Skinny Fat

It's Fatherhood Friday again!  Check out other FF submissions over at  All the cool kids are doing it. . .

When I was a kid I was always the skinny one. I could eat nothing but crap and still be skin and bones.

From about 17 to 25 my diet consisted of fast food, beer and gin.  I once got salmonella and when the CDC called me to find out where I had eaten in the last 7 days I had to give them a list of 20+ fast food restaurants.  The lady just sighed and said "Wow you eat a lot of fast food. . .do you know how much work you just created for all of us?"

I became the most vicious version of fat; skinny fat. That is, if you look at me you think "oh that guy is skinny" but when the shirt comes off BAM I got some extra meat on them bones. Must be jam 'cause jelly don't shake like that!

The biggest downside of being skinny fat is when you try to eat better or work out more people say "What? You don't need to worry about that, you're skinny!" So being my lazy, unproductive self I just continued being skinny fat.

Then I moved to the Midwest.

I left California about 170 give or take. I left to accept a sales job that would put me on the road almost constantly.  This is when I discovered the meal called breakfast and a dish called chicken fried steak

Something they don't tell you about the Midwest; it's f*ckin cold!! The last thing you want on a freezing cold morning is a bowl of cereal. What you do want is a delicious piece of steak, battered and deep fried preferably served with scrambled eggs, hash browns and pancakes.

It didn't take long for the CFS and eating on the road constantly to balloon up to 190. Apparently, someone my height should weigh 165. . .

By the time my wife got pregnant I knew I needed to make some changes. If not for me or her for my little girl. Yeah, I wasn't huge or vying for a spot on the Biggest Loser but definitely wasn't healthy. Going up stairs winded me and that shit isn't cool. My little girl deserves the best and that not only means me working hard to give her material things but also being healthy enough to be around as long as I can.

After many bumps in the road like eating bad due to my wife's pregnancy cravings (and my lack of willpower) and quiting the gym because we both couldn't go anymore I finally managed to start dropping some weight.

Here's how I did it

  • Water:  I drank water constantly.  By giving my body water constantly it no longer retained it as much.  I cut out caffine which makes you retain water also.
  • Eating better: Not only did I start eating better but I started eating differently. I ate only when I was hungry, not when the clock said it was meal time. I also ate a lot slower; by not woofing down my food I gave my stomach time to tell my brain I was full. All of this leads to eating a lot less.
  • Cardio: I started hitting the elliptical everyday. Nothing crazy, just 30 minutes a day.
  • Working out: I don't belong to a gym and don't own any equipment. I was watching a show about prison on TV and noticed the inmates working out. I Googled "prison workout" and found a bunch of workouts you can do at home with little or no gym equipment. I seriously workout 3 times a week using gallon water jugs and my own body weight.
  • Stay off the scale: I only weighted myself once every 2 weeks. If you bust your ass and then see no change in the numbers after a few days you get bummed and it's hard to go on. Let your body do it's thing and focus on how you feel.
  • Alcohol:  I cut back on the booze significantly.  My wife and I slowed down on going out and having the empty calories of beer doesn't work well with a diet.

Unknown to me, wives who are gaining weight during pregnancy don't appreciate husbands who are actively trying to lose weight. So I did not discuss my weight loss, and tried to hide the fact that my wedding ring no longer fit my finger.

By the time Reagan made her appreance I was down almost 15lbs in 2 months. Jeans fit a lot better, I can wear some of my shirts again without them clinging to my gut and stairs don't take my breath away.

I still have some weight to go to hit my goal of 165 but I am well on my way! Now I just need to get a new wedding ring. . .


11 Responses to “Skinny Fat”
  1. Otter Thomas says:

    I can sympathize. I alwasy called myself a fat skinny guy. People never understand the fat skinny guy. My weight was in my gut largely due to beer no doubt. Good luck losing the weight and be careful around the wife.

  2. Jasonful says:

    My wife and I are both working on losing some weight, she’s doing great…my willpower sucks. So I just don’t buy any junk anymore. I’ve started a regular treadmill routine though and am feeling it.

  3. Isabella says:

    First, congrats on the weight loss! That’s a big accomplishment (especially when your wife is pregnant).

    I had to laugh when I read that you searched “prison workout”…but it makes a lot of sense to me now. Little to no equipment and using gallon water jugs as weight…this would totally work in our household!

    Happy Fatherhood Friday!

  4. Justin M. Howe says:

    I know exactly what you mean about the Midwest diet. In the winter, it’s the chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. Then come summer and the sweet iced tea! (Not tea with sugar, just to clarify!) The weather never seems to cooperate: it’s either too hot or too cold to go out and you wind up staying inside.

    I love that you proactively went out and found solutions to all that. You’re absolutely right about just paying attention to how you feel is the biggest piece. Every body is different. What worked for your neighbor may not work for you. The trick is to find those things that make you feel strong and healthy and go do those things!

    Great post, happy fatherhood friday!

  5. john says:

    hey, i guess that diet is working. I havnt seen 165 in, oh, nevermind.

  6. PJ Mullen says:

    I haven’t been 165 since I was born, but I’m working hard to get into some semblance of shape. Part of it is due to health issues, the other the need to set a healthy example for my son. I’m down 23#’s since November and am working hard to get down to 185. The BMI chart says I should be 167, but considering I am now over 100#’s off my highest weight ever I’ll be happy to be in the ballpark.

  7. ciara says:

    great job on the weight loss. you have some great tips as well. for me, i have to work twice as hard as everyone cos of my thyroid. it took me a year to lose 13 lbs. it’s now march and i’ve only lost 2 lbs since beginning of year. now that i’ve started making an effort, i wish my husband would. but he won’t. he loves food too much. :-/

  8. John Wildermuth says:

    Congrats on changing your diet and your habits and dropping the 15lbs! I’m sure you will get to the 165 if you continue to desire it. I was able to do the same a couple years ago. My ideal weight was 180 and I had creeped up to 210 with some bad habits. I held that 180lb ideal in my mind, changed my diet, water intake and workouts. It took me a year, but I was able to drop the 30 excess and keep it off. I believe the secret ingredient is seeing myself at the lower weight, not getting on the scale very often and telling myself I look healthy, fit, trim and strong. Keep up the good work!

  9. Mocha Dad says:

    Congrats on achieving your fitness goals. I recently lost 25lbs because I was getting fat fat.

  10. Tyler @ Building Camelot says:

    I’m so with you on this one! I’m actually trying to lose some weight with a minimalist workout routine and a better diet. I’ve been searching the internets looking for the best bodyweight only workout but never thought to Google “prison workout”…I’ll be checking that out shortly.

    The family and I are going on a vacation (the 1st one in 4 years) this summer to the beach and I want to feel more comfortable taking my shirt off. I’m also doing it because my dad is a big dude (pushing 300 pounds) and I DO NOT want to end up like him!


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  1. [...] If you read my recent post about being Skinny Fat and trying to get in shape (and of course you did because you are a loyal reader. . .) you know that [...]

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