About

Former Fat Boy is a place where I discuss 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.

7 thoughts on “About

  1. I’m a former collegiate athlete and a fitness junkie. Although I’m fit, my family is obese which creates an interesting tension/dynamic. I find your story totally compelling and I’m looking forward to following your journey. Your “before and after” pictures are so inspiring!

    – K.

  2. Larkin you are truly Amazing for sharing your story with the world! This is sure to help a lot of people that are struggling with weight issues. Also it will inspire someone to keep pushing to meet their weight loss goal.

  3. Larkin, this is an excellent blog. I always thought I was alone in the world since I was the only former obese kid that got fit. Life is completely different in my eyes then everyone else’s. It wasn’t until I started getting fit where I felt like I finally hit Puberty (this is a couple of months ago) which makes me feel like I’m developing later mentally.

    As I’m reading your blogs, I can relate to everything you’ve posted. I look forward to reading more!

  4. I can’t tell you what this kind of information would have meant to me a few years ago. I’m 57 and have been obese since age 5, so, like you said, I really don’t know anything else. I’ve been overweight all this time except for a brief period at age 22, when I first came out. Until recently I hadn’t been in a gym for 20 years, and I couldn’t even imagine the intimidation of a gym with mostly gay guys! But a program in Chicago called Bear Fit got me eating better and working out. I’ve lost 18 pounds in 8 weeks and have 52 or so more to go. I found an AWESOME trainer who is a great coach for me, and is able to modify my exercises as needed to adjust to my abilities and limitations. Losing weight is HARD and takes a lot more time and thought than I ever expected, but I don’t ever want to go back to the way I was.

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