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Sick of Feeling Small: A true story about why we give a shit

Nate shares the true story of the day he changed his life and explains why S2B exists.

145 and oily. 185 and not so oily. 

Back in 2003, when I was a senior in high school, I took a weight-training class.

I don’t remember exactly why I signed up, but it probably had to do with two factors:

1.  I wasn’t qualified to take any other classes.

With a 1.7 GPA and a tendency to read novels during math exams, I wasn’t exactly a stellar student. College was out of the question — my grades sucked and my family didn’t have much money — so I didn’t even bother to take the SATs.

2.  I was sick of feeling small.

At 5’9” and 145 pounds, I looked wiry and lean, but lacked any real substance. When I walked down the halls, I remember blending into the crowd, becoming just another set of feet and slumped shoulders. I didn’t take up any space or stand out in any way. I felt insignificant. Ordinary.


So when my senior year started, I found myself in the school weight room, wearing shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt, lying underneath a barbell and struggling to lift it.

Even on that first day I realized I liked working out. It was much better than sitting in class, at least. But while I enjoyed it, I didn’t see it as anything more than exercising and sweating.

But after a few months of consistently lifting weights, something happened that would change the rest of my life.

I first saw it in my bathroom mirror on a random Monday morning when I was getting ready for school. I noticed that my chest and arms looked…bigger. I stepped on my digital scale and the numbers “152” flashed on the screen. I had unexpectedly gained 7 pounds.

It was new. It was cool. And at this point in my life it was powerful.

As corny as it sounds, in that moment, it didn’t matter that my grades sucked. It didn’t matter that I drove a shitty, dented car and washed dishes at a pizza restaurant for 6 bucks an hour. It didn’t matter that I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life or that I felt like a failure.

I was changing a fundamental part of me — my body — and I was actually enjoying it.

That day I went to the gym and worked a little harder. I talked a little less. I added a little more weight to the bar. I wanted to see what would happen when I actually tried.

Later that night, as I sat in the basement of my parent’s house, I Googled “how to build muscle.” And the first thing I read was — I kid you not — an article from Dr. John Berardi.

Of course I didn’t know at the time that JB would come to be my most influential mentor. All I knew was this: I wanted what this John Berardi guy had.

Here was this dude — only 10 years older than me — who was smart, confident, muscular, and who owned his own business. He seemed successful. Something I definitely was not.

I remember thinking, “That guy must have an awesome life. I want to live like that, too.”

So I printed out a workout program and started lifting with some friends after school when we had the gym to ourselves. I grabbed some money — money I was going to spend on beer and weed and CDs — and bought some peanut butter, oatmeal, and eggs instead.

I had no idea how to start a business or gain more confidence or any of that other stuff.

All I knew was that I was going to build muscle and change the way I looked.

I thought that if I started there — with one simple thing I could control — maybe I could feel successful for once.

Maybe if I changed my body, other stuff would change too.

What Happened

After high-school — with the help of some very influential coaches, mentors, and a good group of friends — I gained over 40 pounds of muscle and drastically changed the way I looked. I finally built a muscular, athletic body — the kind of body I could be proud of.

But that’s not where my transformation stopped.

The aftershocks spread through every other part of my life and showed me what was really possible. I realized that if I could change my body, I could also transform my career, my relationships, hell, my entire life to all be something that inspired and excited me.

That’s when I stopped doing what I was supposed to do and started doing what I wanted to do. That’s when I set out to make my life awesome. And I’ve never looked back.

It’s been nearly 10 years since my senior year when I first took that weight-training class. It’s been 10 years since I read that article by JB and understood that I could actually change the way I looked and felt. 10 years since I realized that if I invested in myself and took control of my behavior and my body that I could live an amazing life.

Since then I’ve started a couple businesses and written a couple books. I’ve built strong relationships with interesting, influential people. I’ve spent time with loved ones and have gone on amazing adventures all over the world.

But most importantly — and definitely most rewarding — is what I’ve helped build here at S2B with the rest of the coaches, guys who have all experienced the same body and life transformation that I did.

Why S2B Exists

Coach Paul (in the middle) with a few S2B clients.

Our mission is to give guys everywhere that holy-shit-my-life-is-awesome experience by helping them build a body they can be proud of.

That’s our mission because every one of us at S2B knows what it feels like to be unhappy with our bodies. We know what it’s like to want more out of our daily lives than simply going through the motions. We know what it’s like to feel small or unsuccessful.

And we know what it’s like to get past all that. We know what it’s like to build a bigger life, a body we’re proud of, and the foundation to do what we love.

That’s why we’re here. That’s why we coach hundreds of guys every year.

That’s why we give a shit.

Thanks for reading.

26 Responses to Sick of Feeling Small

  1. Lucas Pellan says:

    great article. Thanks for sharing.

  2. VancoD says:

    lol – as a senior in high school I was 6’4″ and 147

    Now, just in the last week of Phase 4 of S2B, I’m up 22# over my starting weight :)

  3. RJ says:

    This could not have come at a better time for me.

    I’m turning a new leaf and training is where I’m starting so this 21 yr old can find some damn focus in his life!

    Thank you Nate.

  4. Brian G says:

    Hey Nate, I want to get in on the S2B coaching too. Imagine how you felt in high school, well I’m a young at heart 57 year old who has lived all this time with this scrawny body and it is time to CHANGE! Mindset and motivation are key for me. Thank you!

  5. Rohan.S, India says:

    Hey Nate, i am really inspired by what you have said here and currently i am doing the exact thing of buying beer and cds with my money, instead i am gonna spend money on brawny meals.Also i have just started following your S2B program. I currently am 5ft.6 inches and weigh 104 pounds , hopefully even if i am to achieve half of what you have, it will be life-fulfilling. Thanks for all the support! Salute to you and Mr.Berardi.

  6. Ian Dawson Mackay says:

    I just get a new job in a new city and you publish this? An article that motivates, shows me how stupid the bullshit I was letting hold me back is,and shows what can be done with a bit of work – this is awesome man! Thanks for this.

  7. Mike says:

    Nice article Nate. Nothing to add, but I enjoyed it. :)

  8. Glenn Sager says:

    Nate Green with yet another kick-ass article

  9. B-man22 says:

    This was a great article, I am loving the program so far up 12 pounds and with not to much body fat either, and its great getting to intertact with other people going through the same process as yourself in the program :)

  10. David says:

    What about own-bodyweight training as pushed by Marc Lauren in ‘You Are Your Own Gym’? It’s got huge advantages from what I’ve experienced so far (massively reduced investment of time and money for what I actually expect to be equivalent, if not better, results.

  11. johohoh says:

    hmmmm….i actually think you look better and more athletic before…….now you look bulky and unnatural
    check it

  12. Jean says:

    It is very clear that you do give a shit! :) I like reading your stuff! Thanks.

  13. Tim Peirce says:

    That’s quotable,

    “Something was happening to my body, and I was the one controlling it.”
    I think a number of us have felt that and said in shock and awe and gratefulness, “YES!” That is a great story – thanks for sharing Nate.

  14. Dean Phillips says:

    i’m hitting about a 1kg a week at least with the S2B program, after 3 plus years of training well and adding over 4 stone (8 stone to 12) this is huge (and i didn’t go up for nearly a year and half)

    Paul and the rest know exactly what they are doing and they do an amazing job, i can not recommend it enough and this is coming from someone who already coaches guys!

  15. Raul Felix says:

    This is great. We all have those holy shit moments. Where we most chose where we want to go with our lives. I’ve followed your blog for a long time and have used your advice to create a better life for myself. Though, I’m not where I want.. I’m getting there, little by little.

  16. MJG says:

    Thanks for the article Nate. I’ve signed up for the presale and am hoping that I get a spot. I’m 48 and want to add some size to my frame. I’m sure the S2B program will give me that ability. I also want to be part of the program as a learning experience. I am very interested in the fitness industry and want to learn all I can and also look the part. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. natalie says:

    Coming from one of your FEMALE fans – this is a great article and I personally love reading your blogs. Your advice is priceless and I hope you continue on your successful adventure :)

  18. Jeremy Partl says:

    As I finish my year of s2b, I can highly validate the words on this page. Even though I’ve made a huge change physically, the biggest change has been everything else about me. I say it would be a 20/80 split between physical and everything else. Confidence, dedication, determination, resilience, and so many other words. I’ve just become a much better program.
    You start off by thinking that it’s a strictly physical change. But, as things change physically, you change mentally at a much more rapid pace. And, the cool thing is that both areas feed off each other.

  19. Drew says:

    Is it November 6th yet……??