The Metamorphosis

Hello everyone! Wow. I took an entire week off from posting – a few of you have emailed to make sure I’m okay. Yes, all is well – I was on the road alot last week, and wasn’t able to post in that time. But I’m back now, and I have a few ideas up my sleeve.

Tomorrow I will have a posting about Swinging Richards (a good one, don’t worry!), but before I address it, I want to go through the process of explaining better how I got to this point (in terms of what I will tell you later about Swinging Richards).

People remark with some frequency about the level of fitness I have, and sometimes they will even acknowledge how difficult it is to achieve/maintain; however, for the most part I find that people think there is some magic/science that gives me some advantage that they will never have. This is simply not true: For people without metabolic disorders and other health scenarios that preclude fitness, I would venture to say that the lion’s share of people can achieve their goals to whatever measure they are willing to invest in doing so.

I have been working out (not necessarily properly) since I was 15 years old. To quote “Hamlet 2:” “It doesn’t matter how much talent we lack, as long as we have enthusiasm!” I was spinning my wheels for the most part. What you simply must embrace in your fitness adventure is that DIET IS 70% OF SUCCESS. Exercise is 20% and rest is 10% of success. If you do not eat properly, you simply will not achieve visible (and in some cases, practical) gains. While I was anorexic I was doing nothing but putting myself at risk of injury.

So, the results I have achieved are not only recent, but lately they are also sudden. This has been a very long journey (with no end in sight just yet), so what I want this entry to do is bring attention to a fact that most patrons don’t always appreciate, but which most adult entertainers struggle with constantly: Achieving and/or maintaining the look demanded by our profession requires us to have a job to have a job. Fitness, and the various means people use to attain it (or the semblance of it), is an enormous undertaking. When people use the metaphor “carved in stone,” they are right: It is a slow, painstaking process. The rock evolves slowly into the statue, the landscape erodes over eons.

I’m not going to go back to when I was 15. For one, I don’t have digital copies of the pics to do so, and for two, I have experienced enough changes since 2005 to make the point that even three years is sometimes only just barely enough time to get results. I say this not to discourage people on their fitness journey, but to emphasize that patience, consistency, and discipline are the means by which you gain advanced results.

In November, 2006 I was still at the beginning of my total recovery from anorexia. I still weighed only 125 pounds or so, but I wasn’t obsessed with mirrors and calories anymore. I was very lean and cut, but I just couldn’t add any mass. I was still working out too frequently with the same body parts, and not eating anywhere near enough (though more than I had been). This is a picture (click to enlarge) from a theater production I was involved in at the time. You can see that I’m thin and strong, but rather shapeless and out of proportion in some ways. This is a very honest look at how Dysmorphic Disorder (there, I finally said it!) brings a warped sense of priority to some parts of the body, while ignoring others.

By February, 2007 I was trying to gain weight. The problem is that I was doing the workouts by Cathe Freidrich, which (in the series of workouts I was using for the most part) focus on very, very high numbers of reps. You cannot gain muscle if you do high reps with high weight for a long period of time (the muscles don’t get enough of a chance to heal and build). Tone = high reps, low weight. Mass = low weight, high reps. Athletic training = a wide VARIETY of challenges. Match this with the fact that I was living off of protein bars and shakes, and you have a recipe for disaster. I went to the hospital four times in 2007 because of exhaustion, malnutrition, dehydration, and infections. I have never been sick so much or so often as when I was living off of whey protein products. You must have a balanced diet. In addition to illness, I gained fat, not just muscle. By November, 2007 I was up to 165 pounds, but I was sick, lethargic, and hurting. My body frame does not comfortably support that much non-lean weight.

In 2008 I finally started getting on track with what would become the various programs that helped me begin to achieve my fitness goals. January-March, 2008 I improved my diet (with immediate improvements to my health) and went to see a personal trainer. She helped me bring balance to my workouts, and her sessions were so demanding that I had no choice but to eat properly. However, I was still eating too much sugar (in the form of fruit), and although I was getting stronger, I wasn’t getting leaner. The lighting in this picture is flattering – but if you look closely around my abdomen, you will see that I still have a girdle of sorts around my lower abs.

April-June, 2008 I did P90X religiously. It is a fantastic program for those who are already at an intermediate level or higher, in terms of fitness. I saw all sorts of incredible gains in strength and definition. I leaned back down, and I went from doing 10 sets of 20 push-ups and 7 pull-ups to 10 sets of 30-32 push-ups and 18-22 pull-ups. However, there is something you need to know about P90X: Its philosophy is that you need constant variety. That means you also need variety away from P90X. July-September, 2008 I did P90X again, but only sporadically. It was beginning to hurt me. All the calisthenics was creating repetitive injuries. Remember, you need rest, so that you can rebuild. I hit a plateau around September, and that’s when I finally had to go to the gym (something I had always, up to that point, loathed and feared, because of the over-machismo horseshit I’ve always experienced in them).

The new variety of exercises immediately began paying off. October-December, 2008 I was able to allow my body to heal from the P90X, which although amazing, is far, far too intense to maintain without variety for more than 90 days. If you are going to do P90X I would suggest doing it for a rotation, then going away from it for a rotation. By taking a break from the calisthenics and moving to heavier freeweights and machines, I was able to work muscles from angles new to my body. I had never used gyms before with any consistency, because I find them dirty and intimidating places where rude people socialize too much and workout too little. I also was always afraid that people looking at me were thinking, “Who is that little turd, and why is he bothering?” What I find now is that when people watch me, I get the impression it’s because they’re interested in what I’m doing. Switching to the gym allowed me to fill out some more, and to continue improving my body composition (lean mass to fat ratio).

January, 2009 has been pretty low-key. I’ve needed to rest, and I’ve not been allowing guilt to bother me (too much) about taking my time getting back to it after the holidays. However, I’m about to start going back to my trainer again. I’ve done a rotation at the gym by myself, but the exercises weren’t as complicated as what I need to shock my system. I’ll go see Carrie again, because she’s brilliant at plyometric training. When I saw her last year, I was working out only with her. This time I’ll see her, but still go to the gym as well. What has surprised me is that recently, although my working out and caloric intake are both DOWN, I have had a growth spurt and filled out anyway. That’s the power of rest. The pic to the left was taken January 23, 2009. The one on the right was taken January 25, 2009. I hope you will understand now why I said in various posts recently that my pics on this site no longer look like me.

Going forward I think I can finally say that after well over 10 years of working out, I am getting to the point where I am looking the way I’ve always wanted to. I eat what I want, when I want: The anorexia is completely gone. I don’t even have the inkling anymore of thinking that not eating is okay. I’m proud that I’ve done all of this without steroids. I’m still working through the process of being able to look at myself and see me as I am, but I do feel more confident and relaxed in the presence of the Swinging Richards gods. Which brings me back around to why I wrote this long entry: I have some good news to share with you tomorrow.

Author: Devon Hunter

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  1. Devon! A cliffhanger? I have to wait until tomorrow? Phooey! lol But I’ll be here.

    Amazing pictures of transformation! I really didn’t know that a body could undergo so many changes in such a short span of time, or that there were so many variations and slight adjutments that can cumulatively lead to drastic results. I certainly understand when you said that to be in a profession where you use your body, you have to embrace a job within a job.

    The biggest change I see is in your lats (that’s your back muscles, on the sides and and the top, right?). They look like they suddenly went *POW*!!!! And your lower stomach just went *slllurp*. GONE. Now THAT is something I would like to figure out, but I don’t think I’ll ever have a lower stomach like that. I don’t know that it’s possible for a woman unless she already has a genetic predisposition to a flat stomach. But I digress.

    And, may I meekly say, that even though I know “I can’t have none” and am at complete peace with that . . .


    Okay. I promise I will never say anything like that again. I just couldn’t help myself. lol

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  2. devon,

    a great posting as always. you continue to amaze me at how wonderful you are and how inspirational you continue to be. thank you for sharing your life experiences with us through your blog. i am glad you are back and writing again. i look forward to your posts and even discuss them in my carpool. you’re the greatest my friend, keep up the great work.

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  3. Here’s another thing I’ve noticed, and that your pictures may illustrate: I don’t know what numbers mean. I mean, 165 seems like a completely normal weight (I’m not sure how tall you are), and yet I could see what you meant when you said you weren’t well at that time. I can’t imagine you 40 pounds lighter, however. I can’t picture what that would look like.

    Conversely, in the later pics, you look *massive*. I’m connecting in my head that you can’t have that big of a frame and do pole tricks like you do, but you look so . . . David-esque in the later pics.

    What’s the average size of the dancers you see? Is there anyone who does pole work who’s over 6′ or over 200 pounds?

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  4. i know i would love to see you do some pole dancing tricks. wrapping those strong muscular legs around….omg, it suddenly got very warm in here. 😉

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  5. hello to you both…

    jennifer, you are free to pump up my (ahem) ego, as much as you like… as for achieving a flat belly, there are lots of factors to consider, but one of the most important choices that you probably have more control over is diet. the better your diet, the better your results.

    joe, i bet your carpool is one of the liveliest in your area. HA!

    jennifer, numbers like weight have to be taken in context with height, body composition, age, gender, etc. as a young male who is 5’7,” 165 pounds w/a high fat ratio is NOT good. as for me weighing 40 pounds less, look at the picture at the top with the “mohawk.” I was at #125 in that pic, versus #165 in the pic w/my kitty. as of the pics from January, 2009 i weigh #150. the difference is that now my fat ratio is lower. muscle weighs more than fat, but is more compact. ergo, my trainer would accidentally WAY overguess my weight to be #170 (which she did last week).

    dancers of various weights and heights do pole tricks, but the ones who perform them with the most agility tend to be medium height or shorter (taller guys often have a rough time with joint injuries, because they’re working with longer levers that are less efficient for the job). also, those who are muscled or toned don’t have to carry so much weight as the massive guys. i personally have never seen a thick dude successfully attempt pole tricks, but i’m not saying it doesn’t happen. guys built like dancers, gymnasts, swimmers, divers, soccer players, and runners tend to do pole tricks with the most grace. football types? not so much (except maybe those who fit the quarterback type).

    joe, i thought it was always warm on my blog 😉

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  6. You know, Devon, I looked at that top picture and thought, “Well, he said it was a stage production, so he’s probably wearing makeup”, but even then . . . you poor baby (then).

    I’ve seen males who looked like that in the body, and it was natural for them, but it’s all in your neck and face, how unwell you were.

    And I understand your explanation about numbers, it’s just so . . . mystical for me! I mean, okay. I’m 5’7″ also, so I can kind of picture that part, but 150 pounds? WOW! It’s just not what one expects 150 pounds to look like! I’m gonna go look at the average weight of male gymnasts, because those are the only other people I’ve seen in real life who look that way at that height. That’s probably a good comparison, both of your body style, and what you do with it.

    Are you one of those folks that, when you are fully clothed, no one would suspect what’s under there? Like, when you look at yourself in the mirror with all your clothes on, do you just look like the average guy?

    And thanks for allowing for a little line of drool to escape the corner of my mouth once in a while. 🙂

    cuz you have a really nice butt-butt too.

    Tee hee!

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  7. Oh, and some day, might you talk more about how you balance being in recovery from an eating disorder with having to maintain such a stringent diet for fitness purposes?

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  8. Congrats on reaching your goals in a healthy manner. I am glad you have managed to stay away from the steroids. From what I hear they are pretty nasty over the long-term.

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  9. jennifer, yes i am one of those people whom clothes do not generally reveal (unless i resort to wearing sizes that are xs). i don’t bust out of tshirts or anything dramatic like that. i wear clothes well, but they don’t necessarily bring attention to the fact that i work out. if you didn’t know me, you’d not know what i’m packin’. 😉

    thank you jonathan – i prefer to do the hard work myself. i know some people prefer steroids, but i prefer the natural, healthier alternative. i’ve probably already done enough damage to myself, i don’t need steroids to make it worse.

    yes jennifer, in fact i can discuss it next, if you like. i’ll give it some thought and post about it tomorrow.

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  10. i just realized something jennifer… i’ve not posted a new booty pic in a while… i’m gonna add one to this posting just for you. it’s from january 25, 2009 as well.

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  11. Ohhhhhhhh my god.

    *seizing the arms of my desk chair and holding on for dear life*

    My heart is going to bust clean out of my sternum.


    Whew. Damn. Thank god more straight guys are getting into ass play. I think I need to phone-a-friend, Regis.

    Good LORD!!!

    Ahem. Excuse me.

    I do look very forward to what is sure to be another informative, interesting post tomorrow. If I don’t have a stroke before then.

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  12. I think some men still seem to get upset when the put on muscle mass and lose fat around the organs and then the stomach belly area, but their weight increases. It happened with me.

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