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Johnny Gargano details getting back into shape for WWE return

Gargano had his first match in nine months on this week's Raw.
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After wrestling his first match in nine months, Johnny Gargano has detailed the body transformation he went through to get back in ring shape.

Gargano made his return to the ring by defeating Chad Gable on Raw last night. Gargano then made an Instagram post on Tuesday describing his process of getting back into shape.

Gargano wrote that he "wanted a complete mental and physical break from everything that [he] correlated with wrestling" during his time away, which included dieting and training. The thing he looked forward to the most during that time was being able to eat without being judged. He ate anything he wanted, but eventually Gargano missed being dialed in and food wasn't special to him anymore.

Though he didn't know where he would be making his return, Gargano decided in April that it was time to get back to work and get back in shape.

"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," Gargano wrote.

"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!"

Gargano's full post is available below:

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!

Gargano and Candice LeRae welcomed their first child, a boy named Quill, into the world this February. Gargano became a free agent when his WWE contract expired last December, and he took time off from wrestling both before and after LeRae gave birth.

Gargano made his return to WWE on the August 22 episode of Raw. He's been feuding with Austin Theory since. After defeating Gable last night, Gargano was attacked by Theory after the match.