I Was Once Fat…What’s Your Story?

fatkevin1By: Kevin Larrabee, CSCS

Some of you have heard my story, but I found some old pictures and I thought it would be a good time to retell it. When I was a freshman in high school I clocked in at just under 210 lbs. I was unhappy. I can home from school and just ate food all day until I went to sleep then the cycle started all over again.

How did I end it? One day something just clicked, I don’t remember exactly what it was but it was something like I ate so much I couldn’t move or there was some hot girl I was interested in who just saw how much I hated the way I looked. That day I began running. I went about a mile. Then a week later I was running two miles. Then a week later I was running three miles, a lap around two beaches that was near my house. I rode my bike everywhere including the 4 miles back and forth to work at a grocery store. Since I was in the produce section I pretty much just ate fruit and  a turkey sub during the 8 hour shift. Was it the best “diet?” Of course not, but it got me started. Basketball was also a driving force as I wanted to be a better player for my upcoming JV season.

In three short months I dropped 35 pounds and stepped into school on the first day of my sophomore year with a whole new look and a million times more confidence.

Now, I ask you, how did you get started? Leigh, Jon and I will pick one person’s story on the show and award a FitCast T-shirt! Post your story in the comments section.

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18 Responses

  1. John Vaughn says:

    Hey Kevin –
    For me I was 48 years old, had put on 10 lbs when 30, 10 lbs when forty and at 48 I quit smoking (for health) and put on another 10 lbs. I had started running thinking that would help motivate me to quit smoking, but I litup a smoke within 30 minutes of running! After 35 years of smoking, it was going to be tough to quit. I did it to show my kids (now 22 and 25) that no matter how old you are, it’s NEVER too late to change your life for the better! I’m now 50, have lost 20 of the 30 lbs needed, and am training for my 1st 1/2 marathon in October. I’m doing it with my Brother Tom from Chicago who is a big inspiration for me!

    Enjoy the Fitcast, keep ’em coming!!
    John from the Poi!

  2. Fred says:

    Hey Kevin,

    Well I don’t know how I ended up gaining the weight, but it started in collage.
    slowly over the years I became less and less active and didn’t even pay attention to how my weight was increasing (I didn’t even weigh myself for years). The next thing I knew I was afraid to exercise cause I thought I would have a heart attack and I was only 30!! That Christmas I was at my in-laws house and saw a bathroom scale and for some reason I got on….unfortunately it only went up to 300!!!! but from the amount it kept going I estimated I was about 330. I decided right there that it was going to keep going up or start going down and I chose down.

    A few days later I went back to the kickboxing school I attended as a teen, and started to workout as if my life depended on it (I think it did). That first year I dropped 80lbs and over the course of the last 4 years I’ve continued my body re-comp and am currently 215 and looking/feeling better then I ever have.

    Thank you for all of the hard work you’ve put into making the fitcast such a great resource.
    -Fred (LOCKPICK)

  3. shari3boys says:

    Well I am a 30 year old wife, mother, formerly “fat girl” also.

    I cant remember a time in my life Until I turned about 17 that I wasnt overweight.

    My older sister was always the “popular pretty sister” and i was always referred too as “jennifers little sister”

    Guys wouldnt look at me, all my friends had the guys and I didnt.

    My mother was overweight and never really taught us to eat healthy. We were aloud to eat whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. We ate dinners as a family but we were aloud snacks at anytime of the day and it was never monitored. At dinner we had soda in unlimited amounts. Dinner was always followed with dessert. Little Debbies were the best . Oh oh and those hotdogs that had chille or cheese that squeezed out the middle when you put them in the microwave for an “after school snack” 3-4 was a great snack!!!
    I remember being 10 years old and getting on the school bus and this older boy stole my ID card out of my hand ( we were military and had ID cards ) started laughing and telling everyone i weighed 100lbs!!! I was mortified. 100lbs was BIG for a 3rd grade girl. Anyway long story short it wasnt until my 10th grade year that I started to want to do something about it myself. My mom never said anything because she was over weight herself and she never wanted me to feel bad about myself. Once I realized I was not happy I would come home from school everyday and get on the treadmill. I started asking to cook more and I would make healthy meals for the whole family. I finally was able to feel confident about myself.

    From that moment I have remained pretty healthy. I have been thru 3 pregnancies with 3 csections. i still struggle at times but I do know I am on the right track.

    Funny thing is , my sister the one who was always so “skinny” and “popular” is now overweight, and now she knows what it feels like!!!!! I will say there is a little bit of “sweet revenge” in that, but i do feel bad that she is struggling with her weight now.

    As a mom now myself I try to find that balance of letting my kids just be kids, but not being so relaxed as my mom was.

    Take care!

    Shari

  4. Terri says:

    Hey Kevin!

    I was slightly overweight in high school but it never really affected me mentally, socially, or physically. Enter in a very long abusive relationship and a desk job and presto – a 50 lb. gain! When I turned 29 my mother passed away from a very short and intense battle with cancer. She was 57. I thought to myself that’s waaaaay too young to go. The thought of only having a meager 28 years of my life left was enough to shock me into reality. I started out walking every day. That was my goal, just to get out there and do it and make it a habit. Nutrition came next. I lost a total of 75 lbs. in the first year and a half by progressively increasing/varying my training. Which made me thinner than I had been in 7th grade! Training and nutrition have become my passion and I can’t imagine living my life any other way but healthy now. At this time I was diagnosed as Hypo (Hashimotos), and after being stalled and still not satisfied with my level of leaness, I found Leigh’s Metabolic Repair program and shed another 15 lbs. (Shout out to Leigh! My body thanks you for making me rest and eat again.), bringing my total loss to date to 90 lbs. I’m pretty damn happy here, but man I’d love to see some veins pop just once! Still gotta have goals right?

    Great job with the fitcast! I’ve been listening since the first few episodes.

    – T

  5. Jesse says:

    I know everyone says that they were the fat kid while growing up. However, I put all these kids to shame. Ironically, I wasn’t even allowed to play football, because of weight restrictions. I thought fat free meant that you could eat as much as you want so crushing entire bags of popcorn and pretzels was a daily routine for me. I ate my way to 260 pounds as a freshman in high school. Being this large I decided to play football. I ended up getting pretty strong and was able to turn some of that fat into muscle. I went on to play defensive tackle in college. However, a couple of knee injures just about ruined my football career and I found myself being a fat 280 pounds on a 5’11 frame during the winter of my senior year of college. After football I decided I didn’t need to be big anymore so I was determined to drop some weight. I was able to drop about 90 pounds in a little bit over a year! This was awesome, because I wasn’t the fat kid anymore, but the problem was I lost just about all my strength and I was starting to look skinny. I’ve since been able to add some decent size/strength and have decreased body fat even further. I’m currently 5’11 200 pounds. A big thank you goes out to Kevin and the Fitcast contributers as I have learned a great deal from listening to the show.

    Click on website link for pic 280 -> 200 (5 years in between the two pics)

  6. Matt says:

    I guess it all started when I was in the Eighth grade. I had hit a growth spurt and was getting ready for Jr. High football. The coach was also the high school football coach. He showed me that basics in the weight room, we called the dungeon. The weight room was in the basement of our High School gym. The weight were rusty, the equipment was old or hand made from our shop class. We did not have machine weights. Everything was from a plate. We learned to count by 45’s, 35’s, 25’s 10’s and 5’s. It was the best place in the world. You could find a homemade tape in the radio with several AC/DC songs recorded on it. We listened to over and over. Like I said earlier it taught me the basics. We benched, squatted and did Olympic lifts. I always had an addiction to weight training from then on. It was always a competition between my friends and I to see who could lift the most and be the strongest. It not only made us better athletes, but closer friends. We became brothers of Iron.

  7. Kujo says:

    When I was 18, I collapsed late at night when I was in my room, and went into diabetic coma. Luckily, I was found by my mother, who called the ambulance, and I was rushed to the hospital. I just remember waking up later when I was in the hospital. The doctors told me I would have died if I hadn’t been found in time. My blood sugar was off the charts, and I was told I weighed over 260 lbs. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and spent about a week in the hospital.

    This was the wake up call I needed. Over the next year or so, I ended up loosing almost 100 pounds just through diet change, and using a treadmill. I even ended up not having to take insulin anymore, which is extremely rare as my doctor had told me.

    It wasn’t till about 10 years after being diagnosed with diabetes that I started getting into weight training (started putting together a home gym), and really getting into nutrition.

    2 years later, I would say I’m pretty hardcore into nutrition, and fitness training now. I just wish I knew what I know now when I was a teenager. 🙂

  8. Higashi says:

    Like many of my fellow commentors/listeners I was obese. I don’t like to use the word fat because honestly I wasn’t. I was obese. Standing 5’8 and weighing in at 280 lbs at the age of 20 I may not have been the biggest guy you’ve ever seen but I was obese. Oh yea, my past time activities were the very definition of the “desk jockey”. I was a gamer (still am), part time computer tech, avid reader, and tv watcher. I even worked at a video game store. I never played sports aside pfrom some t-baLl when I was 6. I also never wanted to go anywhere. I went to work and came home to simply lounge with pizza (greatest food of All time) and Dr. Pepper while playing some halo. So what turned me into a 170lb training machine? Not so sure about the machine part but the answer harkens back to one of leigh’s podcasts. It was a girl. 
    She was one of my first serious girlfriends, though how I had the confidence to have more than one relationship (not at the same time) I’ll never know. We dated for 4 yrs and even talked about getting hitched. Then she decided that I was too big for her. I out weighed her by more than a 125 lbs. So needless to say we seperated and at the ripe old age of 23 I decided to change it all. Just through diet I dropped 60lbs in about 5 months. I added training and dropped another 20. Then I just kept it up and 3.5 years later I’m (still) 5’8, 170lbs (without counting cal), and am in the top ten percent of my police academy class when it comes to physical testing (graduate next month!!). I’m now with the woman of my dreams (different one) and we’ve been together for a year. Decided to wait on marriage until I find a police position somewhere. You guys are awesome. 

    P. S. I have the FLT and it helped me get down to 160. I’m trying to put on some muscle and recover from a hard diet phase. And I’ve been a listener since day one and liked the part time gamer cast. You guys are an inspiration. Thank you.

    P. S. S. Oh yea also I already bought a t-shirt so really don’t need one but some of the other stories on here are very emotional so I’d vote for one of them. Also Kevin my academy class is running a fundraiser to help out homeless children with school supplies. So there are listeners that are trying to make a differnece.

  9. BobParr says:

    I grew up in an Italian family where a serving of pasta meant a serving platter for each person! I was genetically predisposed to be tall and lanky, however, so I was not super overweight. But I was classic skinny-fat: scrawny shoulders and arms with a squishing protruding stomach. I usually managed to look OK in clothes but I had to hide my humiliating moobs! I was also pathetically non-athletic.

    Inspired by comic book superheroes and Arnold movies, I started lifting at the local Y as a high school junior. I followed these ridiculous 3×10 programs with four different exercises for each body part. You know, Lee Haney’s pre-contest program as reported in Flex! You can imagine the radical physique-altering changes I experienced. (I barely improved!) By college, my lifting became pretty sporadic and my body comp got a little worse. By the time I turned 30, now a married father, I became “too busy” to exercise. I put on an additional 15 pounds of flab and joined the ranks of typical early middle aged males with desk jobs.

    My turning point came about 7 years ago when I was thumbing through a fitness mag and came across some photos of Dave Draper, who was something like 62 years old at the time. He did not look like the photos I remembered seeing in Arnold’s Encyclopedia. His hair was thinner, his face had wrinkles, and his muscles weren’t nearly as full. But he still looked far better than virtually any 20 year-old athlete! I wasn’t in 1/10 as good shape at half Draper’s age! Even worse, in the accompanying interview, it mentioned that he had stopped exercising when he retired from bodybuilding and that he had spent most of the 1970s messed up on booze and drugs before he got a grip and turned himself around! That did it. I started MAKING time to train 3-4 times per week. More importantly, I started to train intelligently. Why train like a bodybuilder if you have no intention of ever stepping on stage to compete?

    I haven’t lost a lot of weight (I’m maybe 25 pounds lighter than my peak.) But what my current 190 pounds is composed of has changed pretty radically. In addition to properly filling out my clothes, I can sprint a lot faster and jump a lot higher at age 41 than I could at 17 – and I am almost never physically tired! I also remember failing a chin-up test in 5th grade PE when I just helplessly hung from the bar for a few seconds before my grip gave out. Now I can rep out on chin-ups, pull-ups, and dips, even with additional weight. I’m also one of only 4 or 5 guys at my gym who squats and deadlifts (the others are in their 20s), and I’m the only one who does stuff like power cleans.

    What’s more, I feel totally inspired to buck the trend of Americans getting fatter, especially as they get older. I fully intend to keep making steady yet modest gains for the foreseeable future. With any luck, in 50 years I’ll be a Jack LaLanne-style senior who performs strongman stuff instead of playing shuffleboard.

    Bob

  10. David W. says:

    In 2000 I was 20 years old, weighed 286 lbs. and wore a size 50 pants.

    I had just begin my career with the National Park Service and realized that I absolutely loved what I was doing and wanted to be the best that I could. I managed to drop some weight and survived (by the skin of my teeth) the Law Enforcement Academy.

    In 2003 I began working as an officer and began dealing with “real” criminals.

    My turning point came one night when I stopped a guy who had been drinking in the park. The stop pretty quickly “turned south”, and I ended up in a fight with a man who literally told me he was going to kill me.

    Obviously that ended up in my favor and I came out on top. But that night I swore to myself I would never get to the point where I would be too lazy and weak to win when the time came for me to put it all on the line.

    I dropped to 165 lbs and then began working my way back up to where I am at now at 220 with far more muscle I have ever had before.

    My goal is to start 30 in the best shape of my life, and you guys and your show have really helped keep me interested.

    Thanks for all you do and everything you give.

    DW

  11. Lindsay Chiras says:

    What’s up Kevin –

    I totally know where you are coming from. I was very overweight my entire childhood up until the age of 14. Now almost 17, I look back and realize I was an extreme emotional eater when I was a young child, most likely due to my parents having problems starting at about age 7. I entered my own freshman year of high school feeling terrible. I felt unhealthy, had no confidence, and not many friends. After the first day of school I decided to make a change. I started keeping track of what I ate, and by trial and error discovered what worked for me. I set up my own hom gym and started woring out everyday after school without fail. I began reading every article, book, or any peice of info I could get my hands on about fitness and nutrition. Over six months I lost 50 lbs and went from about 185 to 135 at 5’6″. My family didn’t understand why I wanted to cook my own food, or why I would choose working out over other things. I never had any encouragement or support from them. Over the summer after freshman year I concentrated on lifting and correct nutrition to get myself in great shape. I walked into school sophomore year with unbeleivable confidence and I became much more social, and gained many more friends. Now I’m a gym rat and I love it. I’ constantly learning and I have a constant hunger for knowledge about fitness and nutrition. My experience has taught me so much about myself, and has inspired me to persue a career in the health field.

    PS – I love the show and it’s the highlight of my week when I get to download the latest one. By the way, I’m from Massachusetts, not too far from you haha.

    Thanks for reading Kevin.

  12. Manny Prieto says:

    I started getting into fitness when I was a sprinter and long jumper on my high school’s track and field team. I wasn’t the most gifted athlete, so I was willing to do anything I could to improve my performance.

    Back then, the weight room at my high school was about the size of a bedroom, and my first introduction to weight training was a machine circuit on an old-school Universal Gym set of machines. Needless to say, I didn’t have much of a clue what I was doing at first.

    One day I stumbled upon an online track and field forum, which led me to start reading articles and books on training and nutrition. I had access to a lot of information, but, perhaps because I wasn’t as mature back then, I didn’t understand everything completely. A lot of the guys on the track forum talked about things like relative strength and keeping body fat to a minimum, and even though I never had any serious weight issues I wanted any advantage I could get, so I was only lifting 5 reps or less (to avoid any “unnecessary” muscle gain) while cutting calories and carbs, on top of all the training I was doing in practice.

    As I went through my senior year, injuries and disappointing times derailed my competitive career. But my interest in fitness was just getting started. I did my undergrad at Cornell, where I took a course to become certified as a personal trainer and majored in Nutritional Sciences, and since then I’ve worked as a personal trainer and pursued a Master’s Degree in nutrition and exercise physiology at Columbia. I had learned that my interest in learning about exercise and nutrition could lead to a career, so I jumped at the opportunity. Knowing that I can make fitness a career also motivates me to train, as training is the reason I chose this career path in the first place.

    So there is no 50-pound weight loss story here, but my experience with exercise was a life-changing one. Here’s someone who was known more for academic than athletic success going into high school, who is now pursuing a lifelong career in fitness. Many people say they were in the best shape of their life in high school, but I’m definitely a much better athlete now than I was back then, and I hope to stay that way for a long time.

    Oh, and Kevin, thanks for sharing your story, as well as your “Before-before” picture. Sometimes it’s important to remember where you came from.

  13. I have an opposite type story. It is the story of how I gained weight. My freshman year of high school was full of all the stress, pain, social unrest, and insanity just like the majority of remember. I was very active. I was a volleyball player, did cross country, was a cheerleader, student council, ok student in the grades department but once my hormones it, everything emotionally became unstable. I developed late so when I woke up one day with a chest and Todd E stared straight at my tits and made a huge deal about them, I became self conscious. I gained a little weight in my hips and every time I looked in the mirror, I never saw the same type of body my friends had. I though I was completely over weight and decided that I needed to control myself and the hectic life of high school. I stopped eating. I remember getting up and running cross country at 5:30 am, having a few sticks of celery after that, eating one wheat biscuit for lunch, going to athletics and lifting weights, then volleyball practice after school, followed by an hour of cheerleading. I’d get home and my mom would have a plate of food fixed for me from dinner since they had already eaten. I’d go in my room with my dog and let him eat 95% of the food. I’d shower and most nights do a Tamilee Web VHS workout tape and then go to bed. I’d wake up the next day and to it all over again.

    After a while people started to make comments and I just figured they were all jealous. My poor mother had no idea how to deal with it nor did she truly know the full extent of my disorder and when she’d mention therapist or doctors, I’d tell her everything was fine. My junior year I was a star athlete, popular, taking over student council president position the next year, and ready to go full steam into college. The stress came on harder and I when I’d eat I started to make myself throw up. I was already getting very little calories and what I did ingest would come back up and I’d feel high as a kite. It was like a drug. I felt so empowered by it and it was my own little secret that I kept for four years.

    The big turning point came when I had to attend a banquet for scholarship winners. I didn’t take a bite of the cake and only sipped on water but my parents wanted to take me out to celebrate after. We went to a seafood restaurant where I shunned all the bread and butter and only ate boiled shrimp with no sauce. I felt awful the entire way home. All I wanted to do was get home and get rid of all the food I just put in to my body. I was mad at myself and angry at my parents for making me eat. Once home I said goodnight and waited until everyone went to bed. I knew a lot of time had passed so I needed a little help. I downed ipecac and blamed my massive vomiting on bad seafood. The next day I woke, feeling a bit better, looked in the mirror and saw I had burst 3 blood vessels in my eyes from throwing up so hard. I started to cry. I sat on the bathroom floor and just cried because I didn’t recognize myself at all. I was scheduled to make the big step of entering college in just 3 weeks and I was a complete mess.

    I made a promise to myself that I would get better and took it on as a new challenge. At that point it was either go to college and gain weight or go get treatment. I worked equally as hard to get in to college as I did to keep up my eating disorder but luckily I choose school. I saw a therapist briefly at school and just admitting it helped me on the better path.

    Throughout college I struggled with weight gain and weight obsession. I gained the freshman 15 plus extra but it was what I needed to help me along. I fought the disorder throughout undergrad and even in to graduate school. At that point I needed to loose weight but didn’t know how to do it in a healthy way so I started to study and learn. I read glossy magazines and did all the fad workouts but it only helped a little. When I was 25, I still have about 15 pounds to loose but the daily trips to Gold’s gym were not helping all that much. I ended up deciding to try a triathlon and focus on a bigger goal than just loosing weight. I loved it and my confidence soared. I enjoyed the challenge and educated myself about what and why I should eat to fuel my training. I started lifting weights heavy and hard. Five years later I am now the head coach of a first timers triathlon training program, have completed numerous races, marathons, and am a competitive mountain biker. I am not at the weight I’d like to be. I know I have a few pounds to loose and am working really hard at it but also am working hard at not obsessing. I would say I need to loose 10 pounds but I also understand that is part of my dismorphia talking and actually only need about 5 pounds off. It is almost like I am two different people when it comes to my body image.

    It was all mentally scaring and though I am 30 now, I still have bad days and must step back and reassess myself honestly. It is part of who I was and something that has made me the way I am now. I am still boarder line obsessive compulsive and when I cross the line, I know to take a time out. I still hold some of the eccentric things from my eating disorder like not letting other people fix plates for me and being able to calculate the total caloric intake of a meal like Rainman. From being sick and underweight to being overweight but mentally healthy and now being at a healthy weight and understanding myself so much better, I am at a good place.

  14. Jeff says:

    I was born into a long line of short, stout Jewish men of Eastern European descent with a strong genetic disposition for belly fat, type-2 diabetes and early death from coronary heart disease, usually in their late 50’s. As I entered my early 50’s, I was keeping up the family tradition. I was obese, sedentary and had a laundry list of physical ailments related to my excessive abdominal fat: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, recurring sinus infections and pneumonia, severe ED, ulcers, and chronic angina.

    About 3 1/2 years ago, I reached my breaking point. I was running out of clothes that still fit, again, I was tired of downing loads of prescription drugs that had little or no effect, I was tired of the constant gastrointestinal pain, and I was scared as the frequency and intensity of my episodes of angina increased weekly. I knew someday soon I would, as my father did on too many occasions, end up in the ER. I decided it was time for a complete lifestyle change. I eschewed the fad diets, fat loss supplements, and gym boot camps and chose the simple mantra of eat less and move more. Leigh, where were you 3 years ago?

    I adopted a clean mediterranean-style diet of fresh, whole foods, an easy thing to do when you live in Northern Callifornia. I worked with a personal trainer to develop a strength training program at home since there are no conveniently local gyms. Sorry Kevin, no bar bells, just dumb bells, kettle bells and the insidious Bosu ball. And I began a daily walking program.

    My transformation was slow, steady, and safe with no injuries or plateaus. After 14 months of effort, I achieved my goal of regaining the body I had at 22 but with bigger biceps. I went from a 40 inch waist and over 30% body fat to a 30 inch waist and about 12% body fat. I calculate that I lost 40 pounds of fat and gained 6 pounds of new lean body mass. I know that won’t break any records but I’m only 5 ft 2 in tall and old, as my wife and daughters keep reminding me.

    I can safely say that I am not dead yet. My blood pressure is normal, my blood sugar is normal; the sinus infections, ED, ulcers and angina are all are gone. I still have “high” total cholesterol, but that is because my HDL increased to 87 ng/L! Best of all, I have maintained my weight for over 2 years now and I have developed the lifestyle habits that should keep it off.

    The most amusing thing I have encountered since my fat loss is the reaction I get from friends and relatives who see me for the first time. 2 years ago, people would shyly approach and with great empathy ask in whispered tones “Have you been ill?”. Some would even avoid me and inquire about my health from my wife. Now I get “Wow, where did you get those muscles” from my new massage therapist and “Oh my God, you’ve got abs!” from my older sister at a recent family reunion. Not too shabby for a 55 year old geezer.

  15. Daniel says:

    All of you have great storys, it’s a nice encoragement for myself to get back in shape. I’m about 281 and feel like I’m gaining everyday. I tried to stop smoking and it was working for a while,but I picked it back up after about 2 weeks. I plan to start doing some bike rideing maybe some walking and sit-ups to get back to my old weight of 178

  16. J.B. says:

    I was a fat kid. My whole childhood. At age 8 I weighed 80 lbs. By 10, 130. By my freshman year I weighed over 230. I was fat. I never got any exercise, I ate too much, and too much of what I ate was crap.
    I was miserable. One day after gym class the teacher (who was also the head football coach) told me that football sign-ups were tomorrow. He didn’t suggest that I sign-up, just off hand “football sign-ups are tomorrow afternoon.” I was fed up with my life and that was enough positive attention for me to go out on a limb. Football practice started and I was so unfit that in order to complete the conditioning drills I be out on the field for up to 30 minutes after everyone else had finished. There were times when not only would I be the only one on the field, but I’d be the only one left on campus. I dropped weight like crazy. We learned the basics of weight lifting, and I fell in love with the measurable progress, and the idea that my body composition was a matter of choice. I was hooked.. I still am 20 years later.

  17. Lynda says:

    I had been really active in my youth, but when I was around 12, I also started experiencing a lot of anxiety, which I dealt with by eating. I learned this habit from my mother and sister. What started as after school snacking on junk food, turned into full-blown binge eating although at the time I didn’t really understand that is what it was. When I was 14 and starting high school, my parents separated, and this is when the binge eating really took over my life.

    I got to my all time highest known weight in Grade 11, which I think was around 170 lbs (I’m 5’5) but I can’t be sure since it was extremely depressing for me to get on a scale. I yo-yo’d through years of Weight Watchers and was able to get the weight off, only to go right back to my coping mechanism of binge eating whenever I couldn’t handle things.

    In my mid 20’s I started running, which was something I used to dream of doing as well. This managed to keep the weight down, but I still struggled with maintaining a healthy weight. When I started running, I couldn’t finish 20 minutes. Over the years, I improved my running to 10k races, then a half marathon, and then the full marathon. I ran the marathon 3 years in a row, and then went back to half marathons for awhile. All this time, my binge eating had high and low periods, and I kept this secret to myself. Also during this time, I got engaged, got laid off from my job, found another job, bought a house, and then left my fiance 1 month before the wedding, and moved back to my mother’s house for a few months. Binge eating reared its ugly head again, but by now I was sick of it. I also jumped into a very unhealthy relationship due to my extremely low self esteem, and when I got my heart broken, I joined the gym and hired a trainer intending to do something for myself, which felt selfish but in a good way.

    I also knew that I had to get my head “fixed” in order to fix my weight issues that had been controlling me my whole life. For me, I had to get strong physically before I could get strong emotionally. As I got stronger, I started to really like the shape my muscles were taking, but I didn’t like what I called my “pudge” or “chunky” look. My trainer would patiently explain how it was all related to diet. I really liked the look of figure competitors, but didn’t think I could ever get my bodyfat that low.

    I had a few false starts trying to diet, but really, the binge eating always did me in. After one particularly bad episode something clicked in my brain where I realized I was just making myself sick, and I wanted to learn how to eat “normally”. So I went to a psychologist, and after about 9 months, was able to kick the binge eating habit. Now I was ready to try competing…I wanted it soo bad. I started my dieting in Feb, and competed onstage this past July 11, 2009. My weight loss was slow and steady up until the final show prep, and this is when I discovered the Fitcast, and also Leigh Peele’s podcasts by the way! I would listen to them during my final weeks of show prep, and they kept me smiling. I feel like now I am the person I have always dreamt I could be – inside and out. I’m a gym rat now too, and I love it! Oh and I’m leaving my old career of working in IT, which I’ve done for the past 8 years, and will be attending university this fall to study Kinesiology. Talk about a life change!

  18. Jason says:

    I won’t say I was super fat but I was pudgy – 6-1 @ 190Lbs and really no muscle. I was 35 years of age and my girlfriend at the time said I was getting pudgy – I said something back & I haven’t seen her since. That comment for some reason bothered me and I decided to do something about it.
    I started off by doing some crappy workout with an even crappy’r all in one machine, that got boring so I got back into boxing. One day I was looking for something to improve my strength for boxing and I found T-nation, then I found the FitCast. That’s when I went from the dumbass world of preacher curls to lifting with a purpose. Since then I have joined the NSCA, done two other personal trainer certifications (kinda useless really). I really went overboard with the fighting and now train Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & MMA 5-6 times a week, 2-3 hours a night. I’m usually able to get one or two lifting sessions a week in as well. The final indicator of how far I have come is I train a number of co-workers during the week at lunch, hill sprints, sled drags … and they love it.
    Today I’m 3 months from 40 and a 190lbs lean mean fighting machine that competes against kids ½ my age – and win.
    I have yet to see that girl to thank her.