T Nation

You're Fat! Wait...What?


Ok so when I went to college this past fall I was 203-204lbs decent bf%. Over the semester I bulked to 216 obviously with a higher bf% but nothin outrageous. My chest still stuck out farther than my stomach which IMO is anyways good.

Anyway when I got home nobody comment on my add size they just said "Yeah you're bigger but you also got fat". I tried explaining to my family how you add muscle and what a bulking phase is but they don't get it. No one sees the bigger picture or how I will look down the road. They are just concerned with the present. Now I feel all self conscious and my gains don't even seem all that great to me anymore. It just makes me want to go back to school and do my own thing sooner.

Has this happened to anyone else? Does your family or friends critise and focus on all the wrong things?


I don't want to offend your family, because I know people can be very protective, but I may. Here goes.

If your family doesn't understand it's one thing, but if you've explained to them and they "refuse" to understand then they're just being ignorant.

Remember, what you're doing you need to be doing for yourself, not for them. I know it's your family and it's hard to say, "Who cares what they think," but you need to. You need to ignore what they say, add some bulk and then when you cut you can go back and say, "See, this is what I was aiming for."

It's always satisfying to say, "I told you so," without having to say, "I told you so." :slight_smile:

Just remember why you're doing it and who you're doing it for. You're doing it for YOU and that is the only person who you should allow to effect your self-esteem.


You gained 10 lbs., of which the majority was fat. What did you expect them to say?

If you are comitted enough to your plan and have specific goals in mind then it shouldn't bother you. If as you say they don't understand, why would it even affect you?

It would be like vroom trying to change my mind.


No no I'm sorry I'm not making myself clear. I gained around 10 lbs probably 7 muscle 3 fat. It's just that they only focus on certain things.

This might help. since I was 6 I was a competitive swimmer so my family is used to seeing me with absolutely no fat. In college decided not to swim and focus on lifting. So any body fat to them is seen as "Wow you're fat".

However, I see what you're saying. Sometimes being surrounded by negativety can really bring you down. I guess I just needed a pick me up from people who might have gone this kind of thing before.


I get the same thing. One time I visited my family, and I was about 215lbs at about 12% BF, up from like 205 @ ~10% the last time they saw me, and I kept getting: "You're fat!"

One time I was visiting the family, and I was at about 210lbs @ 7-8%. The last time my sister-in-law had seen me I was about 195, and she says: "You got fat!". I pulled off my shirt so she could see my 6-pack and she goes: "Oh!" Unbelieveable.


I get similar treatment from my family too. Ive only been lifting for about 7-8 months now but Ive realised that you have to stick at it whatever people think or whatever obstacles are put in your way. When I get the body I want I'll look back and know that I've accomplished what I set out to do and done it on my own. Then again Ive been listening to Heavy Metal since I was 10 so Im well versed in ignoring complaints from family members.
Just maintain complete focus on your intents and it'll be all the more worthwhile. Oh and next time they ask you to lift heavy furniture just say "But I cant, Im too fat!"

Good luck.


Yea, I get the same shit from my father, who also says that he's walked enough in his life and doesn't need exercise, and feels it's easy to lose weight; just eat less...

He told me a while back how he thinks I looked a lot better back when I used to wrestle (I was wrestling at 155 and didn't have to cut weight because I was usually under by at least 5 pounds). I told him, well, that's not what I'm going for right now, and he interrupted me with a "yea, I know it's not what you're going for..."

He also warned me that I'm going to ruin my kidneys because I eat too much protein, and that's after I've shown him some fairly recent studies showing other wise, and he keeps referring me to a page on webmd that is referenced with material from the early 80's.

I stopped trying to convince him a while ago. We just agree to disagree.


Oh, my uncle (on my mother's side) on the other hand, once saw me when I had stopped working out for over a year, lost a lot of muscle and gained a lot of fat, and he asked me if I'm getting fat or if I'm just bulking.

At least he gave me the benefit of the doubt, and he's been into lifting since he was young. He even gave me his old weight belt with "300+" written on it from when he passed 300 on the bench.


It's good to hear that other people have gotten this kind of treatment. I mean it's not good but you know what I mean. Anyway thanks for the replys and I hope none of you guys let it bring ya down like I did. Damn my moment of weakness.


If everyone thinks you look fatter you probably did not gain 7 pounds of muscle and 3 pounds of fat.


I'm sorry my original post is very misleading. I guess a raise in bf % was not right to say. I gained about ten lbs while maintaining the same bf % or maybe up 1 point or so. I am by no means fat. I was 216 with about 10-12%bf. This isn't much but is considerably higher than what it was in high school.

And when I said people at home I meant my family. My friends from high school all think I do look bigger. However, what my family says tends to stick with me more.

Sorry for the confusion.


Still you have a very valid point. But I don't think even if I had gained all fat that I would be what you would call "fat". It just stinks that the people closest to you are the ones that can't encourage you.


People often comment on me as well, but its not as simple as 'you look thinner/heavier'. I've found that what you wear can obviously effect perceptions.

Just last week I got 3 comments I look thinner, when I'm actually 7 pounds to 237 (6'1, about 12-13% b/f nat).

Then theres times when I'm cutting down and I seem to have gained weight according to people.

Bottom line, firstly who cares what they think or know, this isn't about them

Secondly, noone can tell accurately if you've gained or lost fat other then yourself. If you need to convince yourself you've lost weight when you really havent, then you have some issues. Just be honest and plan for long trm


Unfortunately you have to be like a horse with blinders on. This applies to all areas where you're attempting something unusual and great.


Were you the only member of your family to go to post-secondary school? Any chance that here is some undercurrent of resentment because of your acomplishments in life? What sort of "shape" are the other members of your family in?

Any or all of these could be the true reason for there response to your weightgain. Depending on the kind of people your family consists of, they may be mad simply because you are able to set personal goals and actually achieve them.


Just make sure you know what you are doing and keep plugging away.

Many people go to college and come back fatter. They think they are trying to help you out.

Merry Christmas.