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I've Become Skinny Fat :(

I just came to this realization and I need help, stat. I lack the distance at this point to be real objective about what I need to do.

I used to be just skinny. 5’9", between 125 and 135 lbs. I lived on alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes for a long time and looked like a spider monkey. After I quit all that mess, I went through almost 4 years as a very strict vegan.

In 2002, I said “to hell with it” (sick of being weak and farting like a funny car) and started eating meat again, along with training Brazilian jiu-jitsu and lifting weights on something beyond an “assing around” basis for the first time in my life. I quickly put on a decent amount of muscle and not very much fat. Looking good.

Then about 2004, I got pretty fucked up in the head. Stopped training BJJ or doing any kind of cardio. Kept lifting weights, started eating like shit, took handfuls of antidepressants. Got up to a strong-but-fat 215 lbs.

I wasn’t really happy or healthy at 5’9" and 215 lbs. I weaned myself off the antidepressants and cleaned up my diet a little. Once I went off the antidepressants, the weight melted off, along with a lot of muscle. Since January of 2005, I’ve gone from 215 lbs to what seems to be my set point of about 145 lbs. Definitely a change for the better from being fat, but probably not ideal.

I started skating again last summer and, predictably, fell off my board and goobered up my wrists, even though I know better than to catch myself on my wrists. Happens. So, I had to take a few months off lifting.

Now I can no longer escape the fact that even though I weigh 145 lbs and have a 29-30" waist, I look like shit with my shirt off. Shirt on? I look fine. Shirt off? I’ve developed a little potbelly and (shudder) the beginnings of moobs. I also have a slight double chin, even at this weight.

I’ve got to do something about this. This will not stand.

I understand that some of the problem is loose skin, exacerbated by the fact that I’ve catabolized a lot of muscle. But even at 145 lbs, I suspect my bodyfat is uncomfortably high.

My resources:
Bench
Trap bar (aka hex bar, shrug bar)
Olympic bars and dumbbells
Olympic and standard weights
Stationary bike
Power rack
Adequate funds for protein and other supplements to my diet.

I also have a homemade kettlebell, but because my wrists are still a little weak, I’m not comfortable doing ballistic exercises.

My constraints:

  • Need relatively short workouts centered around compound exercises, as I’m on call 24 hours a day on most days, and can’t block off more than about an hour at a time, counting warm-up/cool-down. I will make time to work out, but I can’t put in marathon strength training sessions.
  • I’m already ridiculously flexible so I’m not particularly worried about preserving or increasing flexibility. Least of my worries.
  • I’m not comfortable squatting without a competent spotter, and I work out alone, so I will be substituting trap bar deadlifts for squats.
  • I am not after significant hypertrophy. (boo hiss) I would be happy at my current weight, or maybe 5-10 lbs higher, I’m just looking to change my body composition for the better. I realize people don’t just accidentally “get huge,” but I do want to avoid having to go up a size, as I just spent a large amount of money (for me) on new business clothes. I’d rather add muscle very slowly while burning fat, as opposed to adding a lot of muscle and fat and then dieting down. I don’t think I could get huge if I wanted to.

I’m so far off-track now that I’m having trouble filtering out the static and figuring out what I need to be doing. I could use some advice on both routine and diet. I do not like the “skinny fat” look, as I like to preserve the option of running around public places naked should such a maneuver be called for.

Please help … my goals probably aren’t the same as a lot of folks here, as I’m not interested in “bodybuilding.” I like to skate and will probably start BJJ again at some point. But I don’t like looking like a fat pencilneck with my shirt off, either. I’d at least like to look like I’ve touched a weight.

Thanks in advance for your time!

IMO your over thinking it K.I.S.S.
keep it simple stupid

Pick a solid program here any that fit your schedule and be consistant any prgram just get abck in the habit of going qwroking out. maybe something like TBT by Chad Waterbury youll be in and out thye gym

diet again over thinking just eat good foods, get your protein and eat for your goals. Maybe take a look at the Seven Habits article by JB and try and stick to a bit of that. mainly if you just at good whole foods add a protein supp get used to that for the long haul yet again consistency

Most of all DO SOMETHING get to going less thinking more doing

Phill

Yeah, I agree.

No need for you to overcalculate anything with this. Be active. Youre not looking to get huge, dont worry about “wasting calories” by playing sports. Go out and have fun.

If I read your post correctly, youre looking to look a better than you do currently, be healthy, and be able to perform your best at your chosen sports (BJJ and skateboarding). Look at total body training. As far as diet, I follow this simple rule: if you cant picture your food going from being alive to being in the form it was when you get it at the store in 3 steps or less, dont eat it (whey is the exception).

Dont sacrifice your flexibility for anything. Work to maintain it, you will miss it greatly when its gone.

Eat clean and make an effort to be active every day. Youll be alright.

Not trying to thread hijack at all, but I’m pretty much in the same spot as you, from what it sounds like. I am around 6’ tall and weigh around 160 and even though you can tell I have some muscle mass (a HUGE difference from 2 years ago, I had no defination at all and weighed 185!) I look skinny with my shirt on, but when it’s off I have a bit of dunlap (belly dun lapped the belt!) on the lower portion of my stomach but my abs actually show up top. HOT-ROX has helped greatly with losing fat and gaining muscle, but the two combined is downright hard, especially without the help of a sound diet, training, and supplements IMHO. I suck at dieting, I wish somebody could tell me what to eat and when, then I could stick to a plan, I just suck at making one! (Is there anything like this out there that is easy and effective?)

Anyway, the point is, don’t give up. It took me 2 years to get to a halfway decent shape, I figure it’ll take a year more to get to my goals. It’s definately a slow process.

Guys
I’m too in the same situation.
I look “normal” with my cloths on but without,I’m totally flabby.

I am trying to gain muscle and lose the extra pounds, but it’s so hard.
I the last year (first year) I put on some lean mass and I my strenght increased a lot, but my belly and double chin never disappeared.

I admit I have a crappy diet. I eat mostly shit food, the only good thing I eat is whey proteins after the workouts.
Dieting is extemely hard for me.

Dieting is hard because it means breaking habits.

I’m terrible at breaking habits, but I’m also good at dunking myself so deep into something that it consumes me for a while, until it becomes a habit.

I’ll tell my story;

The summer of 2005 I did something like that… having lost about 20kg (45lb) doing the low carb thing around 3 years earlier, I was sick of looking ok with clothes on, but still having a gut and some moobs. I am 189cm, and at the time I weighed about 95kg, at my worst I think I was 111kg.

I then was pointed to some articles here, and I largely ignored the training stuff, but some of the nutrition ones really consumed me. All the low-carb nonsense finally came to some kind of point, it wasn’t so much about the low carb, as it was about the high protein.

For the next few months, I started running 3-4 per week, doing pushups, chinups (when I started I could do a whopping two chinups), sit-ups, I also got some dumbbells, and did some hammer curling (I didn’t even know what that exercise was called!), and for my diet, just focused on getting 200grams of protein per day, nothing else.

After about three months of this, something amazing happened, I suddenly had a chest, and biceps, and I was starting to actually get fit.

Now this was like the first step in fixing a shitty diet, sure I was still eating KFC, but pizza was usually out of the question, because I soon found out I wouldn’t have room for my 200g of protein if I wasted some meals on high-carb, high-fat stuff like pizza.

Now it’s 2007, and I’m still nowhere near where I would like, but following advice here, I’m more optimistic than ever about getting rid of the stubborn fat I managed to build up in 20 years of bad eating, and 8-9 years of almost no exercise. Right now I’m at the stage where most people think I am “slim” or “look good”, but I know what I want, and that’s to achieve a lean and muscular body which I thought I just didn’t have the genetics for.

Follow berardis 7 habits, focus on protein, split your fat intake into 33/33/33 between sat, mono unsat, and poly unsat, if possible (that just means go easy on sat fat stuff, and heavy on the unsat stuff).

Limit carbs to mornings and post workout.

Eat lots and lots of green vegetables with every meal.

Lift heavy.

Be patient.

(If the message was a bit lost, it was for those who have a hard time to break their bad diet habits; start with something simple, like aiming for your daily protein intake. Once you’ve gotten that part down, make another small change, like cutting the carbs to only mornings and post workout. After that, start watching the fat levels, and after that start focusing more on vegetables… or something, just focus on one simple thing at a time, and make it a new habit).

In my opinion, get back to the dojo ASAP. Sounds like BJJ might have given you some self-discipline and focus, no to mention camaraderie and support. OK, so I’m projecting, it gives these things to me and more. Wanting to improve at BJJ gets me into the gym on a regular basis as well, which in turn gives me reason to watch my diet (somewhat) closely.

try looking at beverly internationals diets.

Those are the only diets I see that put muscle and lose fat at the same time.

[quote]dhunter wrote:
In my opinion, get back to the dojo ASAP. Sounds like BJJ might have given you some self-discipline and focus, no to mention camaraderie and support. OK, so I’m projecting, it gives these things to me and more. Wanting to improve at BJJ gets me into the gym on a regular basis as well, which in turn gives me reason to watch my diet (somewhat) closely. [/quote]
I’ve been King of Excuses lately when it comes to BJJ. For a while, it wasn’t in the cards because I moved to a very rural town. Now I’m living about 15 minutes from a great gym, and I haven’t been able to train because I’m finishing up full-arm tattoo sleeves. Those should be done in a few months and I’ll be out of excuses not to train.

Until then, I’m kind of stuck lifting, skating, and playing basketball for exercise … raking a sweaty gi across fresh tattoos is not necessarily the recipe for health.

I do think you’re right that BJJ gave me focus, or at least someone to whip my ass and tell me when I was being a total pussy.

Eddie Bravo, is that you?

[quote]Goblin wrote:
I’ve been King of Excuses lately when it comes to BJJ. For a while, it wasn’t in the cards because I moved to a very rural town. Now I’m living about 15 minutes from a great gym, and I haven’t been able to train because I’m finishing up full-arm tattoo sleeves. Those should be done in a few months and I’ll be out of excuses not to train.

Until then, I’m kind of stuck lifting, skating, and playing basketball for exercise … raking a sweaty gi across fresh tattoos is not necessarily the recipe for health.

I do think you’re right that BJJ gave me focus, or at least someone to whip my ass and tell me when I was being a total pussy.[/quote]

I was training soon after getting a tat on my shoulder, but I’m sure a full sleeve would be too much of a risk to grapple with.

I always wear a rashguard under the gi, I had a nasty infection from mat burn once, and don’t want a repeat.

Do I see a common theme here?

Everyone that has posted complaining about a skinny fat body also has a shitty diet.

You aren’t going to get a lean muscular body if you don’t have any muscle. You aren’t going to get any muscle if you don’t eat and train right.

Not to sound like an ass, but everyone hides behind the ‘I don’t want to get too huge’ defense. If you put on some muscle, without adding a lot of fat, your body comp will drastically improve.

I’m not talking about 20lbs of muscle and 20lbs of fat here. If you can put on 10-15lbs of muscle and keep your fat gain to a minimum, you will notice a big change in your body. Then you can reduce your calories, and take off the fat. The simple addition of LBM will speed up your metabolism, which will make taking off the fat that much easier.

if you don’t want to back squat you can front squat (if your wrists will take it) or do overhead squats. then you just dump the weight if you can’t make the lift no big deal.

Sounds like a bunch of lazy asses who don’t want to do what they have to do to get where they want to be.

Either change it and do it, or go to Curves and complain to the housewives. Maybe they give a shit.

It’s not that simple!!
I am totally disciplinated when it come to workouts. I never miss one.

But eating is different,I don’t have the time to prepare 6 healthy meals.
So I eat bad food most of the times…

I’ll try to out train my shitty diet.

If you dont have the time during the day, cook it the night before. Pack bags of almonds, make sandwichs, take shakes with you.

Not having time is about the lamest excuse you can use.

Im glad you are “totally disciplinated”. Is that a fancy word for “not willing to do what it takes”?

No one is forcing shitty food down your throat. Be creative if you have to. I highly doubt you will ever be able to out-train bad dietary habits. There comes a point where the diet will stand in the way of the training. What will you do then?

[quote]Horazio wrote:
It’s not that simple!!
I am totally disciplinated when it come to workouts. I never miss one.

But eating is different,I don’t have the time to prepare 6 healthy meals.
So I eat bad food most of the times…

I’ll try to out train my shitty diet.[/quote]

Prepare 3 large healthy meals, divide them into 6 meals and put them in containers…or prepare your food the night before…or cook a bunch of chicken for the week on Sunday night and buy packages of premixed salad or frozen veggies. Use MRP’s if you don’t really have enough time to prepare.

There are lot’s of excuses. Lots of solutions too.

Garbage in…Garbage out.