How to Get Fat in Four Delicious Steps

12.22.2008 | 3:11 am

A Note from Fatty: Tomorrow I’ll be drawing the winner for the Photoshop raffle. Every $5.00 you donate at Bob’s LiveStrong Fundraising page earns you a chance at winning this $700 software (Mac or PC — you decide). Click here to donate now.

This morning, I stepped on the scale for the first time in about a month. It confirmed what I suspected, based on the suspicious fact that my fat pants are beginning to feel a little tight.

I currently weigh 181.2 (pounds, not kilograms, but the winter is young).

And so the question (and followup statement) you almost certainly have on your mind is, “Fatty, how did you do it? I want to know so I can know what it’s like to gain 33 pounds in a year.”

Well, here are the techniques I’ve been using. Try them yourself; I think you’ll find them remarkably effective.

1. Prepare Food For Finicky Twins.

My twins eat approximately 3 different foods. Cereal, yogurt, and peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. And the problem is, Susan used to prepare their sandwiches. This may not seem like a problem until you realize that Susan does everything with a little extra motherly love. Which, in this case, means that she cut the crusts off the sandwiches.

You still don’t see the problem, do you?

Well, the first part of the problem is that I now have to cut the crusts off two sandwiches at least once per day, or I’ll be scolded by two very disappointed little girls. But that’s not the real problem.

The real problem is that after cutting the crusts off two peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches, I’m left with…the crusts of two peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. And — unlike my twins — I have no problem with eating the crusts of sandwiches.

Here’s an interesting fact you may want to share with friends at your office holiday party: eating the crusts of two peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches is almost exactly the same as eating a whole peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, calorie-wise. However, somehow — dark magic, I believe — eating those crusts somehow doesn’t feel like you have eaten a sandwich.

It’s very easy, in fact, to persuade yourself that you’ve just eaten a couple of bread crusts, as if those crusts weren’t being held together by the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of sandwich spreads.

2. Prepare Food For A Light Eater.

Susan doesn’t eat much these days. A piece of toast for breakfast, a couple bites of something for lunch, and another couple bites of something else for dinner.

The truth is, she mostly lives on Gatorade right now. She likes the “Rain” flavors. On the plus side, that means I get to keep all the Diet Coke to myself.

The thing is, though, I can’t help myself: I prepare her meals as if she were going to eat exactly the same amount I am. ‘Cuz, you know, if it turns out that this time she’s hungry, I want her to have as much as she wants.

Of course, she never is. And that food’s gotta go somewhere.

And — miraculously — I somehow have a little extra room for her leftovers. Because, you know, I wouldn’t want that good food to go to waste.

And, if I’m going to be honest with myself, it’s a lot easier to eat the leftovers than to try to find a matching tupperware container and lid.

3. Have Generous Neighbors.

I have a story problem for you. Suppose you have finicky kids and a wife who eats hardly anything. And then further consider having really generous neighbors who want to help — and who know that preparing and delivering meals is an easy way to help.

You know what this adds up to? It adds up to a lot of casseroles with an audience of one.

And here’s another thing to factor into this equation: I love starchy, cheesy casseroles with rich sauces. I can’t get enough of them.

And you know what? They reheat easily, even in the middle of the night, which is when the stress-grazing impulse is strongest.

4. Stop Exercising.

Here’s an amazing fact that will surprise you: If you stop exercising, you’ll lose fitness and gain weight.

I know. Weird.

An interesting corollary to this fact is that if you stop exercising and then don’t re-start for a few weeks, you’ll discover new and exciting reasons not to exercise.

Also, you will find that a short-term stall tactic can also work as a long-term stall tactic. For example, for each day during the past three weeks, I have promised myself that I would punch the reset button and start exercising again the following day.

And I mean it, too. Each day, I mean it just as much as the previous day.

This Has Got To Stop

So, since I am now a virtual Clydesdale (there’s a little known rule that for each inch under 6′, your Clydesdale weight is five pounds less than 200 pounds, making my Clydesdale weight 175 lbs), I’d like to rectify the situation.

Here’s my 3-point plan:

  1. Eat reasonably. I’m going to start eating the right amount, and I’m not going to eat the entire family’s leftovers anymore.
  2. Exercise. I just bought seasons 1-5 of The Shield on eBay. I’m going to ride the rollers for two episodes per day.
  3. Irresponsible betting. I need an incentive to lose enough weight that I won’t damage the bike frame when Spring rolls around. I figure there are a few others out there who also need similar incentives.

And tomorrow, I’m going to roll out the plan.


  1. Comment by jwbikes | 12.22.2008 | 3:33 pm

    Good luck with that plan. If I put all of my post Thanksgiving / Pre-New Year plans in a book it would be the size of War and Peace. Which by the way is about how large I am anyway. My rollers cry when they see me coming.

    WIN Susan

  2. Comment by allan | 12.22.2008 | 3:38 pm

    The Shield rocks for trainer workouts. A really good show.

    WIN Susan

  3. Comment by Sprite's Keeper | 12.22.2008 | 3:44 pm

    I hope it works out for you. I’ve been dieting for almost a year now, and for the last 3 months I haven’t seen the scale go down. It hasn’t gone up either, but I’m still stuck. Maybe if I invest in The Shield, that will help?
    WIN Susan

  4. Comment by kiwi | 12.22.2008 | 3:52 pm

    182 days to summer!
    Win Susan

  5. Comment by dug | 12.22.2008 | 4:00 pm

    i like you when you’re fat. i’m bringing over a casserole.

  6. Comment by Karl | 12.22.2008 | 4:04 pm

    It’s all very well to have a plan, but nothing motivates like having photos.

    WIN Susan

  7. Comment by Mike P | 12.22.2008 | 4:23 pm

    Good luck getting back on that bike. I dislike, no… hate, no… LOATHE riding the trainer. Still, I keep telling myself I am going to start my winter fitness earlier this year to be in even better shape when next season gets here. Last year I started January 1st. This year, I WAS going to start November 1. Then, I was going to start November 15. Then I was going to start December 1, earlier today I said I might start tonight. But wait! I have to go finish Christmas shopping with my wife tonight. Maybe tomorrow… we’ll see, there’s that snowstorm coming and I might have to plow snow. Why is it so hard to just go get on the bike that has been neatly mounted to the trainer for 2 months now? It’s not that hard or that time consuming, but some invisible force field of procrastination keeps me from getting there. Maybe you can be my motivation to get there. If you can do it with all that you have going on in your life, I really have no good excuse.

  8. Comment by mike | 12.22.2008 | 4:23 pm

    competitive weight loss with money on the line? count me in, my clydesdale days are numbered.

  9. Comment by Jaime O. | 12.22.2008 | 4:24 pm

    You know what got me to thinking…my cousin’s picture. Now see, I know IIII need to lose weight, but to see her weight gain was enough to make me feel really bad about myself. I mean…seriously…she used to be bony. Now she’s fat and porky. As a woman, seeing someone else get fat doesn’t always make you feel better about yourself, sometimes it makes you feel worse. I, too, enjoy the kind of luscious casseroles you described. And I’m pretty sure that’s all my once-bony cousin eats now. Luscious, cheesy, rich casseroles.

  10. Comment by Formerly Bent022 | 12.22.2008 | 4:35 pm

    Wow, I weigh less than The Fat Cyclist! Uhhmmm I think I now have my motivation to get back to losing weight; I just have to match you pound for pound so I stay lighter than you. I have a feeling it will not be as easy as it sounds.

  11. Comment by bikemike | 12.22.2008 | 4:46 pm

    if you haven’t seen “The Wire” yet, get it. quite possibly the best written show EVER on t.v. oh,yeah, i said it. the BEST. you’ll not be able to watch just two and walk away, i promise.

    Merry Christmas to everyone. Most especially to you Elden, and your family. God bless you all.

  12. Comment by jwm | 12.22.2008 | 5:04 pm

    Fatty, my goal weight is above 181. I don’t think you’re going to break your frame. Fight the good fight.

  13. Comment by dkirkavitch | 12.22.2008 | 5:04 pm

    How many Bs this year?

    Win Susan!

  14. Comment by kentucky joe | 12.22.2008 | 5:11 pm

    can’t wait to see the plan….I am actually setting up the bike on rollers tonight…too cold to run or ride (and yes I am a big baby when compared to Jill up in Alaska) so bring on the challenge! BTW, got my FC cycling cap in what appears to be a record time even for Twin Six and it absolutely rocks…

  15. Comment by Philly Jen | 12.22.2008 | 5:15 pm

    Ah, Nutella, the Blake Fielder-Civil of condiments.

    I’m looking forward to your plan, Big Man, but if it involves forswearing Nutella, I must say “No, no, no!”

    ♥WIN♥ Susan

  16. Comment by M2 | 12.22.2008 | 5:20 pm

    I don’t know if you have a Trader Joe’s in Alpine, but if you do, I’m recommending the Peppermint Joe Joe’s. They’re like an Oreo, but the white frosting has peppermint pieces from candy canes in it. They are the bomb! Yeah, I know… I’m not helping.


  17. Comment by GenghisKhan | 12.22.2008 | 5:33 pm

    Good luck in the battle of the bulge! I’m following in your increasingly deep foot steps due to problem number four (no exercise) and different problem–pregnant wife who likes fruit and vegetables a lot less these days! Sigh. Oh, a third problem–no self control and plenty of holiday treats everywhere. Hmmm, I guess that’s four problems. Oh, well. Can’t wait to see what you roll out tomorrow!

    Peace to all and Happy Holidays (including, but not limited to: Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Winter Festival and, of course–FESTIVUS!)

  18. Comment by Aaron | 12.22.2008 | 6:04 pm

    Just so happens that I need to lose some holiday pounds. And I need some motivation to lose some weight so I don’t break my new carbon SS, due to arrive next month. I am so in on your little competition!!

  19. Comment by rexinsea | 12.22.2008 | 6:29 pm

    Shunned kids foods and uneaten foods are the worst culprits. They sneak up and get you to eat them without you ever noticing. I finally had to make a rule that I only eat my food >> not my kids’ leftovers or rejected food and not food (even really good BBQ) from my wife’s plate. It’s hard for a cheapskate like me to throw away perfectly good food. But it does help. Good luck and Happy Holidays!

  20. Comment by aussie kev | 12.22.2008 | 6:34 pm

    i am not a virtual Clydesdale i am an actual one – it sucks – racing is so hard – i get flogged every week – by kids which is even more humiliating !!!!

    i started my lose ten kilo’s campaign yesterday – i AM going to have an awesome track season next year.

    win susan


  21. Comment by Don | 12.22.2008 | 6:59 pm

    First off I have to call you out on “corollary”… I’m not even sure you used it correctly, but am going to assume you meant it as “support” ie: in it’s adjective form rather than as a noun.

    Secondly, I am going to call myself out for knowing what the h-e double hockey sticks corollary means.

    Third of all I am going to ask a question that I am sure you have answered, and that I don’t know the answer to off the top of my head. If I knew the answer I would say you should be extremely worried that I might be stalking you or something, but alas I do not, and you should not worry. Simple math would say every inch under 6′ means 5 pounds under 200. So I will assume you are 5′7″?! I say this because I am just shy of 5′10″. So at 5′9″ (just for argument sake) I would no longer be a Clydesdale since I am (OK, BARELY) under 185#?! Right?

    Finally, I AM a betting man. I cannot wait for I will partake in any and all bets (within reason, and taking into account that [one] the economy sucks and [two] because of this I have achieved a new level of ‘poor’. Again, not bad enough that I’d pass up the right bet though!

  22. Comment by UltraRob | 12.22.2008 | 7:06 pm

    I’m 5′ 7″ and I don’t need to do any math to make myself a Clydesdale. All I have to do is step on the scales and take the number. In fact I was a Clydesdale when I finished the Leadville 100 this year. It actually was more fun than when I was lighter and faster. That’s because fast wasn’t an option so I just enjoyed the ride. So what if I was over 3 hours slower than my best time.

  23. Comment by Dobovedo | 12.22.2008 | 7:22 pm

    I’m in for the bet, even before I know what it is. Unlike Fatty, I don’t much care about incentives. I usually play these kinds of games to lose. As long as I can lose in a ridiculously silly way that makes for good stories on my own blog.

    I knew I liked Susan. The ‘Rain’ flavors are the best!

  24. Comment by wing-nut | 12.22.2008 | 7:24 pm

    Elden, I didn’t know we are practically the same size. Now I will follow your weight gain/loss with greater interest. If you struggle I will have a friend in the trenches with me. I you are succesful, well then I will vicariously enjoy “our” victory with you….and eat the rest of my Christmas fudge to celebrate.
    As far as leftovers, get a big dog. I know it may not be the healthiest diet for the dog, but it isn’t for you either. If my dog can eat litter coated cat turds and drink out of toilet without getting sick, I figure he can stomach just about anything.

    My problem isn’t picky kids or a wife who can’t eat as much she needs to. It is the problem of what to do with the remainder of that mayonaise packet once I make my sandwich at work. Or the other one or two I stashed in my lunch, just in case I found another sandwich in need of some flavor.

  25. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 12.22.2008 | 7:39 pm

    I really only have two steps:
    1) Teach middle school during the holidays. You’ll receive more chocolate/candy than could choke a horse
    2) Live where it snows so you have a valid excuse for not riding. That Jill girl is clearly faking all her riding for the sake of a pretty blog.

  26. Comment by Rick S. | 12.22.2008 | 8:28 pm

    You’ll want that extra fat layer for the Squaw Peak ride next month.

  27. Comment by Kathy | 12.22.2008 | 8:35 pm

    Clydsedale sounds so much better than fat cow, which is what I look like. I’m in.

  28. Comment by KT | 12.22.2008 | 9:16 pm

    MikeP, I so agree with you. There stands my bike, set up on the trainer, ready to go. And here I sit, in my nice comfy chair, with my back to the bike– facing the TV, natch. Snackie snacks at hand.

    I’m trying, I really am… but for all I had told myself that I would start the year by being in shape, here we are with a week to go to next year and I am procrastinating on that whole “staying in shape”– heck with that, how about “getting in shape”! :)

    You go on with your bad self, Fats– Maybe it’ll motivate me, too.

  29. Comment by Susan | 12.23.2008 | 2:07 am

    I’m with Kathy – I’m way past Clydesdale, which actually sounds pretty good to me!! Put me down as one of those fat cows or a big ‘ol sow. (And while you’re at it, I sure could use a Spotted Cow ale!) I’m trying, really, I am.

    I don’t mean to be all serious here, now, but the exercise doesn’t only help the physical fitness – it also helps with all that mental stress, which also adds the pounds on. Which I’m sure you know, but it’s easy to overlook. Can you ride in the winter?? (Not here – especially this year!!)

  30. Comment by buckythedonkey | 12.23.2008 | 4:37 am

    Merry Christmas everybody and…

    …WIN SUSAN!!

  31. Comment by neca | 12.23.2008 | 6:43 am

    I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you & Susan & the kids. I hope your family has a wonderful Christmas.

  32. Comment by Mike Roadie | 12.23.2008 | 6:49 am

    Whoa, pal…..number 4 just floors me! Is that where my problem lies??? Who would’ve known????

    Can’t wait to see the bet………

    Portion control is what it is ALL about. Master eating the right foods at the right time in the right portions without being hungry all the time, and you will WIN!

    Last note… wishes for the holidays to all FCers worldwide. Thanks again to all for getting behind me, Brad, Steve and of course Elden for the LiveStrong Team.

    Join us in 2009!!!

  33. Comment by Andrea | 12.23.2008 | 6:52 am

    I’m in. I actually started my process of “stopping the madness” about two weeks ago (how’s that for timing?), but I’m sure I’m going to need something to keep me motivated.

  34. Comment by Big Boned | 12.23.2008 | 7:13 am

    Rolling out a weight loss plan on the 23rd of December is strictly forbidden by the Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Koran, and your own Mission Statement. If it’s not, it should be!
    You keep that plan under wraps until at least the 26th or I’m going to encourage everyone in “Fattyland” to send you some cookies to sabatoge your “jumping gun” on a New Years Resolution.
    Big Boned
    P.S. Friends of Fatty: Better go buy some butter, chocolate and sugar – I think he’s really going to do it!

  35. Comment by Rob | 12.23.2008 | 8:22 am

    Elden…you think you have a Tupperware problem? Try being married to a Tupperware consultant. We own a minimum of 2 of every piece of Tupperware made in the past 15 years. And all the covers are different.

    Merry Christmas, Nelson family.

  36. Comment by snobound | 12.23.2008 | 9:28 am

    Ahhh, tis the season of feasting and reflection – of resolutions and good intentions. We’ve been having the same kinds of discussions around our house too. It seems we’ve “pulled the ripcord” as it were! I was shocked that my scales actually registered such numbers! I’m going to have to send a very strongly worded memo to the manufacturers….

  37. Comment by moabmedic | 12.23.2008 | 10:07 am

    I know how you feel. I lost 20+ pounds training for LOTOJA over the summer. The race was in sept. and I have gained almost all of it back.

    win susan

  38. Comment by MattyDC | 12.23.2008 | 10:07 am

    The best part about setting up a weight loss program around the holidays is that it is assumed that you will write off the rest of the year. What is the point of starting a diet/workout regime on 24 December, right? RIGHT?!?!? Personally, I’ve written off the rest of this year and have 2 Jan 09 circled on my calendar. The good news for my body is that that is only about nine days away. The bad news for my bodys is that I wrote off the year around December 3!

    Happy Holidays to all!

    WIN Susan!

  39. Comment by Bonzai Buckaroo | 12.23.2008 | 10:14 am

    An alternative to your bread crust problem is to cut them into 1″ to 1/2″ pieces and toast them in a toaster oven or a regular oven on a cookie sheet. You will have a crunchy snack for later. Your twins may even like them if you don’t tell them what it is.

  40. Comment by Tinker | 12.23.2008 | 10:19 am

    And if you are, in fact, exactly 6 feet? What is your clydesdale weight then? I hope its some where on the high side of 220 pounds, since I weigh 325.

    And of course, if you are over 6 ft?

  41. Comment by Charisa | 12.23.2008 | 10:49 am

    Oh I always love it when a good plan comes together!

  42. Comment by Jouni | 12.23.2008 | 10:49 am

    168 to 181.7 in 12 months.

    Time to dust off my rollers and buy the Sopranos series box set.

  43. Comment by KanyonKris | 12.23.2008 | 11:07 am

    You can only watch The Shield while training.

    Perhaps this was implicit in your plan. Either way, make this a deal with yourself. Should help.

  44. Comment by Miles Archer | 12.23.2008 | 11:16 am

    I hear you brother. And I have no good excuses.

  45. Comment by fuzzy | 12.23.2008 | 11:28 am

    Fatters- The Shield rocks! Got the theme tune as my ring tone.

    I don’t know what weight I’ve accumulated over the last year, but going from a job where I rode my bike at least 20 miles a day, including some quite serious ascents (if you are wearing full stab and bullet proof body armour and carrying kit to fend of and/ or detain bad guys) and commuted to and from work by bike, to a job where I still commute but spend the rest of the day at a desk has had a positive effect on my waistline. By positive I mean there is more of it.

    Good luck with the programme.

    Merry Christmas and a better New Year from me.

    luv n’ stuff

    Fuzzy from the UK

    WIN Susan!

  46. Comment by MikeonhisBike | 12.23.2008 | 11:37 am

    If the bet is coming out today I better eat my weight in Nutella and Velveeta while I can.


  47. Comment by Top 3 Weight Loss Reviews | 12.23.2008 | 11:55 am

    You can read few fat and weight loss guides available in the market. It will help you reduce your weight slowly and steadily.

  48. Comment by Barbara | 12.23.2008 | 11:56 am

    EEK, I weigh the same as you. This is not optimal for a girl.

    Today I had a BFO (not as dirty as it sounds, blinding flash of the obvious) and realized that I am not going to lose 10 lbs by Christmas.

    But NEXT year… whatever contest you dream up, I’m in. Somebody better eat those Hershey’s kisses on my desk.

    Happy Christmas, New Year, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Festivus, et al to the entire Fatty family! Peace, love and good health!

  49. Comment by Beast Mom | 12.23.2008 | 2:08 pm

    4. Get a dog.

    ;) bm

  50. Comment by chtrich | 12.24.2008 | 11:25 am

    Excellent….in a sad sort of way… all of your points I share exactly with you. 15+ pounds for me.

  51. Comment by Darren | 12.24.2008 | 3:06 pm

    Cut the crusts off before applying the sandwich spread. (I’m the father of a 4 year old)…I hadn’t done this before but just thought of it reading your post).

  52. Comment by Clydesteve | 12.30.2008 | 5:39 pm

    I am with Mike Roadie – #4 is very troubling, and, at the same time revealing. Not in a good way, rather, revealing like a belly shirt on a fat man with a mullet.

    But, at 6′2″, your corrallaarry is even more troubling. Does this mean that I could add 10 lbs to my virtual Clydesdale weight and STILL, as of this morning, be a Clydesdale???

    That is evil.

  53. Comment by Nick N. | 12.31.2008 | 5:49 pm

    Y’all are crazzy! I bike everyday, and have to consume RIDICULOUS quantities of food! I try to eat mostly vegetarian cuisine (no red meat) use protein powders, eat a jar of peanut butter in a couple of days, and boxes of cereal… everyday! I can’t eat enough!

  54. Comment by fat lover | 03.2.2009 | 9:33 am

    i love fat!!! it turns me on!!!


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.