Here’s a secret that not many people know nowadays. I was fat for more than half of my life. And I can tell your from my own personal experience that being fat sucks. Here is my story.
I started gaining weight somewhere in kindergarten and was fat all the way up to high school. I didn’t just have a few extra pounds; I was extremely fat. Obese.
Why that happened is a simple story. I was raised by my grandparents. I’m very grateful for everything they did for me, but they also belonged to the post-World War 2 generation, where an excess of food was the main sign of being well, safe and sound in life. So we all ate a lot. I do mean a lot.
Well, my parents were too busy fighting and that caused a lot of emotional stress in my life. I wasn’t even aware of it at the time. Food was one of the ways of how I comforted myself. So as I mentioned, I ate a lot, and I ate a lot of shitty food.
Next to that, I come from a non-sporty family. Sport was always something alien to me when I was young, as it was for the rest of my relatives. I hated doing anything physical. Zero exercise and lots of unhealthy food added new and new pounds of fat to my body over the years. Until I became the fat person in class.
From my college years onwards, I’ve slowly been losing fat every year, with many ups and downs. While doing it, I made many mistakes, including starving myself without exercising, hurting my body with complex exercises I wasn’t ready for and pushing myself over every healthy limit when exercising, if I name just a few of them. I was gaining weight for years and I wanted to lose it in a few weeks. That’s not how it works.
My starting point on the road to becoming a fit person was disastrous and I’m still paying a huge price for being fat. In other words, my health debt was huge and I’m still paying it off. I wanted to share this story with you for two reasons.
If you are fat, start doing something about it. The quality of life sucks if you’re fat. I mean, really sucks. I’ll share my experience of how much it sucks in this blog post. You probably have a similar story to tell. Your hands also hold all the power needed to change that. It’s not easy, but it can be done.
If you’re raising fat children, stop. You may think that you’re showing them love and affection with all the candy you buy for them and all the good but unhealthy meals you cook for late night dinners, but you are not. With every sugary meal, you’re just increasing their health debt – debt they will have to be paying off for the rest of their lives.
How my quality of life sucked while I was fat
After years of perfecting my diet, doing self-reflection (to become aware how I felt being fat) and slowly building up my body, I know now that my quality of life completely sucked when I was fat.
It deprived me not only from feeling good in my body and doing different kinds of sports, it also greatly influenced my self-confidence and self-image.
Psychological damage of being fat
Before we even go to the damage that you’re doing to your body by being fat, let’s start with psychological issues and scars. I was always last in all school sports competitions. When teams were being formed for different sports in school, I was always the last one chosen.
I was always the clumsiest one who couldn’t catch the ball. I still have problems catching a ball, even if I love sports now. :)
Luckily, I was the best pupil in school with all straight As. You see, I had to write this here, so it’s not too painful to admit that I sucked at sports and nobody wanted me on their team. Well, they wanted me in all the intellectual competitions, especially math. You see, I did it again.
To grow up a healthy person, you have to play as a child. You learn about the world, relationships and yourself through play. The best way to do play is by engaging in creative tasks, discovering things with people who love you and you love, and doing sports.
Doing sports in youth is an important part of gaining self-confidence and seeing the world as a playground for experiencing new things and meeting new people.
It seemed like getting to know the world through sport was something not accessible to me. So I become a shy person, an introvert, more interested in computers and books. It seemed childish to me that children loved to play.
Well, there’s nothing wrong with liking books and computers, but shame and doubt expressed through shyness are absolutely not good signs of healthy emotional development.
And then there are girls. It’s easy to live in a naïve world where physical appearance doesn’t matter and love sets all the rules. That’s only an illusion.
Physical appearance is an important part of your Sexual Market Value. Being fit is the first sign of power, healthy genes and that you know how to take care of yourself and your body. Fat is neither healthy nor sexy.
You can compensate being fat with social status, popularity and later on with money and many other things I guess, but you get much more attention from the opposite gender with a well-built body and a six-pack than with pounds of fat hanging from your body.
Being fat doesn’t only rob you of your self-confidence for doing sports (except in the rare exceptions when people are fat but have extraordinary physical intelligence), it usually also negatively influences your dating and romance life in adolescence.
Last but not least, once you see yourself as a fat person, it’s exceptionally hard to change that self-image even when you lose weight. Being fat for half of your life imprints the belief that you are a fat person somewhere deep in your subconscious. Period. It’s like you’re steering the Titanic and you want to do a fast turn.
It doesn’t work that way. You have to be really patient with changing your self-image. In years.
The psychological damage of being fat is often not that obvious. It exists and it can be huge. Fat people usually suppress it. Others don’t have the experience, so they can’t really talk about it. Anyway, it's not a good think.
Just make sure it's not Dionysus or Buddha
Physiological damage of being fat
The list of damage done to my body due to excessive weight is endless. I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, it seems like your body gets used to all the fat. Imagine fat chilling among your internal organs, besides hanging down from your belly and chin. Fat likes it there and doesn’t want to go away. It becomes the natural state of your body.
I think accusing genetics for being fat can be done, but only in extremely rare cases. I observe people a lot. And when I see a fat person, they usually eat a lot, surely unhealthy foods, and don’t move at all. A fat person may eat a salad for lunch (to fool themselves with a fake feeling of progress), but a bag of chips with 500 calories later in front of the TV, is enough to stay fat.
All you need to do is eat a few hundred calories too much every day and your body will love to store it as fat – A candy bar more than your calories intake should be.
Although it’s hard to blame genes, I think once you’re fat, fat kind of wants to stick with you. It’s extremely hard to get down to a perfect body fat percentage. Not only do you have to work hard for it, you also have to see yourself differently (as a fit person) and you have to say goodbye to something that was a part of you for a long time.
Why not leave a little bit of man boobs or excess fat on your belly, just to remember the good old fat days, especially in winter time when I always gain a few percentages of fat. You have to say “fcuk you” to fat once and for all, and torture the bastard all the way to the end. But that’s easier said than done.
Now let’s move on to health issues. Here are just a few that fat brought into my life. I didn’t know how to walk correctly. Yes, you read that right. I was walking in a lazy way, like a bag of potatoes; not using glutes at all; not lifting my knees and feet. Oh, did I also mention pronation? I had to learn how to walk correctly in my 30s and I’m still learning.
I’m not sure if my core muscles even existed. They are still by far the weakest point of my body. A weak core causes you to do every exercise wrong because of the lack of stability. It causes your body to be completely out of balance.
Never exercising in life also means zero muscle memory, so you do every exercise even more wrong. If you’re fat and decide to get fit, first start working on your core muscles. Remember that.
An excess of fat and a weak core usually also bring poor posture. Poor posture is an extremely big health issue, besides being fat. It not only shows self-confidence issues, but also brings tiredness, depression and a lack of motivation in your life.
Poor posture causes damage to your spine and nerves sooner or later. A guaranteed way of doing a lot of damage to your body (herniated disk, pinched nerves, etc.) is starting to lift weights before you take care of your posture. I’ve done that. I’ve been dealing with that kind of injury for more than three years and it’s still not as healed as it should be.
You see the catch here. You decide to get fit. You decide to torture the fat. If you don’t do it the right way, you can only hurt yourself. Hurting yourself makes you sad, and when you’re sad, you eat a lot. It’s a negative spiral. So decide to get fit, but do it correctly.
When you decide to lose weight, hire a professional trainer. Don’t starve yourself to death. Slowly change your dieting lifestyle in combination with aerobic and anaerobic exercises. You need the right combination of diet and exercise.
Your trainer should make sure you do every exercise correctly, no matter how basic it is. Until your muscle memory awakens. Once again, make sure you hire a really good personal trainer.
Okay, stomach. When you’re fat, all your organs have to take a different position in your body. It’s the only way fat can rest in peace among your internal organs. Consequently, it can put your stomach in a position that weakens your stomach valve. The consequence is acid reflux.
Even now, when I have a lot less fat, the problem remains. When I’m a little bit overstressed (it stimulates an excess of acid) or if I eat too late, I get severe heartburn. Well, on the bright side, it helps me to follow my diet and not overeat in late hours. But it sucks.
It’s not only the excess of calories you eat that makes you fat, most of them are usually unhealthy fats and sugars. Sugars are a natural enemy of your teeth. I ate lots of sugar, really a lot. Once I ate 14 doughnuts in a single day. And it felt great. I probably gained a pound in that single day.
Once I ate 14 doughnuts in a single day.
Yes, first I had to invest thousands of dollars in personal trainers and physiotherapy. And a few thousand are still waiting to be paid. Repairing my teeth was also not that cheap indeed. Interestingly, now that I’m eating the minimum level of sugars, I also don’t have any caries.
Much like being fat influences your love life, it influences your sex life as well. I had sex when I was fat (luckily, as mentioned before there are other ways to increase SMV) and later after losing quite a lot of pounds and being able to do a squat or two (although not in perfect form yet). There’s a big difference, trust me. I won’t go into details, but you can trust me on this one.
And did I mention zero flexibility?
That is how being fat seriously lowered my quality of life. There are thousands of other ways how an excess of fat can damage your life. Things like diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, cancer, stroke, osteoarthritis, reproductive problems and much more. Fat has no mercy, sooner or later it will strike your health somewhere and it’s not going to be nice.
Just to scare you a little bit. Do you know what diabetes type 2, caused by being overweight, can do to you? They cut off people’s toes and feet, you lose sight and so on. It’s terrible. You don’t want to be there. A cookie is only a moment on your lips, and forever on your hips. And before you know it, you have to inject insulin into your body. No thanks.
I have an action plan for you
These should motivate you just enough to do something about it. The first step. A really small step. Here’s an action plan if you are fat or started gaining excess weight in the past few years.
Put that cookie out of your mouth and take this dead seriously.
Throw away all the junk food you have at home (cookies, chips, etc.) and don’t buy it ever again. Ever. Make transaction costs for junk food enormously high.
Find a really good personal trainer. Do research online and find one that has extensive experience, especially working with fat people. You should start with correct breathing, basic exercises for the core muscles, increasing the flexibility of your body, etc. before lifting a single weight.
Make sure the personal trainer writes you an exercising program that starts slowly, step by step, so you begin to love exercising and don’t overburden your body. Afterwards, you gradually increase the tempo. It can be a combination of going to the gym and doing a sport you love.
Have a plan how you will get in shape in a year or two, not in a few days, because you will only hurt yourself.
Besides consistently following your exercise program, start slowly changing your diet. Make sure you don’t consume more calories than you need. A calorie deficit and quality food are the basis of everything in your diet. Don’t overeat. Increase your green foods intake. Ditch sugars and unhealthy fats. Eat more protein, and so on.
If you find a good trainer, they should write you a good dieting plan, besides an exercising program. Or find a nutritionist you trust.
Stick to your exercising and dieting program for a few weeks. When you start seeing the changes to your body and how you feel, you will stay motivated. It’s only the first few weeks and then you will probably get addicted to exercising.
And if you injure yourself, make sure you get enough rest.
Subscribe to my newsletter. I’ve been improving my health for the past few years and I still have so much to do. I’ve already invested a lot (of time, energy, money) in my knowledge, trainers, experimenting, and I plan to invest even more. I’m going to share everything I learn along the way. So stay with me.
I’m not a natural-born trainer yelling at you to start working out. I’ve been there. I am there. I feel your pain. Let’s improve your health together.
If you are raising fat kids
The worst thing you can do is to yell at your kid to do push-ups while you’re stuffing your face with pizza. It’s unfair and it won’t do any good.
There’s a great chance that you’re raising a fat kid because you are fat or because you think your kid will love you more if you spoil them with sweets and cook them delicious shitty food.
I assume you already see where this is going. If you want your kid to get fit, you will have to get fit. Do it together. And if you think you’re showing love and affection by letting your kid overeat shitty food, you aren’t. You show love and affection to your kids by being emotionally and intellectually available. Not with shitty food. Be a role model. Show love to your kids with real love.
If you think you’re showing love and affection by letting your kid overeat shitty food, you aren’t.
The next mistake you can make is to force your kid to do the things you like. If you like running and your kid would like to do karate, take their wishes into consideration. Find, together with your kid, a sport they will love. A perfect meal.
Then start cooking healthier food. It may seem unbelievable at first, but food can be healthy and tasty. You just have to put in the effort. Limit sugars and unhealthy snacks. Introduce healthy fats onto the menu. Start using whole-wheat carbs. Prepare lots of veggies, and so on. As I mentioned, if you put in enough effort, you will find healthy food your kid will love.
Last but not least, find the right balance. If you forbid shitty food altogether, there’s a great chance that later, your adult kid will start eating lots of junk food the same moment they move out from under your roof. Just to make up for what they didn’t have access to. Strict limits, but in a balanced kind of way. It’s the art of life.
Remember, with zero exercise, overeating and too much of unhealthy food, you are causing an outrageous health debt to your kid, they will have to pay sooner and later.
You want the best for your kids. Being fat is definitely not the best option. I would choose not being fat as a kid every time over choosing health issues caused by being overweight.
Maybe someday, I will post a picture of how fat I was; if I gather the courage. Until then, make your health your number one priority. The price of being fat is just enormous. It wasn’t that easy for me to share this. I did it because I care about you. Now make me proud.