The following is a guest post by Nathan Lewis of ironandtweed.com
I’ve never had an unhealthy relationship with porn.
Now, I don’t have anything against porn – it’s just never played a significant role in my life.
So I don’t have the same perspective as some of you who have struggled with porn dependency or addiction.
But we may have a few things in common.
In the spring of 2014, at 28 years old, I was diagnosed with dismally low testosterone levels.
Both porn addiction and low testosterone can result in low self-esteem, lack of motivation and competitive drive, erectile dysfunction, social anxiety, and failed or faltering relationships.
So while I’ve not grappled with porn addiction, I can definitely empathize with some of the symptoms.
The Low-T connection
Now, you may not have low testosterone.
But if you do, it can literally ruin your life.
And given the drastic, widespread decline of testosterone levels over the past few decades, I’d be willing to wager that some of you have undiagnosed low-T.
My driving goal in life is to strive for constant self-improvement for both myself and my readers.
And since you guys are reading Quit Porn Get Girls, I know you’re primed for change.
So for those of you who want to know more about testosterone and low T symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, here’s a summary of my experience aimed to provide with tools to help yourself.
What does testosterone do for you?
Under the mainstream opinion, testosterone is an evil elixir that makes you overly aggressive and reckless.
It’s been associated with cheating athletes and middle-aged men trying in vain to recapture lost youth.
But little is said about the extreme importance of testosterone levels on a man’s mental health and physical well being.
Some of the many health benefits associated with optimal testosterone levels are:
• Low body fat
• Higher muscle mass
• Increased bone density
• Reduced risk of heart disease
• Improved insulin sensitivity
• Less depression
• Better sexual function
• Higher self esteem
• Healthy libido
• Improved concentration
In short, having optimal testosterone levels makes every aspect of your life better. It makes you feel more like a strong, capable man and less like an insecure boy.
Symptoms and causes of low testosterone
Having low testosterone feels a lot like being in poor health in general.
Low T can be the result of poor lifestyle choices, genetic predisposition, and/or an expression of other underlying medical conditions.
While improving lifestyle factors can sometimes reverse or greatly alleviate low T symptoms, in my case, lifestyle was not a factor in the low testosterone that plagued me my entire adult life.
The symptoms of low T are vast, but mostly commonly include:
• Mood swings
• Erectile dysfunction
• Low libido
• Excess body fat
• Low muscle mass
• Brain fog
• Weak immune system
• Confidence issues
• Poor blood lipid levels
With this laundry list of symptoms, experts still can’t agree on any single identifiable cause of low testosterone.
Some say it’s the result of exposure to chemicals (like those that mimic estrogen in the body), others point to a poor diet and lack of exercise, while others still cite “less masculine behavior” as the culprit.
Without a clear cause, it’s most likely that a combination of many factors is behind the low testosterone epidemic.
And let’s face it, we simply aren’t living anything that resembles a natural life these days.
Almost everything we eat and touch is a synthetic compound of some kind.
We get our suntans from LCD monitors, nutrition from a can (or a cardboard box), and most of our activity involves walking from the front door, to the car, and then to a desk.
That’s not exactly life on the savannah.
The human body needs to be exposed to physical challenges, clean air, quality food, and to have a mind free of unnecessary/imaginary stress to be in prime shape.
Clearly it’s going to be an uphill battle.
My lifestyle before TRT
Long before TRT, I was a heavy drinker, pack-a-day smoker, and fast food addict who didn’t exercise any more than the average American.
But for the six consecutive years just prior to my diagnosis, I was living the life of a health guru.
To give you a glimpse of my life, I was:
• Lifting weights 3-5 days per week (always focusing on progression)
• Doing a moderate amount of cardio
• Eating a Paleo-esque diet
• Sleeping 8-10 hours per night
• Always consuming at least 1g protein per lb of bodyweight
• Not smoking (and hadn’t in almost a decade)
• Drinking alcohol only socially
• Not having any financial or family difficulties
• Using mostly all-natural, fragrance-free products, cleaners, etc. (at least 6 months prior to diagnosis)
But despite what should have been a nearly perfect high T lifestyle, I still felt like complete shit.
My signs before TRT
I was always injury prone. My joints, bones, and tendons just couldn’t handle heavy physical activity.
My shoulders and elbows would ache from lifting weights.
I herniated a disc and broke a vertebra while working in construction.
And the first time I ran a mile (at age 21), my feet, ankles, knees, and hips hurt so bad I limped around for weeks afterward.
I used to have severely low periods in my life that would come out of nowhere.
If you’re familiar with the Harry Potter series, you’ll know what I mean when I say that I felt like Dementors were surrounding me at times.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just know that there were times where I’d be completely incapable of enjoying the good aspects of my life and felt overwhelmed with every bad thing that had ever happened to me.
And then there was the RAGE.
At the age of 28, I still felt like an angry teenager.
Some days, I would wake up and feel like screaming and throwing my coffee pot at the wall for literally no reason.
Nothing was bothering me me at the time, nothing weighing on my mind, and nothing even inconveniencing me at the moment. I would just feel like exploding without warning.
On the sexual front, everything worked just fine, but grappling with my depression and emotional symptoms left me completely uninterested in sex.
Obviously, that’s a serious red flag for a supposedly healthy young man.
“Brain fog” was a constant reality for me.
Frequently, I would stare at my computer screen at work, not really thinking, just looking at it blankly.
It would take a long time for me to get “into the zone” and the slightest distraction would completely break my concentration.
I just didn’t feel “sharp”.
Changes on TRT
Okay, let’s nix all this downer talk – now for the good stuff!
This is one case where a picture is worth a thousand words.
In my before photo, you can see the result of living like a professional bodybuilder for over 6 years (minus the drugs).
Obviously, my results were subpar, but that was genuinely the best I could do with the testosterone levels of an 80 year old man.
In the first 6-8 months on TRT, I packed on 30 lbs, taking me from 170 lbs up to a much more natural 200 lbs.
I felt really good at that weight and people stopped looking at me like I had cancer.
But I wondered what I would look and feel like with less body fat, so I cut down to 185 lbs over the next several months (see my After photo).
In less than a year, I went from a somewhat lean/but still quite soft body to what many have said reminds them of an MMA fighter’s physique.
Needless to say, I’m extremely happy with these results.
For the first time in my life I feel like myself, physically.
I’m much less injury prone now. I can work the same muscle groups multiple times per week without any overuse issues (not indefinitely, of course).
My cardio is stellar as well.
Before TRT, it was all I could do to run a couple 10-minute miles despite being only about 170 lbs at 6’2’’.
After a year on TRT, I decided to go for a random run without working up my mileage, I ran 3-4 miles at a good pace and didn’t feel any more winded at the end than I did when I first started.
I felt like I could keep up a 10-minute mile pace indefinitely.
My heart is strong, my lungs feel like they’ve doubled in capacity, and my muscles finally have a respectable amount of endurance.
I have nearly zero rage now.
While I experience the normal anger and frustration with life’s little hurdles, there’s nothing that gets me down or causes me to see red.
My depression is almost entirely gone now. I have a day here and there where I feel less than motivated, but a good laugh and a black coffee can pull me out of it pretty quick.
In short, I have the emotional stability I’ve been craving my entire life.
I no longer have the libido of a 90-year old man with one foot in the grave.
I used to view once per month sex more as something that had to be done rather than something to look forward to, but now my sex drive rivals my wife’s.
TRT hasn’t actually made me more intelligent, but my mind is so much more clear these days that I can actually use the brains I have.
It isn’t uncommon for me find a groove and write for four hours straight.
I’m much less easily distracted and don’t feel like my entire life is surrounded by a haze anymore.
You guys are here at Quit Porn Get Girls because you’re interested in self-improvement and I commend you for that.
Putting honest effort into bettering yourself, pushing yourself to be a better man, is probably the most worthwhile thing you can do.
If you have any concerns about your own testosterone levels, I hope I’ve provided some insight.
Now, I hope I haven’t left too many plot holes in my story here, but really, this is just a summary of what I experienced.
I’ve written over 12,000 words on this topic in the form of a four-part series detailing everything from the basic physiology of testosterone, signs and symptoms of low T, my TRT results, and how to find optimal treatment.
But let me leave you with this.
If you’re suffering from low T, correcting this single issue could literally turn your entire life around.
Reversing low T can ease social anxiety and reduce anti-social behavior, help you find the motivation to participate in real life with, bolster your self-esteem and self-worth, increase your desire for real relationships, and (with the help of Quit Porn, Get Girls) regain healthy sexual function.
Best of luck to all of you!