Everything I've experienced just reinforces what I initially was just assuming and theorizing.
Yes, if your goal is to be BIG and you are a skinny kid with a fast metabolism (assuming you actually have the genetics for this), thinking you can slow gain your way there probably won't get you to that goal. My goal was to be really big, not just slightly bigger than the average person.
I think there were many times I gained too much body fat but those were also times I learned what my limits were and just how much I can tolerate. 290lbs was just too much extra weight for me but I seriously doubt I would be at this point now had I not taken the route I did.
Also, many of my decisions for bulking up came directly from the results I was getting. I was lactose intolerant but needed more calories than average to really gain any weight...and I had a small appetite. That is NOT the person to go to and expect to eat 6,000cals of chicken breasts without puking. I relied on foods that were more calorically dense just to get that much down. It was just easier and overall more enjoyable to eat the way I did early on especially considering the other educational goals I had.
I have options now and am using a protein supplement that apparently works with my body way better than whey ever did so I can eat differently (less overall calories) and still make progress.
Bottom line, I made mistakes...a bunch of them...and learned from all of them.
No, I have never recommended anyone else carry even as much as I have in the past. I knew I had a fast metabolism. The only thing keeping me from losing more body fat before was my desire to gain more muscle mass, which I did.
Like I've said, no one should be bulking up big past their mid 30's just due to health issues....so hit it hard and build that mass quickly in that 20 year age range. You won't get that chance back again...and I see way too many guys in their 40's who wish they hadn't missed that opportunity.