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.