My name is Eric Ron De Cremer, aka WildnSwole (WNS). My body and mind have undergone a life-changing transformation over the past seven years.
Since a very young age, I have always had the goal of going from skinny to muscular.
I went from a kid who was less than 100 LBs in middle school, always self-conscious about my weight, to a muscular man at over 160 LBs with the ability to lift over three times my body weight.
As a kid, I always thought to build muscle, all I had to do was go to the gym and work out, and that was it.
After a while, I found this could not be further from the truth. I’m not here to B.S. I’ll give it to you straight; this shit doesn’t happen overnight.
Fuel To The Fire: A Fitness Journey
My obsession with putting on muscle started at a young age when my eleven-year career as a wrestler began.
I had to weigh myself for wrestling and other sports consistently, and every time my weight was shown, someone would make a snarky remark to let me know how skinny I was.
This added fuel to the fire.
Even though these remarks were minor, they began happening frequently, leading me down a determined path to building muscle.
My father had invested in a home gym, so this was the perfect start for me to gain weight.
After working out for a while I started getting addicted to the dopamine high from the pump my muscles would get after each workout.
The scale quickly increased from 83 LBs to 96 LBs over a few months. But this didn’t last. My body began to hit a plateau, and the weight gain stopped.
I went from gaining over 12 LBs, which felt like overnight. To once again only able to gain two to three pounds a year. I could not figure out what the problem was.
I was eating my protein, working out for two hours a day, and listening to everything the people on commercials were telling me to do. But none of it was working.
Then something life-changing happened, and this is where my fitness journey began to take off.
My Life-Changing Injury
During my senior year of high school, I was the captain of my football team, where I played as the outside linebacker and running back. This all changed in our homecoming football game.
As I was going in for a tackle, my leg took flight and twisted around another player’s ankle (it was my own teammate, lol).
I stood off the ground with an extreme rush of adrenaline that quickly turned into a scream of pain.
The ref shouted at me to “get on the ground!”
I dropped back down, knowing in the back of my mind that my high school football career was over.
After my x-ray, I discovered that I had broken my tibia bone completely with slight shattering. Thankfully no surgery was required.
The doctor said that if I allowed the majority of my blood flow to go towards the healing tissue in the broken leg, it would heal up in no time.
But this would mean no working out for a while. At the time, I only played video games, sports and working out.
With sports and working out removed from the equation, I started playing video games a lot.
Now I have always been a big gamer, but after a few weeks of doing nothing else, my ass was getting sore, and my eyes were strained.
So one day, I got up, went into our home gym, tossed two dumbbells next to the bench, crutched over to it, and started doing the dumbbell bench press.
With my leg cast up to my hip, I had no stability in my right leg. But there was no other option, I would go insane watching TV or playing video games all day.
I began to practice working out like this, and after a week, when I was back in school, I convinced my parents to let me go to the local gym again.
It was easy to convince them as they are big advocates for fitness and knew that I needed to do something for my sanity. At this time, I was still only around 125 LBs, and although I was very lean, I wanted more.
This is when I become obsessed with building muscle and getting bigger.
One night after one of my first days back at the local gym, I started to look up on YouTube how to build muscle.
I stayed up until four in the morning watching videos on diet, and nutrition, along with loads of Arnold Schwarzenegger videos.
I created a plan that night that I was going to eat five meals a day. They would consist of eggs, chicken, rice, and broccoli. The classic bodybuilder diet.
The next day when I got home from the gym, I told my mom that I was going on a diet and asked her if she could get these things.
I made a list, and she was more than happy to help me prep my meals, buy my food, and support me throughout this new journey.
I would go to school with my cold meals in a Tupper Ware.
The other kids thought I was nuts! Shit, maybe I was, maybe I still am.
After doing this diet for months and hitting the gym at least six days a week, I started to build a muscular frame that the younger version of me used to dream of having.
Little did I know, this rise to the top would only be temporary, and the fall would be much further, longer, and more challenging than anything I have ever faced.
After seven long months, I was finally able to ditch the crutches. Now it was time to pursue my ultimate dream of becoming a Green Beret.
I waddled into the recruiting office on my half-crippled leg and talked my way into getting a ranger contract.
The downside was that these programs were selective, and if I wanted in, I would have to be shipped out in the next month.
Otherwise, I would risk having to wait an unknown amount of time until the next wave of contracts became available.
I went home that night knowing damn well that there was no way my leg was ready to go through that brutal training. I had just barely started doing PT for my leg.
The mobility and strength in it were far from ready to do much of anything, especially a task that large.
So after some serious consideration, I chose to put the military on hold and go to school.
This would allow me to put more focus on healing my leg and working out, which by this time had become my passion. The fitness journey was in full effect.
My goal was to one day step on the Olympia stage in the 212 division. Which, for those who don’t know, is the most prestigious bodybuilding show in the world.
That’s where the best bodybuilders worldwide go to battle it out once a year.
Unfortunately, my genetics aren’t bad, but they’re far from superior. I knew that the only way to get there was to develop the “whatever it takes” attitude.
Let me tell you, I was more than willing to risk everything to get there, including my health.
To make it to the Olympia level as a bodybuilder, I would have to put on some serious size.
At the time, I was roughly 150 LBs, so I had a long way to go before I could compete with the big dogs.
This is when my obsession with gaining weight started to go down a path that was darker than I could have ever imagined.
The Dirty Bulk
About the time I graduated high school in 2019, I started watching a lot of videos about the amount of food that these pro bodybuilders had to eat to gain so much size.
Obviously, at the top level of bodybuilding, they are all taking other “supplements” to get to such extraordinary sizes, with no discredit to their hard work. It’s just the truth.
Although I was surely aware of that at the time, I did not add this into the equation of my goal to get big.
I wanted to stay natural as long as I possibly could until I reached my genetic potential before even considering any of the high-tier “supplements”.
Sitting back, thinking to myself, “How can I put on as much muscle as possible in a short amount of time?” The answer that kept coming back to me was the dirty bulk.
The dirty bulk is a method of gaining weight and building muscle where every single day, you eat as much food as possible without any remorse towards the quality or quantity of these foods.
Although I started mine out eating relatively healthy sources of protein, carbs, and fats, the more food I added in, the harder it became to eat this bland.
I began occasionally throwing up, putting more beef on my plate, and choking it down with water. Force-feeding became my best friend and worst enemy.
Regardless, I toughed it out until the end of summer, just until it was time to go off to college.
Out On My Own
At the summer end of 2019, it was time for me to move out of my parent’s house.
I moved from small-town Florence, Wisconsin, to the cheese-head nation, Green Bay, Wisconsin, which is about an hour and a half drive if you’re speeding.
This would be my first time living on my own, and I was excited! As fast as the Excitement came, it faded, and what arose was darkness. Growing up in a small town, I was always very shy and awkward.
There were only about thirty kids in my graduating class, and I had a good relationship with most of them. However, outside of school, I typically did my own thing.
Naturally, I was an introvert and enjoyed being alone or playing video games with my online friends. The friends I had in real life were all kind of just naturally given to me because we grew up in school together.
But now I had to make new friends. Which at the time didn’t seem like an option.
My anxiety was too high for that shit. Instead, I became a hermit and bottled myself up in my one-bedroom apartment.
I would go to school and occasionally hit the gym, and still on my “dirty bulk.” Sleeping anywhere from ten to fourteen hours a day, depending on how I felt internally.
My family would call me, but I wouldn’t give them the time of day. My temper had taken over; I hated everything, I hated myself, and I hated life.
My weight had shot up drastically from 155 LBs to just shy of 210, and it wasn’t the good kind of weight gain either.
My mind and body were in a constant battle with each other. By this time, I was throwing up every single day, sometimes twice a day.
PMO became my best friend, my escape from reality. That artificial dopamine high was the best part of my day, every day.
I had no inner drive, no inner goal, and the only things I got done were the tasks that were required of me. Even those were executed half-assed.
If I missed a meal, I wouldn’t go to the gym because I was scared that the workout was going to be useless without the extra food in my system.
I went from being just an awkward kid to the most self-conscious pussy you’d ever lay your eyes on. My mind was in a dark place that, to this day, I can’t even describe. A place that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy if I had one.
During this time, I had gone through two different roommates that I went to high school with. Both of whom I directed most of my rage towards and made them feel as if everything wrong in my life was their fault.
Maybe they didn’t notice, but looking back now, that’s exactly what I was doing.
It wasn’t until one day after getting off work from the delivery driver job I was working. My brother gave me a call and told me about a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
He said to download an app called Audible, and I would get a free token to buy the book.
So I downloaded it and didn’t listen to it for about a month.
Then one day, on a delivery, I decided to open the app and play the book over my car radio.
I don’t know what indeed drove me to put the book on the aux that day. Maybe I was hoping that it would have the answer to all my problems.
Which, by the way, were little to none. My parents were helping me financially. The only things my days consisted of were work, school, and the gym.
The basic college student life.
I wasn’t dealing with any real hardships.
Other than the battle that was taking place within me. I didn’t understand why I was always angry and tired.
But not just tired from a hard day’s work. I was deeply tired physically, mentally, and spiritually. I was drained every single second of every day. I felt like a ghost just floating around with no real purpose.
Plugging in the aux cord that day and listening to the book ignited a spark within me.
Not a big one, but enough to get me off my ass.
Ultimately starting my new, lifelong journey toward self-transcendence.
Self-Transcendence: From Skinny To Muscular
Around the time I started reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the lockdown had gone into full effect. Much to my surprise, even with the world shut down, I began to prevail from my darkness within.
I cut down from my heaviest weight of 207 LBs to a still fluffy but muscular 180 LBs. I started listening to books daily. My obsession with self-development become real, and I was determined to change my life.
I knew it would take time, but doing something was better than sitting in this dark hole slowly rotting away. The second book I listened to was called The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone.
This book is the one that truly began to develop my mindset. It taught me a way of thinking that would allow me to take full control of my life.
It is to accept the blame or glory for everything that happens to us in our life.
Good or bad, even if it seems like there was nothing in our power to change something that happened to us. We have to develop our mindset to believe there’s always something we could have done to avoid a misfortune.
On the other end of the spectrum, when we can achieve great success, many might label us as lucky.
If we agree with them, then it may be true, but if we find a deeper reason as to why we were able to gain that success, then we’re much more likely to be able to repeat it.
I have also gotten into journaling, meditation, and listening to podcasts.
These have helped me to slowly develop daily life habits and become more mindful of who I am and what my life purpose is.
While developing these habits, I have been able to cut my weight down from 180 LBs to 163 LBs. This is the weight where my body feels the healthiest at.
The irony of all of this is that my lifts in the gym are stronger now at this lightweight than they’ve ever been before.
Which has made me realize that slow and steady wins the race. Rushing the process only got me into trouble.
Don’t be mistaken, I will never say I regret doing what I did because it’s made me one strong motherfucker and taught me things about myself that I might have never otherwise uncovered.
Moreover the past year and a half, I have dedicated myself to healing my digestive system and breaking bad habits.
As of January 29th, 2022, it’s been about a year since I have thrown up, and I have not seduced myself to PMO in over two hundred days.
Instead of becoming Mr. Olympia, I compete in the USPA Powerlifting Federation 75 KG weight class.
This allows me to compete at a very high level doing what I love while maintaining a healthy weight.
On top of that, I switched my major from Law Enforcement to Small Business.
As of January 30th, 2022, I am also pursuing my ISSA personal trainer certification, which I completed on May 5th, 2022.
I then went on to receive my NCCA-accredited certification on 4/18/2023.
WildnSwole Is Born
I started my Instagram account, wild.n.swole, in late 2021 to help others overcome their obstacles, not just in the gym but in life. I take close-up shots of my face in a lot of my posts to reveal the blemishes, double chins, and other goofy antics.
My goal in doing this is to show that regardless of what my body may look like, I, along with everyone else in this world, am not perfect. We all have flaws, scars, and other battle wounds, maybe some not visible, but deeper within.
If you have seen me on Instagram before, what I am about to say might surprise you. It took me a lot of courage to make that page.
But boy, am I glad I did. Because the amount of support I have gotten has been tremendous. On top of that, it’s been an honor and inspiration to watch others working on their own fitness journey!
It’s more than I ever could have imagined! The most exciting part is that my journey is far from over!
Now I Say To You…
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and chase your wildest dreams. You won’t know unless you try.
I know this sounds cliche, and you have heard it a million times. But there’s a reason so many people preach it.
Because it’s the truth, if you try and fail, you’ll still be much further ahead compared to if you didn’t try at all.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Look at every experience as a stepping stone toward your ultimate goal.
Something can always be learned from every experience, good or bad. It’s all perspective.
Regardless of where you are in your life or fitness journey, whether you’re currently in the highest high or the lowest low, just know that it won’t last forever. Don’t stop fighting, and don’t get complacent.
Take it one day at a time, brick by brick. Don’t be too hard on yourself!
I do my best to share with you all of my knowledge of fitness and the mindset that I have developed throughout the past seven years of trying to go from skinny to shredded.
My goal with WildnSwole is to lay everything out for you to have at your disposal. Feel free to look around this website and start believing in yourself and your abilities!
I hope my story inspired you! Good luck with everything you do!
There are massive and juicy plans for the future of WildnSwole.
If you’d like to follow along, feel free to join my Wild Newsletter below.
Eric Ron De Cremer
Thank you for reading about my skinny to muscular transformation!