Confessions of a Skinny Fat Guy

It all began in 2015. Well, some might say it began long, long ago but for our purposes, it began November 30, 2015: the day I turned the big THREE-FIVE.

35 had been looming over my head for quite some time as the age at which I needed to get my shit together in regards to my physicality. It’s at about this time that men begin to lose muscle mass at a rate of about 5 pounds every 10 years. And, for me, that is a huge problem. You see, I don’t have that much muscle to lose.

I’m 5’8″ and have been for quite some time. Toward the end of high school, I finally broke the 100 pound mark. Since then, I’ve only been able to get up to around 135 at my heaviest and that was mostly after I discovered beer (which gave me a nice, round belly and did nothing for my twiggy arms). Picture Dale Gribble’s “track team” physique and that’s me in a nutshell.

When I think of myself, I think I’m just skin and bones. So it came as a bit of a shock to find out during my fitness evaluation (you have to have one before you begin personal training at my gym) that I’m 20% fat. 20%! So am I a skinny fat guy or a fat skinny guy?

There are a million reasons why I want to get in shape now.

  • Be more comfortable in my body
  • Be more confident
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Physical attractiveness (well, yeah)

My goals

Learn how to work out correctly
I’ve learned that what I thought was flexibility is actually a frightening lack of musculature in my shoulders. My tendons (I think) give me trouble every so often from years of poor guitar and keyboard form. To top it all off, I had an inguinal hernia last year (from not listening to my body while bench pressing) that I had to get surgery on. Clearly, I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.
Put on at least 10 pounds of muscle
I’m a tiny-limbed guy. I need extra muscle to make sure I’ve got weight to spare when the pounds start coming off from old age (because if they don’t come off from muscle, they come off from bone).
Of course, I’ll take as much muscle as I can get. I’m kind of sick of being a skinny guy.
Increase flexibility
Being flexible helps everything. I’ve got two sub-goals that kind of tie into this: get better at West Coast Swing dancing and go to the Periphery Summer Jam next year.
Also, I hate feeling clumsy and disconnected from the world. Flexibility and balance is a huge part of that.
Fix my posture
No longer will I be the Hunchback of Coder Dame.
Eat healthfully
I gained a lot of bad weight when I lived in the Midwest last, mostly from salt (more on that later). I never packed a lunch and ended up going to Chipotle every day. Pro: I ate there so often they started giving me free drinks (they have the best iced tea). Con: my face ballooned out into a big, salty circle.

What will I do to get there?

Personal training (3x weekly)
The gym where I work is amazing and cheap. Training sessions are only $20 a pop. I’ve got a trainer named Nick; he’s a good man and a total nerd about proper form. My workout days right now are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I just walk right over from my office after work. Sweet!
Yoga (daily)
I love yoga. It’s been the fitness thing I could geek out about most since high school. I even took a few classes in college.
I truly believe that yoga and copious amounts of stretching are what keep you young and alive as all that movement helps to rid your body of toxins. It just plain feels good and makes me feel comfortable in my body; something I haven’t felt very often. Added bonus: I’m much better at music and dance when I’m on my yoga game.
Cardio (3x weekly)
Even though I’ve got a fabulously low and healthy heart rate, the heart is a very important muscle. Especially when you’re an ex-smoker, like myself.
Also, there’s really only one way to burn off that beer belly and that’s cardio. I’m planning to interval jog or cycle for my cardio days.

TL;DR

This is really just a diary. I don’t expect anyone to read it. This is just for me to remember a hopefully important time in my life and be able to track my progress on an intellectual level. I also hope to catalogue some helpful hints, apps, and techniques for future reference. If someone happens to run across that and it helps them out, that’s great!

Postscript

Why the bowling ball photo?

Bowling is the ultimate fat guy sport. I mean, look at pro bowlers. They’re hugely fat and their health and size have nothing to do with how good an athlete they are. You just need to be able to throw the ball really hard.

I picked the photo because bowling seems to be the sport with the least amount of effort one could play professionally and still call themselves an athlete. It’s an ironic motivational poster to myself:

DON’T BE A BOWLER.

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