Yes, I’m fat…and while I’m okay with that, I don’t want to be anymore

I know, it’s quite unexpected to learn that a sci-fi author who enjoys playing video games is overweight. I guess I defy the stereotype.

I’ve always been overweight. As far back as I can remember, I was chubby. My nickname in elementary school was “bubble butt”. Kids are kind. For a long time I was embarassed by my weight, but it never really motivated me to change.

In high school, I applied for a Naval ROTC scholarship.  Part of that process was undergoing a physical. I got the results back and learned that I was outside their weight guidelines. I needed to go back in for a check on my weight, which would determine if I would get the scholarship. For the first time in my life, I had a strong motivation to get in shape and lose some weight. I went swimming every morning before school, I cut my eating to almost exclusive salads for dinner. And when I went in, I was inside their acceptable guidlines. I was just on the line, but I was in.

After that, I started college and began PT with the ROTC battalion. For the first time in my life, I was able to run an entire mile without slowing to a walk. I’d never done that before. I was still over weight, but I wasn’t obese.

Then I injured my eye in the infamous paintball incident. I was laid up recovering from the injury and from multiple surgeries for the second half of my first semester. My second semester, I tried to return to the exercise routine, but I never got back into it. I knew the scholarship would be going away, I lost my incentive.

At the same time, I also met my wife. So while I was simultaneously losing my prospective naval career, and main reason to exercise, I got into my last new relationship and no longer was trying to attract women.

From then on out, I started to balloon. I had been technically obese before, but only just a little. For the next decade, my weight started to climb, almost continually. I became okay with it. It was just who I was. This was good in one sense, it’s never good to be ashamed of who you are. It helped my confidence in life at least.

I toyed with weight loss a few times. During grad school, I got into the South Beach diet because a buddy had had good results on it. I dropped 30lbs. Something stopped me, and I regained it and more. Then a few years ago, I tried another serious diet scheme, dropped 50lbs. It too died out and I’m back up to my high point.

I weight 333lbs. I am 5’10 and 30yrs old. I should weight around 180lbs on the top end, 220lbs or so to just be “overweight” and not “obese”.

For one reason or another, I start attempts to lose weight, diet, exercise, etc but always stop. I love to eat bad food. I hate exercising. It’s no fun and I don’t like healthy food. I’ll be motivated for a time, but then give up. My best attempt was when I needed to for the Navy. It was going to be my career. I had a concrete, right at the moment, reason to exercise and eat better.

All of the reasons to lose weight now, fade with time. It’s healthier, I’ll live longer, prevent heart disease, etc etc. All good reasons. But all abstract. I’d like to look better for my wife. Yes, but I know she’ll love me anyways. I want to keep up with my kid. Sure, but he’s stubbornly refusing to be born right now, so even that’s 2yrs away.

So I’m turning to you Internet. You’re a cruel mistress. I need to be held accountable to be healthier, I need motivation to do it, and I need to not quit. It is my intention to post here on a weekly basis, tracking my progress. Don’t let me quit.

Starting Point, Wednesday, February 15, 2012

  • Weight: 333lbs
  • Push-Ups: 15 in two sets
  • Sit-Ups: 38 in two sets
  • Run: 0.524 Miles in 8min 8sec

Next Check in Goals

  • Weight: 330lbs (-3lbs)
  • Push-Ups: 20 in two sets (+5)
  • Sit-Ups: 45 in two sets (+7)
  • Run: 0.5 Miles in 7min 50 sec
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3 Responses to Yes, I’m fat…and while I’m okay with that, I don’t want to be anymore

  1. Tamarynn says:

    As you already know, dieting and excercise take some work. Best of luck to you!

    Personally, I’ve found calorie intake to be the worst culprit. Eliminating or reducing high caloric items from your diet certainly helps. As far as excercise, since I despise going to a gym, I’ve found simple workout games to be a decent approach to the home excercise routine. Games like EA Active (Wii, not sure about other systems) give you a decent 20-30 minute workout and help track your progress.

    • Wayne says:

      That is indeed the biggest problem. I like the high calorie foods. Exercise helps in one sense, I don’t have as much of an appetite after actually pushing myself in a workout. Or at least, sugary, fatty things just don’t seem as appealing. Though, it still doesn’t make vegetables sound yummy.

  2. Hilary says:

    I’m not obese, but I know that I need to take care of myself or I’ll eventually lose my slenderness and my good health. While our circumstances are different, the basic struggle to ‘eat right and exercise’ is the same.

    And I’m also not great at translating current choices to their abstract future consequences. If it makes you feel any better, it’s actually a problem with the structure of the human brain. Our amygdala processes current needs and threats; our forebrain processes the future and abstract issues; and the two don’t communicate terribly well. (This from an interesting book called “Kluge.”)

    I have determined that I am not the sort of person who is going to set aside the time to exercise, and I don’t deal well with feeling deprived (though I would say that’s most people). This is unlikely to change until/unless I have the money for a personal trainer who comes to my house and possibly a personal chef 🙂

    I am currently borrowing the French approach. Most French people (speaking in generalities here) are still slender despite eating ridiculously yummy food and NOT going out of their way to exercise. But they eat limited portions of fresh, unprocessed food (which happens to include more fruits and veggies and less meat than we typically eat, but all made to taste yummy). Plus, they build a LOT of walking into their daily lives as their primary exercise. Only time will tell, but it seems a lot more sustainable and WAY more enjoyable than anything else I’ve tried so far.

    For a completely different and far more radical approach that I also think has a whole lot of merit, watch the documentary, “Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead.” You can find it on YouTube.