“What Happened To You Man? Where Did You Go?!”
I have put off doing this “about” page for a long time. I much prefer to be future focused, rather than dwell too heavily on the past. However, since I rebooted this blog in 2021 the question I am most frequently asked (in a non-direct way!) goes something like this…
“How did you go from being a fitness author whose core message was daily accountability to that bloke tipping the scales at 129.70kg?”
While it would take way too long to give a blow-by-blow account of my 12 years in the “abyss” I can give an overview of how I ended up there, and what I did in 2021 to turn it around (as seen below).
June 2021: “Trapped” In My Cab At Byron Bay!
I still remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in my taxi cab at Byron Bay contemplating whether I would go for a footlong Subway sandwich and cookies, or just the cookies (6 for $5!).
This was my ritual whenever I had a “long” cab fare to Byron Bay. Most jobs to Byron came out of Coolangatta Airport where I could charge a $180 flat fee, almost a day’s worth of takings for one trip!
I Catch A Glimpse Of A Lone Surfer Off In The Distance
While I was about to make my decision on lunch I caught a glimpse of a lone surfer off in the distance carving up a long set. My mind was immediately drawn back to the days when I had that goal. So long ago now.
As Byron stretches along a cliff face the car park is perched high above the action. The only problem is that the trees can block the view to the shoreline. I wanted to get out and have a closer look, but that would mean leaving the confines of my car, something I almost never did.
Byron Bay Is A Hub Of Activity
My reluctance to leave the car was pretty strange considering Byron Bay is renowned for its beautiful coastline. On any given weekend you’ll see people from all over South East Queensland coming down for a surf, a windsurf, a swim, a meal, a coffee or maybe just a lay on the beach! It is the tourist Mecca of Northern NSW.
However, I was always content to park up and watch people around me do all sorts of activities. In a weird sense, this is why cab driving was the “perfect” job for me. I could travel all over the Gold Coast and remain in my car for the vast majority of the time. I could do a job, eat lunch and take a nap without having to exit the vehicle!
Why I Never Left My Car
So, why wouldn’t I leave the car? Well, the short answer is that I weighed around 125 kgs so it was difficult to summon the strength or the energy to even go for a walk. However, that is not the full story.
As my obesity was a direct consequence of my poor thoughts, habits and actions over a long period of time it would be more accurate to say that I was always striving to “protect” myself from potential social interactions. This is why I always felt more comfortable staying in my car, having a “footlong Subway” and remaining hidden from the world around me.
My Worst Fear…Being Recognised!
And God forbid anyone from my “past life” as a fitness author should ever recognise me! Even though the chances were a million to one, just that thought alone would be enough to send a shiver down my spine.
During my years of driving cabs this was the one thought I always had just before someone hopped in the car! I’d always do a quick scan via the rear vision mirror to confirm that it wasn’t an old friend, a relative or a former Shredder!
Of course, this scenario never actually happened. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was just another irrational fear that consumed a lot of emotional energy and kept me mentally trapped.
“What If I Just Take A Walk To The Park Bench?”
However, on this day in June 2021 I had the “seed” of a new thought, “What if I actually get out of my car and go take a closer look at this surfer? What if I skip the footlong and the cookies, and walk over to the park bench?!”
These new thoughts came off the back of a very tough month. I had just returned to cabbing after taking a few weeks off work to attend to a family matter. I will keep the details private, but suffice to say I was reminded that my time on this Earth is finite. I also concluded that if I didn’t start to turn the ship around soon my time may be up sooner rather than later.
This extended time off work “forced” me to reconnect with my family and relatives. It also gave me a break from the daily 14-hour cab shifts which consumed most of my daylight hours. In this environment surrounded by family and relatives I started to reconnect with my “true” self. I also started to reflect on my past, the good and the bad, along with some consideration of my path forward.
“How Could I Let It All Go?”
Of course, whenever I stopped to contemplate future plans my mind always wandered back to the past. This is also why I avoided thinking about the past for too long. Even though I had a lot of downtime in the cab I always sought to distract myself with social media or books.
I found it extremely difficult to reconcile my past as a fitness author with my current predicament as an overweight cabbie hiding in his Prius!
Some of the thoughts that would run through my mind…
Like, how it is possible I could blog my physique transformation for 1000 days, employing daily accountability system I developed, only to quit at the peak?
How could I lead these Shredders through a 12 week “Mission” in real time on the RTP Transformation System via the ShredderSphere forum and end up here?
How could I go from Day 1000 in New York with 55 Shredders from 7 different countries for the RTP Transformation Contest finale and “Shredder Summit” to this obese bloke I see in the mirror?
With 120 success stories and a 35.4% completion rate for all customers who purchased the program (against an industry average of 2%) how I could I let the RTP brand just wither and die?
Even weirder, how could I win a trip to DisneyWorld via a YouTube video contest, get featured on TV and in magazines, and train with Tom Venuto of Burn The Fat fame, yet not have the confidence to step out of my car?
How did it all go so wrong? As far as I know, RTP was also the first of its kind to implement true daily accountability as the cornerstone of its program. With this success I should have been on “cloud nine” and energised by the possibilities of taking this daily accountability concept mainstream.
September 2009: The Slow and Painful Decline Begins
However, not long after I completed 1000 days I went on a slow but consistent downward spiral. I had “burnt the candle at both ends” for far too long with late nights in front of the computer screen and days spent drinking copious amounts of coffee and energy drinks. Try as I might I just could not summon the energy to continue.
The end did not come abruptly, it was a slow and painful decline. First, my own training became sporadic, then once I got behind on my own daily accountability the end was nigh. Compounding this were issues in my personal life, along with a lack of (forward) business planning.
2010: The Crash Is Complete
By the end of 2009 I was well and truly in a rut. By mid-2010 I was a deer in the headlights, frozen in time and just waiting for the inevitable crash. And crash I did. After a few attempts to right the ship I was now in a speedy decline. The momentum I had built up over 1000 days had completely evaporated and I was now stuck in reverse going at 100 m/ph over the nearest cliff.
What made this sting even more was that my core teaching was “daily accountability.” The irony was not lost on me, in fact it haunted me for years. Upon reflection, all the misery and failure that would visit me in the coming years stemmed from one source…my mind.
While on the physical and material plane I should have been full-steam ahead in my goal to make “Real Time Physique” the new “Body for Life” my daily thoughts and mental focus turned hostile. Once they were done with me the whole experience was like an illusion.
These thoughts dominated the recesses of my mind for years. As time moved on I became ever more disconnected from my former self. Intellectually, I knew it was me, but for all practical purposes those experiences were just distant memories.
Now something as simple as exiting my car and walking to a park bench was a real challenge both mentally and physically.
2021: Charting A New Path
Of course, leaving the vehicle was more of a mental challenge than a physical one. In a symbolic sense it meant finally leaving the “safe” confines of my insular bubble and opening myself up to the “dangers” and possibilities of the outside world.
“What do I have to lose?” Surely I can make my way over to the park bench. At the very least the fresh air would be nice! Then, without ruminating on it for too long I actually did it. I got out and walked over to the park bench.
While the bench was only 50m away it was a small step in the right direction. I sat there for a while out in the open air and watched the surfers off in the distance. I was mesmerised, and wondered what it would take for me to one day get out there.
Could I Actually Reboot My Blog (And My Life)?
This short walk to the park bench was the moment I started to turn things around. Over the next few weeks I began to seriously contemplate one more “Mission.”
As I mentioned above this period of time also coincided with major upheaval on a personal/family level. This was the kind of thing that would always derail me previously. However, this time I persevered with my plan and started to add in a combination of light exercise and better nutrition into my daily routine.
During the lead up to my “Mission 1: 2021” I also set about adjusting and updating my original “RTP” mindset, motivation and accountability rituals to up the “positive pressure” and “safeguard” against the inevitable setbacks and plateaus.
So, now fast forward to 2021. After more than a decade of trying and failing to turn my life around I finally decided to have another serious crack at daily accountability.
A New Mission, A New Accountability System!
This time it would be different. First and foremost I had to sit still and come up with a plan that integrated mindset, motivation and goal attainment rituals on a daily basis. Like many people my instinct is to skip this part and head straight for nutrition and training, but this time I actually did it!
On a side note I must mention that I did dedicate a substantial portion of my book to these components. However, they were exercises done once, and once only, prior to a Mission. I have since realised that, for me, these exercises/rituals must be done on a daily basis.
A Return To Daily Accountability
Next element for me was returning to daily accountability. This means taking a picture of my physique on a daily basis. While this may sound like overkill to some I can say from first-hand experience that nothing accountability-wise compares to daily pictures. In fact, the amount of “positive pressure” this creates is almost enough by itself to spring me into massive action.
This time though I upped the accountability factor by also taking daily pictures of my food and drink. Once you commit to this for real there is no “escape”! When contemplating missing a workout and/or eating junk you think twice (and three times!) when you must also photograph the effects of your missed workouts or binge bender!
To round it all out I use a “Daily Accountability Points System” to give me an accurate measurement of my compliance to the program. This one number, the Cumulative Accountability Percentage Score (C.A.P.S.) is a succinct and realistic reflection of actual compliance.
Updated Points System and Integration of Modern Tech
This time around I have adjusted the weightings with more emphasis on the daily picture while also including points for mindset, motivation and goal/visualisation into my daily routine.
In addition, modern smartwatch tech has made it possible to add other metrics to my accountability system. I chose to include daily reporting on my scale weight/bodyfat along with daily steps (10k minimum is my daily goal). Reporting these stats from official apps provides another layer of accountability that makes it “impossible” to dodge the all-encompassing “positive pressure” of daily accountability.
Mission 1 Results Video
From August 10, 2021 to November 1, 2022 I actually completed my first Mission under my new accountability system!
Freeing Myself From My Mental Prison
Perhaps more importantly, I was finally able to free myself from the mental prison I had lived in for more than a decade. Here’s the funny thing, in many ways that short walk to the park bench was more difficult than any workout I did throughout that 26-week period.
Was it easy? No, but once I took the time to build a strong daily accountability framework (that included mindset; motivation; visualisation; nutrition and training) I quickly established new a “baseline” of habits, thoughts and behaviours.
Getting Past The “21-Day Hump”
A big turning point was getting past the “21-day hump.” As the days progressed I became ever more determined keep the momentum going and not let my prior efforts go to waste.
While I did experience injuries, illnesses, setbacks and emotional stresses from relationships and work during this six-month period I was able to continue on my physique transformation journey by just taking it one day at a time. Which come to think of it, really is the foundation upon which this whole project is built!
– To get an overview of all Mission before and after pics, videos and stats go to my “Mission Control” page.
– For an in-depth look at my current daily accountability process (and the reasons why I updated it) go to Day 1: Appetite For Reconstruction.
– For posts on specific topics such as mindset, nutrition and training please select the “Topics” tab in the sidebar for dropdown menu.
– Since embarking on this “RTP Reboot” I’ve left the cabs and am now self-employed in a new career, one that requires me to be much more active (and seven times the income)!
Mission Specific Sport Goals
So, what is my overall goal this time around?
Well, as I believe daily accountability is an essential tool for radical body transformation I’ll keep going until I reach my physique and athletic goals. One extra element I added to each Mission this time around was sport-specific training for an event/challenge. On Mission 1 I kept it simple with running and swimming.
For Mission 2 it was surfing for Mission 3 it was competing in two triathlons and Mission 4 will be golf (with a goal to shoot under 100 for 18 holes). Upcoming Missions will possibly include downhill skiing and rock climbing.
With all this being said, I do not plan (or advocate) practicing daily accountability for a lifetime!
So, what’s the end-point?
When do I exit daily accountability and return to “normal life”?
My current thinking is as follows: the amount of Missions it takes you to get “there” is also the amount you need to stay “there.”
So, for me it was “two to get there, two to stay there” i.e. four 12-week Mission conducted over the first year. Put simply, the first half is to reach your goal and the second half is to hard-wire these habits into your daily routine until it becomes second nature.
Daily Blogging Ended on August 9, 2022 (Day 365). Weekly blogging for Year 2.
I continued to practice daily accountability on this blog up to August 9, 2022. For Year 2 I switched to weekly accountability. Beyond Year 2 I have not made a final decision yet. I may “retire” from this blog, or I may continue on a fortnightly or monthly basis.
My goal has always been to burn these habits into every cell and fibre of my being so I never have to practice daily accountability again!
Beyond this, my hope is that this blog stands the test of time as a complete resource for anyone contemplating a similar journey. Most visitors to this blog do not read much more than the “milestone” posts, and that is okay.
Who This Blog Is Really Intended For
My blog is really intended for individuals serious about a radical and sustained physique transformation. The 5% who not only dream about it, but take massive and immediate action to get the ball rolling.
My mission is to provide inspiration and detailed information to those people…the ones crazy enough to take pictures every day and dedicated enough to get the job done…however it long it takes!
Who knows, maybe one day you’ll send me your Day 365 pics!
– Adam Waters
P.S. On Day 271 (May 7, 2022) of my “Reboot” I actually competed in the Byron Bay Triathlon. Amazingly, I got a gold medal in the 45-49 category!
Here’s the weirdest part, the finish line was right opposite the park bench where I took that fateful walk 11 months prior!
2 thoughts on “About Adam Waters”
Sounds like an airtight system. Looking forward to cheering you on this Journey.
G’day Carlos! Thanks mate, there is no way I can not follow through with you cheering me on in this journey! PS Your comment on this page is the first since 2009!