How I Got Fat: A History

Update: Nearly a year after I posted this article, I’ve changed my life and undone most of the ‘fat’ you see here. I lost 67 lbs in 2012.

Me being goofy in high schoolLooking back, I don’t think I really got fat until I was in college, but I definitely began getting fat in high school. Up to my Junior year I played high school football and I was on the rowing team, these activities covered much of the school year and allowed me to stay in okay shape despite my never really pushing myself physically. Man did that exercise and sports boost my metabolism.

I can recall vividly after a football game I was starving and I was in the car with my parents as we drove home. I requested we drive through and get me some food. We stopped at a Wendy’s and I ordered not one, not two, but three chicken sandwiches. And fries. And a soda. Oof. High school metabolism why hast thou forsaken me!?

It was my Junior year when sports stopped being fun and I began to really discover how much I liked hanging out with friends or better yet, working and earning money. So I quit. But as far as I can remember, I still ate like I was an athlete.

Once I entered college I fell victim to the Freshmen 15. Even with a meal plan and its healthy meal options, downing endless sodas in an effort to burn the midnight oil, the sedentary life of a programmer, and a healthy dose of depression after getting black balled from a fraternity, and that quickly adds up to a fattened Patrick.

There was a period in my freshman year where I was trying to work out, I had a workout buddy named Neil who was a fit Indian/American who was focusing on bulking his thin frame. Our workouts lasted maybe a month before I fell off due to some school project. The long programming projects made for convenient excuses for that sort of thing. Also, it gave me license to eat horribly. Long night in the computer lab? Order pizza or wings! Chug sodas and partake in the life of a Computer Science student.

At an SCA event my sophomore year sporting my long hair lookOn through college that’s how I went. Convinced of immortality my health and fitness concerns were minimal. In my junior year I left GT and had a programming job. My life consisted of getting out of bed into my computer chair, driving to work just to sit in a chair and program, drive home to sit on the couch, and then crawling into bed. Any walking beyond this was purely incidental like fire drills or… yeah.

This is when I really packed on the pounds. Depressed over school stuff. Work was a low wage job but had growth potential. I would drive through McDonalds on the way to work, go drive through Checkers for lunch, and then come home and maybe have a healthy meal with roommates or go drive through somewhere on my own.

Then I decided to move back to Orlando. Family needed me and I was there. Once in Orlando I decided to lose the weight and I hit the gym, without a job or school I was having an easy time with making the gym my job. I was going two hours a day with cardio and weights and I stripped off probably 20-30 lbs. It felt good. I didn’t break the 300 lb mark though, I nudged up against it and then life kicked me in the teeth.

My mom died.

Me, my dad and my siblings celebrating mom’s life.

And my progress was completely derailed and I spiraled back into depression and eating poorly and since then I had packed on 60 lbs. I peaked at 360 lbs. Through sedentary jobs, omnipresent sodas and snack foods, and life in general I got fatter than I’d ever been before.

Fat with a food baby at my sister’s wedding

And that boys and girls, is my fat story. Next time, I’ll tell you all the times and ways I tried to stop being fat and what has finally started to work. (Hint: It requires work.)

Update: Nearly a year after I posted this article, I’ve changed my life and undone most of the ‘fat’ you see here. I lost 67 lbs in 2012.