Can you tell me more? I know that physical fitness has like a bajillion mental health benefits. Would you say that’s the most key factor (in your experience)?
Yes, both in the sense that my cardiovascular health increased, allowing me to think clearer and have more energy to do things and in the sense that finding out that I can do really hard things and how good it feels to push myself to the edge leads me to try that in more contexts than the physical.
I used to have a skinnyfat nothingbody, like a lot of the guys that you see asking if they should just become crossdressers. I picked the opposite option, however, because I understand that no-one starts off looking good and being fit, making the question "should I try even though I don't have the body for it" ridiculous. No-one has the body for it. A fit body and the power contained therein is the product of the work, not the other way around.
The idea that some people are just given certain boons that are unreachable by others, even among similar starting physical health, is self-abasing fatalism that ignores all of the opportunity given to you. It may not be the cause of the plague of depression that the current generation is known for, but it is a component. And it can be destroyed through literal, physical action. You can rewire yourself to recognize and actualize your own potential by the ritual of iron. When you exercise yourself, your body structure changes, your brain chemistry changes, your psychology changes. Your mind starts learning new patterns, possibly overwriting old ones.
Learning this through physical training gave me the visceral counterpart to the intellectual encouragement that we may remember as words but not as action. It is one thing to be told that no-one is good at drawing or writing or what have you at first, but it is quite another to be a living power that embodies that concept. You begin to realize that there are things that you can do now that you couldn't before. With that pattern established, your mind begins to fill in the future, to project the continued ascension. You begin to visualize a brighter future, at least in one facet. You start to do things not just because you think they will give you strength, but because you realize that you have strength and that the practice of enforcing your will onto physical reality is a fundamentally satisfying thing.
The snake swallows its tail, becoming a perfect circle.
Make of your body a weapon, a thunder-chariot for the will and intellect. In the doing of this task, your Will shall continuously be forged and re-forged, the dross and slag driven from it, hardening alongside your muscle, bad habits cast aside, poor excuses left to bleed out in the dust.
You will Become whatever it is you Desire, and this is the Great Work.
This is what is known as "the ironpill".