T Nation

How I Got Fat


Dec 20th - Awesome. Christmas is coming. It will be great to take a few days off from training and dieting. Just what my body needs right now.

Dec 26th - At my parents' home. Third day of pigging out. These cheat days are great psychologically. Also, didn't Chris Shugart write a column titled "Life expanding or life limiting a while back?". I wouldn't want to disappoint my Mum by insisting on my "lifestyle" during such family gatherings.

Dec 27th - Breakfast. Still at parents home. No whey. No oatmeal. Hey, Mom's chocolate-walnut cookies! Walnuts are great. Good fats. Hmm... Am I getting enough protein? I'll drink this gallon of milk with cookies just in case.

Dec 29th - Still snowing. I don't want to drag my ass to the gym right now. After all, all famous strength coaches advocate taking a week off.

Dec 30th - Whoaa! This oatmeal-chocolate cookies my girlfriend made are awesome! I ran out of whey so I just have to make with milk. "Squats and milk", as the oldtimers said.

Jan 2nd - New Year's eve has passed. I'll definitely hit the weights tomorrow. I'm slightly worried about my caloric intake, but then remembered the G-flux concept. I spent the holidays constantly having sex with my gf, so I should be ok. I'll do some pushups and squats before bed, just to make sure.

Jan 7th - Ski week! The sun, the slopes, the snow... but I must ensure adequate caloric intake because I'm skiing 7-8 hours a day. I wouldn't want to lose any hard earned muscle mass, would I? Fortunately I'm in France. And you cannot ignore the local cuisine, right? These brioches are awesome! Also, I found some great oatmeal with chocolate chips and blueberries. Fiber, antioxidants - and chocolate! Ate three bowls today.

Jan 15th - back in the gym. Feeling stronger than ever. 5x5 compound lifts and eating like a horse. I almost forgot how putting on mass can be fun. Yeah, I guess I'm on a mass cycle. Somehow I can start the ascent from the squat position easier. Calipers are for whimps. I flexed in front of the mirror after training - still no visible fat gain. I just look a little bit softer, but that's water retention.

Jan 26th - my brother's back from Afghanistan. Went out and had a few drinks. Okay, got drunk as fuck. That's great. I remember reading about Bulgarian weightlifters drinking alcohol to help them unwind after neurologically taxing lifting sessions. And that's what I'm doing right now. It' great I took a break from grappling for a month. I can concentrate on weights are really push myself to finally break some milestones on the 3 main lifts.

Feb 2nd - Strange. I feel bloated. Maybe I loaded myself with carbs yesterday? And I feel somewhat strange around my midsection. Like I have something there. Let's just look in the mirror... HOLY FUCK I'M FAT!!!!!!!

As someone with 18 years of lifting experience I just wanted to share this little cautionary tale of mine in a journal format to show that the wealth of information we have acquired can be misused.

While I was fooling myself that I was eating and lifting "right" my calories skyrocketed. And I spent more time reading training articles and devising new routines than actually lifting in the gym.


Classic example of talking yourself into bad habits and making excuses to make yourself feel better.

You got what you deserve.


Hilarious! One of the best posts I've seen here in awhile.


Good post

I've done this to myself before. It is amazing how much damage you can do in such a short time. And equally depressing how long it takes to reverse the damage...


Shug's is going to get on here and yell I told you so! lol

Yeah, it's not hard at all to fuck yourself over during the holidays. Fortunately, this year I didn't do so bad.

Glad to hear your brother made it home, too.



Puts getting doughy over the Holidays into perspective.



it is amazing what the mind will come up with to rationalize.


Lol, when I was in Grad school, before the 'fitness boom' (no protein bars availale at every corner drug store), I'd grab dinner at the magazine store in Penn Station. Usually beef jerky and a snickers bar (snickers have peanuts,.. peanuts are protein!)

You can justify anything if you're creative,.... or desperate enough!



That sounds like my Christmas. Except the damage started at Thanksgiving when I had my in-laws in town for a week. (Having in-laws staying with you for a week = a lot of drinking).

Then there were 5 Christmas parties. Wife's birthday party, wife's birthday dinner, New Year's Eve. Oh yeah, my wife baked probably 6 batches of cookies.

Plus exercise went to cutting out weightlifting, then cutting out cardio and finally only participating in 12 oz. curls.

Took me 6 weeks to put on a solid 14 pound of fat. Every pair of pants was tight, shirts were getting stretched out. When I went back to the gym I had even managed to lose reps/weight on lifts, could barely finish running 3 miles, and generally felt like crap.

Was a total wake up moment for me. I've actually made some huge changes in my diet and exercise attitude after waking up from becoming a fat bastard.


Same story with me. Was trying to bulk clean but wasn't make any gains. So I justified having chocolate milk with my breakfast, eating Chicken Parm Dinners, and Pizza. If I craved a boston creme donut, I went for it. Didn't really get much stronger but definitely got fatter. This was after making good progress and really being strict about my diet for a solid 6 months.

I used the Omron and caliper to measure the non-progress. This is at 6 ft tall.

12/4/08 194 lbs 15% bf 29lbs fat 165lbs muscle
2/10/08 204 lbs 17.5% bf 36lbs fat 168lbs muscle

And now I'm definitely alot softer at the waist and don't look like I gained any more muscle. I'd love to blame the holidays but that'd be pointless. I'm correcting the diet this week.