Johnny Gargano has opened up about suffering with body dysmorphia and his incredible body transformation ahead of returning to WWE.
On the September 12th edition of Monday Night Raw Johnny Gargano wrestled his first match since December 2021. Shortly after that match in NXT, the star announced that he was stepping away from the ring, and allowed his WWE contract to expire just days after his farewell.
Gargano later revealed that the plan was for him to take a complete break for a year in order for him to spend more time with his wife Candice LeRae and soon to be born son Quill.
Appearing back on Raw, many fans noticed that the star appeared to be in the shape of his life, as he took on and defeated Chad Gable.
In a lengthy post on social media, Gargano broke down how he worked to get back in ring-shape as well as his battles with body image and body dysmorphia. The former NXT Champion explained that he had grown frustrated with a constant cycle of dieting and training before taking a break. However, once he decided to return to the ring, he put a new plan into action.
“Long post incoming. I was a little apprehensive to share this at first as I’m very on record of my history with body dysmorphia as I was a chubby kid growing up so posting these pictures is a tad embarrassing (which I’m sure shocks you as 75% of my photos are in little wrestling gear). I’m still far from happy with how I look but maybe in sharing this it can spark something in others and normalize this discussion.
When I left wrestling in December I decided I wanted a complete mental and physical break from everything that I correlated with wrestling. Diet and training goes hand in hand with that to me. It’s unfortunately a cosmetic business and a part of the job. I’ve been “dieting and training” (probably horribly wrong my first 10 years) for my entire wrestling career. That’s almost 18 years. I grew incredibly tired of it and didn’t enjoy it.
My inner fat kid missed being able to eat whatever I wanted without counting macros or “planning a cheat day” and then feeling guilty and feeling gross half naked on TV. It was a vicious cycle that gave me a horrible relationship with food. The thing I looked forward to the most being off.. was being able to eat and not being judged.
In the same way I wanted to miss wrestling.. I wanted to miss diet and exercise. In hopes that my passion would reignite and when I was ready to come back I could be completely re-energized and attack this thing with everything I got.
To be the best version of myself possible. From December to April.. I ate anything I wanted daily! Me and Candice (pregnant for a few of those months) tore up Uber Eats! It was great! I wanted to go full “Dad Bod” and I did! I trained here and there but with no rhyme or reason. As the months went on though.. it turned out like I hoped.. Food wasn’t special anymore. I missed being dialed in.. and having abs.
So in April I decided I wanted to get to work. I didn’t know where or when I was coming back but I wanted to get ready and I knew it would take time given the damage I did. How my career ended up was out of my control but the thing I could control is the work I put in and how I looked when the time came..
I hit up AJ (@cementfactory) who has had tremendous success with a lot of my colleagues and we divised a plan. I’ve done tons of different diets but the wizardry that AJ pulls off is absolutely unbelievable. I’m eating cookies and burgers and fries and humongous bowls of sugary cereal 2 times a week. I’m never starving like I have been in the past during my TakeOver preps when I’d be on like 1600 calories a day and miserable. It’s truly a gift and has completely changed my life. This is a fully sustainable diet that let’s me stay in shape but also be well fed.
I’m FAR from a finished product and I’m hoping to grow and improve more and more as these months go on. I’m never going to be the biggest guy and I’m positive this post will have trolls that are offended by my existence that say I’m still “too small” but it is what it is and I’m working with what I got and I’m trying to make the best of it. I train extremely hard and my body type unfortunately is what it is. I’m sincerely trying my best to be the best version of myself daily.
This is the result of around 16 weeks of work. Coming back from in my opinion.. the worst I’d looked or felt in 18 years.
My message here being.. you can 100% do this too. Wherever you’re at in your life you can always make a change for something more. I know that first step is scary but attack it with everything you got. What you want could only be 5 months away.”
— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) September 13, 2022
During a recent interview Johnny Gargano discussed his return to WWE, and how he was inspired to make a comeback during an episode of Stranger Things.