Former Fat Boys

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    Dec 11, 2012 11:14 PM GMT
    I think I've mentioned this before around here, but y'all may be interested to have an update nonetheless.

    I'm working on a project right now aimed at tackling childhood and young adult obesity in men. Part of it is that I see a huge gap in the fitness market in that area, or at least I perceived one when I was young and obese. The fitness market aims very heavily at two kinds of people: women and men who are incidentally fat (that is, trying to "get back" to some level of fitness). But struggling with obesity all one's life is a different game entirely.

    Anyway, the blog I've set up for the project is here: http://aformerfatboy.wordpress.com/. Any feedback at all is well appreciated!

    Here's a clip from the About section:

    LarkinFormer Fat Boy is a place where I discuss what what it was like to have grown up obese and what I learned about fitness, about the physiology, and human behavior, and about myself in the process of overcoming that. And when I say obese I mean it. Not fat, not husky, not thick, not (God bless my mother’s sweet soul) “big boned”…. obese. I had been overweight from my earliest memories, and for a good portion of my adolescence I was roughly 100 lbs overweight. It was all I had ever known. And being all I had ever known, it was especially difficult to overcome. In ways people who have been healthy before do not really understand.

    Losing weight is hard. It is hard for almost everyone unless they have a very ectomorph body type, in which case they probably aren’t wanting to lose weight anyway. But it is especially hard on a guy who has never been a healthy weight. There are physiological reasons why this might be true – and some competing theories on that – but more than just physiologically, the difficulty is psychological: How do you change what you are? Especially when you have no personal experience being any other way. People who are incidentally overweight – those who used to have a healthy weight but only temporarily do not – have things they can look back on and compare themselves to. A weight they were happy with, or a shape they liked, or clothes they used to fit in. Guys like us? We have nothing to look back on like that. We have no idea what it is like. Furthermore, we don’t trust people who don’t know what it is like to be us. We see fitness models selling us machines and programs and pills, but we always only half believe them because we know they haven’t been fat like us. They don’t know what we live with and they don’t know what we can or can’t accomplish.

    And that is why Former Fat Boy exists. Here you’ll find not just information about the science of weight loss – of physiology and nutrition and kinesiology – but also stories about the experience of reshaping your body. If you grew up obese, your challenges are going to be different than everyone else trying to lose weight. So here you’ll find out how I did it, and how other people did it, and what we learned from the process of crossing that divide from Fat Boy to Fit Guy. Not only that, you’ll learn what you can expect to find on the other side… because, if you were like me, you had a hard time believing a Bowflex Body was waiting there for you after decades of jelly rolls.

    Perhaps most importantly, though, you may learn what you can’t find on the other side. Because while you may be able to achieve all your fitness goals and get that body you can really be proud of, there is some damage from obesity that cannot be undone by dieting and exercising. And the deepest damage there isn’t physical.
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    Dec 11, 2012 11:51 PM GMT
    You Sir, are a champion of your obstacles, and your peers.

    I believe this is yours.

    HEART_OF_GOLD.jpg

    =)
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    Dec 12, 2012 3:07 AM GMT
    Great work, congrats!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2012 3:09 AM GMT
    everyone needs to read this: its so transparent and thoughtful. Good job Larkin
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    Dec 12, 2012 3:12 AM GMT
    This is a great blog! If one person get inspired by this and makes a change, which Im sure more than one will, you accomplished something that many people couldn't!!!

    You have a great inspirational story!!!!
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    Dec 12, 2012 3:14 AM GMT
    Speaking from personal experience, skinny dudes also get pretty stigmatized as well, though not as much as fat guys in my experience. There should be some focus on the guys who need to gain weight, as well as those who need to lose it X3
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    Dec 12, 2012 3:18 AM GMT
    Okami_Shiranui saidSpeaking from personal experience, skinny dudes also get pretty stigmatized as well, though not as much as fat guys in my experience. There should be some focus on the guys who need to gain weight, as well as those who need to lose it X3


    that's true. buuuut- this is actually based on Larkin's personal experiences and stories, as well as how he did it for himself; which is super inspirational.
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    Dec 12, 2012 3:55 AM GMT
    Haha I should probably also include pictures of naked dudes to really get that target demographic interested icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2012 3:57 AM GMT
    Larkin saidHaha I should probably also include pictures of naked dudes to really get that target demographic interested icon_smile.gif

    tumblr_m6nbn31qF61r3ax0qo1_500.gif
    That might suffice
  • RaggedyMan

    Posts: 7185

    Dec 12, 2012 3:59 AM GMT
    love it
    edit: i meant i loved the article but i also love that gif. good timiing
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2012 4:01 AM GMT
    I skipped over this topic because I thought it was titled Former Frat Boys.

    *facepalm*
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2012 4:07 AM GMT
    Larkin saidHaha I should probably also include pictures of naked dudes to really get that target demographic interested icon_smile.gif


    especially if it is youicon_eek.gif
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    Dec 12, 2012 4:31 AM GMT
    Former skinny/bony guys here, got it easy.

    'Overweight for as long as I can remember' is indeed quite different from 'I want my shape back'.

    I had a friend I contaminated with fitness interest. After a lifetime (45 years) of being overweight (32 BMI) with allergic sentiments about any physical activity, he ended up a regular at the gym and had to change all his wardrobe (21 BMI).

    But despite being now see as 'athletic' instead of 'fat' in his social life (the image the other send back to us), he did struggle to adapt his own self image.

    When he was dreaming at night, he was still fat.

    He got into that updating body process by accident. I think the years of work on yourself you have to handle to come to term with being overweight, from kindergarten to maturity, so that you can be happy with yourself as you are and enjoy an productive and socially enjoyable life, collide frontally with any attempts to become physically different.

    Not only it's far harder to believe it's possible when you never, in your life, felt comfortable in speedo, but it also mean you will have to challenge and reinvent the ways you interact with yourself and others.

    You create a alien version of yourself.
  • Pyre85

    Posts: 213

    Dec 12, 2012 4:45 AM GMT
    Used to be 115 pounds eavier myself, It sucked. I had no idea how fat I had gotten til I saw pictures of myself after a vaction in New York. My Sister in law was looking over them, and said, Oh you look so handsome in this one! Curious, I went over, and wanted to hurl, I was a whale. Yet she was being serious. I realized that is that was a GOOD picture of myself, then I needed to die. I almost cried lol.
    I tried everything to lose weight, and didn't even realize it was working. It wasn't until I went to buy clothes for my first pride and all the pants in "my size" were hanging off me like crazy.. and I fit into a pair of 33 inch waist jeans.. that I realized I was slimming down. Now I'm a 29/30 depending on who makes the pants, and while I still struggle with the remaining tummy jiggle, I know its days are numbered. The goal is a six pack by the time I'm thirty. (easier said then done, I still struggle with all the tasty foods-shoved at me by all my friends wo insist I've become too skinny ><)
    But I shall prevail!
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Dec 12, 2012 4:47 AM GMT
    "Like"
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    Dec 12, 2012 4:56 AM GMT
    Pyre85 saidUsed to be 115 pounds eavier myself, It sucked. I had no idea how fat I had gotten til I saw pictures of myself after a vaction in New York. My Sister in law was looking over them, and said, Oh you look so handsome in this one! Curious, I went over, and wanted to hurl, I was a whale. Yet she was being serious. I realized that is that was a GOOD picture of myself, then I needed to die. I almost cried lol.
    I tried everything to lose weight, and didn't even realize it was working. It wasn't until I went to buy clothes for my first pride and all the pants in "my size" were hanging off me like crazy.. and I fit into a pair of 33 inch waist jeans.. that I realized I was slimming down. Now I'm a 29/30 depending on who makes the pants, and while I still struggle with the remaining tummy jiggle, I know its days are numbered. The goal is a six pack by the time I'm thirty. (easier said then done, I still struggle with all the tasty foods-shoved at me by all my friends wo insist I've become too skinny ><)
    But I shall prevail!


    That's so awesome man.

    Yeah: family love you and are completely unreliable. My mom said she just wanted me to be happy, which apparently meant to her acting like being a giant whale was nothing at all to think about. I eventually told her, "Mom: you know what would make me happy? Not feeling a fat shockwave through my thighs if I run down a flight of stairs."
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    Dec 12, 2012 5:07 AM GMT
    Great job! I loved your 12/11 post. Can't wait to hear the rest of your story!
  • RaggedyMan

    Posts: 7185

    Dec 12, 2012 5:12 AM GMT
    i used to be 360lbs. i was over-weight, unhealthy, young, and depressed. I decided that i needed to change. I dont know what happened but i knew i had to change. I hope others read this and find some inspiration that i only found within me. Again, love it icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 12, 2012 5:13 AM GMT
    Inspirational - I can easily apply things to skinny guys - just change fat and flab to bones. Makes me want to create a blog for us skinny guys but I'm not the one who has any right to do so. icon_razz.gif
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    Dec 12, 2012 5:45 AM GMT
    That's a nice blog you got going there.

    I'm a former fat guy, but I wasn't a fat kid. There was no obesity epidemic when I was one, I remember maybe 1 or 2 "fat kids" in each class of 30 in grade school whereas today there might be...10 or more? My fat came later.

    There are pro bodybuilders who struggled with childhood obesity. This one, Evan Centopani, is pretty inspiring. From his old website:

    "As far back as my memory allows me to go, I can remember myself as being overweight. By the time I was in kindergarten I was already over 100 lbs. I was the fat kid. I was the biggest kid on any sports team I ever played. I was the kid in gym class who couldn’t run the mile, couldn’t do a pull-up, and hated getting changed in the locker room. I liked the beach and going to the pool but dreaded taking off my shirt. Pool parties with my friends were fun, but taking off my shirt in front of everyone embarrassed me. I had always been ashamed of my body. Adults would call me husky. They would say what a big boy I was or something but never hint at the fact that I was overweight. Older guys would tell me what a good football player I would someday make."

    315okds.jpg

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    I think he turned it around in his late teens - bitch has NO loose skin:

    2ypch89.jpg
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    Dec 12, 2012 7:01 AM GMT
    I was an overweight teen and remained so until I was 21. I have struggled with weight in my time. My father was a bully towards me as a child, so I had little self esteem. I was obese at 19, I lost about 100 pounds on my 21st year. Trained weights and loved it ever since. I do think that you are responsible for your actions. To my Father's surprise I participate in sport regularly now. Teenage weight problems are challenging to deal with! I was obese because I was depressed as a teenager. Fortunately life is so bright now. :-)

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    Dec 12, 2012 10:33 AM GMT
    Very well written. Thanks for sharing.
  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    Dec 12, 2012 11:02 AM GMT
    I love it! Great idea for your blog. I hope everyone gives it a chance and really hears your story.
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    Dec 12, 2012 11:32 AM GMT
    Love this. As a former fatty, I'll be an avid reader!
  • Machina

    Posts: 419

    Dec 12, 2012 12:45 PM GMT
    Fantastic blog Larkin! This will definitely inspire others as it shows them there is a way... that someone has fought the battle they are fighting and emerged victorious.

    Thank you for sharing something so personal and using it to help others help themselves.