practicing skills. It was much easier to just listen and follow what workouts our coaches would give us for the day.
I was very eager to learn about a new way to work out but also intimidated. Working out in school was with people your age and we were all friends to some extent. Now I would have to work out with people of all ages, sizes, and even genders.
Stepping into a new world
Starting something new can be overwhelming since there’s so much to learn and experience you need to go through to get a grasp on things. My journey was centered around gaining weight and getting bigger.
An early struggle for me was constantly trying to see my progress. I used to always max out everything with my friends to see if I was getting anywhere. Looking back, this was a terrible idea, but we all start somewhere.
On top of working out, my brother would tell me I needed to eat much more if I wanted to get any bigger.
As time went on, I had a basic understanding of the direction to take and was starting to see progress.
Lesson 1: Patience
I think it’s normal to want something now even if you know it requires days, months, or even years to get what you want. About a year into my fitness journey, I would begin watching youtube videos on my own to see how I could speed up the process.
Essentially I was looking for shortcuts.
I knew the journey would be long so looking for fast results was enticing. After the first few years of my training, I would constantly try new workouts claiming to get 6-pack abs or “fast results”, but ultimately walked down a whole different path than the one I should’ve been on.
Lesson 2: Humility
At this point, it’s been 5-6 years of off-and-on training with an unhealthy high-calorie diet. I gained over 30 pounds of weight and progressed in the gym. As mentioned, the knowledge I had was the basics paired with tons of so-called “shortcuts” that would supposedly get me to where I wanted to go. I didn’t take advice from anyone newer than me at the gym and stopped trying to learn any more than I had already done.
Unfortunately, the weight I gained wasn’t all muscle. In fact, it was probably mostly fat since I wasn’t on a clean bulk by any measure. My goal was to gain weight and I did just that.
When it came to working out, I overcomplicated it which made working out less enjoyable and more of a chore. I had no game plan, little fundamentals, and subpar results. After years of inconsistent training, poor dieting, and tons of frustration, I decided to start a new one. Except this time I’d have the body weight and years of experience.
I needed to humble myself to relearn everything I should have stuck with from the beginning.
Lesson 3: Consistency and Discipline
Staying consistent with my diet and workouts was a struggle for a while. I might have 2-3 weeks of not skipping the gym but then have 2-3 weeks of not going at all. I’d also skip days here at there out of pure laziness and lack of motivation.
My diet also went through the same cycle of off-and-on motivation.
I realized how important it was to stay consistent with your exercise and diet to get the results you wanted. And I learned it the hard way. Through years of what felt like wasted potential.
Eventually, I realized I needed a game plan. I needed to plan out my workouts and plan out what I needed to eat. I had never really planned past the day ahead so this was all new to me.
Now I’m proud to say I’m a licensed personal trainer and nutritionist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. My work has been featured on websites such as yahoo, total shape, and more. I’m back on track to get to my goals and helping others do the same!