How to Build a Fat Body (For Slim People Only)

 “Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.”
– Lord Byron

Today, I am going to teach you how to build a fat body:

1. Eat whatever you want and in any quantity. Eat until your gut bulges. Dump a load of greasy snacks down your gullet, especially close to bedtime so that the middle of the night morphs into a cauldron of acid indigestion and acid reflux. What fun!
2. Skip meals. Better yet, starve all day, and eat only one large meal a day, and that should be at night, the later the better, lasting until you hit the sheets. Be sure to add some sweet and salty snacks to your food dump.
3. Never exercise. Walk only when you must, for example, shuffling to the fridge or waddling from your car to your favorite fast food place. Better yet, use the drive-through.
4. Make sure that you’re sleep deprived. Four hours a night is quite enough, but I’m sure that you could function with a lot less. Soldier on! Man up!
5. Eat nothing but junk food. The higher the fat content, the better. Don’t even go near a carrot or celery stick.
6. Work, work, work, and never play. Stay connected 20/7 to your technology. Okay, you can take snack and pee breaks, but chop! chop! No time to lose! In extreme circumstances, keep your snack cache within reach of your computer and consider adult diapers as a viable option.
7. After packing on 50 pounds, panic and then go on a starvation diet, the more extreme, the better.
8. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
9. After each yo-yo diet, watch your weight go up even more dramatically. Way to go!
10. Get frustrated and, finally, just give up on yourself...

Hey, wait a minute...
Got your attention, didn’t I?
Shouldn’t I be showing you “How to Build a Slim Body”?
Yes. I should, that is, if I were writing this post for dieters trying to lose weight.
However, this advice is for slim people, whether you are newly slim or have been slim all your life.
Okay, it’s for dieters as well, because many of you will reach goal weight, so you might as well read this now.
So why would a fat person offer snarky diet “advice” to slim people?
Good question.
Here’s my answer: I’m an experienced dieter, a serial dieter. My diet journey began in 1959, when I, a natural fatty, was eight.
I’m not claiming I’m a successful dieter, but I do offer 60 years of experience and hard knocks – that should count for something.
I know all the pitfalls and diet traps.
Conversely, when naturally slim people hit middle age, they often start packing on the pounds, some folks even growing obese. I have observed this phenomenon in the media and real life; it’s likely that you have observed this as well.
Also, newly-slim people (former fatties) often fall off the maintenance wagon within a year, sometimes within weeks of reaching goal –
I’ve been there.
Several times.
Sometimes, the weight gain is miniscule, but often it is dramatic, like 100 pounds in two years.
Slim people who have never had to watch their weight often feel helpless when their weight begins creeping upward – even if they haven’t upped their daily calories…
It’s likely that your weight creep has been caused by increased calorie intake – our culture has become shockingly food-centric. You can’t go anywhere without someone shoving a treat in your face.
It’s not your fault.
Besides, the gain is barely noticeable – at least at first.
Then, one day, you wake up and realize you are fat, one of us!
You have never dieted before.
It’s an alien concept. A foreign language of calories, carbs, fats, sugars, food scales, measuring cups and spoons, and bathroom scales.
Welcome to my world of weights and measurements.
Unlike us natural fatties, you have no idea what to do about it, so you try all the typical extreme measures that we fatties tried when we were 13 and still stupid: starvation, skipping meals, fad diets, fasting, etc., etc.
If this is you, don’t do it.
Just skip to sensible 101.
My new advice: “How to Cultivate a Slimmer Body”:

1. Eat anything you want, but just not everything. Eat until you are 80% full and wait 20 minutes – still a work-in-progress for me.
2. Never skip meals. Eat three squares a day and two snacks. By keeping your body nourished all day, you are less likely to snack all night – still a work-in-progress for me.
3. Exercise regularly, 3 to 5 times a week, 30 minutes a day. What exercise you choose is up to you – still a work-in-progress for me (although I’m improving).
4. Get 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Well-rested people tend to be and remain slimmer – still a work-in-progress for me.
5. Eat less junk food and more whole foods: low saturated fat, low sugar, lower carbs, and higher lean protein – still a work-in-progress for me.
6. More play, play, play and less work. More connection with flesh and blood friends and family, and less connection to Facebook, your smartphone, and the internet – still a work-in-progress for me.
7. If you notice a few pounds creeping on, don’t panic; instead, get serious by developing a sensible lifelong food plan that allows for some wiggle room (treats!) and slow weight loss. Besides, if you catch your weight gain early enough, you won’t have that much to lose – still a work-in-progress for me.
8. After reaching goal weight, continue monitoring your weight. If you gain more than 5 pounds: wash, rinse, and repeat #1-7 – still a work-in-progress for me.
9. If you follow #1-8, your weight will never go up more than 5 pounds, and that is dramatic! – still a work-in-progress for me.
10. Even when you feel frustrated with your efforts (and go off the wagon in a spectacular way), never give up on yourself – still a work-in-progress for me.

Okay, I’m a weight-management hypocrite.
So sue me.
I’ll never stop trying.
Keep on truckin’, my cyber friends.


(Another version of this essay was originally written on 11 April 2011, when I was feeling especially smug and preachy.)


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