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Need some advice and confidence boost

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Hello everyone.

I am 18 years old, 178 cm (5’8’’) and only 55 kg (123 lb). 
When I was younger I was rather a chubby kid, who started to feel worried mainly of his man boobs. So I started working out, going to the gym, started eating healthy.. I was going to the gym without any program or something and made no significant progress..
Then I started to count calories.. I was obsessed with it and I was basically undereating and so I got to this weight.. I don’t even look like a man no more..
Now I’d really love to gain some weight and muscle. So I started doing Stronglifts 5x5.. The bad thing is that I have big shoulder blades and spine in bad condition and I don’t want to make it even worse.. So I was thinking about bodyweight training, but that’s probably not really effective for getting big (or is it?). And also, I like that feeling of getting stronger on my lifts, but recently I really stalled on my squat and didn’t even complete first 5 reps. The bad thing is that I don’t have squat or power rack :( 
I don't shoot for bodybuilders physique, I just want to get bigger and stronger..
But there’s still one problem.. Many guys who were at the same place will know that feeling.. I basically still worry too much about food and I don’t eat enough. It’s still in my head that I’m that fat kid and I just don’t want to go back there.. I don’t know why, but I automatically avoid carbs (basically eating only oatmeal in the morning for carbs). Plus the days I am not working out, sometimes I still undereat on those days (that’s reason why I’d maybe like to train more often - to eat more food). And it really drives me mad.. 
Another thing is, that even when I am still such skinny, I still worry about my “boobsâ€.. I just still see them like they were and still can’t be confident about them.. 
So I am including photos and I’d like to hear your opinion (mainly on my chest) and advice.. Does it look like I have gyno or something? 
I’ll be very thankful for any reply and please don’t hate me if you haven’t been through what I’ve been through.. It’s much harder than it sounds.. 
Thank you
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Starting with bodyweight workouts is perfectly fine, many people who do only bodyweight stuff look perfectly ripped. Eating is the key, you need to eat on your rest days to give your body the protein it needs to rebuild muscles. From your pics you have nothing to worry about, if you still are feeling unsure about your body I recommend meeting with a counselor to talk through some of those issues.


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you look fine to me, a bit thin maybe, but you're young, you're still filling in. But if you want muscles, you have to eat. Also, being 18 years old and male, you have a metabolism like a nuclear furnace, so you REALLY have to eat. Actually, eating when you're hungry is a good idea in general, as long as you eat good things. Try thinking more along the lines of "is this food nutritious" and "how do I feel," rather than "how many calories are in this."

There is no time like the present to install good eating habits. Right now you have the ability to eat everything in sight and burn it all off. But as time passes, that metabolism will slow down, and if you want to keep your good health, you will either have to overhaul your eating habits big time ... or eat the same stuff, just a bit less of it. You can live on chips and pizza now, but if you stick to that for years, it will bite you in the future. Might as well get used to steak and veggies, because you can thrive on that the rest of your life.

if you have back and shoulder issues, please consult a doctor (try to find one who specializes in sports medicine) before lifting. Sore muscles are fine, but if your joints really hurt, that means you need to stop. Don't buy a squat rack now, if you want to try one, go to a gym. If you'd rather use free weights, you can get 'em used on the cheap or make your own. Body weight exercises are fine too although for easy size increase, pumping iron may work faster.

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Sounds like you are dangerously close to having an eating disorder, at the very least you appear to have a bad relationship with food. I would recommend speaking to your GP or a counselor about that as a good step to getting healthy.

Need to make sure our mental health is just as good as our physical health as the two are so intertwined :)

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Your chest looks fine, not even the slightest hint of man boobs. That probably means it is all in your head and you may need counseling.

Also you can get as big as you want on bodyweight exercises, size is all in the diet. That being said at your age and weight you will probably be able to blast through a lot of the bodyweight progressions and be doing shit next year that will take me 5 to reach and that makes me more than a little jealous. >:P

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I am a girl. You look great. Seriously.

But, it sounds like maybe you have some stuff to work through on your journey. The beliefs you have about yourself and your body can really make or break your success.

And, actually, I'm an Eating Psychology Coach trained to help people with exactly these problems. I'd be happy to have a chat with you some time, or refer you to someone:)

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Those aren't moobs, kiddo, those are pecs. Do whatever kind of strength training works best for you, but I concur with the others who've suggested eating more - especially protein. With your spine and shoulder blades showing like that, it's clear you don't have room to lose more fat, but you are in a prime position to pack on some serious muscle. To do so, you'll have to eat a caloric surplus and let yourself gain weight. When you eat enough, your workouts will feel a bit easier, your soreness and recovery time will decrease, and your numbers (if you're lifting weights) will go up. And you won't look chubby - you'll look HAWT.

And if you can't get your mind around eating more food to fuel your exercise, then I agree with everyone who's suggested getting some counseling. Eating disorders are the kind of dungeon boss you want to face with a full team.

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I'm in a very similar situation to you, and I know exactly what you feel like. I'm a bit shorter and lighter, always have been (I'm fortunate to not have had issues with being chubby--I've always been the skinny kid, but I've developed this exact unhealthy relationship with food all the same), and I want to put on some muscle and size, but I've been having some problems. I've been counting calories to maintain a steady bulk the past few weeks, but it just reminds me of my disordered past and it's not good for me. I'll be following you to see how you are getting along--I'm curious to see how others get over this kind of thing.

Weight (gain 30 lbs): 118/150 lbs Squat (1.5x BWx5): 170/175 / Deadlift (2x BWx5): 215/235 / OHP (.75x BWx5): 75/90 Bench (1x BWx5): 105/120

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